By Janina Kauz
I stumbled upon this book in a bookstore in Amsterdam. What caught my eye was the girl on the cover in her glaring yellow jacket and short skirt, a rather odd choice of clothes. On her face, she wore an expression of almost defiant amusement, as if to say: “Here I am, that’s it, this is me. By the way, you are strange too, amusingly strange.” It was only after contemplating this girl and her appearance that I finally turned to the book’s title. It read: The Opposite of Loneliness. Inevitably, I wondered: “What is the opposite of loneliness?” That was all it took for me to be captured by this book.
By Janina Kauz
With the summer holidays drawing to a close, the thousands who have ventured abroad this year are slowly but surely returning to their domestic abodes. As always, the annual mass migration has triggered many sneering newspaper features on how irritating and embarrassing tourist are. Apart from minutely describing the misdeeds (apparently among these: being noisy, blocking the way, wearing shorts and sandals…) that mark a person as a tourist, the authors of said articles were even kind enough to supply their readership with tips on how to avoid the pitfall of being – god forbid- regarded oneself as a brassy tourist and instead assume the air of a sophisticated traveller. Indeed, a strong distinction seems to be made between travellers and tourists, not only in the media, but also in popular opinion. This got me thinking: What exactly is the difference between a tourist and a traveller? Initially, not being a native speaker of English, I put my confusion down to an incomplete understanding of the two terms. Seeking to swiftly remedy this deficiency, I consulted what I hoped would be an efficient arbiter: The Oxford English Dictionary. The search yielded the following two definitions: Continue reading