Photo: Annie Leibovitz

Ever since I read Alain de Botton's book on the art of travelling, I've found myself every now and then speaking and thinking about the nature of fantasies. Much so recently, having just returned from a pleasurable week in New York. Now New York, like Paris, like London (Im not a fan of the latter) are those quintessential cities of the world of which everyone has a very clear vision or idea, regardless of if they've ever been there or even ever are likely to get there. Highly romanticized they are in people's mind and wouldn't it be strange if they were not, given how subjected we are to images and stories of them that portray them in the very best of light? It's seems actually surprisingly easy to be naïve, even at adult age and think your life will be played out like that of Carrie's if only you could move to New York. To follow would be all those nice attributes like a succesful possy of friends, regular luncheons over low-carb salad and moonlight dates to the opera with subsequent walks through the park. You'd be surprised at the number of people toying with the idea. Luckily cities like New York prove enough foundation to provide you to pick 'n-choose, as to say you can compose and make reality of that little vision in your head...however, with one significant limitation being money (others would include contacts, personal qualities and luck, but let's leave it at money for now) Without it, you might just have to resort to less-favoured versions of the story in your head. Actually I imagine any of these three cities to occasionly have to be real dumps, without the proper means to entertain your vision. Rather it must be quite distressful living amidst having so much of what you want within reach while at the same time being restricted.

Essentially a fantasy is pleasurable and good, at least to the eye of beholder and accordingly the mind will filtrate away from the equation any aspects or possibilities that are not as pleasing. It's a fantasy, that's how it should be...only, some people foolishly are led by fantasies in determening what is likely to be "true" which can render some serious dissappointment and rude awakenings. Booking a trip to a paradise island from having seen only pictures from a catalogue, nobody almost ever counts with the possibility that the very first thing happening upon arrival is getting exploited and ripped off by the taxi driver, that the room that was to have the most pefect view of the ocean ended up instead having cockroaches in the bathtub or that the contental breakfast of the hotel turned out not to be so know, all these small things that are, well, somewhat likely to actually happen and infringe on your happy shiny fantasy. Think only of sexual fantasies that can constiute the most elaborate of elements that realistically if you had to set up would be a real hassle and prove for some serious akwardness between the people involved, but in one's mind it always runs all smoothly and fastforwards to the "best bits".


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