Tuesday, August 31
Eat, Pay, Leave
The new movie 'Eat Pray Love' starring Julia Roberts is making its way through the cinemas. I read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert about two years ago. It was cute, but I really found her to be self indulgent and suffering from intense naval gazing.
Out of a bad divorce, she picks up and goes on a quest to 'find' herself. Welcome to the real world darling. I, too, had a sad divorce, but you didn't see me pick up and take off to Italy, India and Indonesia. I had two toddlers that needed to be cared for and a battle with their father for him to step up, man up and be responsible financially in the raising of said toddlers. Running away was and is not an option for a lot of divorced women.
The best part of the book was when she was in Italy. If any woman is suffering from self doubt and low self esteem, Italy is the cure all place to go. Just walking down the streets in Rome will boost your ego instantly. Cries of "Que bella donna' and 'Bellissima' will put a swagger in your step faster than a new pair of Jimmy Choo's and will not cost you a dime. I love Italians. They have such a great attitude towards life. Eating is a pleasure and is not be rushed. (Have you ever seen an obese Italian?) Italians are the pros when it comes to slowing down and enjoying the moment. And they have cute soccer players to boot....
I have never been to India, but from what I have heard, it is beyond anything one could imagine. Going off to a yoga retreat in India not only sounds exotic and wonderful, I can't help but imagine the poverty that surrounds these nirvanic compounds made to cater to the EPL pilgrims. Dysentery also is an issue. I will take a retreat with Bryan Kest in Maui, thank you very much!
She ends the book in Bali. She meets up with a guru/shaman little man and also gets involved with a real estate transaction and a Brazilian man. There is a certain element that happens to 35 plus women where they feel they have to find the answers to the meaning of life and more importantly their existence. One can do therapy, one can travel, one can meditate, one can get involved with other people and help out the world in small philanthropic ways. She tried to help out a local woman but in my opinion got shammed by this woman. Unfortunately, Americans are seen in the third world as endless money sources. Maybe ten years ago, but the way their economy is going down the tubes these days, that generalization will become misconception.
She meets a Brazilian man in Bali. (That in itself is fodder for a whole other blog post...)There are hundreds of Brazilians in Bali. They go for the surf and to export Balinese wares back to Brazil to sell at exorbitant prices. I know a few Brazilians that have moved permanently to Bali. They tell me that the cute little restaurants mentioned in the book have become tourist traps for these legions of self discovering thirty something divorcees. The charm has gone and one place has actually made up Tshirts saying "Eat Pay Leave".....
I ask, what has Elisabeth Gilbert given back? She is now a gazillionaire author, telling her story on Oprah and having Julia Roberts play her in a movie. She may have discovered how to make a lot of money by writing, but her stories are involving others. How have they fared? Or does she continue to be self serving? Here is a link to a blog post that sums it up quite well . Thank you to Jezebel for the photo.