how to write about [wherever]

words rawan hadid

Always mention the skyline. The lights inspire dreams. Everything happens here. This is the only center of the universe. You’ll feel it most when in a taxi on a bridge; look over to see a concrete jungle and breathe a sigh of relief. Just. For. Being. Here. No skyline? Mention the market. All that glitters is not gold? Don’t forget the gold. The souk. The old men with the rickshaws in the souk. Compare imagery to said skyline. 

Keywords are ambition, vision, and culture. Bagels, bohemia, and bankers…must mention GDP per capita, economic boom, global outreach.

You belong here instantly. And why not? You’ve watched enough TV. You know the street names. The buildings look foreign. The buildings look familiar. Start a blog. Turn it into a book. Validate your experiences at every turn.

It is important to mention binaries and their apparent disconnect from other, different, things in this place. Other notable binaries: old and new, politics and tradition, fresh expatriates and friendly locals. These are the only possibilities for an interesting piece. Talk about roundabouts and highways. Never mind that it has been done before. You see the nuances better. After all, you’ve spent three whole days here, you may have even left the city for a snapshot of the landscape around it.

You are unmatched; idiosyncratic. You came here on a family/class trip as a child/teenager and instantly knew this was where you wanted to be … then you made it here. This makes you special. Please pat yourself on the back, tell this story to everyone you meet, and smile on your way home: you are extra-special-unique.

 You’d never heard of this place till you got here and now you love the air, the sky…and of course, the people. They are so…quaint. Now you’re one of them and you’ll never leave. This isn’t because you’re escaping something back home and the privileges afforded to you being here due to your extra-special-unique status but because you see something others clearly don’t and you feel like you belong. The people are so friendly! You will help make their lives better. You will tell others about their plight. You are Princess Diana on goji berries.

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