Monday, January 23, 2012

An unexpected perspective benefit of traveling

is that you fear governments more. I thought I'd visit Iran, so I was at first afraid of the US government, and then I got afraid of the Iranian government. I went to Singapore, and I was afraid of the Singaporean government. (not for any good reason; ask me sometime)

Being afraid of a government is awful because the worst cases are really bad. At least with crime, there's someone there to help you out if bad things happen. But if you get Guantanamoed, you are (and I hope my casual language doesn't make light of anyone's tragedy) terribly hosed. The way we usually respond to fears of the government is to ignore them, to say "that won't happen to me, because I'm not a criminal/terrorist/vaguely-brown-person", but over these travels, I've had a chance to imagine the possibility that that might happen to me. As a result, it gets harder to ignore stuff like this.

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