July 7, 2005
Better than Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart has always low prices. Always. But have you seen its architecture? It has always uninspiring box. Always.
Prague does better than Wal-Mart in every sense of the word. The walls in Prague are intricately carved and painted; the marts and street vendors offer a healthy assortment of fruits, concert tickets, and handmade trinkets.
Every visitor freely describes Prague as "beautiful" until the aggregate definition surpasses the realm of possibility. Sure, Prague is better than Wal-Mart, but it's the nonchalance and comparatively undiscovered elegance of places like Cinque Terre, Italy and Malta that turn me on.
You can see Prague. But the ineffability of true beauty can be closer to a trivial serendipity in the next room. Like a ladybug on your pinky toe, outside always uninspiring box. Always.
July 21, 2005
The Doppel Effect
Your doppelganger is showing. He's laughing while jumping in a fountain in Rome. She's the receptionist at a hostel in Barcelona. You see thousands of people when you travel and after a while, faces and mannerisms repeat themselves.
In ten days I depart for Mumbai, India. I tell myself I think I know, but I have no idea what I'll face there. In Europe, the Big Picture has gotten bigger than the frame and my brain is ready to burst -- in a manner of speaking -- like a Pollock.
I've been backpacking with my friend Emily for most of this month. We met up with my brother, Rajan, in Nice, France, where we all are now. It's Nice to have friends here. And when I leave for India, it will be nice to have them there in spirit -- an advantage to seeing double. Faces and mannerisms.