Travel disaster stories

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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby Zuleika » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:19 pm

Hi Marilyna - Im really glad you found your son again and it all ended happily!
I learnt the same lesson the hardway too - when I was backpacking and moving on every 2 or 3 days it was really easy to forget the name of the hotel/hostel or confuse it with the one from the night before etc etc. I wandered around for a good couple of hours before i finally found my way back.

What I learnt to do - and still do it to this day - is that all the hotels/hostels have business cards, usually prominently displayed on the front desk so I always take one - and usually and very helpfully, they have some kind of map on the back as well. Its a great travel tip!
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby jimshu » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:14 pm

Sons, hotel cards,getting lost.....
Shouted our son a trip with us to Thailand(to get him away from any 21st birthday celebration with his boozy mates!)
First time traveller, over excited, strange new city, busting to see the sights,but with jet lagged parents...so he was off to explore Bangkok , on his own, in a tuk tuk.
But just before he left our room,I asked him
"Do you know what hotel this is?"
"No .Why?"
Oh dear....so I gave him the hotel card, with specific instructions not to loose it.
Very late that night,much later than he should have been, worried parents wondering whether to call out the emergency search parties, he arrives back,finally.
What a tale he had to tell.
Whenever he jumped in a tuk tuk, and told the driver to take him to see the sights, they would drop him at a girlie bar!Being a strapping hunky male, what other sights would you want to go to.....??
But no.Our son really wanted to be sightseeing around the markets and temples etc.
So after many girlie bars,being forced to buy expensive drinks,etc he'd had enough.Put his foot down.Got another driver....and ended up at someone's brother's clothing shop.Usual scams.
Finally he remembered the hotel card.And headed back to the safety of his parents.
Couldn't get rid of him after that....
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:15 pm

Love that story, Jim!
Years and years ago when we were young and single my husband and I decided to travel from our home on the east coast of Canada out to the west coast. No one in our family had travelled so we had no advice…and no GAP forum to ask :( To save money we drove the 1600 km from New Brunswick to Toronto and caught a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. This was pre-credit card for us so we left a stash of cash in the car for gas home (wouldn’t do that now!). We had seen people manhandling their big heavy suitcases around and thought we knew better (travel hands-free) so we bought duffel bags, big duffel bags that opened at one end. Didn’t work so well on my short frame, bashed my ankles and wrenched my back trying to carry the stupid thing...and no easy way to unpack to get at lower layers. Took a scenic train through the magnificent Canadian Rockies overnight and near froze since we’d carefully packed (and stowed somewhere in the baggage car) everything but the little t-shirts/shorts we’d been wearing when we departed in the blazing sun that afternoon :shock: Got to Calgary for our flight back to Toronto and the airline was on strike. There we were…no flight, no money, no credit card. Another airline offered to fly us but not until the next day. We spent the night hungry, cramped into old metal chairs at the airport. First thing we did when we got back to our car was spend some of our gas money on food!
When our daughter started travelling on her own we insisted that she get a credit card, with that all else should be possible! Oh, and we got her one of those new inventions for hands-free travel, a backpack :lol:
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby calindax » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:03 am

Not quite a disaster, but quite entertaining if you're a runner (and maybe if you're not...) I took a two week trip to Italy in October to run the Venice Marathon. After an all day Tuscany bike tour, my boyfriend and I returned to Florence to set off for Mestre. Still in shorts and a t shirt, I had the idea of walking around and looking for the metro station (5 minutes from our hotel) just to make sure we knew where it was. 1 hour and a half later, we still couldn't find it. He had his nose glued to the map and didn't want to ask anyone. HA! So, finally I convinced him to return to the hotel and allow me to ask the guy holding our luggage. He directed us in the right way and off we went...a 5 hour ride up to Mestre.

At about 4.5 hours into the ride, I realized that I completely forgot which hotel we had booked. I didn't panic, but was a bit worried. No problem, I'll just go to the internet cafe when we get there, and check the reservation. However, we arrived at 10:30, and the internet cafe closed at 10:00! Crap!

We ended up lugging our bags to a Best Western, convincing the guy to allow us to use the computer for 5 Euros and found out we were on the complete wrong side of town! By this time we were starving. We got to the hotel at 12:05. I looked at the room service menu. They stopped serving at 12:00. Crap! I ran down to the bar and got 4 "toast with ham and cheese" sandwhiches. To this day, they made the most satisfying meal in Italy.

The race was then 2 days away. After finishing the marathon and laying by the water in Venice, around 1:30 in the afternoon, we decide it's time to head back to the hotel...There's a bus that was supposed to take us either to the race start in Stra or the Metro station in Mestre. We needed to board the latter. We boarded the former. oops. After an hour bus ride out of the way, my boyfriend woke me up and announced our folly. groggy oops.

We had to get another ride back into Venice before finally getting a ride to Mestre. We didn't get back to our hotel until 8:30 that evening! We could barely stand, we stank, and we were EXHAUSTED! It was hilarious! We were both craving pizza by that point, and after showering, asked the guy at the desk where the pizzaria was.

He told us it was only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. We looked at each other and said in unison, "Call us a cab, please!"
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby jimshu » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:03 pm

Nice one Calindax.Yes, the experienced traveller, ALWAYS writes down the hotel name and address!You have to know where you're starting from!I learnt that as a sales representative...waking up morning after partying with other reps,.... and couldn't remember which hotel I'd parked the car at!
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby IncaTrail50 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:00 pm

This is embarrassing but map-reading is a must as well :oops: . We grew up in a smaller area on the East Coast of Canada and directions were always of the “go down the road a bit until you see Bob’s red pickup truck, turn left and continue on until you see Mildred’s big house, you know, she has the two-storey, then go right and keep going along until you come to the fork in the road, take the paved side of the fork not the gravel side, etc” so map-reading was unheard of to us. Oh, and those directions only work if Bob is home and the roads aren’t snow-covered to hide the gravel/paved options :lol: !
On our first big trip to another country we got lost in London despite having a map. We had spent the day wandering aimlessly enjoying the sights but were ready to go back to the hotel so we got out our handy map and attempted to find an underground station we thought was close by. A big underground station, not a set of steps in the sidewalk either. We walked for over an hour turning this way and that, holding the map this way and that, apparently a few blocks around it in all directions. Eventually giving up we hailed a cab to take us back to the hotel. He picked us up and turned the corner and passed right by the station we’d been so desperately searching for all that time! My husband and I had the same forehead-slapping look on our faces, pressed against the window of the cab as we watched the elusive underground slide past. Too funny!
Us country kids learned a lot in our travels over the years but map-reading became our first lesson after we peeled off cab fare for what should have been a much cheaper underground ride!
Sheesh! :roll:
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby mojowp » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:32 am

Scary Moments and Close Calls!

My husband I have certainly had a few.

South America, when South America was just opening to travellers, was a bit of a challenge. We were using the very first Lonley Planet travel guidebook ever published (This was only in 1993 by the way) and back packing around.

We were heading down to Pto. Ayacucho, along the border of Columbia and Venezuela in a Por Puesto (mini bus) for about 20 people that was loaded with about 30 people, on a road that didn't exist on a map!

It started to dump rain and the "road" became a clay soup and the bus got stuck several times. We got out to push it only get stuck further on. When we final hit a bit of terra firma, the bus slipped and slided into the ditch and nearly rolled. Women were screaming, children were crying and an old man peed his pants. The road was much too messy to navigate on on so the driver drove further in the ditch and drove along the bottom of the ditch for a while.

Just when we thought that the rain had stopped and the adventures were behind us, we arrived at a makeshift road block of unrolled razor wire and few camouflage-wearing guys with AK47s in one hand and a bottle of Polar Beer in the other. These things always happen at about 11 o'clock at night!

One of the gun-wielding amigos hopped on the bus, scanned the crowded bus, shouldered his weapon with a flashlight pointing directly at my husband and me. Using his rifle as a pointer, he signaled for us to get off of the bus. He led us into a cinder block building with no doors and an old chrome kitchen table set in the middle surrounded by rolls of ammunition and big guns on tripods scattered on the floor. He proceeded to take our passports, flopped open a big book and registered our entrance into the Amazonas State! Upon noticing that we were from Montreal, he smiled and cheered right up. It seems that one of the Montreal Expos players was from their state and they had been watching the game on an antique tv right outside the building as we pulled up! He returned our documents and we were back on our bus. We later discovered that several of the passengers had stuffed all the illegal things they new the would get in trouble for into our bags...When you leave a bus, always take your bags with you!

We were luck that time, as road blocks that seem official often are not! Ever since then, I always try to avoid the roads infamous for hijackings and road blocks...this even stopped us from visiting Tikal on a different trip into Central America.

Not to seem long winded but...one other scary moment was in Bali on a boat on the South China Sea. We had decided to take a 3-day boat ride to see the Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island. I learned never to travel on water during a full moon!

We had left the island of Lombok cruising along on a beautiful sunny afternoon when suddenly we were slammed by a 15-foot wave, the first of many. We were crossing a channel between two islands that is famous in the area for rough seas and, with the pull of the full moon, the waves were furious. Two girls who had been sunbathing on the top of the boat had been trapped up there, a Moroccan guy being sick over the side had been thrown over and he was hanging on a post with his feet dangling in shark-infested water until my husband grabbed his belt and pulled him back in. The boat was taking on water and the rats from the front end chicken coop were swimming around and climbing up the people to get out of the water. The boat guy had a tupperware container and was trying to scoop the water out of this 30-foot boat and karate chopping the rats and throwing them overboard. We again were lucky that day! As soon as we cleared the channel, we were in calm seas again! The girls on the top of the boat had survived a 1-hour pounding but 5 passengers on a Indonesian Park Ranger boat were not so luck that day. Their much smaller boat was overwhelmed and sank.

There will always be unpredictable moments and stories to tell. After all it is adventure travel...and that is why we do it.

I would actually like to see a thread about the random acts of kindness people have experienced, as I have many more of those stories than these!

Thanks everyone for sharing :)
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby jimshu » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:34 pm

Incredible stories Mojowp.What memories you have.
And don't wait to start that new 'kindness' thread.Kick it off now.Will be very interesting to read.
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby mojowp » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:20 pm

Thanks Jimshu...will do...I always find those incredibly inspiring!

:D
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby IncaTrail50 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:40 pm

Scary stories, Mojowp! On a lighter note, the bus story reminded me of a quote from the CBC comedy show This Hour has 22 Minutes:
"It's never a good idea to travel by bus on a winding mountainous road in a country that believes in reincarnation". :lol:
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:42 am

Wasn't really a disaster but had the potential to be and was still most annoying ...

My first trip to Italy was for work but I took 10 days of vacation in conjunction, figuring I may as well explore. I got copies of both Fodor's and Frommers ahead of time, read them in detail and planned out my trip albeit without any hotel reservations.

2.5 days in Florence, 2.5 in Venice and 3.5 in Rome was the plan and it worked out fairly well until I got to Rome. It wasn't as easy finding an inexpensive hotel from an information booth as it had been in Florence and Venice but I found one that put me up in essentially a huge closet with a rollaway.

Of course, they asked for my travel documents when I checked in but I checked them out the second morning so I could cash some travelers' checks while shopping that day. Walking down to look at the Coliseum, I found myself surrounded by street urchins waving cardboard and newspapers in my face -- I had read the tips in the travel guides and put my wallet in my front pocket and yelled 'va via!' at them (hey, it worked in Florence!) but that didn't discourage them and I was concerned about them reaching into my backpack or snatching my camera so I clutched both and pushed my way through the group.

I got down to the Coliseum, saw something I wanted to buy and ... surprise! The kids had managed to sneak out my new Florentine leather wallet (complete with travel documents) despite my having my Italian-English dictionary there to fill out my pocket. I managed to wave down a carabinieri and explain what happened -- he followed me to where the kids were, spat "gypsies!" and proceeded to shake them down.

No joy. I went back down to the Coliseum thoroughly pissed but took my pictures then headed back to the hotel to drop off my backpack. I got directions to the nearest consulate from the desk and headed off to see what I could do to get replacements so I could reenter the US. After waiting in the lobby a few hours (and hearing even worse horror stories), I got to an agent and explained my predicament. She offered to help me get a temporary passport but said I needed pictures for it, that there was a photo machine in the lobby I could use. Of course, that required lira and I had none ... so she directed me to the American Express office where I could cash some travelers checks to get lira to get my picture so I could get a temporary passport ...

I quickly walked over to the Spanish Steps and found the AMEX office where they were only too happy to cash my travelers' checks at 20% below market rate -- but needed a photo ID to verify these were MY checks ... Ummmmmm, you guys missed something, the whole point of this was to get money so I could get a photo ...

They sent me back to the consulate to get a letter validating my identity which I could then use to cash the checks and get lira so I could take a photo. Finally, letter in hand, they gave me $20 worth of lira (well, really about $16 worth) and sent me back to the consulate where I got my photo and turned it in with a promise my new passport would be ready Soon ...

About 90 minutes later, I received a new passport proclaiming my identity, much relieved at being able to reenter the US ... In case anyone is wondering, I now use a neck wallet when traveling overseas. ;)
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby Zuleika » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:58 pm

Not a disaster but a hairy moment....
Me and a friend arrived in Freemantle, Australia quite late at night and were driving up a steep hill when we got pulled over by the cops.
They pulled in behind us and indicated for my friend who was driving to get out the car - all well and good but our handbrake wasnt working!!! So I had to slide over a bit and stick my foot on the brake. They wanted to look through the trunk etc. But I was sweating - one slip of my foot would have seen our car rolling over them and crashing into their cop car!! If they ask for me to get out the car we're doomed!!
Fortunately they didnt - they let us drive on.


phew.
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby Niki » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:47 pm

October 28, 2009

My Encounter with a Crazy Thai Woman

After 6 days in Bangkok, I had to get out. While my accommodations are fantastic and food is cheap and plentiful, I just couldn’t do another day of aimlessly roaming yet another of the dozens of malls around Bangkok—B-O-R-I-N-G. Mr. and Mrs. Vadakan had returned from their trip and we had dinner together as I told them about my plans. Mrs Vadakan put down her fork and stared at me. “You want to go to the Khao Yai national Park—ALONE?” She laughed and looked at her husband in disbelief. “Yes”, I said with confidence. They warned me not to hike alone, to watch my belongings and to “be careful!” I wondered if I will be as cautious about life when I get older, maybe after I have kids. I’m glad I am not there yet. So I packed a couple things in my bag and left at around 11am. The park was only supposed to be 2 ½ hours away, how bad could it be? I wondered.

I jumped on the Skytrain which is like BART here and got off at the place Lonely Planet said the bus terminal would be located. After some wondering around, I realized that I would have to take another bus to get to the main bus terminal. No worries. So I asked for the bus number and waited for the bus to arrive. Mind you, every time I say I asked a question of a local, know that it was a struggle. NOBODY here speaks English, or wants to try; they usually shake their head quickly “no English”. As I waited, my eye caught a woman walking up. She caught my attention because she was wearing a shirt that revealed her belly with tight jeans and big sunglasses. Now Thais are generally conservative and dress really neatly and professionally, so she really stood out. Bus number 77 finally pulled up and I waved my arm and jumped in (the buses don’t make a complete stop, you have to jump on). Sure enough, the woman that I had noticed got on too and almost fell out of the bus as it sped off. “Are you ok?” I asked, trying to be polite. “Yes, yes! What is your name?” Someone that speaks English! I was excited. I told her my name and we talked briefly. Her English wasn’t perfect, but it was better than nothing. She asked me where I was going and I pointed and told her “Pak Chong”. “Oh! I am going there too, we can go together!” Even though she seemed a little off, I thought it would be beneficial to have someone who speaks some English along since I know that at bus stations they tend to rip tourists off-- so I figured by getting my ticket with her, I could save a few Bht.

We arrived at the station and she quickly took my hand “come on”. As we approached the terminal I told her that I was on a budget and I wanted the 2nd class ticket. “Yes, yes, save moneyyy!” She spoke to the many sales staff who rush you and we approached one of the dozens of windows. “It will cost 265 Bht, OK?” Lonely Planet had said 110 for 2nd class and 130 for first class, and I told her this to which she shook her head violently, “NO, No, no find ticket so cheap!” I thought well she is al local and they wouldn’t be ripping her off and Lonely Planet can be outdates sometimes on their prices, so I paid the 265 BHT. We went down to the waiting area and they told us it would be another 1 ½ hours before the bus would leave. Again, I was suspicious because Lonely Planet had said that the buses leave every 20 minutes for Pak Chong.

Then it began—her “offness” revealed itself as pure insanity. She started talking about her boyfriend from the UK, how she left the UK because they got into a fight and she kept looking at me with desperate, pleading eyes, “Do you think he loves me? Do you?? Why he no trust me? He think I look for another man! He make me sad”. Then she would hang her head and look like she was about to cry. I wanted someone to shoot me. Each time she asked me “Do you think he loves me?” I wanted to say: “ Look lady, I don’t know anything about you and your boyfriend’s crazy life and frankly I don’t want to know about it. He is probably using you the same way that you are using him. And no, I don’t think he loves you because you clearly don’t love yourself! Now if you don’t mind, I am trying to read”. But instead I had to politely pat her knee and tell her I’m sure he loves you, don’t worry everything will be alright…..

What had I gotten myself into. You can imagine my relief when I looked up and finally saw two foreign guys my age sit down in front of me. I quickly leaned in, “Excuse me, by any chance are you headed to Pak Chong? They turned, smiled and said Yes. I was thrilled thinking they would be on my bus and I could get rid of this crazy woman. Instead they pointed at a different bus. “We leave at 2 from that bus over there”. My heart sank. I asked them how much they paid for their ticket since I had my suspicions, and they told me what I thought would be the answer “110 BHT.” At the time I thought there could be a few different explanations: Maybe both me and the Tahi lady got ripped off, maybe our bus is direct... I was trying not to think the worst, but as things continued to progress I later realized that this woman had sneakily got me to buy her ticket as well—she robbed me without me realizing it happened! I started to understand how western men get swindled out of everything they have by these crafty Thai women. Man, oh man.

As we got on the bus, I longingly looked back at the two guys who seemed like they would be great hiking buddies for the national park, but now I was stuck on a 3 hour bus ride with crazy woman. As soon as we sat down she turned towards me and started again, “Do you think he loves me? I think he go look for another woman!” Minutes later a very average looking western man got in the bus and walked to the back of the bus. She turned to me smiling, “Ahhh! Handsome western man! Lets sit in the back together!” I told her she can do whatever she wants, I’m staying put. “I thought you said you love your boyfriend?” I asked looking at her sideways. “Yes, I do. But maybe he treat me bettr! I just looking…” The rest of the ride she sat in a pose where he could get a good look at her profile as she flipped her hair and laughed loudly enough so he would look in our direction. I felt sorry for whomever that had to deal with this woman on a regular basis and felt lucky to never see her again in a couple of hours. She proceeded to take a whole roll of pictures of me “So when I miss you I can look at it” followed by a long video clip of us together, BFFs. She claimed to be 32, but the wrinkles around her eyes and mouth screamed 45-50. When reading my book didn’t stop her from talking I said I was tired and pretended to sleep.

Next thing I knew I was being ushered out of the bus. “Give me hug! Ohhhhh, I will miss youuuu!” I wanted to punch her pouty face. Is this the bus stop? “You go to Khao Yai park from here—by-byyeee!” I had just woken up and was confused. “Why was I the only one getting off? Why was I being let out on the side of the road instead of the bus stop?” The man from the bus walked me out and to a Sawngthaew (pick-up truck with 2 rows of benches in the back) that had just pulled up, and I stood in awe as I watched the bus pullout and drive off. I walked up to the driver of the truck. “You go to Kao Yai?” To my disappointment, he shook his head, “I go to Bus stop”. “I need to go to Kao Yai”. He looked at me blankly. I looked around and realized I would have to get into this truck and hope for the best--there was nothing around me, nowhere to go and the sun was now setting.

Sitting in the back of a truck completely by yourself at sunset in a foreign country where no one seems to speak a word of English or understand your attempt at their language, not knowing if you are in the right town or going in the right direction is one of those experiences you can’t really put into words. I was scared, but I had no choice but to have faith that this heavy set, unkept man would take me safely to the bus stop and I would figure out the rest from there. I took a deep breath—relax Niki.

He just sat there parked for a while and finally pulled onto the road. After about 15 minutes, a woman got in—Fhhew, was I relieved. I tried to ask her where this god-forsaken park was but she couldn’t understand me. We got off together at this “bus stop” and she walked with me back and forth trying to find someone who could translate or guide me somehow. The way they looked at me when I said Khao Yai made me feel like this park either didn’t exist or I was in the wrong country. I later found out that my pronunciation was off, and that is why they couldn’t understand me. My initial plan was to sleep in a dorm inside the part for really cheap. But by now it was dark and I just wanted to get to any place to sleep. Lonely planet mentioned a place that was affordable on the road to the park and a taxi driver knew the name “greenleaf garden”. I didn’t want to pay for a taxi and was directed to a bus that first tried to charge me 400 Bht (almost $15). I didn’t let my fatigue get the best of me. “No, no no. Too much. I give you 20 bht. We settled on 25 bht( 75 cents) and I sat down, completely exhausted. The bus didn’t leave for another 30 minutes, but I finally exhaled the air I had been holding for the past 8 hours when I saw the sign that read “greenleaf guest house”. I got off, paid the bus driver and walked up to the reception. Come to find, this place only gave beds to people who booked a tour with them. I love Lonely Planet, but it is vital details like this and extra buses that I had to take to get here that they leave out. I wanted to explore the park on my own and hate guided tours so I asked her if she can make an exception, that I just needed somewhere to sleep tonight. She shook her head sternly “NO”. So I walked a quarter mile down the road to another hostel who told me the same thing, “you want a room, you book a tour”. I missed Indonesia.

So, I went back to Greenleaf and was forced to book an all day tour in order to have a place to sleep that night. I put my stuff down, showered, ate dinner and went to bed at 8:30pm, completely exhausted.

The next day the tour began at 8 am and I was relieved to see foreigners that I could communicate with. I ended up on the tour with 2 couples from Germany. One couple was really cool, they were upbeat and fun and they made me laugh with their impressions and stories. The other couple was much more awkward and uptight looking. As soon as I saw the girl’s acurlic French tip nails, I knew we were in trouble. We had the sweet privilege of freeing a python snake and got to carry it with us in the back of the truck and the girl screamed and threw a fit about having it so close to us (in a cage!) on the entire ride.

It got even better. Apparently she is allergic to bees (don’t know if I buy that story) and there was a point when we were surrounded by 3 relentless bees that kept buzzing around us. The rest of us were annoyed, but knew that if you ignore them they will go away. But this girl put on such a show: she hunched down, put her arms around her head and started screaming in German, all the words I still remember, “Shayzeh!” “Fafloght!” and others I won’t mention here. I was trying really hard not to laugh, but man was it a scene! I was surprised to see that she was actually crying when she stood up. Her cheeks were red and her glasses were falling off her face as she buried her head in her boyfriend’s arms. You’re a grown woman, I thought, get a hold of yourself! I felt sorry for her boyfriend, who looked completely embarrassed. “Is there a short way out of here for us?” There wasn’t and I suggested we keep moving and maybe the bees will go away. A few minutes later she screamed again, this time it was a splinter in her finger. Me and Daisy, the cool German girl looked at each other and raised our eyebrows in disbelief. She proceeded to complain and whine the rest of the trip reminding me of those cartoon characters that you see and wonder, do people like that really exist? Well, I got my answer. This woman doesn’t know it, but she really jeopardized my giving “The Bravest Women Award” to German women.
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby jimshu » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:24 am

:D :) :D
I'm sure she was saying "schiesse" and something else I won't mention here.But yeah, she was swearing her head off!
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Re: Travel disaster stories

Postby onyx007 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:32 am

I'm glad that I didn't experience any disaster on any of my trips.
But sometimes I got quite a shock some weeks after returing home, to see how close life and death are:

I've been to Dahab in Egypt on the Red Sea, sitting in a restaurant and having a milk shake;
one month after that I read the newspaper and right there was a terrorist bombing with a death swiss guy in my age. (I'm Swiss as well)

Or last year I was flying with Air France out of Rio de Janeiro to Paris and a month later the airlines crash on the same line.

So I'm really lucky to be alive and not having any "bad" tales to tell from my own journeys.
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