“For the tourists of the Lower Side, a chance to gain great cultural insight – for the natives, a chance to survive” (G. Hernandez 112).
This short comic strip begins with a mother standing with her two children. She calls over a man and tells him that she will left up her dress for a nickel. She does so and the quote above is what follows. After this, the man gives the woman a nickel and she and her two children say thank you. The last box in the comic states, “At least one family slept with full bellies.” This story reminded me of Helen from Omeros right away. The woman in this comic and Helen must use their sexuality as a way to “survive” in a nation that is controlled by (and now relies on) tourism. For the tourists, this degrading act is described as a way to “gain cultural insight.” The native woman must reveal a private and intimate part of herself for the sake of the tourists. This is not “cultural insight” at all, and it is sad that tourists may thank that this is part of the culture. It probably would not be happening if it wasn’t for tourism in the first place.
“Where Are We?”
“What do you think we can make a year if we turn it into a tourist trap?” (J. Hernandez 148).
In this comic, Rocky is talking to her robot, Fumble, after they have travelled to a deserted island. This quote seems like such a funny jab at the reality of tourism. Rocky is jokingly asking this question, but the meaning behind it and possibilities of the answer can come true. The whole scene is similarly funny because she has just landed on an island and they then find “native” footprints (J. Hernandez 149). Even if it is a joke, the first thing Rocky thinks of is turning it into a tourist spot for money, which says something about how people think about the history of discovery in the world.