Traveling and Illness: Royal Caribbean Cruise Virus Post #3

Sitting in a waiting room at the social services employment office yesterday, I overhead a lady say, “Did you hear about those people on that cruise?  That would never happen to us.  That only happens to people with money.  Someone definitely set those people up.”  Such a statement was surprising because in that moment I realized how badly tourism is viewed amongst Americans, who are supposed to be touristy people as a whole; it’s part of the American Dream.  According to cnn.com, Royal Caribbean Cruises reported a cruise being cut short due to over 600 people becoming sick on board last month.  The sickness reported was of vomiting and diarrhea, probably spread by a virus.  This kind of situation, as evidenced by the lady I eavesdropped on , is ironic in a way because thousands of people who paid lots of money for a ‘vacation experience’ were unable to achieve that despite their ability to buy into it.  I’ve been on one cruise in my life, a Royal Caribbean one, and this news story could’ve just as easily been my own.  The cruise itself wasn’t impressive.  Maybe the fact of it was that I went with my grandma.  Overall, though, it seemed like the opportunity a couple would take to romance one another, rather than a cultural experience.  Sure, the weather is nice, and theres enough drinking to do to keep you busy 24/7, but the industry/commercial feel of it kind of ruined it for me.  The locals in the Bahamas immediately hustle you as soon as you get on land, and immediately judge you as being a sheltered white person.//

image courtesy of amny.com

image courtesy of amny.com

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Valentine’s Day Destinations Post #2

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Photo courtesy of hotelchatter.com

Because this Valentine’s day falls on the Friday before President’s Day, many people are deciding to use the holiday for travel, according to foxnews.com.  Among the top destinations are New York City, Vegas, Chicago, and Miami.  Missing from the list is Niagara Falls, in my opinion.  Although the article names many big cities, Niagara Falls is a huge destination for couples on both sides of the border, with casinos and falls view hotels on both the Ontario and New York sides.  Most rooms offer a breathtaking view of the falls, like the one above.  Sure, Niagara Falls isn’t necessarily tropical, nor does it have beaches, nor is it a metropolitan area of NYC caliber–but the natural magic of the falls offers a kind of romance that no other place does–a mystique that has transcended generations of Native Americans and immigrants,..  It emminates a spiritual oneness and energizing ora that gives you a sense of peaceful wonder which stops you in your tracks, forcing you to appreciate nature and ask why the Creator has graced us so bountifully.  What better way  is there to spend Valentine’s Day with your honey than to humbly appreciate the magic simplicity that is a massive amount of water continuously falling for all to see–just like a source of continuous outpouring of love towards your significant other?  Hey, they should really hire me to make their travel guides!// 

Does true independence actually exist? Post#1

Madonna visits Malawi. Her philanthropic efforts and adoption of Malawi children have been criticized.  This photo underlines Madonna's "obscurity," a theme talked about in Theroux's article.

Madonna visits Malawi. Her philanthropic efforts and adoption of Malawi children have been widely criticized in the media. This photo underlines Madonna’s “obscurity,” a theme talked about in Theroux’s article. Image courtesy of portalpopline.com

After reading Paul Theroux’s “The Lesson of My Life,” I wanted to cry.  Was I the only one on that? It takes a true writer to effectively evoke a clear and distinct emotional sentiment in a reader.   What caught my eye in particular in his article was the salient theme of interdependence.  He pointed out that:

“Africans knew neglect, drought, flood, bad harvests, hunger, disease, and–more insidious than any of these–tyrannical government; and yet in the face of these adversities they had developed survival skills, and prevailed…but I seldom hear…how Africans, ignored by the world, have managed to save themselves, often in the bitterest of circumstances.”

Theroux’s reflections beg the question: what even IS independence, if first world civilization needs all of our established institutions in order to “survive”? I know that I personally would be dependent on locals in Malawi in order to survive there without my usual accoutrements. Yet, the media displays the third world as largely lacking first world materials.  Indeed, they need more resources to improve survival rates, but the media, like Theroux says, should acknowledge their strengths as well.   I think the first world lacks the third world’s emotional and physical resourcefulness, and is thus largely dependent on a mind-numbing routine to stay afloat–shoot, the Americans, individually and collectively, aren’t even economically independent as we claim to be in comparison to the impoverished third world.//

Introducing… MY BLOG!!!

This blog came into existence the other day because I need it fulfill an English class requirement.  Along with my assigned blog posts, I will also use this blog as a platform for self expression.  Hey, thanks ENG 101!!! Never thought I’d say that.//