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Voltaire Brown's Don't Travel Europe Home Page
- Voltaire Brown's Opening Words
- Basics
- Notes To Unintelligent Travelers
- Documents and Packing
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- Getting To Europe
- Voltaire Brown's Closing Words
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Europe's Other Losers

Voltaire Brown is a Europen dynamo. A guy who writes about traveling and customs and Mediterranean food 24/7.

Travel Basics

"The best rule we've ever come up with regarding travel is not to go in the first place."  Voltaire Brown

travel basicsTraveling has the nasty habit of disorienting a person.  He must change his diet, alter his sleeping habits, adapt to new customs.  We say to hell with it.  If you want to feel like an outsider, they're much cheaper and efficient ways to get the task accomplished.  You could put a corny mask on your face and run nude through your neighborhood with a garter belt.  Or, for the less daring, you could keep applying to an exclusive club which would never have you as a member.  Groucho Marx spent his entire lifetime dealing with that problem.

If you absolutely feel you must journey to lands of different languages and cultures, you should keep in mind the following points.  First, never provoke, swear at, or criticize anyone who has a knife/gun/missile launcher at your throat.  This applies regardless of the European nationality of your attacker.  Second, don't wear long underwear in the Mediterranean countries.  They'll think you're African.  Third, learn a few basic words and phrases in the language of the countries you're going to.  We've found the phrases "give me," "get out of my way," "go to hell," and "where's the nearest English-speaking shrink" to be the most useful. 

You'll find that being an alien does have its perks.  You can zip down the British M1 at 100 mph and then tell the police officer when he pulls you over that you weren't aware of the rules.  Or egg a local in the face, and when confronted, say "that's how we do things in my country."  You'll be pleasantly surprised to know that you can do almost anything and everything in Europe except deface their domestic brands of automobiles.  You wouldn't, for instance, spray paint a Mercedes Benz or Audi in Germany, although a Peugot, Citröen, Fiat, or Range Rover would be okay.  You must select carefully, since even a small part of the car you'd like to mar could be locally produced.  Your hometown automobile association can supply you with a list of European automobiles and where they're made.  Be forewarned that the Europeans are growing less tolerant of crimes other than adultery.  Taking their cue from the Singaporeans, the Europeans now whip the behinds of any offender with a rattan cane.  It's not as bad as it sounds though.  The canes are manufactured by a subsidiary of Rolex in Switzerland, meaning they're prestigious, and generous European medical insurance usually covers your butt after it's been permanently scarred by the lashings.

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 Voltaire Brown writes about traveling through Europe, its customs, and what to do if you meet Mediterranean peoples.