The Laws of Travel, Part 3


Here is the final ( for now) installment of my observations about travel—the kind that never make the guide books.

—Looking at one’s phone on a busy street causes pile ups just as  it does while driving, although the matter is usually resolved with an apology rather than a hospital stay and lawsuit. 

—Animals don’t realize they live in a country. They have stayed out of a lot of trouble that way. 

—Nationalities have less to do with politeness than does setting. Paris gives the French a bad rap, but in truth it is a lot like New York or Rome. Nice is a lot like Mykonos or Sorrento, or tourist areas of San Diego (I think—hard for me to judge). Urbanization leads to indifference and impatience. Tourist areas lead to superficial pleasantry .  Outside those areas one has a better chance of authentic glimpses of people’s true personalities, and perceptions of you. 

—Some restaurants in Europe still don’t provide WiFi. My better self says “good for them.” My living-in-the-present self appreciates this because I actually do some high quality looking around and people watching .  The rest of me wishes they would join the modern era  because I want to check my mail.