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2017-01-02 04:32 人气:

  45. Does Travel Broaden The Mind? 1

  One often hears it said that travel broadens themind: if you stay in your own country the whole time, your ideas remain narrow; whereas if you travelabroad you see new customs, eat new foods, do newthings, and come back home with a broader mind.

  But does this always — or even usually — happen? An acquaintance2 of mine who lives in England andhad never been outside it until last summer, decided to go over3 to France for a trip. When hereturned, I asked him how he liked it.“Terrible, ”was his answer.“ I couldn’t get a nice cup of teaanywhere . 4 Thank goodness I’m back. ”I asked him whether he hadn’t had any good foodwhile he was there .“Oh, the dinners were all right, ”he said.“I found a little place where theymade quite good fish and chips. Not as good as ours, mind you5, but they were passable. Butthe breakfasts were terrible: no bacon or kippers. I had fried eggs and chips, but it was quite a6 business getting them to make them. They expected me to eat rolls. And when I asked formarmalade , they brought strawberry jam. And do you know, they insisted that it wasmarmalade? The trouble is they don’t know English. ”

  I thought it useless to explain that we borrowed the word‘marmalade ’from French, and that itmeans, in that language, any kind of jam. So I said,“But didn’t you eat any of the famousFrench food?”“What? Me?”he said.“Of course not! Give me good old English food every time! None of these fancy bits for me! ”Obviously travel had not broadened his mind.

  This does not, of course, happen only to Englishmen in France: all nationalities, in all foreigncountries, can be found judging what they see, hear, taste and smell according to their ownhabits and customs. People who are better educated and who have read a lot about foreigncountries tend to be more adaptable7 and tolerant8, but this is because their minds havealready been broadened before they start travelling. In fact, it is easier to be broad-mindedabout foreign habits and customs, if one’s acquaintance with these things is limited to booksand films. The American smiles tolerantly over the absence of central heating in most Englishhomes when he is himself comfortably seated in his armchair in his centrally heated house inChicago; the English man reads about the sanitary arrangements in a certain tropical country, and the inhabitants of the latter read about London fogs, and each side manages to bedetached and broad-minded. 9 But actual physical contact with things one is unaccustomed tois much more difficult to bear philosophically.

  Perhaps the ideal would be if travel could succeed in making people tolerant of the habits andcustoms of others without abandoning their own. The criterion for judging a foreigner couldbe: Does he try to be polite and considerate to others? Instead of: Is he like me?