A ‘Commie-Pinko’ Goes to An All-Inclusive Resort

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  02.03.11 | 12:23 PM ET

Some interesting twists in this New York Times Lives essay by Said Sayrafiezadeh:

To my surprise, I wasn’t really bothered by the fact that, as we were being driven to the gated entrance of the place, Mexican resort workers were trekking the mile on foot in 90-degree heat. Nor by the fact that everyone, including the man who mopped the floors, seemed to be happier for the vacationers than they were for themselves. Nor even the fact that on the second day of our stay, the United States won a major sporting event, causing just about every male resortgoer to jump into the swimming pool screaming: “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

No, the real problem was that the place was immeasurably cheap. Especially the food but also the accommodations. The Web site advertised a wonderful selection of gourmet cuisine from around the world. Instead, there was runny flan and soggy farfalle. There was iceberg lettuce. There were giant columns made of faux marble and a long spiraling staircase ascending to a saxophonist playing bad jazz. This wasn’t wealth; this was the illusion of wealth, a theme park of opulence for those who have no chance of ever attaining it, including myself. I was irritated by this gulf of reality. My irritation was compounded by the understanding that my fellow countrymen and -women seemed to be unfazed by the resort’s shortcomings. They ate heartily and merrily, without any apparent discernment. I despised them for their ability to enjoy what I believed should not be enjoyed. In fact, I mocked them for it. I mocked them in the way that middle-class people will mock poor white people for eating sandwiches made with marshmallow spread. These weren’t poor white people, though; they were middle-class white people. And I was no longer the true son of communists. I was a member of the bourgeoisie, and a snob.

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