meus intuitus

glub glub

with 3 comments

I feel like a fish back in its tank.  All around me there are familiar objects, overly-familiar paths, and nothing interesting at all—except my wonderful family and friends of course.  However, even with them, I am finding that I am grabbing them all by the shoulders, violently shaking them, and screaming “You have to get out of here!  Go!  Live!  Be!”  Sadly, many of them shake their heads and mutter their fears of theft, rape, and bogeymen.  Fortunately, others concur and await only the means.

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Written by meusintuitus

August 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Posted in expression, Freedom

Tagged with , , , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Only a small minority of Americans ever own a U.S. passport.
    As a people, they tend to be xenophobic and insulated.

    In my own travels in Europe, hostels were filled with Canadians, Australians, Britons, even Kiwis. Americans, however, were few and far between.

    You are experiencing reverse culture shock. When you’ve been out of America for the very first time you can expect it to be more monumental than the actual culture shock.

    Some things will never go away. I’ve never stopped wanting to shake them awake concerning quality food. Based on your writings you might find the same.

    For you, I’m afraid, lays and diet coke won’t ever taste the same.

    And believe me, you will discover how insular most Americans are if you dare challenge their food habits. Food is part of the very foundation of culture and it is a very sensitive area.

    Giovanni Dannato

    August 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    • Thanks for all the thoughts. You seem to have traveled quite extensively–how do you engage locals in your travels (enough to get a feel for their national traits and customs like with food as you have talked about)? Do you learn the language? Couchsurf? …Bars?

      meusintuitus

      August 6, 2011 at 3:32 am

  2. Hostels instead of hotels is ideal. That way you meet people from countries all over the world. Plus you have contact with the locals who run the place. Locals who speak English usually, know how to talk to foreigners, and can tell you all the coolest places to go.
    I imagine couch surfing would also be a wonderful way to meet local people. I’ve wanted to try it.

    In many countries, locals wait for backpackers at the train station and then offer a room in their residence for hostel prices. That’s another way to basically live with a family for a few days.

    Wherever I went, I would actively search out restaurants that were representative of the traditional local cuisine. As a souvenir, I’d try to pick up some kind of liquor from each country. Not perishable, came in small packages. As I’ve said, food and drink is at the foundation of culture, you can learn a great deal about a people by going to stores and seeing what they consume.

    I’d buy many of my provisions at markets where more locals than tourists would be shopping. Also would go to the supermarkets frequented by locals. Quality food for cheap!
    Also learned that you can sniff out some of the best, best-priced restaurants and bars by following crowds of locals! And by being in these venues, you can learn a lot very quickly.

    I’d also vary my activities. If I got tired of old churches and statuary etc., I might go to a night club or musical performance instead for a change of pace. I’d keep it fresh and get to see different segments of the societies I was exploring.

    I got around by foot or public transportation. I was in the middle of crowds of people much of the time watching what they were doing.

    Also, I took advantage of study abroad while in college.(Argentina)
    And I was in Korea for an English teaching job.
    Living with a family or having a job someplace gives some insight into people’s culture and everyday lives that tourism does not.

    Giovanni Dannato

    August 6, 2011 at 8:13 am


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