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comment by minimus
minimus  ·  3113 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Where have you been that seemed other-wordly?

I realize this is taking it in a completely different direction but here goes: I was driving back to Ohio from spring break in Florida, and I ended up getting off the highway in rural Georgia due to bad traffic. I'm not completely blind to American rural poverty, but for some reason this particular time as I was thrust into the midst of it, I became extremely disoriented. Like the bubble I spend all my time in had been popped and I was falling. I have no idea why I reacted the way I did, but I remember people in the car talking to me, and I was so wrapped up in my own shock that I couldn't process what was being said. It's not like my surroundings were depraved or anything; they were just suddenly very strange compared to what I'm used to. I've done a fair amount of international travel, too, to places rich and poor, bustling metropolises and wilderness many miles from civilization. I don't know what happened to me or why, but it's by far the most other-worldly my surroundings have ever felt.

As for the natural beauty side of the question, I'd have to second the person who said Central American cloud forests. They're beautiful, disorienting, and unlike anything I've ever seen.

smack  ·  3031 days ago  ·  link  ·  

People always point out the jarring experience of confronting extreme poverty and for good reason. Have you ever experienced extreme wealth? I'm not talking about someone with a nice house with a pool and a cleaning service. I'm talking about someone with a personal jet, chefs and chauffeurs. Believe it or not, it's equally as jarring. The extremes on both ends of the spectrum are disorienting. I believe that this is what we are really experiencing when confronting extreme poverty for the first time, a disorientation.