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This is a question Travel

I've had guns pointed at me in many different countries, sometimes even by our own side. I've also sat on my own on a beach on a desert island, which was nice because nobody was trying to shoot me. Tell us your tales of foreign travel.

Thanks to SnowytheRabbit for the suggestion

(, Thu 18 Apr 2013, 17:43)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Go to France and order an English breakfast and they'll bring it to you.
Go to Holland and order an English breakfast and they'll bring it to you.
Go to Germany and order an English breakfast and they'll bring it to you.
Go to Ireland and order an English breakfast and you'll get a load of sarcastic remarks about "Dae ye not mean an Oirish breakfast?" and when it arrives it'll be horrible.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 16:34, 28 replies)
There's a saying among runners
according to which "The further you go outside, the further you go inside".

I tried explaining this to my other half when I took her on our first tropical holiday, but she still wouldn't let me fist her.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 16:11, Reply)
Christmas in Uraguay
In stark contrast to the usual, one year me and the missus spent our holiday in Uraguay. It didn't offer anything in the way of traditional fare, so for Christmas day itself I shaved my beard into a "Lemmy", put on a Hawaiian shirt and we went to the casino instead. I lost everything on the roulette table, while the missus doubled her money on the slot machines so she bought the drinks that night.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 15:54, 11 replies)
Me an the ex-gf went to Lanzarote for our first holiday together.
We arrived at the hotel, checked in and duly went to our room. The room was great, it was big and a cool break from the sun. But, checking out the balcony overlooking the pool we were disappointed that there was a large tree right in front of the balcony, it's foliage completely blocking the view of the pool.

We went down to reception to ask if we could change rooms to one with a better view but alas, there were no more vacant rooms. Deciding that we could probably live with it then, we went out for the afternoon to explore the local area.

We were only out for a couple of hours and when we came back, walking through the pool area to get to our apartment, we saw a man with a very large handsaw cutting down a tree across the way.

We got back up to the room and found that it was the tree in front of our balcony they were cutting down our balcony was now bathed in warm sunshine and had a clear, uninterrupted view of the pool.

Say what you like abvout "Lanzagrotty", but the customer service and eagerness to please was impeccable.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 15:01, 4 replies)
Vaggers story reminded me
Of the time I was on a lad's holiday to Bratislava (boring) and Budapest (terrific). Me and another lad were wandering between bars in downtown Budapest one night when some guy tried to tempt us into a strip club with perhaps the best advertising slogan I've ever heard (and I used to be an advertising copywriter):

"Big booby, big beer! Small pussy, small price!"
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 14:06, 9 replies)
I once gave a talk to a group of backpackers.
They were on the edge of their seats.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 13:54, 1 reply)
In Prague a few weeks ago, wandering into the town square, a very attractive girl came up to my travelling companion and said
"Hello there, would you like a massage? A blow job? Full sex?"

He was terribly polite about it all, and said "You know, actually I'm OK, thanks very much."

She then apologized seemingly very sincerely in case she'd offended him, and walked off and asked a guy a few yards away exactly the same question.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 13:44, 6 replies)

(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 13:44, Reply)
I was returning a ring and decided to take the Northern Line
As one does not simply walk into Mordern Morden.

or something...
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 13:28, 2 replies)
M6 Southbound, roadside cafe, on wild wet and windy night.,
There's a kid in a sleeping bag huddled in a corner, trying to beg a light, he's got "Mum & Dad" tattooed on his arm, from when he thought that that would make it alright; there's hope and fear on his young boy's face; another innocent taking flight.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 12:43, 7 replies)
I went to Portugal with my Wife and Son
and we didn't lose him or anything. It was quite easy really.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 12:30, 10 replies)
I packed my bag, and in it I put:

(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 11:33, 27 replies)
Kidnapped in Kinshasa
Kind of playing into my hands as my cunning plan is to spend years posting my travel stories on b3ta before eventually compiling them into a huge and boring book that I can give to people as presents. However back to the topic, and the point I probably came closest to being murdered.

I was heading down Boulevard du 30 Juin on foot because the taxis in central Kinshasa have a pretty poor reputation when a car pulled up next to me and the passenger flashed a police ID and asked to see my ID. He took my passport and said he would have to check on my place of residence - this looked like an easy ride back to the garage I was headed to anyway, so I wasn't too concerned - until at the next corner two other guys got in and sandwiched me in the back seat, and they took off down the Boulevard in the wrong direction.

Alarm bells started ringing. As long as we stayed on the Boulevard I knew I was safe, as police are at every junction, and traffic moves very slowly, but I knew that if we left the Boulevard I could be in trouble. Kidnappings were pretty common, and the best scenario was that I would be stripped and beaten – the worst and more common one was where I would be killed to avoid witnesses. The night before my host had told me about crashing through a dodgy roadblock at night and having the militia empty a full Kalashnikov magazine at their Land Rover as they sped off – which was preferable to stopping and being murdered. In my most authoritative voice (don't laugh, it works more often than you'd think) I demanded they stop immediately as they clearly weren't taking me to check on my residence, and a second goon - the one to my right - assured me that everything was OK as they were police. And of course he had to show me his ID, which was clearly mickey-mouse.

For all the emotions I might have felt anger was foremost – at myself for putting myself in this position when I really should have known better. Apart from that I was surprisingly calm – fear simply wasn’t a factor; I focused on the fact that it was time to get out and I needed a plan.

As surreptitiously as possible I put my hand in my pocket and palmed my ancient XDA stylus - not much to look at but it's 4 inches of steel, sharp, and handy when you need something to stick in somebody’s neck. That was for the guy on my right – the guy on the left was about to have his ear bitten off – ears are great – they piss blood everywhere and in the mayhem my plan was to kick the fuck out of anything that moved while climbing over the bloke with the sore neck, and out the door . All very Andy McNab, but no way were we leaving the Boulevard with me still in that car. I’d faced a few dodgy situations up to this point and had had a Kalashnikov pointed at my chest less than week earlier, but I still remember registering surprise at the complete lack of fear and the cold resolve in a situation that I would have thought would leave me shitting myself.

We were approaching a junction and the car was moving across so I figured that they would exit there, so I had to act in the next few seconds. The traffic came to a pause a few yards from the junction which I saw was manned by a gaggle of the yellow and blue attired, and hopelessly unarmed traffic cops; the car was turning left so it was time for action, and a part of me was aghast at what I was about to do next. Yes, I really did it – I leant across the bloke on my left and screamed like a woman and pounded on the window. The cops looked over in shock at this strange white man who had clearly lost all dignity, and then started running towards the car. My driver pulled onto the kerb but clearly wasn’t going to get far, and one of the others muttered something about maybe letting me go, which I took as an opportunity to scramble out, pausing only to pluck my passport from the hands of guy in the front passenger seat. The traffic police caught up with me as the car moved back into the traffic flow, but they weren’t keen on chasing the car as they weren’t armed, whereas the baddies may well have been, and I wasn’t particularly fussed either way now that I was out. After tipping the police generously (maybe as much as $15 as I recall) I decided I chance it with a local taxi after all - I mean how much worse could they be?


Length? 18 months and 70,000km
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 11:28, 3 replies)
Swaziland border
I went backpacking about in South Africa during which time I passed into Swaziland a few times.

It's a bit of an odd affair as you arrive at the border, get out of the vehicle fill in a bit of paper to leave South Africa. Then drive 10 metres into no mans land, get out of the vehicle and fill in another piece of paper to enter Swaziland. This happens at every border crossing so over the course of a week I had to do this several times.

I became convinced they didn't actually look at the paperwork nor communicate their findings between gates. So I decided to start trying my luck and described my position and line of work in a variety of ways.

This is how I came to find myself staring eye to eye with a border official holding a large gun and not a glimmer of humour on his face as he read my border entry paperwork which declared me, a 6ft pasty white backpacker to be an "exotic lap dancer and accredited blow job tester"....

...turns out he could read English.

Crossing international borders is not a time for practical jokes.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 11:17, 1 reply)
I simply walked into Mordor.

(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 10:17, 10 replies)
Things I've done in shitty countries.
Let's see now.

Togo. Hid under a table in a restaurant while 100 pissed and crazy Lebanese people threw punches and a fair few glasses and bottles at each other.

Ghana. Driving into the countryside, had 3 punctures and the driver had to take the spare off for repair. Was suddenly surrounded by practically naked locals, thought I was going to be eaten, but they just wanted to sell me some yams.

Yemen. Went to a restaurant and they just dumped the food straight onto the table, no plates, nothing (fish, rice, some manky looking vegetables), and we ate it with our hands.

China. Chinese guy I was traveling with thought it funny to order frogs heads and other dodgy looking shit for every meal. I found out how to order sweet and sour pork, rice and beer, and had that three times a day for 10 days.

Russia. Internal Aeroflot flight, found chair was not bolted to floor. Stewardess too busy having a whip round of passengers for fuel to do anything about it.

Brazil. Went out to play in a 9,000 horsepower tugboat in Santos (mostly driven by someone else), got told to 'pack it in' over VHF radio by port control when I made a 90 foot high rooster tail of water behind the tug as we were passing a 60,000 ton container ship.

And about a million others.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 10:10, 4 replies)
Cultural Differences.
As may have become apparent I traveled to the UK to visit my grandparents in 1996. For the trainspotters.

During that time I spent some time in London alone catching up with friends. This story encompasses that time.

I had arranged to catch up with a friend in London after she had finished work.
I caught the bus and then train to London and ended up in Victoria Station. I was hungry so I bought an apple there. And then I looked for a bin to throw it in.
& I couldn't find one.
In Australia you can probably walk 50m before you come across a bin in middle of a city. In London in 1996 do you think I could find a bin?
So I put the apple core in my back pack and went about my day.

At the end of the day I'd met her drunk and stoned in a park after she'd finished work. She took me to a nearby pub where we partook in many drinks with her friends.
At one point she asked me for a smoke - I sent her to my bag where she found the smokes & the apple core. She asked me why I was carrying an apple core in my bag. I told her that I couldn't find a bin to put it in.
She very matter-of-factually told me that 'they' didn't have bins in London because the IRA blew them up.
Now I am aware of some of the politics involved.

In Australia (I may be generalising here) most of us would consider blowing up a bin to be kinda sacrilege. Aside from the mess, it would mean that the local councils might "up" their rates to cover 'blown up bins'. And hey, none of us like giving money to our local governments. Right?
On top of that where the fuck are you going to throw your rubbish?
When I was in the UK at that time the consensus was - "chuck it on the ground". In Oz we call that littering & it's against the law.

I'm sure it's changed now. I mean I've got a mate who had a couple of knap-sacks full of rubbish that he wanted to leave around London last weekend. And could he.
No fucking way. What's the world coming to when you can't leave a backpack of rubbish alongside a public street closed off for a big fun run?
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 8:56, 26 replies)
my name is jacob dyer and i live in bristol. it is miserable. i sound like Mr Miserable. i like Mr Miserable. one time he went on the internet. i went on the internet. but some kid put me on ignore. i didnt like it.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 7:47, 1 reply)
Why hasn't jacob dyer won this already?
my name is jacob dyer and i live in bristol. it is fantastic. i sound like barnaby bear. i like barnaby bear. one time he went to france. i went to france. but some kid burnt my neck. i didnt like it.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 7:23, Reply)
TLDR: Got hassled at U.S. customs, twice.
I've told this story plenty of times but never here.

It was after 9/11 when the rules of travel and security were in a state of flux. You could get a metal fork on a Lufthansa flight but not a knife. You had to take your shoes off at Heathrow but not in Frankfurt. You had to put all liquids in a tiny clear plastic bag unless it was copious amounts of alcohol from duty free.

I was in the process of moving my whole life from England to New Zealand. My route was Heathrow - Los Angeles - Los Angeles - Auckland - Wellington.

I'd done this flight before and prepared for all the date jiggery pokery by staying awake for almost 24 hours. It worked, I got on the plane at Heathrow sat in the middle of the three seats on the left side, and slept all the way to Los Angeles (looking back I feel sorry for the person trapped by the window).

I got off the plane and headed to baggage to claim my suitcase that contained my entire life. NOTE: Prior to 9/11 you didn't have to claim your baggage at Los Angeles if you were on a connecting flight.

As I took my bag of the carousel two chaps in uniforms approached me and asked if I'd follow them to an interview room for a random check. Okay, nothing out of the ordinary here - just proceed.

I was left with the jolly John Goodman while the skinny Steve Buscemi departed for more routine tasks. I was wrong John wasn't jolly.

We were in room that looked just like the movies - four white walls with one of those cheeky two-way mirrors set in one of them. My suitcase was on the table in the middle.

He asked me a bunch of questions - this was a test I'd prepared for - his questions were pretty much the ones on the arrival card: am I terrorist? Have I been hanging out with terrorists? Am I drug user? Am I a drug dealer? Am I part of a drug cartel? Would I be a moron to confess to any of these things?

I gave short but polite answers.

Then he came out with the first startling piece of information: "You didn't eat your meal on the plane," said with a question mark of menace and suspicion.

Alarm bells: how the fuck did John Goodman know that and why the fuck does it matter?

"No, I didn't," was my simple and short answer.

"Why not?"

Because I haven't developed the talent for opening tin foil lids whilst maintaining REM sleep...is what I didn't say.

"Because I was asleep," is what I did say.

Goodman didn't say anything for a few minutes, probably a classic sweat'em tactic. I stayed quiet too - thinking of the Mancunican flight attendant that had ratted me out.

Then the non-jolly John Goodman started up again. He decided to get back to the topic of drug cartels, which is a shame because have an Irish name and thought he'd at least go the terrorist route for five more minutes.

"Let's talk about the contents of your suitcase," was the line he used to up the ante.

The whole reason for being in the room suddenly became clear.

You see, my Mom had decided that my Kiwi girlfriend should collect porcelain dolls. My Kiwi girlfriend thought this was quite an odd thing to be decided for her but went along with it. In my case was a porcelain doll. According to John Goodman, a clear sign that I was a drug mule.

He probably thought he had me at that point. I was sweating and starting to panic as my next flight was very soon.

Still, I managed to explain my situation.

He then explained his - that the initial x-rays were inconclusive. He was quite grumpy and said: "We'll just have to put your bag through our super-duper* machine and then we'll see if you story holds up". Fuck knows what it was really called.

Two minutes the result came in: no drugs, just a doll. I asked why he didn’t do that in the first place and he answered "9/11".

I was released. I checked in my bags at the desk and headed towards departures for security.

Before I even walked through the metal detector I got approached by a nice, smiley, chap that looked like Chris Tucker. He asked if I could come with him for a routine check.

As we entered the room I spied my suitcase on the table and chanced an opening gambit: "is this about the porcelain doll in my suitcase?"

"Yes", came Tucker's reply sans smile.

I explained the past hour spent with Goodman, asked him to check. He was dubious but agreed.

Tucker returned, disappointed that my story had checked out. But that wasn't going to ruin his chance of a big bust. He opened my suitcase and told me I had too many pairs of shoes (too many = dress shoes, trainers, football boots, flip-flops). I explained that i was moving my whole life in this suitcase and he left the shoe scenario alone.

Then he spied my hoody: FCUK. His face betrayed his thoughts 'Is it offensive? can I get him for this?'

"French Connection," I offered as a clue to the acronym.

In an instant i regretted it. Tucker perked up with: "You've got connections, you a made man, you think I’m scared, you think you're protected?".

...ten minutes of explaining the quirks of the UK fashion scene to him and I was on my way again. He apologised the only way these guys knew how: "9/11".

I arrived in New Zealand. Going through security I was stopped by an official - Tom Selleck – if you must know.

Tom assured me that this was just routine and asked if I had any apples in my bag. I didn't. He said enjoy your stay. I have ever since.

TLDR: Got hassled at U.S. customs, twice. Arrived in New Zealand and got asked about apples.
(, Mon 22 Apr 2013, 5:21, 4 replies)
Fake Irish pubs
Went to Tunisia back in 2001, found the only english bar in the whole country. Also, in the airport on the way home there was an Irish bar, 'Great'i thought, Pint of guinness before flight home. NO. only alcohol served was local gnats piss lager, non alchoholic Stella, or local red wine. Had a diet coke.
(, Sun 21 Apr 2013, 20:52, 7 replies)
I took some Calpol when I was in France. That shit fucked me up so bad I put pencil sharpenings on someone's head.
Never going to France again.
(, Sun 21 Apr 2013, 19:45, 2 replies)
i love spain
and i hate flying, so i go by coach. i know that to a lot of you that would be unthinkable, but i enjoy the act of travelling, of watching the world go past. you just don't get that on a plane.
i've met many wonderful people and quite a few arseholes. i've slept on beaches, buses and balconies, i've done the touristy things and had lunch with locals. i've eaten and drunk in some of the best and worst places, but i've loved every minute of it and done most of it on my own. if you ever get the chance to just take off somewhere you've never been, go for it.
(, Sun 21 Apr 2013, 15:16, Reply)
I was once waiting on the station platform in Bombay when a man squatted down next to me and had a big shit on the ground
I said, "Dad, for fuck's sake the train's only 5 minutes away"
(, Sun 21 Apr 2013, 13:23, Reply)
Had an iffy stomach, fainted, then shit myself awake.

The end.
(, Sat 20 Apr 2013, 20:01, 13 replies)
Funny Foreigners, genuinely.
On my third or fourth visit to New York I went to a quiet bar on a midweek night with a couple of local friends. I went up to the bar and ordered a round of drinks, and the barmaid said as she was pouring,

"So, where's that accent from then?"

"London" I replied (not true but it's the simplest answer)

"What, England?". Being young and a bit sassy in those days I answered,
"No, Iowa" and without missing a beat she replied
"Well, you dress like you're from Iowa."

If the word had been invented in 1990 I'm sure someone would have said "Ba-ZING!"
(, Sat 20 Apr 2013, 10:04, 2 replies)
Teenage boys in Tokyo.
It's not what you might be thinking.

As it may be apparent, I got all my traveling out of my system fairly early.
Here are a couple of roasted peas from my teen-aged school trip to Japan.

Australian Teenagers Drunk and Disorderly in Japan!

Is what the headline might have read.

When I was 15 I went on a school trip to Japan. I'd been learning Japanese for 3 years and this trip was comprised of about 3 classes from the Yr. 10, 11 and 12s. Some of my other adventures from that trip can be found here.

We had a month of homestay with our "brother school" near Osaka and then about 3 weeks where the teachers had to go to a conference in Tokyo - woo-hoo, unchaperoned!

Of course I fell in with the bad crowd straight away (maybe they fell in with me..) - as we were exiting Narita Airport we discovered everything could be bought at a vending machine. Everything.
Thus began our nightly routine of buying a bottle of cheap, shitty sake and a 5L keg of Asahi between the 3 of us.

We ended up in Hiroshima for a couple of nights. We spent the day at the Peace Museum. Want a quick way to turn a gaggle of noisy schoolboys into a group of quiet, sombre young men? I'd start there. The thing that stuck with me was the granite stoop where someone had fallen as the flash had happened. Their silhouette is raised nearly an inch above the rest of the steps' rock that was burnt away.

Cheap gyudon dinners and then down to drinking and becoming obnoxious Aussie teenagers. At about 0300 we were staggering back to our ryokan thru the Peace Park when we came across a young couple canoodling - hence our need to repeatedly ask them "Omeko suki deska?" which literally translates as "Like fucking?".
Then we find the saxophonist. This guy is standing on the edge of the park practising his cyclic breathing by blowing the same notes for minutes at a time. At first we're asking him "Okama?" or "Faggot?". Then we stop to listen.

Long, careful notes played over 5 to 10 min at a time. The only sound apart from the sax is him breathing gently thru his nose. Over the next few hours it's just us, quietly passing a bottle and cigarettes around with him. Occasionally he gave us little ditties, sometimes he blasted through long rambling Coltrane pieces.
As the sun came up and the city began to wake up he launched into a haunting solo which had us mesmerized. Until we realised that it was "Wind beneath My Wings". Then we stumbled home.
tl;dr? - Even if Bill Clinton plays 1, saxamaphones are the shizzle, yo.
Length? - A 3 tatami room is exactly that. 3 teenage males cannot comfortably fit into a 3 tatami room.

Narita Carrots.
Alt: We nearly got smoked in the Cunt-Ass.

Many, many, many moons ago.
Stop! Context time: I studied Japanese at school for about 5 years. I would call myself a dyslexic Japanese communicator - can speak some good but shit at writing (can hardly remember any kana let alone kanji).

Anyway I went on a school trip which culminated in me and 2 other blokes staying in a dodgy ryokan (B&B style inn) in Shinjuku (seedy nightclub district of Tokyo) for the last week of the trip tasting the seamier side of Tokyo whilst our teachers went off for a "conference". Including amongst other things: us buying a fucking huge stick of pot off some dodgy bloke at 0300 one morning for what amounted to AUD$60 - what a deal! Man, I know it's a cliche but, the things you can get from a vending machine in Tokyo - that's just absolutely astounding!

Anyway we find our young ringofyre on the bus to Narita Airport with the rest of the group ready to go home. As the bus approaches the entrance we notice hundreds of heavily armed guards and dogs. Apparently the government has annexed some farmland to extend something or other. Farmer's were supposedly unhappy and had threatened to retaliate - hence the heavy hardware everywhere.
Cue our trio of adventurers suddenly remembering we had a shitload of pot still on us. So we split from the group & proceed to roll up 2 huge spliffs that put shame to the Camberwell Carrot which we then proceeded to puff as quickly as we could hunkered down between some parked buses in the carpark (no Honda Accords in sight & this is Japan people! Japan!).
Then we entered the airport. Where things rapidly went from stoned to paranoid. Soldiers with guns and fucking sniffer dogs everywhere & I'm not talking Beagles, I'm talking big, fuckoff Alsatians that could rip your throat out with a snarl.

It didn't help that the Japanese way of pronouncing Qantas sounds exactly like "cunt-ass"! End result tho - got away with it. As the plane took off I listened to "Learning To Fly" by Pink Floyd on the new Sony Walkman my host family had given me earlier in the trip, and then as dutiful teenage boys we decided to try and beat Boonie's 52 not-out. We didn't and our parents weren't happy to see us pissed as farts coming off a 20 hr. flight on a Sunday morning from a school trip.
Jouzu desu ne!
(, Sat 20 Apr 2013, 2:40, 59 replies)
Bates-esque motel in Alexandria Bay
Not that long ago, when our infant son was 3 months old, my boyfriend and I drove down to visit his parents for a few weeks. The drive from Montreal to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is a long one at the best of times, so we were rather pleased to only have to make 2 stops before arriving a mere 8 hours after our departure, child screaming gaily in his carseat as he was overtired and over hungry. The magical boobs came to the rescue and he soon calmed down.
A quite relaxing fortnight was spent (as much as is possible with a small baby) before we headed back to Canada. Buoyed by the success of our inbound journey we decided to return via a different route - crossing the border close to Kingston (Ontario) and driving back along the 401 to Montreal. Our spawn, however, was not willing to make this trip as pleasant. He slept for 30 minutes before screaming his head off, whereupon we pulled over and I fed him before plopping him back in his seat. Rinse, repeat. The longest stretch we got of him not yelling his head off was maybe 1.5 hours.
Needless to say, we did not get that far. In fact, we started to look for somewhere to spend the night about 25 miles before the border. Our hopes were soon dashed - every hotel in each town we passed through was booked for the night, either due to weddings, sporting events, or music festivals. We eventually make our way to Alexandria Bay, a picturesque little town right on the border, overlooking the river, the Thousand Islands, and Canada.
Since we had our dog with us, we needed a hotel that allowed pets to stay. A map of the area (left in the car years ago by my bf's Mum) showed 4 such establishments. We drove to the first, looked pretty nice, only $100/night, but all the pet-friendly rooms were booked. Next place, bit of a dive, but so what. Nope, all booked. On to the third. From a mile away we could hear loud music and the loud sputtering purr of motorbikes. It seemed to be home to some sort of biking convention, but the owner was super-friendly, Sadly she told us that the last room got booked over the phone 10 minutes before our arrival.
There was one more place on the list. She said she was not sure Pine Tree Point Resort was even still open, but we could call them to check if they were and if they had a room. So we ring. The woman who picks up says they have one room vacant and it'll be $200 (incl pet fee - for cleaning costs). It is a superior room, hence the extra price, but it is the only one left. We give our credit card number and off we go.
We drive some ways and then we enter the property. There is a large driveway winding through unkempt trees...Upon arrival, even knowing we'd have to drive for at least 20-30 minutes more with a screaming baby in order to reach the next town, (which may not have any rooms free), we almost decided to turn back, and this was without seeing the room.
We had made a terrible mistake - by staying. Pine Tree Point Resort was once amazing, but the only amazing thing about it was that they had enough money to pay someone to work the front desk. It is a dilapidated, cobweb-ridden, desolate, forgotten, and scary place. Not the kind of place you want to stay, let alone with a young baby. However, we did not have much choice now, having paid a ridiculous sum of money for a piece of crap room. Apparently all the other areas of the 'resort' were under renovation, hence us having to stay in the most expensive area.
Admittedly, we were on the water. Okay, the air conditioner worked. And fair enough, the receptionist gave us coffee and tea for the room 'for free' instead of charging us the $1 for it. Seeing as we had paid an astronomical sum of money for a room I was scared of being left alone in in case someone came and killed me, with musty bed linen, a bathroom that made your skin crawl (complete with bottle opener on the inside of the door), and the oldest TV known to man (on the bright side it at least worked). The 'resort' is far from town and has no amenities, unless you count the unopen pool, the dining room 'under renovation', the rain-soaked outdoor pool table, the day spa in a wooden shack that looks like it is full of spiders and mosquitoes, and the rust-ridden SUV in the car park with flat tyres.
Our son woke up 4 times that night. When he woke for the fifth time, at 3:50am, we decided to leave as fast as we could. I wish we had just lain down in the back of the car with the dog and our suitcases.
(, Sat 20 Apr 2013, 2:27, 1 reply)
An all true pea from the late naughties
Trains in the middle of the fucking street

Cast your mind back to 1994 and Imagine if you will the young Australian traveller on his first visit to the continent. After a 24 hour flight to Frankfurt and a 4 hour train ride he arrives at Amsterdam for his first taste of the Dutch.

After finding a cheap and seedy hotel, he ventures to the nearest café to see if the rumours are true and you really can buy dope over the counter. Imagine if you will his utter delight when he finds not only can you buy the aforementioned brew but, you have a variety of interestingly named types to choose. With skunk, super skunk, northern lights, blonde bomb or grasshopper special blend running through his over excited brain he murmurs to the resident purveyor,

“What’s your best shit mate?”

For which the retailer asks “what sort of high are you looking for?”

“I want it to smash me”

40 guilders later he is clutching a bag of super skunk. Taking a seat at the bar, he orders a coffee (consumption compulsory) and roles up fat spliff after fat spliff disappearing for several hours into a cloud of pungent smoke.

Finally he makes to leave, baseball hat crammed on to his head, sun glasses firmly on face, back pack on shoulder he strides out the door and across the street when he hears it……………

The faintest of ding dings.

For reasons unknown,

he stops,

dead in his tracks as a rush of wind buffets his face and a 20 tonne tram knocks the baseball hat from his head and under it wheels.


3 more inches forward, he would have died that day a long way from home where nobody new his name.
(, Fri 19 Apr 2013, 23:21, 11 replies)
Reheated pea from a couple of years ago
In 1995, the current Mrs UK and I went on holiday to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. The first week was spent touring the country in Toyota minibuses, staying in a different hotel pretty much every night.

About halfway through the tour, we left the sweltering heat of the lowlands and journeyed to where tea was grown, in the imaginatively named "hill country". As our group of virtually identical vehicles, all carrying pink-hued tourists, began the climb up one of the steeper roads, we see a bloke forlornly trying to sell us flowers, shouting "YOU BUY! YOU BUY!" as he runs after the convoy frantically waving a bunch of exotic blooms. Minibus rounds bend, we lose sight of flower seller and continue our ascent.

Only, as the road straightens out, a suspiciously familiar-looking flower seller appears from nowhere, shouting "YOU BUY!" YOU BUY!" and running after us. We're puzzled. Is this his twin? Has he run so fast he's overtaken our convoy in a blur?

On we go, around the next bend and - yep - there he is again, and the next bend too. On the fifth switchback, we're disappointed to see he's not there, though to be fair he was probably knackered.

It turns out that, while the road meanders up the hillside to lessen the gradient for the underpowered trucks they use in Sri Lanka, the lush jungle of the verge conceals a flight of steps joining each section of the road. This poor bastard would run after us, then leg it up the stairs to try to catch us on the next stretch.

None of us bought his flowers.
(, Fri 19 Apr 2013, 23:20, 1 reply)

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