On the economy of thongs

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  • Published 20071204
  • ISBN: 9780733321276
  • Extent: 280 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

I CANNOT ENVISAGE a more conducive way of grasping the essence of globalisation and the post-colonial than to sit with Robert and Headley on the earthen floor of a hut in a village in Vanuatu, in quiet conversation about the vicissitudes of life.

I’ve never been a train waver. I take the rational view that those travelling on the train and those whom they pass have a negligible chance either of knowing one another or of ever seeing one another again. So why the obsessive waving? And if one who was expecting a wave is missed or if one’s own wave is ignored, what then? It may just be that people of good and generous spirit like to greet one another. Or there could be a ‘look at me’ factor at work, especially for those excited by train travel who wish to have their good fortune acknowledged by others. There are times when a wave, and indeed a neighbourly smile, is a quite proper greeting. But I have come to the conclusion that indiscriminate train waving is an irrational and personally hazardous form of social engagement.

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About the author

Roger Trowbridge

Roger Trowbridge's primary career interest has been to explore ‘the social condition'.He has followed this quest through a succession of positions in a range...

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