Friday, 18 September 2009

Top Tips for Travellers

(1) Starbucks, to the weary traveller, with its air con, Earl Grey (with soya milk), and washroom facilities, is a godsend. Starbucks RULES! There can never be enough of ‘em.

(2) If waiting in a queue, try to stand behind Indian people (they are used to lining up, and seem to get ahead quickly – you can follow in their wake) and in front of Japanese people (they never push – if they try, look them in the eye, and they will fill up with shame and stop).

(3) NEVER stand in front of Russian people!!! Pushy buggers.

(4) The best hostels are the ones with free breakfast and cheap laundry/internet facilities. These ‘extras’ usually mean that the essentials are AOK.

(5) If you are walking about in America (say, NYC), and see a lot of very attractive, beautiful people, do not be disheartened. The ‘real’ people are in work! This lot are merely failed/wannabe actors/models.

(6) Try not to speak when buying items that have no price marked. Once they hear your accent, the shopkeeper will double (or even triple) the price. Give a confident smile and you will be fine.

(7) ‘Salad bars’ are the best thing in the US. They are made up of self-serve salad/hot food/fruit. You can try lots of different food in a plastic bowl. There is no excuse for not getting your 5-a-day.

(8) Speaking of which: never declare fruit to customs officials. Unless you WANT to spend an hour in ‘agricultural inspection’ just so they can dispose of it (‘it’ being that apple you took off the plane, and were only given cos you couldn’t eat their wheat-filled cake dessert). Just put it at the bottom of your bag and you will (probably) get through.

(9) If the fruit is discovered, say (in your primmest, plumiest Queen’s English accent): “Oh dear! I’m so sorry. I didn’t realise! Oops!” And, flutter your eyelashes. Again, you’ll probably be alright.

(10) Remember, outside of Wales you are a Brit. Do not confuse matters with talk of “Wales”. Unless you like explaining yourself over and over again to looks of total incomprehension. Which I don’t.

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