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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
Messages 1 2 3 4 

Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by infinity on 17 December 2002 8:20pm
 
Ellen,

Yes I did actually in 1994 and 1995. But it was not much better. In 1995 I was in Cyprus and did a mini cruise to Cairo, The Holy Land (again) and a couple of other short stops. Before we set out the thunder and lightining on the horizon didn't fill me with confidence.

The sea was rough enough to keep most of the passengers down in their cabins for most of the voage. It was a bit strange sitting down to your meals with masses of empty seats where there should be passengers, yet most of them had their heads down the toilet.

I managed to get used to it during the day but I had trouble sleeping as I thought if I fast asleep and we start to sink will i wake up! I calmed my nerves, funnerly enough, by staring out towards the front of the ship as it crashed through the waves!

Yet it was all worth it to see the Pyramids and the Egpytian museum in Cairo. Jerusalem again dissapointed me.
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by JenJen on 19 December 2002 7:19pm
 
I've had a few tales of woe, but no real disasters. I used to go to Crete each year to work scuba diving, and one year I had arranged to pay a visit to a friend in Athens en route. My friend originally said I could stay with them; a month later it changed as they said their dad was staying and it would be awkward so they would put me up in a cheapish B&B near them. Fine.

When it came to it, I called my friend on arrival in Athens. He said "go to xxx square" and I'll meet u there and then take u to your hotel. Luckily I knew the name of my hotel and my taxi driver found it readily. However I still had to meet my friend and this "square" which was supposed to be off the main road (which was more like a motorway with 4 lanes of traffic) was rather busy. As ssoon as I left my hotel in order to try and find this "square" - which was actually a piece of grass by a bus stop - I was clocked by some weirdo who decided to stalk me. I was going up and down the road trying to find this ruddy "square" with this nutter in tow. I was all on my own in a foreign city where I don't speak the lingo. Eventually I found a phonebox and rang my so-called friend. Stalker was sitting on the steps behind me waiting to get off the phone. I managed to make myself (with gesticulations and other) to another chap on the phone to say this guy was bothering me, and he managed to see him off and walked me back to my hotel which was sweet. My "friend" (now ex!) couldn't even be bothered to meet me for a cup of coffee for the 3 days I was there!!

Another trip which was a disaster was a ski trip. Dappy me managed to forget where the meet point was. We were going to France to ski (from UK) and were going by coach/ferry rather than flying. I couldn't remember EXACTLY where the meet point was. Somehow I managed (long story) to get the mobile no. of someone on the coach - this was about 10 years ago so mobiles weren't as popular as they are now - who gave me the out-of-office-hours number of the holiday company. The chap there told me to get myself to X town and they would arrange for someone to meet me. I had to do this the next day as it was too late to do so the same day. I managed (another long story) to get myself to X town about 5pm and waited....and waited.... and waited. The chap who was supposed to pick me up had turned up (without any of my friends who knew me and who had arrived the night before), put my name out on the tannoi (in French it was garbled so I didn't recognise my name being called). the stupid idiot didn't even have a name board (which would have helped) so went back to the ski resort (which was 2 hours away). I didn't even have the name of the resort or the hotel and only the telephone number of this out-of-office-hours chap in the UK who had moved that weekend and had no information he could give me(!)

Daft driver got back to resort at 10pm sans moi, so they then had to get in a car 2 hours drive to meet me. By the time they met me it was 2am and I had been thrown out of the train station at midnight because they closed the station and I was immediately hounded by some chap who wanted to take me for a coffee and to perhaps go for a quickie in his room!!!! AAAARRRGH I've never lived that journey down......!!
 
Hellhole in the Tropics by daisyj on 27 December 2002 10:45pm
 
My worst overall trip was the one where I discovered that three people is the absolute worst number to travel with (it almost always ends up two against one, no matter what the issue), and having a traveling companion with severe allergies to almost everything is only going to complicate matters, but my worst single instance came on a trip I went on with my mother to Ecuador the summer after I graduated from high school. Both my parents had been there in the Peace Corps 25 years before, and she was going back for the reunion. Since my father couldn't make it, it was deemed my opportunity for some educational travel. Actually, the trip was good overall; the rainforest was spectacular and I would go back in a instant. But then we went to Manta.
Manta is a small town on the Ecuadorian coast where my parents had actually done their service. I remember it as a busy, dirty and completely unfriendly place. We stayed in a beachside motel that was all cracked linoleum and crumbling concrete, with tiny, threadbare cots to sleep in and a bathroom that did not bear contemplation. We wandered around the town a bit, and it was interesting to see the place I had heard so much about, but the river through the town was really just an open sewer that fed straight into the sea and the town itself was a grim and decrepit place. Bearing in mind that I was an American teenager who had never traveled outside of the first world, I think that you can guess that the only person who had a worse time than I did was my mother.
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by Frances on 5 January 2003 2:53am
 
not my story, but i met the couple involved a couple of hours after it happened, and so can vouch for authenticity...

Max and Rowie arrived in Tangier, fresh from A'level exams and palnning a quick two week holiday in morocco before uni. IN tangier they met a young german who'd got a lift from some moroccons who then beat him up, stole his money and left him stranded 16 miles from tangier when they found out he wasn't a muslim. This german spoke was actually half moroccon, hence he understood arabic and looked quite islamic. on the trek back to tangier, some other morccon guys picked him up and gave him a lift to chefchaouen when they found out what had happened...he said he WAS a muslim this time. They gave him money, a place to stay and clothes, so he came upon our intrepid young couple in tangier a few days later.

the german told them his story and offered them a ride to chefchouen to meet his new 'friends'. These men welcomed the couple with open arms, sorted out their hotel, bought them dinner then invited them round to their apartment for a sample of the local hashish. The apartment was empty except for a couple of floor cushions, food, mint tea and smoke was passed pleasantly around and Max and Rowie found out the german had made a deal with the moroccon men, to set up contacts in europe for smuggling marujuana...the men in question turn out to run the whole operation of dope smuggling from morocco to europe! they insist the three europeans buy some off them then and there, with the refusal everything turned nasty...

in arabic, the men fought over whether to kill them all then or torture them before killing later (an old man with a grin on his face sitting in the corner just sniggering 'kill them now, kill them now')...our young heros not undertsnading a word but knowing they were in trouble spent almost all their holiday money on some of the smoke just to get out, and promptly got their stuff from the hotel (which the morocconcs owned) and the first bus out of there to Fes the next day - difficult because the men in question also ran the bus service, but by this point wereall sweetness and light. the young german declined their offer to escape with them, so they left him to his fate wiht the drug dealers who would surely kill him once they knew the truth about him...i met them four or five hours later on a roof in Fes, where several of us agreed to buy the hash off them so they could get home again! and very nice it was too!!
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by Frances on 5 January 2003 2:54am
 
not my story, but i met the couple involved a couple of hours after it happened, and so can vouch for authenticity...

Max and Rowie arrived in Tangier, fresh from A'level exams and palnning a quick two week holiday in morocco before uni. IN tangier they met a young german who'd got a lift from some moroccons who then beat him up, stole his money and left him stranded 16 miles from tangier when they found out he wasn't a muslim. This german spoke was actually half moroccon, hence he understood arabic and looked quite islamic. on the trek back to tangier, some other morccon guys picked him up and gave him a lift to chefchaouen when they found out what had happened...he said he WAS a muslim this time. They gave him money, a place to stay and clothes, so he came upon our intrepid young couple in tangier a few days later.

the german told them his story and offered them a ride to chefchouen to meet his new 'friends'. These men welcomed the couple with open arms, sorted out their hotel, bought them dinner then invited them round to their apartment for a sample of the local hashish. The apartment was empty except for a couple of floor cushions, food, mint tea and smoke was passed pleasantly around and Max and Rowie found out the german had made a deal with the moroccon men, to set up contacts in europe for smuggling marujuana...the men in question turn out to run the whole operation of dope smuggling from morocco to europe! they insist the three europeans buy some off them then and there, with the refusal everything turned nasty...

in arabic, the men fought over whether to kill them all then or torture them before killing later (an old man with a grin on his face sitting in the corner just sniggering 'kill them now, kill them now')...our young heros not undertsnading a word but knowing they were in trouble spent almost all their holiday money on some of the smoke just to get out, and promptly got their stuff from the hotel (which the morocconcs owned) and the first bus out of there to Fes the next day - difficult because the men in question also ran the bus service, but by this point wereall sweetness and light. the young german declined their offer to escape with them, so they left him to his fate wiht the drug dealers who would surely kill him once they knew the truth about him...i met them four or five hours later on a roof in Fes, where several of us agreed to buy the hash off them so they could get home again! and very nice it was too!!
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by MissTrixiB on 1 February 2003 6:45am
 
I saw the 'Worst place you've ever been' thread and thought I'd bring this one back to life too. I see the 'worst place' and 'worst experience' as being two different things. After all, the worst place can be quite ammusing and you could have a terrible experience in the most beautiful of surroundings (though, I'd like to keep it a BIT light hearted....I don't want anyone to have to dredge up some serious trauma just to keep me amused).
kisses-
trixi
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by sparhawk on 5 February 2003 4:13pm
 
Yeah Trixi, I'd agree with that: I have had some good times in some really grim places (and I mean grim, sweeping up swarms of cockroaches before sleeping etc); conversely, I have had some relatively miserable times in good places. I don't think I have had truly miserable times, because I tend to always see the good points.
Bye 4 now - Sparhawk.
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by MissFruitcake on 8 February 2003 10:44am
 
This isn't really all that life-threatening/unhygienic/discomforting, but when I was in Switzerland when I was about 12, I got stuck in a lift (or elevator). It was one of those lifts that have glass walls, and it looked out over the shop. These kids were fiddling with all the buttons and made it get stuck and they managed to crawl through a space at the bottom to get out. All the people in the shop were looking to see the commotion and I was trying to signal I was stuck. Eventually one of the buttons worked and took me down to the basement with all these mannequins. Relieved, I got out only to find the doors close behind me and there was no 'up' button to press. Some lady came downstairs and started yelling at me in German, but I sheepishly followed her back to the main bit. I was so shaken up for the rest of the day :)
I'd be happy if that turned out to be my worst travel experience in my life!!
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by peripatetically on 8 February 2003 12:12pm
 
USA: Hey MissFruitcake, that was a hilarious story. You really made me chuckle on that one! I can picture the German woman yelling out. I certainly hope you see the humor in it. That's one thing you really have to learn to do, laugh at mistakes and take them in stride, don't you agree? And since you are safe now, it's funny. Got any more funnies to share?
Patty~
 
Re: A travel experience NOT to write home about.... by raxpus on 9 February 2003 7:16am
 
Personally, my worst travel experience was on my trip to Spain three years ago. It was a school-sponsored trip, and the fun started before we even left. Several months before the trip, the teacher (an amateur pilot) who was supposed to be leading the trip decided it would be a good idea to buzz the football (American football) field with his plane during a game. The people on the ground didn't agree with him, the police especially. So he wasn't allowed to take the forty of us to Spain that summer. At first we thought the whole trip was off, but eventually a replacement was found and away we went.

All went well on the flight over. We spent the first few nights in Madrid. On the very first night, most of the students went out and got drunk (among other things). One girl drank way too much vodka. Since my friend and I were the only two non-drunk ones of the group, the others dumped her in our room while they went out pub crawling. She ended up getting sick and passing out on our bathroom floor. My friend and I were scared (and rightly so; the girl nearly got alcohol poisoning) so we went to get the teacher. We didn't want to tattle (alcohol was "strictly prohibited" on school-sponsored trips), but we couldn't get her to wake up.

Everything turned out alright the next day. The girl had a mother of a hangover, for which I was secretly glad; my friend and I couldn't go back to our room that night due to the mess she made. We barely got any sleep. It was a hell of a way to start a three week journey. The rest of the trip basically consisted of this same scenario over and over again. One of the guys christened The Who's "Baba O'Reilly" (did I spell that right?) the trip theme song. Teenage wasteland...

Spain itself was great. I'd love to go back. Just not with those guys.

raxpus
 
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