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Legendary Cultures
March 12 to April 1 2011
Day 1 (London)  |  Day 2 (Lille)  |  Day 3 (London)  |  Lapland  |  Armenia  |  Mongolia  |  Lijiang China  |  Papua New Guinea  |  Indonesia  |  Calcutta  |  Bhutan - Day 1  |  Bhutan - Day 2  |  Petra  |  Turkey  |  Reprise

REPRISE

As we have in the past, we look back on what we have seen, put it in the perspective of what we have seen elsewhere. Like many things in life, after a while one is reminded of a tube of toothpaste - as the tube gets used a lot, the effort it takes to get to the toothpaste is disproportional to the effort it takes to get it. Like the previous Round-the-World trip, the pace is a killer. Early mornings are followed by later suppers. You become like an abused prisoner who is thankful of his jailor when he doesn't get beaten as hard on a particular day. Many stops are introduced by the guide as being very strenuous" or "difficult" or even "dangerous". I don't recall hearing this rhetoric in the advertisement for the trip.

Every trip has it highlights and its "why did I go there"? This trip is called "Legendary Cultures" and was billed as an opportunity to see a few cultures of the world which had not changed their way of life. What we have seen instead are cultures that are, as are many cultures throughout the world, going through change. The older people may hold on to some remnants of the past but the youth want little or nothing to do with this past. Cell phone, Internet, and TV are ubiquitous. The dress of the majority of the population is no longer "native" but reflects the styles of the Western culture they see on TV.

Perhaps the best way of characterizing what we have seen is to think of a visit to an Indian Reservation, say in the Southwest. Although there are people on the Reservation that are willing to dress in loin cloth and feathers for tourists or ceremonies, that is not their everyday mode of attire. What we have seen throughout this trip are enactments of what was the past culture by professional actors who specialize in this form of entertainment for the tourists.

What we have also seen are many places that are very poor. Again this is not unique to the places we have seen on this trip. Poverty is not a cultural artifact.

On the other hand, we met some nice people who suffered along with us. Of the 80 people, 20-30 have been sick. Speaking as one of them, "it ain't fun". So being out of sorts, subjected to unreasonable time schedules, and going to some pretty arduous places has not dampened the overall good nature of the majority of the travelers. What has been most fun however, is once again watching Carol WOW a crowd. She came decked out in a red raincoat, with pink, purple, and lime green accessories. I sent you a copy of her riding the elephant with her red umbrella. For most of the people who witnessed that act, it will be apart of their permanent memory of the trip.



Day 1 (London)  |  Day 2 (Lille)  |  Day 3 (London)  |  Lapland  |  Armenia  |  Mongolia  |  Lijiang China  |  Papua New Guinea  |  Indonesia  |  Calcutta  |  Bhutan - Day 1  |  Bhutan - Day 2  |  Petra  |  Turkey  |  Reprise



HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC