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January 29, 2009 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-29

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Thrdy Ja Sy2,20

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, Januarry 29,20
S G A S T

My eniorsring break was one
marked by high culture and severe
indigestion. While most of my fel-
low colleagues ventured to the
Bahamas for beautiful weather
and mass consumption of alcohol,
I went with three of my friends to
Paris and London for the awful
weather and the mass consump-
tionof alcohol cnum.
In Paris, our jet lag quickly ;
evolved into insomnia. We stayedc
up all night (literally) playing
Scrabble, rhyming and watchinge
anime on mute while listening to
Pink Floyd. It was seriously onet
of the greatestnights of my life. a
The next afternoon, on the other r
hand, was brutal. A Botox-faced o
tourguide led us around town to a
multitude of creepy chapels while a.
it stormed violently outside. Sleep tn
deprivation combined with cul- ve
tore shock made me feel like I was u
either in Hell or aD a i was
movie. If we were avd Lynch p1
intelligent beings, we would've an
learned from our exhaustion and
gone to bed that night at a reason- ,

able hour. But we weren't, and
we proceeded to follow the same
exact routine for the next four
nights.
Then came London, and it was
time to drink. We went to an actu-
al pub and drank actual Guinness
from an actual taps Itwas wonder-
ful-until later that night in our
hotel room, when I was hit with
a double-whammy of fever and
diarrhea. My friends ordered beer
from room service and alternat-
ed jumping on the king-size bed
and writing down their drunken
houghts. I alternated between
hitting my guts out in the bath-
oom and attempting to pass out
n the pullout sofa.
Of course, my friends and I hit
ill the standard cultural check-
iarks of eating crepes from local
endors, visiting surreal art muse-
Ms and seeing our fair share of
ays. But, honestly, what match
the Louvre for upset stomachs
d heavy fatigue?
/c sre/ oshu y-

. y . a : I r
_...._

6

Jy

'1-20 Mayar'

After listening to a 12-inch vinyl LP
of Paul Simon's Graceland on a record
player in my room last year, my friends
and I conceived the plan to visit the
actual Graceland in Memphis, just
like Paul Simon had before recording
his now-famous album.
We passed the cramped, 16-hour
drive by eating pretzels and Clemen-
tines while listening to mix tapes we'd
made with selections like Billy Bragg
& Wilco's "California Stars," The
Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime,"
and, of course, the album Graceland in
its entirety.
The main attraction of the trip was
the 13-acre Elvis Presley estate after
which Simon's song and album were
named. I had never really been inter-
ested in Elvis, save for listening to
the compilation album ELVIS when
I was 13. Although I had little knowl-
edge about the life of rock'n'roll's first
star, I expected to see overwhelming
amounts of rhinestoned kitsch at the
estate. But I didn't know quite how
much until we got there.
Sure enough, the mansion wasfilled
with all the flamboyant decadence
you'd expect from a pompadoured
rock star living in the 1960s and '70s.
There was a jungle room covere d

in green shag carpeting and plastic
jungle vines, a TV room equipped
with six televisions and a martini bar
in the corner, and a barn for Elvis's
horse Rising Sun that he unoriginally
dubbed "House of the Rising Sun."
At the end of the tour was the Pres-
ley family grave. Elvis's grave was
covered in flowers sent from music
lovers in Tokyo and Spain. After acres
of Elvis's surreal life story, mapped
out in the form of gem-studded jump-
suits and walls covered in gold and
platinum records, it was strange to
realize that this music icon had been
real flesh and blood, especially after I
grew up seeing his face immortalized
on postage stamps; and after listening
to his home immortalized in Simon's
songs.
We stood there, and while none
of us had put down our cameras for
a second while documenting the
strange house and its kitschy atmo-
sphere, none of us could bring our-
selves to take pictures of the actual
gravesite. As we left, some of us were
shaken, some of us less so, by our
unexpected interaction with a leg-
end in the flesh.

the Mc;anLa/y
,/2Q Maiynard
#b7n d rfopi AIZ '/s'09

Daily staffers share some
of their most memorable
spring break experiences,
from the classy and
cultural to the drunk and
debauched.
f ft,
x c 0 r r r (-r(
\

Last winter I studieda
in Barcelona and spent mYabroad
break in both Dublin,t Ir spring
Cairo, Egypt. and and
I started off in Dublin ctnve
niently enough on St Patrick's Day
weekend. It wasn't long before Iist
was tucked inawr ber sen-
ing to live Irish folk music and
shouting drinking songs alongside
the locals. The trip culminated in
af vist toil n cn h
wese det the Guinness Beewery, I
whesta learned about and drank c
far too much of the factory's deli- n
ane tho duct.As I oarded the ti
S cave, my non-Irish eyes
were smiling, hut after four dv
full of St. Patty's se dnias i
was time to head sooth for warmrt
weather and Egyptian adventure toa
Egypt was a rousing assault o u
the sense,. It eras full of 1(
hok-g, crowconaitsr, the sceth
of exotic oils andpefmsct ic
intense desert sun heainingdon o
constantlyan th dr °a
sand that co anedrevryn desert Joe
ciry. I quickly fell in lore wits the ao
tough asnd hectic city, though it's

not "tourist friendl,", in the l
Everything is fair game for bai-
gaining, includin foodcab fare
and even the worth ofapersoars
compared to camels (I was asked
to trade my friend for 800 camels,
a propositin I considered until
realizig ihow inconvenient own-
inga herd ofrcamels would be). And
'ou are expected toengage insuc
dehates regardless of the languagch
-arier Forieaon, I Aas
onued handtt ron ged y
nd n moeyless after the
najorisy of cab rides. I ' entually
raded the cahs forsa camel named
Iichari .Jacksmn, and I took a tide
.hin; around the pyramids.
There are too many memories
ss'rap sp in a small space, but nay
lvice to anyone lookiing to iake
Bch a break: Fiisd a faithsful Arai
-speaking friend sto guide you
rough chaotic. Cairo (wehichs I
as Irishman (whic I also did).
tlike college, pringbreak is all
at learning. Yeash, right.,
. XOXO S.atao,'jC/aov?

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T eews jnleromcvee

I jumped tentatively froa the boundaries during our stay. We
rocks at the Samsara Cliffs Resort snorkeled asd traveled into the
in Negri, hJamaica when I arrived brightly colored pen mets
last ebrur;. dte1 atdrIsosand oped from the cliffs befsre
lagstnFebruanry. Hothelwnerpoited o 2 sm
encouraged us as mny fre a
wotrked our way up to the 15-foot One nighsot taxi driver took
cliff. We sat acossg, the guests in us so his favsrite jerk chicken hut.
tisoels sto isers e thesedam treds $5 ought aanusk of ehite bread
and oranges of she suniet cascad- -a sire as s
ing along the wares before head - tnartseda gho nril edre. Whin
d ri ft dinner, he p te
Scattered among Anerican en, the thsnet psiited top 2 0small
meal items swere Janmaican staples bottles of Jamaica's Appleton rm
like jerk chicken and "rice and "I drink one of sthose," he sa,an
peas," red beans aid rice stewed then gave us a tour of his small
sith coconut milk. The dining restaurant where the chickens
room, like the hotel, was casual roamed freely.
and humble. Candies and flowers The hotel staff held a similar.
adorned the plastic-covered tables albeit less buzzed, attitude. hahn-
wher e he ll1 of us gathered at du sk. ny , the groundskeeper, op eie
'The nextornting we enjoyed fried greenacisconut in return fist a Red ,a h
~~~~tsepantains and local fruit before tStrebeer. Ilerdathtse
h e a d i n g f o r t h e b e a c h . r e t r} h t c c n t w t r i o
This hotel is not for the weak to he mistaken for coconut milk
of heart; it cannot, fortunately, despite how happy y sur fre d
be classified as a pristinely clean, are that they climbed up a cocout
yoga-instructing resort. Con- tree.
tra y to a typical resort, our ho~tel . . v t r h5J e r !
encouraged us to tave1 past hotel - Al '

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ILLU 0TRA ION ,5BY LAURA GA!AVO O 0A

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