Of all the places I’ve traveled, only two countries (besides my own) have fallen into “first-world” territory. Therefore, I have developed a slightly skewed definition of “luxury,” one that is inclusive of the gratitude I feel for having been born in a situation where I could enjoy two parents, food on the table every evening, and an education (this one – especially as a woman). Suffice it to say I was not born with this idea of luxury – how could you know the opulence of America until you look at a sign pointing you to the bathroom in India and consider it a measure of fine living when you see this:
instead of a “squatty potty.”
That said, I had the great fortune (traveling is in itself a luxury) to visit France in 2010. I was disappointed that we could not fit Versailles into our itinerary, but I was able to glimpse the golden splendor of the Napoleon Apartments in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre, which, frankly, rendered me as speechless then as it does now.
I mean, how can I speak of such luxury? It defies my imagination despite existing, preserved, in meticulous detail.
I don’t even know as many people as there are chairs at this table!
To sit and stare at yourself in a mirror… (As you can see, luxury negates the necessity for complete sentences.)
It was hard not to let the absurdity of this affluence escape me (and – history lesson! – neither did this absurdity escape the people of France). I don’t know if I’ll ever be (or will even want to be) a person of luxury. What would I do in a house like that? Roll around in it? Revel in it? I’d probably have to sit up straight – at all times. What a pain!
But, man, do I appreciate a Western toilet. Gold trim optional, but probably not necessary.