Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm on Vacation and Already Stressed

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You know what people like to do in Europe? Drink. This is true whether they live there or just happen to be visiting to experience the wonderful, historical, and cultural sites. To some people, the most wonderful, historical, and cultural sites are the bars. To those who were planning on absorbing some worldliness on their vacation by simply dropping everything and living off $10 a day and a backpack, drinking is also a common practice. You can see why this might sound desirable when your vacation isn't going quite as well as you'd hoped. That $10 a day didn't turn out to be enough to even buy a bottled water and your backpack is already becoming a little rank. Or even more likely, you and your significant other are not exactly seeing eye to eye as to how you should be spending your day, or your cash. To illustrate this, I'm going to need a little help.

Stick figures....ASSEMBLE!

And here they are. I'm proud to introduce the Ugly American Tourists: John and Mindy! If you'd prefer, you can lovingly refer to them as The Spaz and The Curmudgeon. Let's see how their trip is going. 

If your trip goes the way of John and Mindy's, you might be tempted to grab a drink at the local watering hole, and likely deserve one. As mentioned in "White Tennis Shoes are Super Sexy", America seems to be the only country which genuinely loves our signature tennis shoes. If you do (don't worry, I won't think you hate America if you don't), you might want to consider mixing it up a little. European clubs have a tendency to employ a dress code. And, while you'd be considered the epitome of awesomeness in a podunk town, those athletic shoes aren't going to cut it. No one wants this to happen...

If it does, you might really need that drink.

Until next time, God bless America.

Buses Make Me Nervous

As a Midwestern girl, I'm used to driving to anywhere and everywhere more than a block away. You're more likely to drive around sitting in the back of a pickup truck than taking a bus. And no, this doesn't make us lazy. Lots of people just happen to love their pickups. How else are you supposed to show off that rust? If you don't happen to have a sweet ride like that, you can always find some more unique solutions. After all, I even know someone who has a dog sled! Not like the Iditarod ones. We've never had to brave the Great White North to deliver medicines to animated children.

Truthfully, before visiting Europe, I'd never used a city bus. I'd been forced to endure many trips in school buses over the years to visit the city art and natural history museums in elementary school. I'd gotten the impression that all buses were sticky, germy, and likely to take 300% longer than driving. Travel forced me to confront these criticisms. After a few weeks of daily rides, I began to feel like somewhat of a bus savant. So, I've decided it's time to spread my new-found aptitudes. I've created a schedule to some awesome places we'd all love to visit to aid in passing on this knowledge.

Wasn't that schedule just lovely? It's based on the schedules I saw throughout all of central Europe. I'm sure you can figure it out, so pop quiz!

Bountiful Bus Bewilderment
1. How long can you expect it to take to go from Nowhere to Hogwarts?
a. 0 minutes - we can all apparate anyway
b. 12 minutes
c. 2 days
d. Hogwarts isn't it?

2. What number bus is going to show up at this stop?
a. e
b. 4
c. chair
d. pi

3. It's 4:07 pm, what time is the next bus going to arrive?
a. 4:10
b. what's 21 o'clock?
c. um.....soon?
d. yesterday

4. You're travelling with a person in a wheelchair and they'd like to use a bus with a low floor. Should you take the 6:00 or 6:30 bus?
a. 6:00
b. 6:30
c. this is obviously a trick question, neither
d. I'm sick of this quiz

Congratulations! You made it through. Let's see how you did. Here are the correct answers.
1. b (though I am willing to accept a, that would be sweet)
2. d (I hope you understood why "e" was included, clue think math)
3. a
4. b (I wouldn't be mean enough to give a trick question)

If you got all four correct, hooray. You owned that quiz. I certify you to be an "Official Un-Ugly American Tourist of Bus Usage". Here's your prize.

If you didn't get them all, tsk tsk. No gold oval for you. You might want to work on that because the rest of us are heading off to Santa's Workshop without you.

Until next time, God bless America.

White Tennis Shoes are Super Sexy

First off, while you may think you have worldly charm, you look like a tourist. Americans have a knack for sticking out, it's part of what makes us so enrapturing. In particular, we have a penchant for tall, white stocks sticking out of our bright, white tennis shoes. This doesn't go over so well in other place so while traveling, please wear low socks. I know you may think the high ones emphasize the tone of your calves or hide the fact that you haven't shaven since reaching this continent (see the below image for an example, that's hot). And, a sweet tan line is inevitable.

I know they may be incredibly attractive, but we seem to be the only country which appreciates white tennis shoes' beauty. In case math makes more sense to you, the engineer in me has provided an equation to better explain this phenomenon.

I happen to think it's good to try and fit in with the country you're visiting. You are less likely to get stalked by vendors wishing to sell you crappy, plastic thingamabobs or asked to take a city tour in a golf cart for only sixty dollars. So, if you happen to have them, I suggest something more like these. I know you can feel the European charm seeping into your cells already.

Until next time, God bless America.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome to The Travelin-gineer

Welcome everyone (assuming there is anyone) to the Travelin-gineer!

I decided to start this blog after an eight-week European excursion this summer. After guiding my parents around Krakow and completely taking the lead on our vacation, I was routinely called "The Mom" of the trip. On the plane ride back to the U.S., my mother suggested I write a book about all I learned. The Generation Y-er that I am chose, instead, to write a humor blog. Besides, who wants to write something as informative as a book. No one actually reads book anymore. Instead, I thought I'd share a bit of what I learned and have some fun along the way.

I'm going to use my travel experiences as inspiration for posts meant to entertain and inform through sarcasm, stick figures, some cheek, and so much superfluous scarcity of seriousness. Specifically, there is a plethora of things never discussed in travel books and professional travel blogs. I will focus on the critical issues such as, "When the hell is my bus going to come?", and "OMG, Where can I find a bathroom?!?!". Tune in to waste some time and you may even occasionally learn something.

Until next time, God bless America.