a question of perspective...

i love to travel.  i still can not exactly pinpoint why.  it must be the change of air or simply the fact that i learn so much when i travel.

many things came about during my last trip that made me think of "perspective" and how sometimes, we (read "i") seem to think so highly of our own that we forget that others have their own as well - and that theirs might be just as valid as ours.

take this photo as exhibit numero uno.  i took it smack in the middle of one of the prettiest medieval village i had a chance to visit in italy: sant'agata dei goti, not far from napoli.  it is a bar.  pretty much like any other bar in italy: modern, ultra-cool, slick design, american style. 

what is so special about this bar?  nothing actually. i took it to remind myself of perspective. because on that day, i must have snapped 500 photos just in that village.  at one point, i was aiming at something, adjusting my zoom like some kind of japanese tourist.  i don't recall what.  the point is that guy came close to me, looked at what i was aiming at and then, he turned to me with the look of someone who had some kind of freak in front of him.  where i saw beauty and a kodak moment, he saw banality and old. 


yes, in case you did not notice last time you went, italy is mainly old.  the main reason we go there as tourists (or "voyageurs") actually.  to see old things, old buildings, marvel at how old rocks carved in some way or another can be something beautiful to look at and worthy of snapping away.

yet, from most of the advertising i saw in magazines and tv, and billboards, and everywhere, it seemed to me that italians long for a a modern "american" lifestyle,  the efficiency of a german kitchen, the several charms and assets of monica belluci, and the wide open space of canada.

things that i take for granted.  things that does make me want to snap a picture of.

which brings me to my point.  when i am at a restaurant, taking notes (like some kind of freak) about what i am eating and drinking, the ambiance, and the menu, and the music and whether the carrots are cooked al dented or whether they are mushy, am i losing perspective sometimes?  or, am i covering as many perspectives as i should be covering about the the experience i am having (if taking notes in a restaurant can be called having an experience)?

and what about reviewing wines?  does it matter if the acidity is like that or like this?  that this fruit or that fruit is intense or not?

when i give my final opinion.  am i fair to the chef? the waiter?  to the wine maker?  do i genuinely and honestly respect all the efforts that were put into creating what i am supposed to be enjoying at that moment instead of evaluating it?

do i keep things in perspective?