Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Traveler's Philosophy

I'm making my through I Wonder as I wander, a travelogue by Langston Hughes, and I've just been blown away by how good it is. Today, I came across this quote:

I never knew why the desk clerk or the floormaid let Natasha into my room when I was away. They never let anyone else in, and what Natasha told them, I don't know. I suppose she was like me—if she decided to get somewhere, or go someplace, she went. I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go. You might have to squeeze through a knothole, humble yourself, drink muddy tea from consumptive bowls or eat camel sausage, pass for Mexican, or take that last chance, but—well, if you really want to get there, that's the way it is. If you want to see the world, or eat steaks in fine restaurants with white tablecloths, write honest books, or get in to see your sweetheart, you do such things by taking a chance. Of course, a boom may fall and break your neck at any moment, your books may be barred from libraries, or the camel sausage may lead to a prescription of arsenic. It's a chance you take. (p. 224)

Well, said, no?

His adventures with camel sausage and muddy bows of tea are as remarkable as you'd hope they would be.

I should have a full review of the book when I finish it. But for now, I'll just say it rocks.

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