Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Since my lil sister Diane didn't make her flight to Spain I found myself with some time on my hands. I spent my first night in Madrid just wondering around walking into any store that was open...Stores open after 5! Wait till I tell everyone back in Friesland that that really happens some places.
I ended up walking into an underground Supermarket. Similiar to the first underground supermarket I ever saw 5 years ago in Prague. While rolling down into the store on a converbelt I realized I'm starting to be a little travel jaded.
When I fisrt started traveling abroad I had to take in every sound, taste, smell... i wanted to absorb the country into my pores. I often did with the frequent acne that came along with these trips. In the past five years I have gone from only one country under my belt, Sweden when I was 13, to double digits. I have studied photography in the UK, Whitewater rafted the Nile, drank virgin margarhitas at 8 in the morning in the carribbean,have drank more vodka in Central Asia than one person should consume in a life time. Over the past six months, since moving to Friesland, I have gotten to travel around the norther part of the Netherlands, Watch Rugby World Cup Semi Finals at the Eiffel Tower, dancing till all hours of the night in London, learned all about Bols jenever in Amsterdam, jumped a fence in Italy, and now am exploring Madrid. I list these things not to brag but to try and understand why I wasn't overcome with joy as I rolled into the supermarket. When I was in Prague 5 years ago I went out of my way everyday to go to that underground store because I thought it was the most unique thing on Earth. AN UNDERGROUND SUPERMARKET! I also thought, okay still think, the "Prague Czech it out" shirts are so clever and cool. I seem not to get overwhelmed anymore by how cool and new and exciting things are. My skin for the first time in my life, is clear. I often will see something that would have suprised or shocked me in the past and now find myself going oh, that's nothing compared to... insert country I have been to before where ever I am at the time.
Traveling is all I every really wanted to do. No, let me rephrase that... exploring.There isn't really anything left to discover except for the things you discover for yourself. The wonder and awe that you find in things. I have been extremely lucky, no no that isn't the right word...blessed, with all the traveling I have gotten to do in my short lifetime. I wandered the aisles of the underground supermarket thinking about how I always swore I wouldn't get jaded, I would always find ways to be excited. and then without trying I was reassured that I might not be as jaded as I think, when I saw a woman pull out a giant knife cut off the head of a fish, gut it, and cut of the tail and wrap it in less than 10 seconds. No one else there was amazed but I was restraining myself from applauding. And then I saw that the store had Mountain Dew and Oreos. Two things I haven't seen in months. ¿Man does life get better than this?


  1. becky said...

    i think after you've done a lot of travelling, you just start to get excited about different things than newbie travellers. after all the travelling i've done, i think my interests are more specific... although i'll still check out virtually anything. i don't feel the need to visit the famous monument or museum or whatever every place i go. but as a foodie, i MUST sample local cuisine and go to a market or bakery. i think i'm more interested in the little moments now... like trying to feed my plantain peel to a cow in india & him trying to headbutt me... or the AMAZING organic breakfast in copenhagen... or chatting with the tea house manager in a tiny place outside of toronto. i like just being someplace and absorbing the culture. and you'll find a lot more culture on the streets than in any museum or on any guided tour.

    hmm... i think i got a little off topic there ;) but i believe i know what you're saying.
    ryan has never been out of the country, and i cannot wait until i can take him somewhere. i'm really looking forward to seeing another country through his eyes... the eyes of an international travel virgin. can you imagine the possibilities the world holds for someone with a pristine passport??

  2. Sam said...

    wait... those margaritas were virgin?? I guess we'll always have the tela-banana-coco-drive