27 January 2014

am i still traveling if i've been in the same place for 3 weeks?

what makes travel, anyway? am i still traveling if i have been in the same place for 3 weeks? if i know the people there? if i've been there before? lived there before? if i'm not necessarily "going out," if i'm skipping sightseeing, if i'm spending most of my time in the private/domestic sphere, fundamentally displaced / yet at home in myself? 

abroad defines "away" i.e. distance (as opposed to proximity) in terms of  - as a function of - the nation-state, in relation to "home." what about leaving? having left?


chimamanda ngozi adichie said at the internationell författarscen in göteborg last night that there is an advance in feminism in nigeria that has women knowing they don't need a man to complete them that is lacking in the (latent misogyny of the) west.

the interview was so bad (ugh the uncomfortable disappointment in jannike åhlund) but chimamanda ("i grew up reading books that i had nothing to do with my reality and i loved them") was so good.

so there are so many reasons for travel besides trade and immigration. one way or round trip, including relatively short stays between successive movements. medical, ecclesiastical, religious, governmental; for vacation, tourism, entertainment, delivery of news; in search of academies, learning, answers to myths.


i like that the swedish recipe for american pancakes calls for filmjölk or yoghurt.

i liked that the french homeopath dr. violene seignon prescribed me calendula creme for my engelures even though she got made at me when she found out i was only staying for a month ("that's not very long to get to know a country" "it's hard to get to know everywhere") and told me i should pee on my feet to heal my painful red swollen frozen toes. i think it was the vitamin D supplement that helped ultimately.

gilbert at crozefond where i WWOOF'd in france giving me shit for being a rich american coming to work on the WWII-hungover farm. "one is not rich here. one is poor here. not like you americans."

nevermind the fact that most americans are poor. when is travel from the west ever not imperial? what about west-on-west relocation? what about the naïve desire to experience places regardless of anybody's economic position?