A Travellerspoint blog


Holy Western Civilization, Batman.

Are we in Kansas anymore?

Before I begin, please note:

My charming, talented and altogether extraordinary sibling has been added as a contributor to your friendly neighborhood travel blog. In short, before your very eyes...a briber has been born. And what a briber she is. Travel savvy like its her job, harboring aspirations of writing professionally...and yet, 3 weeks in Cambodia come and go...

And what whisperings are sent our way from Southeast Asia? Nothing. Nada. Ninette. Nien. Not a single, solitary word.

Personally, it hurts. Is she creatively blocked? Strapped for time? Or are we not even a blip on her radar as she navigates through the difficult passages of Ankor?

Not a beg, but a plea...loyal readers, please help her to break the silence. Full court pressure. All hands on deck. Any other sports metaphor/idiom you´ve got. Bring the pain (read: email).

In other news...after a 5 month absence, I´ve returned to Western Civilization!

Musee D'Orsay and other Paris Delights...

Crystal and I at Sacre Coeur...

I spent my first few hours wandering around London Heathrow, relishing in forgotten pleasures, such as Starbucks and trashy tabloids. And Western toilets. And fixed prices. And understanding the announcements on the overhead. The sheer idea of having a complete mastery of what is happening around you. Of being able to ask someone a question, understand the answer and feel comfortable about the meaning of the body language and the encounter in general.

Ridiculous. Where is the fun in that?

In the spirit of such ridiculousness, I give you Paying the Bribe´s first official Top 5 list:

Go West, Young Woman: Putting the shock in Culture Shock...

5. Personal space! Who gives personal space? What do you mean you want me to form a queue? I get waited on by shoving my way up and throwing my money at someone, not by waiting in some archaic line...
4. Everything is clean. And attractive. The bathrooms are attractive. The seating in the airport is attractive. The display of mixed fruit and nuts in the gift shop is lovely. The garbage cans are frankly getting me a little hot and bothered.
3. I ordered a salad that cost approximately $14.00. I could get a 4 course meal in India for that much. I think I just had a small coronary.
2. I blend in. Really. I blend in. People don´t point at me when I walk by. My pants aren´t a major topic of conversation. People aren´t asking to have their picture taken with me...(Not kidding. Mantles all over India have headings like ¨me with random white girl in Amritsar...¨) Complete anonymity. How odd.

And finally...

1. For lack of a more eloquent way to phrase it...dear god, to we produce a lot of shit in the western world.

Please note...this list was compiled within my first few hours in Heathrow. Three weeks later, after covering France and Spain...I feel a little differently. I´m no longer impressed by the politeness of Western man...I´d rather have someone reach out and grab you than have to fend off French waiters with pedophilic tendencies who only seem interested in you because you are legal while still looking about twelve...

I continue to be overwhelmed by the stuff. By the expense. By the self-righteousness and ethnocentrism.

And yet...

Today I shall drink regular water without guilt and run my tooth brush under the sink.

Ahhh...sweet decadence of life.

At last, I´ve found you.

Stay tuned for the Highland Park Hillbillies in North Africa...

Posted by lbassi 09:31 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

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