For years, you grow in one part of a country, and know that part as a whole country. Sometimes you even go out and brush through some other bits of it and put together your nation. But to write about that nation – its essence, its feel, its character, its diversity, you have to feel it at once. This is what Steinbeck did, and like everyone else he met – I am jealous of him for being able to get up and go. His beautiful book takes us through his journey which he made with his French poodle Charley – his impressions, his thoughts, the people he met and an introduction to a country we all love to stereotype and hate, but still keep coming back to in some way. And reading Steinbeck, you know he loves his country.
I just keep yearning to see the world – and I have not even seen my country as a whole. The pieces I have met do not even constitute a small part of entirety. They are just disjointed pieces of a jig saw. I wish I could travel through my country as completely as he traveled his. He might not still have seen a Nation, but he saw them together, changing through state borders. I don’t think anyone ever sees a whole nation – perhaps foreigners do it more completely, but it is worth giving a shot to know the place that made you more deeply .