Monday, November 23, 2009


...and after the seaside trip, the souvenirs: the cat is an obvious enough addition to our household, but the crab? Definitely seaside, even if sitting on the boardwalk eating cupcakes was hardly equivalent to a G. H. Lewes style examination of rock pools. But will these two critters serve to remind me of Asbury Park? The trouble is, they already remind me of Bali, rather than the Jersey shore - back in 1992, I think - and walking in Ubud from craftstore to craftstore, all with this style of idiosyncratic carved animals (that was after some monkeys had tried unsuccessfully to steal my camera bag, and the wooden variety seemed much safer); stopping at a cafe with masses of water lilies; walking through the rice paddies with large flocks of white egrets swooping past. It's an un-examined phenomenon (for all my reading about memory, and I'll be teaching an undergrad seminar on the topic in Fall '10, so I'll be reading some more) - how far something bought to commemorate a visit to one place actually sets off memories of another. It wasn't just the carved animals, and the mirrors with doors, and the buddhas in the store that I hold responsible, but the bag that they came in from the oddly London-in-the-60s named Posh Den, announcing, with insouciant globalism, "Asbury Park - New York - Bali."

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