Very happy that my historical destination piece on Cuenca, Ecuador has just been published as the cover feature over at Travel Thru History. Check it out, yo.
Photo taken in Mindo, Ecuador.
“Tourism is about the consumption of place. Like every other form of consumption, it is dependent upon brands. As Naomi Klein has pointed out, we live in the golden age of branding, and Majorca and Amsterdam and Hawaii and New Zealand are brands, as much as Levis or Calvin Klein.”
“Tourism today may be widespread, but it is subject to certain constraints. We may be able fly to a distant location for a holiday, but we are often able to spend only a brief period – a few days or a couple of weeks – there, before returning to dreary jobs and mechanical day to day routines. Travel has become the ‘other’ of work. Because we are often so busy at work, we choose to be indolent on holiday – to switch off cell phones and brains and lie on a beach. If we are obsequious at work, trying to impress or placate workmates or customers, then we can be selfish and demanding on holiday. Our interactions with the people and places we are visiting are often carefully mediated and commercialised. The inhabitants of the places we visit are more likely to be pouring us drinks than sitting talking to us over a drink. Life on a typical package holiday is as unbalanced, in its own way, as life in a modern workplace often is.”
– Scott Hamilton. Read the whole thing here
Everywhere All The Time #1 is a radical travel zine featuring tons of color photos, sketches and writings from all ova the place, wrapped in a vellum cover and completely typewritten on my Remington Streamliner. Click on the ‘read the zine’ button to pre-order for $5 now and get free shipping; remember I’m sending this shit from Ecuador!
More on what the heck ‘radical travel’ is…to come!
I stood guard over Rocio’s pack and stared at the stuff being sold at the stands across the phone booths: long plastic bags stacked with small apples hanging from mysterious corners like appendages, lollipops of every color, fresh empanadas
, bread wrapped in brown paper bags stained with margarine. An indigenous woman with two long braids sat on a stool between the stands and stared nowhere. Rocio said the call didn’t go through and I played with a tiny white puppy for a few minutes, I think. Who knows? Time flies when you’re playing with tiny white puppies at the bus terminal.
To the West, dark clouds hung low over the peaks, full of storm. To the East, the sun shown in a light blue sky and fluffy white clouds stuck onto it like balls of cotton. How could the sky fit all this contrasting madness? I hurt my neck checking it all out. This is Quito.
So, an eleven hour bus ride. Rocio took the window seat and fell asleep. It took awhile escaping the city for it to transform into country – cows grazing on steep mountains, indigenous women sitting on stoops with green or black fedora hats, flowing blue velvet skirts and their faces in their palms. A deaf black man got on the bus and handed out little pieces of paper that read “there is no work for people like me.” I gave him fifty cents and he gave me tons of tamarind favored candy – hard on the outside with a soft, chewy center. I felt like they were the symbol of something foul. I felt guilty. I ate them all.