Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Plugged Into The Matrix

I really didn't want to plug back into the matrix, but such is its power. I have already used a cellular phone and driven my car - two things I almost forgot were everyday parts of my life.

My last night in St. Pete's was a ball. Andrea and I met up with two other tour leaders, had a great dinner and hung out at the funniest hole-in-the-wall bar named Dacha. They played oldies almost all night/morning - when was the last time you went somewhere that played Motown to a bunch of drunk white folks? We then took off toward the draw bridges in town, which are raised intermittently starting at 1:40am. It was really cool passing through the square in front of the Hermitage at 2am when it was quiet and tourist free. That's my tip for seeing tourist spots without the annoying crowds.

Discussing my impending return home, I reflected on the luxury of going to a place where I speak the language and where people understand me. One of the guys responded that, although it is nice, it is also comforting to be anonymous. To be in a place where you don't speak the language means that ubiquitous advertisements have no effect upon you, the conversations of people around you are not distracting, etc.

His point was driven home when I arrived at the airport, along with 50 geezers from Wisconsin who just finished a cruise in Russia. They asked the dumbest questions about the check-in process - I swear you would have thought they had never been in an airport before. Yes, they will allow you to check your luggage - no you will not have to rest your suitcase on your lap on the plane. Dead tired, I listened to the most inane bullshit about Russian food, each person's kids, their plans to keep in touch. Two of the women literally didn't stop talking the entire time between arrival and boarding.

It was not a luxury to be around fellow English-speakers. I am sure there is an abundance of morons in Russia and China, as there are everywhere in the world, but it sure was nice to sit in my non-Russian speaking, non-Chinese speaking bubble and have absolutely no clue what they were saying. Ahhh...the simple things in life.

A little bit of television yesterday was enough to deter me from watching much television in the future. Between the ads and the actual content, I think I dropped a few IQ points. In Hong Kong, I briefly watched ABC news and it took me almost three weeks to recover the intelligence I lost after they spent 5 minutes on some nutjob in Atlanta threatening to jump from a crane. Where's the news - let him jump! Whether you believe in evolution or not, Darwin had a point about natural selection. American news is so painfully redundant, trite and superficial - crazy, violent brown people and innocent, damsel in distress white women - same shit, different pile.

Where are the Chinese speakers?

14 Comments:

At 10:49 AM, June 21, 2005 , Blogger chad said...

We must have syncronized our blog consciousness. I just wrote something yesterday about the news. I think you summed it up more succinctly with the comment:
crazy, violent brown people and innocent, damsel in distress white women - same shit, different pile

Sorry you had to plug back into the matrix, but from one coppertop to another, I'm glad you are back safely. Hope you keep posting your beautiful point of view.
chad

 
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