Nathan Ryan Reeves

Comparison of Theroux’s piece and the rest of the readings

This was perhaps one of the weirder but still equally as interesting as all the other past readings, like Bourdain, and other authors. However, the obvious difference between this one and the other ones is that the story starts on the path of exploration and tourism, but slowly turns into a story of losing control in a place that is not your home, and what the place means to you after you pass the threshold of being a tourist. If that entirely makes sense, I will reword it as, Theroux being a tourist in Africa, got caught up in this obligation to stay with a woman and her family for days on end. Towards the end of the chapter, he expresses that he needs to escape this cycle that he was stuck in. Wake up, go to the bar and guzzle down drinks until the afternoon, a conflict or a fight transpires, and when he comes back to rest and is pressured relentlessly for sex and pleasure with a woman that finds him attractive from the first few pages. He was pressured by this family, and in the end when he wants to leave this ‘trap’, he is, to be brief, rejected by the family that once accepted him for the past few days. This foolishness to trespass in a place that he was not familiar with the area, had effectively taken advantage of this family, and in turn, they were angry and riled up, to the point when he had the opportunity to escape, he ran.

Now, this chapter on tourism is much different in comparison to anything else just since it was about exploiting tourism areas for a place to stay. While it was not his intention, in the beginning, Theroux’s karma came right around as he was trying to escape a hellish situation that he put himself in. He was simply unaware to what power society had over him once he fell into the “trap”. Many of the other readings discuss the differences in culture and values, like Bourdain where he discusses what people did for fun or what their eating traditions are like etc, however, this is brought to a whole other level since this is an occurrence where he can be seen to be taking advantage of these people, for food, shelter, passion or pleasure, and foods and such. But on the other hand, the family is taking advantage of him and making him stay due to his lack of ability to dig himself out of a “debt” that he put himself into.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.