Piercing Indifference

I never skip the iconic in new places, but I try to stay in cities longer so I can experience the particularities of life there. Still, I agree that travel should be about "piercing indifference" rather than checking off to-do lists. Nice article from Shahnaz Habib at The Guardian:

A lot of travel can be about pretending. I should know – for years, I have been pretending to enjoy monuments in various countries. I have spent perfectly sunny mornings in museums that I did not care for and I have sat in cute trolley cars and I have thrown coins into wishing wells. I have tried hard to enjoy walking tours. There are good arguments for doing new things, but having made them all to myself, I am now beginning to see the case for doing only the things you are curious about. As I grow older, I hope to become more like my father, who caused much amusement by firmly declining a ride by the White House when we went to Washington DC to visit my in-laws. “It’s the White House,” my mother-in-law said to me. “Anyone would want to go.”

Anyone except my father. Over the years of saying no to other people’s adventures, he has retained his triangularity in a world of round pegs with well-rounded to-do lists. He loved what he loved – the bridges of New York, the Halal street food vendors, the ferry to Staten Island – not because they were iconic but because they pierced his indifference. One of his favourite New York days was spent at Zuccotti Park, visiting Occupy Wall Street.