Visiting a Foreign Country Without Actually Visiting It
As I unwind from America, Inc. and settle back into a culture and a landscape I love so much, in comes this email from a TNMM reader that I couldn’t agree with more. One of the best things about traveling abroad is escaping the corporate plantation – free of the crap, ersatz food it doles out in cardboard pods, free of the micromanagement of daily life by Police State USA, free of the insanity of the hamster wheel of 70 hour work weeks that leave no personal time, free of the frigid Anglobitch and those poor female souls she has assimilated into her misandric malaise.
However, it seems few are able to imagine a world that exists outside the myopia foisted upon them by their cultural shepherds. Imagine: There are so many ways of living life outside the box The Anglo American Matrix has crafted – the “prison for your mind” that so many are too timid to imagine life outside of. With regards to this topic, TNMM reader “Rick” sent me this email, which sums up my view of being Happier Abroad so well. Once a man sees The American Way is not the best way, his possibilities for creativity and happiness immensely increase:
“There are American compounds all over the world. Big American communities with high rise condos, stores, schools. It’s the American way, it seems, to import their entire lifestyle to a country and live in relative isolation from the local populace, terrified of interaction it seems.
I’m exactly the opposite. Living smack in the middle of the people. I actually avoid most Americans here, finding them to have little respect for the local people [and] a superiority complex regarding the country they live in. I want nothing to do with most of the foreigners here.
In my village the majority of the population carries water from the village well, has no plumbing, many have no electricity or so limited power that all they have is a small light bulb. No refrigeration. Bamboo/nepa huts, dirt floors, no glass in windows, open doors. Little private transportation, many not even a bicycle. Many “streets” no more than dirt paths many only wide enough for foot traffic or motorcycles.
Yet they are good people, living their lives as best they can. Cell phones are everywhere. Sat TV dishes mounted on little huts. Festivals are always going on somewhere. Tolerance for personal differences is high. Life is simple, and in my opinion, good. But my opinion about life in the cities is much like my opinion about life in the US, it sucks. So, it’s boonies and the poor people for me.”
It’s true that most people are tourists and not travelers. Tourists “visit” a foreign country without ever actually visiting it because they stay ensconced in their “comfort zone” bubbles of American-style shopping, eating out, and other preplanned corporate activities. These well-trained, professional consumers also maintain their cultural biases rather than being open minded enough to accept other ways of thinking and living life.
When I travel, the last thing I want to see is a McDonald’s, a Walmart, a Starbucks, an American-style resort – anything corporate and sanitized of vitality and originality. I want to live real life. Like Rick, nothing repels me more than the islands of Americanism on my current island and in other nations I visit. That’s everything I’m trying to escape. I live diversity while others only preach it.
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