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Cultural Experience

When we travel aboard, we love to claim that we are there to experience the culture.  We tends to look down on package tour that lock tourists up inside air conditioned coaches and only released them at specific spots to take a few snapshots.  It seems the cultural experience is what distinct intelligent travelers from dumb tourists.  Love to experience culture works fine when traveling to places with lovely culture.  Walking down the Louvre like a French, having Cappuccino like an Italian or soaking hot spring like a Japanese all sound very cool.  You can always learn something new and useful from those rich cultures by interacting with the local people.

However, there is a dilemma when traveling to places with not so lovely culture.  Why would anyone want to experience the mess in India?  Why would anyone want to experience the uncivilized vegetarian diet culture?  It is OK to try it for the first times, so that you can claim it sucks and stay away from it forever.  There is simply nothing to learn from those backward cultures.  Why bother?  I guess the only reason someone want to experience those culture is becoming an armature anthologist, observe the culture first hand and explain why it sucks to satisfy his academic curiosity.

10 comments to Cultural Experience

  • Michael

    You don’t need to love a certain culture. Learn and be aware of it. Then you understand and you can deal with it.

  • uncle ray

    I would have no interest to experience some cultures. I can learn that from book or TV program. That’s enough for me.

    When I travel, I want to relax and have good time to enjoy myself.

  • trishama

    Understanding your biases is a tough job!

    Perhaps I have to bring you to see my little piano student, Trevor, he is good at speaking Cantonese, Mandarin, English and French…

    (He is 6 years old and is one of my best friend. We talk about Canucks too!)

    He is super cute… and you may learn something from him. Cheers!

  • 講到去旅行, 只要係一個我未去過嘅新地方, 我都有興趣去探索. 但我最怕參加旅行團坐旅遊車, 最鐘意租架車周圍去, 或者坐交通工具去觀察當地嘅人生百態, 感覺自由自在, 無駒無束. 就算係落後城市, 我都會有興趣想置身其中去體驗多一點, 或者我唔係咁需要啲高質素食好住好嘅要求, 我反而鍾意企喺街邊食Local Food多過去高級餐廳. 對於你喜愛歐洲日本舒適豪華團, 我反而鍾意啲南美南菲探險辛苦團. 早兩個禮拜我同一個女仔朋友坐巴士去墨西哥玩, 其實都知道當地治安好差, 罪案率好高, 連墨西哥市長都叫遊客暫時唔好去該城市, 好多朋友都為我擔心, 但我仲要專登去埋啲橫街窄巷搵地道好嘢食, 不過感覺好正.

  • You are so brave. I will only dare to go to those places if they let me carry my gun.

    Maybe your next challenge is to take the buses in India. I am brave enough to take any public transportation here.

    Just curious, don’t you afraid of diarrhea from eating those street food?

  • I ate the street food all day like mini tacos, churros, fruit drinks and even thought the raw fish and raw shellfish. Luckily, no diarrhea at all, so I guess the street food in Mexico is not that dirty. Maybe my body gets used to the street food bacteria, I went to Taiwan last Christmas to try 3 days night market street food without any problems. However, I got a little bit of diarrhea after taking hotel buffet food in Pacific Club in HK, it means what? The 5 stars restuarant is too clean for me to get sick or the food in the restaurant is more dirty than the street food.

  • Adam

    Hello
    I’ve read a few of your entries on India, I think you should try and enjoy the experience. I spent 2 weeks in Bangalore and absolutely loved it. Then again I love Indian food…..

    Anyway try and open your mind and experience as much as you can… take off your shoes and go inside some temples. Not all Indian food is spicey, talk to the locals theyre lovely people

    I suggest you visit my VT page and blog, it will give you some tips. visit Mysore & Hampi on some weekends. If you have any questions feel free to email me

    http://doggins.blogspot.com – my travel diary of Bangalore & surrounds

    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/d4bf2/10d4b8/ – my Virtual Tourist page

  • Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the tips in your blog. I will definitely check out Mysore next month.

    BTW, I found my most favorite Indian dish – deep fried beef! Yes, it’s beef! There are some Indian restaurant serve beef as off menu item!

  • Adam

    if you get the chance, try a restaurant called Tiffanys located on Residency Road (next to Unisys, opposite Bangalore club)

    They offer all kinds of food… even steak!

  • Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I gota try Tiffanys.