Friday, February 5, 2010

Let's talk about audio guides.

Today NYU took us to Stonehenge and Bath. It was one of their optional day trips they provide. Personally, I think anything I can do here on NYU's budget is awesome, so I went. The sun was even out. It was lovely.

For a bunch of meticulously placed rocks, Stonehenge was pretty legit.

Moving on, though, Bath is fabulous. It confirms my suspicions that I should have lived in Georgian times. Oh well. When I become a rich and famous . . . [enter yet-to-be-discovered job title/career path here], I will live there. But that's not what I want to talk about either, I want to talk about audio guides.

Audio guides are weird, and I sincerely feel that they undermine the original idea that encompassed the roman baths anyway. Think about it, a bunch of people milling around a historical site with oversized cell phones attached to their ear. They're not interacting with one another about what they're seeing; they're just walking about listening to choice commentators ramble on, attempting to recreate scenes with poor accents. They tell you to squat down, stand up, turn left, jump on one foot, and pat your head/rub your belly at the same time. (I admit, the last two are lies, but I was told to squat, stand, and turn.)

The baths were created as a space for relaxation and socialization, not a space for technological alienation. (Okay, technological alienation may be going a bit too far.)

Plus - and I don't mean to be racist here - but it just makes you feel like an asian tourist.

I was too distracted by all of this to appreciate the baths themselves, they're gorgeous. The romans knew how to treat themselves.

If given the choice, though, I think I would bathe rather than drink the warm, mineral rich water. It tastes like drinking a glass that has had a rock, a few pennies, and other assorted items sitting in it for a few hours.

cheers & love

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