“Who would willingly exchange license and anonymity for the role of gawker in a sundress?” Jane Kramer in @newyorker.
Jane Kramer writes in last week’s New Yorker about a twenty-day, four-country sightseeing trip around Southeast Asia—a mundane exercise in modern tourism. What makes the piece interesting is her meditation on how weird and uncomfortable this trip makes her feel. As a longtime reporter, her urge is to ask questions and take notes all the time, but she doesn’t do that; she just lets herself be whisked from shop to restaurant to temple. Speaking for many journalists, she writes:
The fact remains that, given the choice between a vacation without a notebook and a revolution with one, most of us would pass on the yellow sundress or the cargo pants and buy a flak jacket.
Who would willingly exchange license and anonymity for the role of gawker in a sundress?
I often feel the same way about dragging one’s ass dutifully from one guidebook-approved sight to another, which can fill me with lethargy and malaise unless I have some task to accomplish or thing I want to ferret out along the way. Which I suppose is what makes me suited to my job. And is why I’m rarely on anything that could really be described as a “vacation.”