One of the things that I enjoyed about living overseas was you didn’t have to go out of your way to see something unexpected and that just helped make your day more interesting. Living in the United States, you can go through your daily routine and not see anything outside of the norm for weeks or months at a time. Maybe that is why people slow down at traffic accidents.
However living outside of my home I would often see curious moments, a new kind of seasonal fruit in the market, a micro-public transport bus packed with people, a knife sharpener using his bike pedals to power his traveling knife sharpening kit, a man carrying an entire refrigerator on his back.
Mo Willems’ book “You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monssons: The World on One Cartoon a Day” does a great job capturing the essence of those regular but fleeting “well, would you look at that” moments. Willems drew one cartoon of a day during a year of traveling around the world. The cartoons are not necessarily meant to be funny like an editorial comment, but just moments that gave him pause, like “10/17 man blessing his cigarette stand before opening new delhi, india” or “01/26 card game in the middle of a packed (jakarta – bogor, java, indonesia) train”.
The book should not necessarily be read cover to cover in one or a few sittings. Rather, it is great to flip through and ponder over a few pages at a time. In drawing one cartoon a day, Mr. Willems did not rush through his observations but took time to ponder over certain moments, and the reader should approach the book in the same way, taking a few moments every now and then to visit the world Willems creates.
And to show how around the world can give you many a wtf moments, I submit this video to prove my case.