A place is tested ok not just by its SLR captured landscapes, but by the feelings and assumptions we associate with it. I liked London, am bowled over by Las Vegas, fascinated by Australia, dream of Switzerland, yearn to go to Hawaii, detest Pakistan, neutral about Bangladesh and I love India. Mind you, I’ve never been to any of the above places falling between the London to India route. So why did I described those places like I did?
Every country has its share of scenic beauty (sadly some of them do not get the Nat Geog awards), bad politics, infamous ambassadors, latitudes and longitudes of unclean streets, racism, unsafe areas.etc. Despite this, we nod our heads to ‘Most wanted places’ recommended by SOTC and Thomas Cook tours and roll up our sleeves and wrinkle our noses at the mention of any place ending with ‘tan’.
The Press has ‘impressed’ our rationalism ever since the ubiquitous Malyalee nurse placed us next to our mothers. Probably the first lines we may have heard after being born is the doctor telling our mothers is ‘According to our reporters you have had a healthy baby!’
We tend to believe whatever the breaking news flashes to us. That’s where we come from. We hear (mostly don’t listen), watch (hardly see), assume (never rationalize) and wham, bam! we speak and opinionate of places as we are auditioning for some Travel and Living show!!
It’s healthy to love and be passionate about your country, have a fav place to fill in some slam book and have dry/witty/sarcastic humor about places where the people have the same oil for cooking and for the head! And I’m not indicating the oil rich ‘Gelf’ . But let’s not hold fast to mindless assumptions and rumours about a different land even before the Visa is in hand!
Don on your benny cap, zoom your mind 10X to what experiences an alien country can give you.There’s a saying, ‘Be virgin when you travel!’ and it applies to all breeds, the been-theres and have -not- been –theres.
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