12.12.2005

channel surfing
after a long day it is nice to kick back with a glass of wine
not a wine glass.... a glass of wine
breezing around the dial I pause for the start of Monster House
it is a train wreck
about as deep as I go into reality television
at the first commercial break I continue into the high numbers

a few clicks ahead and there is are some interesting images
the images are old... the format is clearly film not video
immediately I recognize the dance, the music, the setting, and the culture
it is clearly indonesian
after a few more minutes
it is clearly more specically balianese

it is a news reel of sort
just a filler between films on one of the turner networks
the narration is on the verge of hokie
the presentation is nearly kitch
it is all very cool
as it is not just a lesson in history
it is also a little bit of a time capsul
as this was a time were the world was really startiing to discover the world
discover the world from their own perspective
not just from books but through their own eyes

this was a time where the idea of travel was really starting to boom
cars, cruises, and even flight
these were the times when the common man (or woman) could entertain their coureosity
the dawn of adventure travel
also the beginning of the infection of cross culture integration
not yet the coca cola trail
but the slow evil evolution of it all

my grandparents were part of that culture
they packed their suitcases and went on cruises
they went to remote south paciffic islands and came back with carved coconuts and tiki dolls
they took boat rides into various port alaska... perhaps shortly after statehood
drawn by the grandness of it all and the close up view of wild life in its wild state

their intentions were pure
just as the modern traveler's intentions are pure
but the contact can be like a virus
the merging of different cultures initiates change
not all change is good

what are the options?
close off the borders?
put a fence around the world?
have various isolated cultures exist separate... without contact
like some sort of large scale ant farm?

it is too late
there is a saying that you can not put the genie back in the bottle
which may be true
but
we can all control the genie by making some responsible wishes

I wish that people would travel with more respect for themselves and respect for different cultures
I wish people from both cultures understood that they are in fact ambassadors of their own culutre and that their interaction should exist as such
(clearly one strong positive or one strong negative interaction could blanket the opinion of the culture as a whole)
and
I wish... I wish I had more wishes

I love travel
I love the difference of culture
I love the beauty of the world and its complexity
I would like to think that when I travel I am a positive representative of my culture and my country
that too can be complex

never got back to Monster House
there has been this documentary on Easter Island on the History channel

I have great memories of those classic american family trips
in between Stuckey stops we pestered our dad until he stopped at Mammoth Cave and Ruby Falls
guess billboards work
works for South of the Border and the Shell Factory

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