Tag Travel

Spice souk, Deira Creek, Dubai

I like that the spices aren’t ground in this array, giving a bit more of a sense of what each spice might be.

photo


Spice Display,” by Aldo36, 19 November 2008 :: via Flickr/Intelligent Travel

Originally published at culture-making.com.

The mind is also a landscape

From Rebecca Solnit’s wonderfully peripatetic book-length meditation on walking. A few years back I was struck by what exactly it might mean that at the time my favorite writer was Walker Percy and my favorite photographer was Walker Evans.

Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts….

The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making.


from Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit, 2001

Originally published at culture-making.com.

Avenida Morelos, Guadalajara, Mexico

Quite a paint job on this shop in central Guadalajara. I’m not sure whether it sells flowers or dresses (or butterflies!).

photo


photo by Flickr user Wonderlane, 21 July, 2005 :: via Intelligent Travel

Originally published at culture-making.com.

Holy Monastery of Simonos Petra, Mt. Athos, Greece

A 13th-century Orthodox monastery at twilight. I like how, lit on its craggy outcrop, it signals both precariousness and home. I also like the orange plastic debris chute attached to the corner scaffolding.

photo


Originally published at culture-making.com.

Stone wall, Cuzco, Peru

I’m familiar (but none the less amazed) with the look of Cuzco’s famous mortarless Incan masonry (talk about a well-disciplined cultural offering!), the seams between the blocks at once organic and artificial. But whenever I see another image like this, I wonder what the seams look like on the inside—do the joints just go straight back? Do things get even more complex?

photo


the wall,” by flickr user lo747, 13 March 2008 :: via Intelligent Travel Flickr Pool

Originally published at culture-making.com.

Oktoberlost

Insight into the cultural world of Munich’s Oktoberfest, via its lost and found (here‘s the official site in German, in case you’re missing anything). By my book, the best-ever Munich beer-binge description (which involves its own bit of lost-and found) can be found in Patrick Leigh Fermor’s exquisite travel book A Time of Gifts—the link will drop you right at the start of Fermor’s Hofbrauhaus set-piece.

Anyone who has visited the Oktoberfest and seen hundreds of revellers dancing on the wooden tables, holding up their beer glasses and chanting along to DJ Ötzi’s cover version of “Hey! Baby” knows how merry the atmosphere can get.

For those who haven’t, a look at the lost and found register evokes the raucous celebrations.

Members of staff found 680 identity cards and passports, 410 wallets, 360 keys, 265 spectacles, 280 mobile phones and 80 cameras, one set of diving goggles, one set of angel’s wings, a superman costume and four wedding rings. A long-haired Dachshund was also found roaming the festival ground, but was later reclaimed by its owner.

“For the first time, no dentures were found,” the Munich city press department said with a mixture of surprise and disappointment. “Is this a sign of demographic change, good dental hygiene or a higher rate of tooth implants?”


Originally published at culture-making.com.

Gourdon’s Garden, Provence, France

From the flickr caption: “The Castle of Gourdon is close by Saint Paul de Vence, Provence, on the top of a mountain. Its gardens were designed by Le Notre, Louix XIV’s gardener who also did Versailles park.” I love the perspective—looking down from the cultivated area into the wilderness of the canyon—and how it shows the gardeners hard at work on the hedges (and careful enough to use a drop-cloth for the clippings). Cultivation indeed.

photo


Gourdon’s Garden,” Provence, France, by Flickr user Feuillu, 8 August 2003 :: via Intelligent Travel

Originally published at culture-making.com.

Ganesh CD player, Mumbai, India

What’s it called when you find something offensive on behalf of another religion (even though you realize said religion might not, if you can speak of it generally, take as much offense)? Well however misplaced my empathy may be, here you go: a CD player topped with a cyclopian plastic image of Mumbai’s favorite god of prosperity, Ganesh, which the photographer found in the city’s renowned hipster/high-fashion boutique Bombay Electric. I can’t stop thinking of the line from Gita Mehta’s wonderful book Karma Cola: Marketing the Mythic East, about how you should never trust a guru who wears running shoes.

photo


Ganesh CD player, from a Mumbai photo gallery by Michael Rubenstein, National Geographic Traveler, October 2008 :: via Neatorama

Originally published at culture-making.com.

Little India, Singapore

It is, after all, backpacks week at Culture Making. I don’t think of the Prince of Wales as being much of a backpacker (except in the sense of toting your watercolors across the deer park). But then again I don’t much think of Braveheart when I want to check my email, either.

photo


from “Little India, Singapore,” by williamcho, 1 September 2008 :: via the Intelligent Travel flickr pool

Originally published at culture-making.com.

In praise of street food

an EatingAsia post by Robyn Eckhardt, 27 August 2008

Wherever you go in the world, the food of the street represents the identity of the people. Clues to culture, race, and religion can be found in the local cuisine.

That quote kicks off the Penang-focused show of an Al Jazeera series on street food around the world (heads up courtesy of noodlepie). And I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Simply put, you haven’t experienced Penang, not the real Penang, until you’ve eaten on its streets. And the same, I would argue, could be said for any other place in the world that street food still exists.

Street food naysayers miss the point. When it comes to eating on the street it’s not only about the food. (And it’s not about proving your traveling cohones either.) Be open to the whole experience, and a street food meal will give as much insight into a place and a culture as any guidebook intro. Plus, you get to fill your belly at the same time.

Originally published at culture-making.com.