A N D R E W G R A N T WO O D A N D D I N A B E R G E R
CO N C LU S I O N SHOULD WE STAY OR SHOULD WE GO?
Reflections on Tourism Past and Present
This indecision’s bugging me Esta indecisión me molesta
If you don’t want me, set me free Si no me quieres, librame
Exactly who’m I’m supposed to be Digame que debo ser
Don’t you know which clothes even fit me? ¿Sabes qué ropas me queda?
Come on and let me know Me tienes que decir
Should I cool it or should I blow? ¿Me debo ir o quedarme?
Should I stay or should I go now?
THE CLASH, ‘‘COMBAT ROCK’’
Tourist practices are embedded in a global political economy that
suggests that they should stay home, and in a competing moral
discourse that demands that they keep traveling.
JULIA HARRISON, BEING A TOURIST
The
Caribbean writer Jamaica Kincaid pulls no punches in her portrayal of
the modern tourist as an agent of neocolonialism. In her masterful po-
lemic A Small Place, she calls the tourist ‘‘an ugly, empty thing, a stupid
thing, a piece of rubbish pausing here and there to gaze at this and taste
that . . . never [realizing] that the people who inhabit the place in which you
have just paused cannot stand you, that behind their closed doors they laugh
at your strangeness.’’∞ At the same time, Kincaid makes clear that those
traveled upon are also fundamentally envious of tourists. ‘‘That the native
does not like the tourist is not hard to explain,’’ she writes, ‘‘for every native
of every place is a potential tourist, and every tourist is a native of some-
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