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Saturday, July 30, 2005


I've just returned to New York after a three-day visit to Miami. I had no plan to blog any details about my visit, especially because this was meant to be a mini-vacation. However, I bring up my visit to Miami here today to share some thoughts about vacations.

Moving around Miami in a rental car for what sometimes felt like endless miles reminded me of Jean Baudrillard's America. I read Baudrillard's book about 10 years ago, when I first decided I'd spend some years living in this country. His point of view is hard to grasp at first, but once you understand his neo-Platonic notion that whatever we consider to be real is merely a simulation his work becomes quite intriguing.

Visiting Miami for such a short period of time also brought to mind the tours organized by so many tour operators for tourists who prefer to have their vacations planned for them by someone else. I can never understand how a 7 day tour of central Europe leaving from London can cover Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Luxemburg, Brussels,and Paris in less than a week. To me, that sort of tour sounds more exhausting than the stories of woe you hear from professional traveling performers who often lament that they see nothing of the cities they perform in except airports and hotel rooms.

As you can probably tell by what you've read so far, I didn't enjoy my mini-vacation in Miami very much...mostly because I spent most of my time there either in a car traveling on the never-ending highways or inside my hotel room hunched over a computer trying to fix various MMON websites that were messed up during a mis-scheduled server upgrade. Still, I'm sure it could have been much worse.

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