The Chinese Are Coming! It’s Hypertravel, Baby; Hostel, that is…

IMG_0416But they’re not manning warships and they’re not carrying guns. They’re doing business, of course, and cooking up a storm. You can do that at most hostels, at no extra charge, eat food just like Mama makes and maybe bring Mama along, too. All the ‘Air BnB’s in the world are no substitute for a good hostel, and VRBO’s don’t even count. Those aren’t ‘sharing economies’. Those are vanity economies, in which a group of uber-rich teenagers decide to rent a house for a rave, when most have never even signed a lease in their life, and many of us sellers are looking for a new lease on life. Caveat venditor…

Hostels are the true sharing economy par excellence ab origine. You hang out with others, eat with others, and even sleep in the same room with others, if so inclined. And when those people come from all over the world, then you’ve got something pretty special. Unfortunately the USA has no hostel culture, of course, and little experience with them, not provided for in building codes and left to dangle and die for no certain reason. Some people seem to think they just aren’t American, I guess…

IMG_0410Too bad. America could use a jolt of sharing, I reckon. We’ve been betrayed by the ‘ownership society’ forced upon us by delusions of grandeur and falsified bills of goods, inflated expectations and capitalist daydreams. We don’t need driver-less cars and Uber is inconsequential; we need bike paths and mass transit, a network of trains and a network of hostels, street food and sidewalk cafes, rooftop gardens and parks in which to play. American cities have been converted to constipated bloated multi-story parking lots, by misguided judgment, faulty planning and zoning, and cheap gas forever—burrrppp

But all that can change, and this generation can do it. ‘Millennials’ are the first generation in a century to live in-town and walk to work, and that’s a good thing, I’d say. It’ll take some time, of course, but it can be done, and should proceed forthwith. Hypertravel Hostel may be long gone by then, but others will step up. It’s a good idea whose time has come.

IMG_0406What would Marco Polo have said to Paul Revere? Ni hao! Ni hao, ma? The words bounce off the walls of consciousness like well-tossed pebbles skipping off the surface of water. Yes, this is the Chinese century, and only time will tell whether they’ll do better with the world than the mess we Europeans have made of it. It’s a toss-up, governments being what they are, but the nature of the people speaks volumes—group consensus vs. extreme individualism and history vs. live-for-the-moment consumption. You decide.

Hypertravel Tucson itself will likely be history in a month, but we’re gearing up before winding down comme d’habitude. Tucson’s Main Event is the citywide gem show starting up this weekend and running for three weeks consecutive. Check it out if you’re in the ‘hood (but sorry: we’re fully booked, unless you like air beds). Stay tuned for the next hostel installment (hint: think ‘bay effect’). So I’ll say my goodbyes now, just in case I forget in the coming rush:

Au revoir! C U again soon, I hope! (Pending November elections: drum roll here, please)! What have I learned? I’ve learned that not one person in one hundred will make a bed unless someone else does it for them. Wow! I never imagined myself a member of the one percent—not that way, at least. Me, I’ll be looking for a Buddhist temple in the meantime… ciao for now…

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