In The New York Times

I know everybody is connected, the world is flat, and all that… but still. Most of the time, personally, I don’t feel so terribly connected to all the people in the world. And I suspect this holds true for lots of other people as well, in places like let’s say Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Or Bumfuck, Nebraska. But then, something happens, something small, and you’re amazed about how the world really is a global village.

Case in point: I got a friend request on Facebook. From a guy in Algeria. I thought: Hey, who might that be? Having visited Algeria last winter.  Turned out the guy had read the New York Times Sunday Book Review online. Mind you, he’d read it on a Friday night – Algerian / Amsterdam time – long before the paper was to hit the streets in New York City.

Anyway in his Facebook request, he told me he had read about my book in the New York Times. My book in the Times? I didn’t know the first thing about it. And yes, there it was: a review (sort of) in the Holiday Travel Books roundup. Now, I exist as a writer.

So that’s how I learned I was in The New York Times: sitting behind my computer in Amsterdam, through facebook, from a guy in Algeria. It’s a wonderful world.

update: Well, I am a paper guy if it comes right down to it, so I decided to get myself a real New York Times at Atheneum in Amsterdam. Guess what they’re charging for a 5 dollar paper over there? SEVENTEEN (17) EURO. That’s a markup of more than 400 percent.

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