Marginal Returns to Travel Down

        I'm definitely at the point in my trip to call it quite: seeing the city is skipped, and I instead read most of the day. Yeah, it's cool that I have the park's Bourbon St. Jazz Festival as some quality background music, but I can't get over that fact that I bike under 8 miles today. If this, just kind of hanging out enjoying a different ambience, is what vacation's supposed to be, then I don't know what I've been doing for most of this trip should be called. Some might say stupid, but I'll be so bold as to call it adventure.
        After dinner with Paulo, one of the tax attorneys, at Rocket's, a 50s hamburger place that's either owned by America's Johnny Rocket's or infringing every bit of their trademarks, I'm sitting at a bar, watching the remnants of the Italian festival, drinking Antarctica beer, and, to be honest, feeling pretty proud of myself that I've survived this trip and even made a few friends along the way. Based on this and my other trips, I'll be so bold as to say that any reasonably intelligent, resourceful, and outgoing person who speaks English and can burn a few thousand dollars in the process can probably go beyond tourism and transition to becoming truly acclimated to any place (other than war zones and other sad cover stories) within a few months. I'm not saying I've truly done this anywhere other than London, but I can certainly see how the process would play out. Without knowing Portuguese, staying in one city for more than 3 days, or even being that outgoing, I've lucked into meeting 2 dudes I'll at least email. One month in most any one place I can think of, no matter what the language barriers, and I feel like I'd start to really gain friends and knowledge I could use to at least get by enjoyably. Yeah, I know this sounds incredibly cocky and there are thousands of horror stories of people nearly as na´ve as me plopping themselves into the middle of somewhere and ending up going through hell. But I bet a lot of those that survived wouldn't trade the experience for the world:)

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