Originally Posted by drmacaulay
I find this website interesting for a number of reasons.... Really enjoying reading about your ride report......
I just commented on a ride report written by an American, and I felt he fostered or emphasized (in my mind) many stereotypes and cultural norms about criss-crossing much of America and a bit of Canada. I noticed themes of obesity & unhealthly (sp?) food consumption, totally ignorant Homeland Security guards (border patrol), religion, mostly urban landscapes, and the like... I felt I was a bit harsh though to the guy.... I don't know the guy, and I didn't want to come across as crass or an ass. But as a cultural or sociological observation - it was what it was in my mind.
And I read yours - which I enjoy, but bottles of wine, language barriers, poor European weather, more rural landscape as compared to urban.... It all promotes many more European stereotypes and norms for this observer.
Kind of my point = you've probably crossed three or four borders by now - why is it that you haven't written about a border patrol officer who asks ignorant and untimely questions about your travels? Or why haven't you written about some passer-by who wanted to tell you that God has a message for you in their heart to have a great day? Certainly you've crossed an international border. Certainly you've met travelers as well. Why is it that there are just more norms that are written about and more prevalent in some countries/regions rather than others?
I know I should be just enjoying everyone's postings for the excitement and adventure that they represent. Mostly I do. But I can't stop myself from thinking critically and wondering why and how these stereotypes come about.
These ideas/thoughts have just been on my mind lately. That's all.
All I want to do is write about stuff that actually happens. I haven't met any border guards because there are none in between EU countries. That happened in 1995-97. Crossing from Spain to Portugal is no more difficult than going from Ohio to Indiana.
And I didn't write about the drunk guy in the Portugese bar who taught me to count to ten in English, French, Spanish, and Portugese, because I didn't think it was worth talking about. I generally avoid large urban areas on my bike because I don't enjoy traffic coming at me in multiple directions. I like rural areas with smooth twisty roads and think perhaps some other motorcyclists might, so I mention those, hoping someone will find this information the same way I found it from another rider. If you look at bestbikingroads.com you'll see it seems there are several of us out here.
As for why I talk about the same things others have talked about, perhaps we're noticing the same things? Maybe it makes me shallow to be happy at finding a wine I like for $3 rather than $12. Maybe everyone else that notices this is shallow, too? Generally I try not to post comments criticizing others, only criticizing myself. Being a border guard would be a long, thankless job, not something I'd want to do, so even if I met one and had a difficult interaction with them, I probably wouldn't write about it here. That person's life has enough problems without me piling on.
What I do not undertand is why you are asking me to comment on the same things you criticized EvanADV about
. Are you just looking for ammo and opportunities to shoot people down? You seem to think it's OK to tell him not to eat pork rinds because he's already fat, but it's not OK to talk about heaven and hell? I think that reflects poorly placed priorities. And when you said to him "I am not religious. I believe in things I can see, touch, feel, taste - science.
" to him... I have to wonder how it happens that some people can look at this world we're out here exploring and don't even wonder about it's creator. Because you asked me to talk about this, I'm going to say this to you: You are blind.
I think this is plenty for this forum. If you wish to PM me I'll reply to you personally. That's what private messages are for. I don't want to turn a ride report into a personal discussion on something else between two people, and I hope you'll do the same.