Thursday, February 23, 2012

There is a Danger
PO Box 1282
Fullerton, California

This is kind of strange thing to review, because it’s not one complete narrative, or a number of distinct pieces. Instead it’s brief pieces of writing, usually only a page or two, about travel. Not that these are traditional travel stories with a starting point and final destination, but rather they are mostly about the trip itself.

The writer travels by car (both driving and hitchhiking), train-hopping, bicycle, and even boat. The fact that this is just about the process of travel is interesting, and there are stories about, and by, fellow travellers, people met upon the road, and even people who pick you up while hitchhiking (is there a word for people that pick up hitchhikers? Apart from “nice”).

These stories really indicate to me how the creator of this zine has a very different personality than me, as he seems to be able to slip into conversations with total strangers incredibly easily. This is something that I’m not so good at, and has led to long silences during some of my own hitchhiking escapades.

There are also pieces about some of the small towns and places that you pass through while travelling, and how they never seem like a destination, but only a stop along the way.

A couple of bits stood out to me. There are a couple of references to breaking into buildings to sleep at night, which is a story idea I really enjoy. The idea of being somewhere you’re not supposed to be, while the owners don’t know you’re there appeals to me. Unfortunately this isn't explored as much as I'd like it to be.

The other was his account of cycling across a bridge from Washington State to Oregon. At first I thought he was writing about the same bridge I crossed on my bicycle trip in the area. His description of the bridge was very similar to my own experience. But then I saw that the bridge he crossed was considerably longer than mine, and as terrible as the bridge I crossed was, it could have been worse.

The whole zine is kind of strange, and is written in a style that uses thoughts and descriptions in ways that don’t usually appeal to me. Actually, they still don’t, and for the first few pages of this zine I kind of dreaded reading the whole thing (it’s quite long!), but I continued, and eventually I got used to the style the author used. I didn’t enjoy everything in here, and I think I would have enjoyed the stories more if they had been written in a different style, but I still found enough to enjoy here that I could recommend this to people that enjoy reading about the process of traveling to other places.

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