It's not so lonely

22 March 2009

Or why lately I have been avoiding the Lonely Planet like syphilis. *** Suspect contributors Every author will have  a particular view on a country/people. Therefor, it’s good to have multiple authors contribute on the same book. But why the hell do they have to come from  a cricket playing country? No wait, no Indians either…

All contributors for the “Europe on a shoestring” guide:

Sarah Johnstone ,  China Williams  , Jeanne Oliver  , Greg Bloom  , Simon Sellars  , Ryan Ver Berkmoes  , Leanne Logan  , Geert Cole  , Vesna Maric  , Fran Parnell  , Steve Kokker  , Paul Harding  , Wendy Taylor  , Carolyn Bain  , Verity Campbell  , Anthony Ham  , John Spelman  , Josephine Quintero  , Andrew Stone  , Robert Reid  , Tom Masters  , Sarah Andrews  , Becky Ohlsen  , Virginia Maxwell  , Terry Carter  , Lara Dunston  , Oliver Berry  , Alex Leviton  , Becca Blond  , Craig McLachlan  , Duncan Garwood  , Joe Bindloss  , John Lee  , Lisa Dunford  , Miles Roddis  , Patrick Horton  , Steve Fallon  , Leif Pettersen  , Brett Atkinson  , Peter Dragicevich  (from Australia) , Tim Richards  , Aaron Anderson.

I personally do believe foreigner often have a more very accurate and unbiased view on a country they live in, than the people who have been born and raised there ( I had an excellent review of the Dutch by a basque, while my Dutch friend didn’t make it past the stereotypes). I really don’t mind a McMahon writing about Greece, but can we at least have a Diamantis or Sakagiannis contributor for Ireland or Denmark. Please? *** Indiscriminate grouping How on earth do you manage to include Morocco and Turkey in a book on Europe? Yes, Turkey is in the running for the EU, Istanbul is half on geographical Europe, and yes, historically Morocco had closer ties with countries on the European peninsula than with Sub-Saharan countries. So please, if you make this argument, call it “Europe and Mediterranean countries” and add Egypt and Libya, or just stick to political boundaries. Stating that Ankara and Marrakesh are nice places to visit in Europe is just as accurate as saying that Sicily is a must see in Africa. Yes, it’s close. But no cigar. *** Probably racist I’m not sure how to feel about this. The guide of Brussels has a chapter called “Bizarre Brussels”, with only a single entry. What’s so bizarre in Brussels? Is it the surreal painter Magritte birth house ? Is it a tiny statue of a urinating youngster? Somehow, the Lonely Planet manages to qualify an excellent etnographical museum on Africa as bizarre. I wonder what’s so bizarre? The unfamiliar form of art, or the terrible history of genocide?