The Laws of Travel, Part 2

Wine over lunch on my own makes me quite the travel philosopher.  Here’s some more things about travel you probably won’t see in guidebooks:

It is very hard not to see foreign currency as play money. Retail in France?  Oui, bien sur!  Retail at home?  Almost never. 

It is easy to spend more than you need to when you aren’t familiar with a place, because you are usually just so glad finally to find what you want.  

Your GI tract won’t always be happy, since it is more of a homebody than the rest of you.

When you address someone in a foreign language and you get a torrent of really fast words in reply, you probably sounded more fluent than you actually are. Flattering, but usually the reason you spoke was that you had a question, and you still don’t know the answer.

If when you say something in a foreign language, and you get a compliment about how well you  speak, that’s probably not what they’re really thinking. When people stop saying that, you are doing much better.