I was standing in the hostel hallway in Elephant and Castle and a south Englander asked “Where are you from?” I told her New York, because Virginia isn’t as fancy or exciting, and eyes light up when they hear New York. She blurts out “All you fucking Americans in here. Jeez!”
No excitement for New York! What?! But 106 and Park is there, I thought (sarcasm).
Her: you fucking Americans, well not you because you seem decent enough, but the others in here are complete dicks. Stuck on themselves. And they’re stupid.
I laughed because the Americans I’ve been meeting on my trip are exactly as she described. There are only two conversations between them: getting wasted & having sex in their travels. So I engage her in conversation about my travels, my discoveries, goals and current position. She tells me about the man she met somewhere in deep Ireland and is gonna travel with him to Tokyo in a few weeks because she thinks she may love him. And we laugh at the stupid Americans sitting in the corner talking about blood alcohol level and possession.
Then I suddenly fear that I’ll return and do just as the others said I would: think I’m surrounded by stupidity. Then I have another though: I am surrounded by stupidity. So we keep laughing.
Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.