Jet-Age Bedouins

“Home isn’t what it used to be.”

>It’s all over the place, in every sense, as more and more of us are. We live on planes, in fast-food courts and hotel lobbies. True to the spirit of the times, I haven’t had a place of my own for almost a decade now; I simply shuttle back and forth between my mother’s house on one side of the Pacific and my girlfriend’s apartment on the other. The only piece of property I’ve ever owned is inward – in the friends and loyalties and values I carry around with me, as a snail transports his house or the Konjo people of Indonesia bear their shelters on stilts, centipede-like.

>More and more of us, I think, are going tribal – either living in the crevices between cultures like jet-age Bedouins, in homes as mobile as our spirits, or hiding out in the corners of the world in flamboyant, idiosyncratic fancies that look like nothing on Earth (almost).

~ excerpted from “Jet-Age Bedouins,” by Pico Iyer, WIRED, Aug, 1998.


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