There is a very cool, hipster part of my brain which despairs every time I get excited seeing a language other than English on signs, eating food I wouldn’t normally eat, speaking in Arabic casually. The hipster Jessica wants to seem cool, to fit in with the other world-weary travelers, to not take such obvious glee in discovering new things.
But I’m not world-weary. I’m world-excited. I want to soak up everything around me, gathering the shiny like the world’s geekiest magpie and store it in my mind’s nest. The point of decalcifying my brain is to make it soft enough to be changed by new experiences. Perhaps the word I want for myself is traveler rather than tourist, or journeywoman, or explorer. But since I am very truly doing a tour of Cairo and bits of the rest of the country, I think I am, in-fact, a tourist.
“Whenever we safely land in a plane, we promise God a little something.”–Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960