What is travel? Asking this question is like asking, "What is life?" or, "Who are you?" (or, as I've frequently been asked, "Who are you?"). The answers to such questions are as numerous as the people asking. The Idiot of Funkyville: Becoming an Everywhere Citizen takes a chronological snapshot of actual personal experiences as a young and less-than-young man living and playing abroad; exploring each of the above questions in the context of a displaced American piecing himself together on foreign turf.
Contained therein: perhaps an excess of sex, more than a healthy dose of drugs, and all the rock 'n' roll one can ask for. Balance is achieved as the vignettes build one on top of the next.
Pondering the course of my life from the confines of a Qatari jail cell, reminiscence begins with teenage confusion at a Mexican bar and concludes with grown confusion as an expat in the Middle East. In progression, the narrowing spiral of personal growth leaves finer grained finger prints as the tales evolve through destinations and age. In theory, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But that's for the experts to decide.
Having dismounted a train, plane, boat, or rickshaw in nearly forty countries (including Canada), The Idiot of Funkyville documents a life of travel as a point-blank portrayal of my life through travel. And who doesn't love life and travel both? Whether you've already gone or have no intention of ever, ever going near the place, wonder is universal. We all have questions. A good majority of my questions just happened to be pondered abroad.
You can visit Ash Hoden's website at www.ashhoden.com.
'A pile of sleeping pads and blankets were stacked in the corner to the right of the door at the base of the only vacant wall. A radio blasted 1990s American R&B. I couldn't decide if it was someone's idea of a mix tape or someone's idea of a radio station. I stood just inside the door and stared blankly at the surroundings, no longer freaked, just stunned. I was in jail for extending my middle finger.'
'From the moment the bus gave out, the journey felt oddly appropriate. We were handed an opportunity to walk in two worlds at once, the acoustic and the digital. In spite of everything moving to the same measure (as Everything always does), as individuals we had to accept it. Otherwise the opportunity would be missed. It would be a temporary inconvenience and a story to tell our kids.'
"Alright, you want to cross the street? HERE, is how it's done." And he stood, taking his time getting to his feet because I was a simpleton and nothing emphasizes that point better than prolonged effort applied to simple tasks. He stepped into traffic. And spoke, "By placing one foot in front of the next." He swaggered slowly across the street. All cars stopped without honking. People moved out of his way. I was utterly amazed. Not because I met a cow with a gift for words, but, because The Cow was right."