What not to do when not traveling


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January 6th 2009
Published: January 6th 2009
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In mid-February of last year for want of anything better to do, I took up my roommate's invitation to go to a postcard writing workshop. As I was with my roommate, we arrived late (I'm not aware that he has ever actually been on time for anything in his life.) When we got there the class was in the midst of introducing themselves. I am not one to think that everyone who travels has to go off to far off exciting places, rather that traveling gives us a point of view which allows us to explore our world in a different way. It was clear though from the group assembled that there was a lack of real travelers, mostly cabin fever riddled people who wanted to get out of the house on a dreary winter day (some escape it was too, we sat in a windowless warehouse room.) Our first activity was to write something about ourselves. Mine was that I had just solved a Rubik's cube for the first time (which I had done the night previous). We then put all our answers into the middle and chose someone else's. I got back "I did want the modeling contract I was offered." Our next task was to write the next little part of the sentence. I added "but in retrospect I don't think my hands are that perfect, and I don't know if I want the public-at-large to see what has been going on with my cuticles." While not particularly inventive, when I got around to reading the end of my statement later I was almost hurt that someone had reduced it to the accomplishment of a child (solving a cube isn't easy.)

Eventually after we had done that activity as a warmup we got around to writing our actual postcards. They were not supposed to be a real story, rather fiction. The story I came up with was that I was on assignment in Eastern Europe to catalogue some Soviet apartment architecture, but that the furthest East that I had gotten was Berlin, where I was still busy having a good time. The entire workshop was not particularly interesting, but I guess as far as Fredericton can go it was a reasonable way to spend our time. The woman organizing the workshop had brought in some postcard covers which someone had knit, but I wasn't sure what practical purpose they would serve.

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