Friday, 28 January 2011

Tourism is the march of stupidity

Is it now, Don Delillo?

Possibly. Because in Vancouver it's raining. In Vancouver it's 3.30 p.m. but in my brain it's 11.30 p.m. My brain wants to be in bed asleep. My brain does NOT want to be trailed round all the Places That Must Be Seen In Vancouver.

Vancouver is lovely though. Even in the rain. Especially Granville Island. The public market has fruit stalls piled high with pyramids of expertly-balanced and polished Mr. Sheen-shiny fruits and vegetables. I can't believe they didn't use superglue to hold them in place. It was very tempting to choose a cherry from the bottom of the pyramid. But I didn't.

"You're expected to be stupid." (to continue with Don Delillo) "The entire mechanism of the host country is geared to travelers acting stupidly. You walk around dazed, squinting into fold-out maps. You don't know how to talk to people, how to get anywhere, what the money means, what time it is, what to eat or how to eat it. Being stupid is the pattern, the level and the norm."

Sad irony. In general, I hate tourists and all that they stand for. But today I was one.