The Proust Questions

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

The Proust Questions

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Marcel  Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language album belonging to his friend Antoinette, entitled “An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc.” At that time, it was popular among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.

Proust answered always with enthusiasm. The original manuscript of his answers of 1890, at the time of his volunteer internship or some little time afterwards, titled “by Marcel Proust himself,” was found in 1924. It was auctioned on May 27, 2003 for the sum of €102,000.

It seems like a good thing to do for the new year.     Here are my answers.  Try it and see how you do.

Your favorite virtue

my favorite virtue is integrity – whether in myself or in a place. I want it to be real and I want it to be honorable – not some overrun tourist spot.

Your favorite qualities in a man

He should be strong enough to be able to lift my suitcase and wise enough not to complain about it.

Your favorite qualities in a woman

Kindness  is  my favorite quality in human beings. You learn a lot about kindness as a traveler.

Your chief  characteristic

My chief  characteristic is honesty. What you see is what you get. (except when im going through customs – sometimes im a little over the allotted amount that you can bring in)

What you appreciate the most in your friends

Loyalty is what I appreciate most in my friends.- also that they listen to my travel stories and read my blog.

Your main fault

Fear.  I am always fighting it and going on trips  to places like Myanmar and Cuba.

Your favorite occupation

My favorite occupation is traveling.

Your idea of happiness

My idea of happiness is to be traveling with my family.

Your idea of misery

Twenty four hours in coach with crying babies,  loud drunk adults, air sick  and bored kids, plane bathrooms after 12 hours, and then waiting on the runway for a gate.

Favorite painters and composers

(Im going with Marcel Proust on these and adding some)  composers Beethovem Mozart,  Gershwin, Morricone, Rabin.

Painters, Davinci, Rembrandt, Titian the Impressionists, Monet Manet  Van Gogh, Renoir, Seurat,  Picasso,   all the pop and graffiti artists, like Basquiat (  I named my dog after him), new fave Osman Hamedi Bey- just because.

If not yourself who would you be?

I would like to be my best self – the one I aspire to be, with a lot of mileage and platinum  status. I have way too much anxiety to want to be anyone else.  I understand my stuff. Who knows what they have?

Where would you like to live?

I would love to live in a different country every year. Every year I could spend my birthday somewhere else.

Your favorite color and flower

My favorite color is black. It says so on a picture of me that my son drew when he was six . My favorite flower is an orchid.  There were so many beautiful ones in Thailand.

Your favorite prose author

Marquez, Kundera, Camus, Rand,

Your favorite poets

Frost, Neruda,  Silverstein.

Favorite heroes of fiction

Don Quixote de la Mancha, Howard Roarke, Atticus Finch, Jean Valjean.

Favorite heroines of fiction

Of course.

Your heroes in real life 

The CNN Heroes.

Favorite heroines in real life

My mom.

 What characters in history do you dislike?

The same ones everyone else does.

Your favorite heroines of world history.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Queen Esther, Leymah Gbowee , Rosa Parks, , Anne Frank.

Your favorite food and drink

Turkish and Japanese food, margaritas with extra salt,  sake.

Your favorite names 

Kyly, Landon, Basquiat.

What I hate the most

Rushing to make a plane, lines for security, the superiority of the French, the inferiority of everyone else.

World history characters I hate the most

same ones you do.

The military event you admire

The Military Tattoo in Edinburgh.

The reform you most admire

Compulsory education.

For what fault do you have no tolerance for?


The natural talent I would like to gifted with

The right words for every occasion  and perfect packing skills.

How I wish to die

In a conflict in a foreign country.

What is your present state of mind? 

A work in progress.

Your favorite motto 

“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting an uphill battle.”

“I haven’t been everywhere but its on my list.”.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,


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