FINAL UPDATE: 20 NOV 2018
©2018 grEGORy simpson
ABOUT THE TROG (TRAVEL BLOG):
I used to read magazines. Yes, it’s true — I’m that old. And several years ago, whilst perusing one of those publications, I happened upon an article documenting its author’s trip to exotic, far away Vancouver — my home. Buried within the usual assortment of tourist shots and factoids about totem poles and steam clocks, sat a photo of an alley just one block from where I live. Accompanying that photo was some rather self-congratulatory pronouncement about how the author, because he was such an adventurous sort, had ‘discovered’ this unknown alley. Discovered it? I walk past it every single day on my way to the market. So do about 100,000 other people.
I immediately crossed “travelogue” off my list of books to one day write. The idea suddenly seemed absurd: a photographer travels to some distant land and writes about the customs and culture as if no one on earth had ever before experienced them — oblivious to the fact there are millions of people living, working, loving and playing right in the very place they’re portraying as ‘exotic.’ Never mind that we have this little thing called “the internet,” with which we can instantly gaze upon several hundred million photos of every “out of the way” tourist spot on the planet or fire up Google Street View and wander any alley we wish. Cultural differences? This is rapidly becoming one world — connected through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and instant messaging. It’s not like the western hemisphere hasn’t a clue what those crazy people in the eastern hemisphere are wearing. More often than not, we’re now all wearing the same thing. Travelogues struck me as the textbook definition of ethnocentrism.
Of course, none of this means I don’t enjoy going places. Nor does it mean I’m not excited to see or experience things that I, personally, don’t get to see or experience on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean millions of others don’t. Or haven’t. And since ULTRAsomething’s audience is a global audience, it would be rather silly of me to wax poetic about my travels.
So then what’s up with that live travel blog at the top of this article? The one that looks a whole lot like poetic waxing? Doesn’t its existence negate the very thing I seek to avoid?
I would postulate not. And the reason for this is because it’s in no way ethnocentric — it’s egorcentric — and you’re welcome to read it and see. In fact, I welcome you to check in and read it every day or two — because unlike this site’s more typically lethargic publication schedule, I’ll be updating it semi-regularly while I’m in Tokyo — you know, like a real blogger.
Über-ULTRA readers may wish to set a reminder on their smart phones to check daily for fresh content. I’ll be sure to put the latest update date (Tokyo time) at the top of this page (just remember to refresh your browser to check for new content). Those of you who can’t bear the suspenseful gulf between updates may prefer to wait and binge read it after I return to Vancouver.
REMINDER: If you find these photos enjoyable or the articles beneficial, please consider making a DONATION to this site’s continuing evolution. As you’ve likely realized, ULTRAsomething is not an aggregator site — serious time and effort go into developing the original content contained within these virtual walls… not to mention the expense of undertaking another introspective journey to Tokyo.