Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why Some People Should Never Travel

Today I got up and was going to do a post on my experience with nail care in Japan. That got totally side tracked when I was browsing Jezebel and happened upon this gem of a post: This Goldman Sachs Lady Will Teach You How to Date Black Dudes. I like a good rubberneck as much as anyone so I checked out the the writer's site.

Her idiocy, unfortunately, went beyond the idiocy of referring to African Americans as "the brothers" in the same line as the Asians. She decided to do a whole breakdown on her visit to another place that is really near and dear to me: Italy. I have been visiting the country on and off now for the past 10 years more or less, and have friends there who have become family. So to say that I can get a bit protective sometimes is an overstatement. If I didn't love Japan and my Japanese significant other so much I could definitely see making it my home.

So, you could imagine how much this article really pissed me off. First off, one should not knock the language/culture if they have not made at least some effort to understand it. For example, Prego is almost equivalent to the US English's OK. If someone critiqued that as a quirk I'm pretty sure she would have looked at that person like they were insanely stupid.

Then she goes on to critique the Italian subway system. It is by no means perfect, but if you are holding the NYC subway as a paragon of transport you've got problems lady. It is rocky as hell, tends to show up whenever, and reeks of trash as well as other unique scents I'm going to chose not to dwell on at the moment. Fact is the Italian subways are cleaner, more efficient, and actually get you where you need to go without the need to go express at a moment's notice.

People like this should just never travel. They navel gaze too much and are unable to break out of their own me-centric POV. If they can't figure it out it is not because it just happens to be different it is because it is deficient. The whole point of her post was to discuss how differences can arise even if one looks the same, well I guess she made her point loud and clear here. We both are women, reside(d) in NYC, and have been to Italy. And you know what? We could not be more different. Mission accomplished.

The fact is the great thing about traveling is that it not only lets you see and experience new places, but also lets you discover new things about yourself as well. When you let it that is and when people are unable or unwilling to that - they miss the whole point of traveling. That is the very reason why I truly believe some people should never travel.

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