Wednesday, August 10, 2005

This is a quirky piece.

... And it illustrates one of the reasons why, unlike the esteemed Mr. Nestruck, read by hundreds, I was not born to put pen to paper in the service of the world's journalistic establishment.

There's a special sort of either oneness with one's reading public or genuine narcissism, sometimes both, that drives an individual journalist to believe that something he or she finds interesting will also be interesting to a multitude of other people. Ditto the blogging thing, but I'll press forward.

Some years ago, I was wandering through Santiago, an inland, relatively untouristed town in the centre of the Dominican Republic, when I came across a Chinese restaurant, run by two charming immigrants from Guangzhou. Theirs was a similar story to that told by the gentleman in Baghdad (minus the body parts), and we conversed for hours in a seemingly bizarre Mandarin-Spanish patois. Yet, it would never have occurred to me that such an experience would be interesting to people other than my immediate friends and family.

So kudos to Mr. Nestruck and others for recognizing this sort of thing.

[J. Kelly Nestruck is visiting with Britain's most distinguished DeLillo scholar in London, and will return. Filling in, for the time being, is S. A. Carrie]

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