Two that I wished for in the course of my recent Africa trip (which I’ve read about in books):
- the ability to create a mental map, constantly updated with new places I go, and being able to project it into the air in front of me. On my first trip to Kenya, I took along a travel atlas of the country, and it was a marvelous decision, permitting me to talk to fellow bus passengers about where they were from and capture a clear picture of the country’s landscape. [This talent comes from Chem Centaur of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, which I read when I was twelve or so.]
- the ability to record, download, and playback whatever I see. I observe so much in my travels that I would like to be able to transmit to others, and my camera is markedly slower than my eyes. [This talent comes from Lauro Suleiamo Ribeira von Hesse in Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide,** who had a camera in one eye socket and something like a USB port in his other eye for computer downloading.]
* Once on a date, conversation was lagging and so I asked what magic power you’d choose if you could. She chose flight. I chose healing, which I only afterward realized is totally do-gooder pretentious (like saying that if you had one wish, you’d use it to end world poverty). No second date.
** Clearly I had a real taste for science fiction and fantasy as a youth (i read xenocide a whole 5 years ago), which I seem to have lost if you trust my experience with Fables of an Extraterrestrial Grandmother as representative.