By Zack Smith
© All rights reserved.
The phases of tourism
- Disbelief about the experience: I can't believe it! I'm in another country!
- Obsession: What fascinating history / language / art they have!
- National self loathing / flagellation: They're inherent superior! We're pathetic by comparison! The grass really is greener on the other side. At home everyone's living in a fog, like zombies. These people are so aware and attuned!
- Doubt: These locals are sometimes pretty rude / stupid / ugly / imperfect. Maybe some are really savvy, but most are just asleep like the people at home.
- Cultural superiority: Look at how stupidly these people do this / that / everything. We're superior to these innocents abroad. Their culture is defective. Their practices are ridiculous!
- Realism: They have X, we have X. They have Y, we have Y. They're actually the same in most respects, but they achieve things by different means, and take different routes. Why did I come here, if it's the same?
- Acceptance: All right, I could learn from the ways they're better. Will they ever learn from us?
- Cynicism: These days it seems people never learn, even when faced with better rationales and methods. We all just keep making the same mistakes over and over. What differs between countries is what mistakes are made.