The humor of travel

While we might all like to think that we are too seasoned of travelers to fall for any scams – there are times that someone gets the best of us (and our money). Instead of writing a negative piece about it – I decided instead to share some humorous moments that have occurred in the past several weeks of travel as to not forget them. I’ll save the negative for the Tripadvisor review anyhow 😉

…A beautiful sunny day, sitting on a terrace overlooking the Dades gorge, starving after a long bus ride I take a first bite of the fresh Moroccan salad only to hear monstrously loud grotesque vomiting noises from down below. Whether or not a woman was ill from a bad meal, or exorcising a demon will remain a mystery to me, but the meal was forever changed.

…Listening to a kind man speak to us about Berber hospitality and culture before dinner only to have that man’s family rip us off the following day in “The Great Berber Rip off of 2014.”

…Having a lost baggage attendant at Barcelona airport tell us that “When it comes to lost luggage, there is Lufthansa, American Airlines, GermanWings, etc…” he names many airlines that do a good job in his opinion handling lost bags. Then he punctuates it with “But you are on TransAvia – which is shit.”

…Having Moroccans clog the bus aisles to find the exact bus seat that is on their ticket, even when 75% of the bus is empty. This is the exact opposite of the Balkans, where if you dare to mention a numbered seat, you will be ruthlessly shamed.

…Reading a chapter in a guidebook about Shaming in Berber culture and wondering if I’ve previously worked at companies run by Berbers

…Having a bunch of Polish bikers roll up to a roadside stop in Morocco and overhearing them trying to order Pivos. Good luck J

…RyanAir at Barcelona airport – a match made in hell. Love the touch of having baggage drop lines that don’t move – the only way to progress is waiting for the Last Minute line to open. It was a personal victory that my credit card didn’t work onboard and I shorted them 4 euros for my meal, since they had no way to collect it from me. #winning

…As my beard grows longer and stranger looking, having Islamic men in Spain say Shukran to me first…and eventually having countless men in the medina of Fes refer to me as Ali Baba. Strangely this has only made me want to let it grow longer to see what transpires. Oh I was also referred to as a Scallywag.

…Paris and its recent love affair with the microwave. Never before had I seen Dim Sum microwaved (why Dim Sum in Paris? Don’t ask – I just never want to see it again)

…Hearing that “One day in the Medina of Fes is like a week elsewhere.” Now I know where Coach got that line from!

…Why do IMWI and Meditel (Moroccan Cell companies) look just like AT&T or Verizon, while Moroccan Telecom (of course the one we chose to get our USB internet from) resemble a CIA dark site?

…Why when I was feeling strangely homesick the other day after a frustrating day in Morocco I was thinking of “home” as Sava’s place in Kotor. I really need to realize I don’t own that place.

…Thinking I need to learn Serbian & Polish to continue to read my Facebook feed, as our recent travels and friends & family gathered along the way seem to dominate my feed lately…

…Thinking that if I live another 10 years without having a tagine, my life will be perfectly fine

…Wondering why there is a herb/plant that is sold in the Medina in Fes that according to Lonely Planet “Causes mens nipples to swell.” It goes on to say that locals love it!

…Watching an American backpacker on a bus to Bulmane Dades eat a sandwich made from various un-labeled tinned meats and then wildly whip out a gigantic yellow mustard bottle and squeeze it all over the “sandwich.”

..Wondering how my camel felt about me wearing shoes made of Yak

…Watching a man beat a child with a shoe #medinalife

..The fact that Paris has graciously constructed a viewing platform that they advertise as free, so that you can see the abomination of a shopping mall they are replacing Les Halles with.

…When a donkey laden with decaying skins of sheep brushes up against you ever so slightly

…Standing on a balcony overlooking the incredibly quiet and beautiful town of Ait BenHaddou and its famous Kasbah at night when suddenly the air was punctuated by what sounded like “Chunk” from Goonies screaming or moaning from one of the courtyards below.

Finally – some shots from Barcelona…… A city I’d long looked forward to visiting and that lived up to it’s “hype.” Only three shots for now, but three that sum up the city for me — the sea, jamon, & El Born!

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6 thoughts on “The humor of travel

  1. I’m half snickering, half giggling about many of these while sitting at my desk. Just adding another reason for co-workers to think I am insane.

  2. Dear Alex,
    I hope that I too can one day feel a donkey laden with decaying sheep skin ever so gently brush up against me ever so slightly.

    Thanks for these funny observations 🙂

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