Travel Story Smack Down

By CBramkamp creative writing, Travel Comments Off on Travel Story Smack Down

Yesterday I was completely dissed by a Rotarian who fancies herself the uber traveler, as long as it’s attached to a Rotary venture.

We were discussing Angkor watt, she had visited recently in conjunction with the Rotary International convention, and I had been there in January with my mother and 8 friends.

All I said was the word ‘”bus” and this woman immediately countered that she never takes tours, she only contracts with a tour “in country”. I took her comment as absolute and abandoned the conversation leaving her to continue regaling the rest of the group with her stories of superior travel philosophy and methods.

You know this woman.  She is the one who quickly tops every travel story you tell.  If you rode an elephant in Thailand, she will lecture you that what you did wasn’t a REAL elephant riding experience, a real elephant experience is one where you rescue the elephant from the logging camps and ride it to freedom across the Burmese border.

Elephant ear

Experiencing the elephant the “wrong” way. After two dunkings in the Mekong, I felt we were even.

If you stayed in an interesting hotel in Laos that was only half finished and the toilet paper didn’t quite fit on the dispenser (an interesting problem), she will counter that when she stayed in Laos, she only spent 16 dollars a night on her room, and she hung out with the locals, which is the only way to experience the country. Don’t you know?  She saves, she shops, she is superior in every way.

Sure, in the US.

I have stayed in the $16 a night hotels.

Bargain hotels are only valuable after you return to the states.  During the stay, the bed is hard; the room is directly over the Bar   (for instance, all the rooms in Vang Vieng are located over bars because that’s all there is Vang Vieng.)    And you didn’t get any sleep, which is okay because the local bus (which of course is the only one to take because it’s LOCAL) stops at every village and so you can try to sleep on the ten hours trip to Vientiane because there is nothing else to do, but I, in my déclassé air conditioned coach, reached the capitol in two.

To be continued on Friday.

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