Canada, Meh, Part II
Vancouver: Like the Pacific Northwest, but we do a better job of hiding our people of color!
Toronto: New York run by the Swiss, indeed, and people who enjoy it here think that’s a compliment.
Montreal: The friendliness of the French combined with the relaxed nature of North Americans. Oh, and you have to live in tunnels half the year.
Halifax: Who has anything to say about Halifax? Can’t I just scan it and email it to you instead?
The only thing worse than being on assignment at the Holiday Inn Express is when the nighttime front desk clerk at said Holiday Inn Express wants to be your friend on Facebook. No, really, I’m good.
There’s really nowhere on earth more boring than Canada. I can’t think of any reason anyone should go there, unless they’re fleeing the draft. And even then, Afghanistan might be preferable.
That said, I’ll probably go there again, on some assignment or another, sometime in the next year. AND I WILL BE HAPPY!
It’s hard not to feel very, very white when you go to Asia for the first time, no matter how experienced a traveler you are. Walking past a sign for Hon Kee Noodles is one of those times.
In the Dark
I was on assignment, visiting a sleek spa hotel in the middle of Europe. The hotel’s PR director was halfway through a tour of the property. “Oh,” she asked, ” are you from New York? I’ve been there once. You know, there weren’t nearly as many of those blacks as people said there would be.”
Where to bang cheap girls in Jamaica
The hotel I stayed in in Jamaica looked historic, but was actually the kind of place local dudes bring cheap girls late at night. I think that explained the plastic-wrapped mattresses.
A shitty situation
I spent several days in Tokyo, eating like mad for a story. Every afternoon/evening, I’d race back to my hotel to suffer through the most miserable bout of diarrhea I’d had in years. Several close calls. Then, at night, I’d go out to eat again—the food was just that good. When I left Japan, the situation cleared right up.
What We Didn’t Tell You: A Chronicle of Travel Writing Failures
We’ve all done it. We’ve seen it all, and decided, in the end, that some of it was not worth seeing.
But that’s not what we told our editors. Or our readers. We may not exactly have lied, or fabricated wonderful experiences, but we’ve certainly left out the awkward, unpleasant moments—the hookers, the diarrhea, the unromantic misadventures, the insects, the almost accidental purchases of small bags of marijuana on Caribbean islands, the boring hours in the hot sun on a royalty-themed cruise in Malaysia, the days spent lolling in air-conditioned hotel rooms instead of perusing the art galleries of east Berlin.
Not that these weren’t, in and of themselves, good stories. They were just the stories that no one at the magazine wanted to hear, that would have upset the good PR folk sponsoring the press trip, that maybe just had nothing to do with the article you were assigned to write.
But these same stories, we all know, have sustained us through many long nights of drinking—that, in a perverse way, keep encouraging us to pitch new stories and to get on the plane to some far-off, exotic, potentially stultifying, possibly threatening land.
This Tumblr is the place for those stories. Please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll publish them as is. Anonymity guaranteed.