Magazine Monday

I’ve neglected my own feature the last few Mondays, frankly because I hadn’t read any magazine pieces that interested me enough to write about.  This week, however, I am back!

The April 16th edition of The New Yorker is labelled “The Journeys Issue” and since I am an aspiring world traveller temporarily restriced to the armchair variety, I devoured the articles it contained.

The most fascinating article for me was entitled Modern Mecca by Basharat Peer which detailed his experience on the hajj pilgrimage, one of the 5 pillars of Islam Muslims are required to follow.   Islam does have a generally negative reputation in the Western media which comes from a few crazy extremists and plain ignorance; this article described a part of the religion that non-Muslims literally cannot witness in person (non-Muslims are forbidden from entering the city of Mecca).  Peer also laments the over-development of this holy city.  The elephant in the room, as it were, that he does not address — that much of the development he describes is done by the Binladin Group.

Another piece that interested me was by Patricia Marx about couch surfing.  A website connects local residents willing to offer a room (or a couch) in their home to travellers visiting their area.  It is certainly a cheap (free!) alternative to hotels and hostels, and it is surely a great way to better experience the true nature of a place (i.e. the non-touristy bits), but I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to try it.  Do you think you would?

Have any magazine articles interested you recently?  Tell me about them!


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2 Responses to Magazine Monday

  1. zibilee says:

    That couch surfing site aounds rather interesting! If I didn’t have a whole family to think about, and was just on my own, I might consider doing something like that. Great magazine review today!

  2. gsjonuk says:

    I’ve read an article on couch surfing several years ago. I prefer hosteling it to save money. Too introverted to sleep on a strangers couch. Although, certainly a fast track to cultural immersion.

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