Mis Impressions Internacionale

I'm not much of a world traveler. Once, when I was in high school, I went on a chorus trip to Ottawa, Canada, but virtually the only thing I can remember is someone puking on the rug in our hotel room.

Years later, in college, I went back to the Great White North to visit my (then) girlfriend, Sarah, in Montreal. Aside from passing a few French language Billboards and feeling uncomfortable trying to order "le muffin blueberry" at Dunkin' Donuts, I didn't really get a Gallic experience. The one restaurant I remember eating at was Polish (I had pierogies).

It is for these reasons, however, that I present to you my extremely general and totally off-base impressions of countries I've never visited. They say the world's a much smaller place these days, and I believe that. By golly, I feel smaller. And since I read a lot and have many friends who travel, my opinions are pretty valid. Hey, if you've never been out of the country then you have no reason to doubt me.


I've known a few people from England over the years, and I can truly say their command of English was excellent. The oft-heard rumor about poor teeth seems to be somewhat unfounded, although Shane McGowan, formerly of the rock group The Pogues, has terrible teeth, and is Irish.

Beyond a doubt, English cuisine is awful. One time I ate over my (then) girlfriend Sarah's house for dinner and our dessert was "Yorkshire pudding". Hardly pudding by any stretch of the imagination, this desert is actually just stale bread, fried in lard. What kind of treat is that?

The weather in Great Britain is foggy and overcast, as I've seen in countless art films on BRAVO. Music is generally quite good, and you can probably see some excellent live bands--The Beatles...The Rolling Stones...Kajagoogoo--as long as you avoid those angry, green-haired "mods" I remember from my "Encyclopedia Of Rock" coffee table book. They might stick a safety pin through your cheek.


grik.gif Everyone knows that Spaniards like to fiesta, and well, so do I. Who can complain about an afternoon nap? Apparently, native food consists of the familiar beans and rice, sometimes wrapped in a tortilla like thing and served with mushy, mashed up meat. Their terrain is hilly, and very beautiful, which makes sense since I was recently in the Hollywood Hills and someone said, "this looks a lot like the Spanish countryside".

The nightlife is fun, and has a lot of dancing, at least if you can believe that Madonna song, "La Isla Bonita". From magazine layouts I can tell you that Spanish men are quite handsome, and that the women quite beautiful, although sometimes totally nuts, as witnessed in the work of Pablo Picasso. Spain has lots of art. Fine art. That makes it a classy place.

Don't forget, when packing for your trip: the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains, although I don't know where they are specifically.


The French suck. Who among us can think of anyone French we ever liked? Even their foreign exchange students are jerks. And they can deny it all they want, but any country that likes Jerry Lewis that friggin' much is out of its collective mind. The only thing cool about the French is that they have mistresses. I learned that on the NBC Nightly News, when they covered Mitterand's funeral and Tom Brokaw sneered as he uttered the words Mitterand's mistress. We have infidelity in America, only here we have the decency to lie about it.

French food is generally rich, and smelly. And everyone knows the French hate to bathe. You would, too, if you had to wash with stinky milk and garlic. Rotten food + rank flesh = one foul country. P.U.

I guess the Eiffel Tower is cool, but big deal. We have that thing in Seattle.


minstril.gif India is profoundly spiritual, a land of mystery and enticement. But, as my friend Yasmin explained, it's also a land where you have to squat over a hole in the ground to take a dump. Who wants spirituality so bad they'll crap in a ditch? Not me. And if you eat all that curry, you'll be over that hole day and night. Forget it.

There's also some sort of social caste system there, but why travel halfway around the world when we've got poor people right here?

If you're planning on going, though, I suggest visiting during Indian summer, which is supposed to be really nice. And, while you're there, pick up a sitar. George Harrison did, and look where it got him.

If you're short on brown dots, you could probably get away with taping a dead cockroach to your forehead.


chinese.gif Fish, fish, fish. That's all they eat over there in that Japan. Fish for breakfast? Now that's crazy. And I like sushi, so don't get me wrong. Japan is just wacky, period. I've seen those pachinko parlors on "60 Minutes", and for the life of me I can't figure out why people play that game. Little balls bouncing around a machine, with lights flashing? For that kind of excitement, throw marbles up in the air and play with the dimmer switch.

People in Japan speak Japanese, which to my friend's mother sounds an awful lot like "fuchi fachi fuchi fachi". Now, she's Colombian, but come to think of it, that is what Japanese sounds like. Maybe if you like Japanese gardens, you'll like going there: the whole country's full of 'em! And Japanese girls have less hair on their arms and like to wear their school uniforms when they do it, if you're into that.


My last girlfriend was Persian, so I feel that makes me a bona fide Ph.D. in Persian 'Relations'. Neda was pretty Americanized, but sometimes I'd make her wear a veil and walk a few paces behind me, just for kicks. She taught me some cool words, like "gorbe" which means "cat", "koone" which means "homosexual", and "gende", which means "prostitute". Cool how "cat" is almost "prostitute", huh? Persians eat rice with berry-type things in it, and when I had Thanksgiving over her mother's house, she didn't make any gravy for the turkey. I find that very indicative of something. She also didn't like it when I called her a faggot cat hooker. No sense of humor, those Persians.

I seem to remember my uncle telling me something about Muslims hitting each other over the head with chains, but Neda is Jewish, and prefers whips. One thing do know for sure is that Persian cartoons suck, so if you're planning to visit and you have young children, that may be a problem. Bring a satellite dish.

And that's all for now. Be with me next time, as I mouth off about Egypt, Russia, and the Netherlands, where you can smoke pot and have sex in the streets!

EDDIE SCHMIDT is not allowed to get a passport.

Who Made This?    Foreign Perspective of Ooze
Ooze #9 ----- International Issue

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