Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 8: Will Amtrak snaffle my holiday spirit?

Only a few more hours before I get to experience regional American transportation at its finest. I am optimistic but bringing a lot of books.

The buzz on Main Street, USA, is all about the shoe insult. I learned about this incident the old-fashioned way yesterday, by word of mouth. (One up side to being an uninformed and out-of-touch traveller is that it grants people the special pleasure of breaking news to you. It is nice when your ignorance serves a purpose.) I love how everyone dramatically adds the detail about the shoe being a moral insult in Iraq. I suppose the idea of dirt as matter out of place is especially appropriate for this particular insult. 

According to the NYT op-ed contributor who wrote "The Shoe Heard Round the World," a recent article on international insult hurling, supreme insult is expressed variously across the world, usually, it seems, by throwing things. It's waffles in France, pants in Chad, tanks in the former Soviet Union, tissue paper in Bhutan, and, my personal favorite, the voice in Peru. "Peruvians say that throwing your voice is the ultimate insult because the intended victim doesn’t know where it came from." ahahahaha.

I think I shall pack some rotten tomatoes with me on the train.

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