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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Vicissitude

Thursday
August 10, 2006

My old fraternity brother Chris Combs sent me a link on Tuesday to this site, which tells the quite amazing story of his friend Pat and his trip across China and Tibet. The adventures this guy had, not to mention the many challenges he faced (as you imagine one would on such a trip), make for a fascinating read.

I like to think that I have a good vocabulary, but Pat trumped me with some of his words. Vicissitude means change, but I'd never even heard of it until today. Normally I have to hold my vocabulary skills in check in the course of standard conversation and even e-mailing, less I leave someone flummoxed and confused as to what I meant. It's nice to read something for a change that challenges me from a linguistic standpoint.

I've done my fair share of travelling (though not as much in the past couple of years as I would have liked), though I typically stuck to trains and planes to get me places. Here in the United States, it would be quite difficult to travel via train from city to city (Amtrak isn't the fastest service around), but in particularly travelling within a city by train would be tough. Then again, the United States, culturally, is much more of a self-reliant base, thus the proclivity for people driving their own vehicles.

One of the great things about the internet is that others can enjoy your experiences vicariously via online stories, weblogging, etc. I likely will never ride a motorcycle/hitchhike across China and Tibet, but I can read about someone else doing that. And, for me, that is just yet another reason to love the internet.

With this post I'm debuting Technorati tags. We'll see how this works out...

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