Because let's face it, everyone loves a good trash-talkin'. Some shit-talkin'. Some dirt-layin' sonovagun who can tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
It's not that bad, of course. If it was horrible, no one would travel and your facebook feed wouldn't be occasionally submerged by posts like "Why I travel", "Why travel ROOLZ GUYZ", "What I learned during my amazing travels", "Travel frees the soul, is the school of life, OMG iz SO GOOD".
I consciously leave most of the annoyances, negativity and other insects of that family out of my posts to make it a pleasant and uplifting reading experience (but then again, when I look at the blog stats, the most popular entries are the sad ones).
My biggest pet peeve, I would say, are other travellers. While away, no matter if you're on the road for 6 weeks or 6 months, you will meet a diversity of characters richer than a Tolkien novel, as diverse as the inhabitants of the lands of Westeros, and sometimes just as ludicrous as, well, any spoof of said literature.
The order of this list follows my train of thoughts, and nothing else. Literally whatever comes to mind goes first, and then second, and then well you know how lists go.
The Traveller Fashion
Yes, my dear drinkers of knowledge, there is such a thing.(try Google-ing it too!) To put things in perspective: you leave home with a bag weighting under the 12 kg. limit to avoid airline penalties and so you pack light. That means leaving a few shirts behind because you'd rather pack a book - and anyways there's shirts where you're going (probably) and it's a nice souvenir too.
So! If you're like me, you just landed in Thailand and are walking among the unorthodox mess that is Koh San road. It's fucking hot. So you think, ''Hey, I'll get me some tank-tops, it's like 4 dollars each and I can probably get a deal if I buy more than one''. Little do you know, you've just taken your irrevocable first step into Traveller Fashion (add echo).
Douchebag / laidback / fuck yeah vacation look:
Local beer tops. Tubing in Laos tops. Muay Thai tops. Tribal turtle tops. Elephant pattern pants. Swimsuit all the time.
Cheap flip-flops, or if you went all out, those with the fake grass so you feel like you're playing mini-golf bare-foot all the time.
Fake Ray-bans should complete the look.
It's what I wear, I totally get it when people silently eye me dơwn in hostels. With my tattoos hanging out I can look like a total dick.
I'm going Into the Wild! look:
Picture African safari pictures of olde. Black and white photograph , and the subject is some old white dude with a sweet curly mustache and a hunting rifle; indigenous men in the background, out of focus, carry his crap. Now picture how he is dressed. Yes, exactly like that!
Some olive, savannah-colored cargo shorts and when he sits they go up to the middle of his thighs.
A matching button-down shirt with those nifty straps on the sleeves so you can tight them up even more, you know, so you don't get caught in the heavy bush.
Maybe some sleeveless army-green mesh shirt with lots of pockets worn on top of that shirt.
To complete the look, my favorite: trekking sandals. I love those!
I've never worn any but every time I see a pair of them on some sweaty feet I'm like "Damn, that's luxury right thurr".
It's like a Jeep for your feet.
So yeah, some people dress like that, usually in the range of 35 to 45 but sometimes you see a kid, like 19, sportin' the look.
I'm a free soul look:
This one puzzles me. I don't know where it comes from. Who decided collectively for all the hippies and off-the-grid survivors, think-outside-the-box, I'm-saving-Gaia-by-eating-only-plants that this look was the official one? And if you're so original, why do you dress all the same?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging: I come from the punk scene, where everyone says they're marginal, but everyone follows a rigid uniform code.
Anyways. Long hair for both male and female. Bandanas are welcome, tied around the forehead to support all that hair and those revolutionary ideas.
Tie-dye shirts are not uncommon, but usually the tribal turtle shirt is sported, or maybe some loose cotton shirt (looks fucking comfortable, not gonna lie) or straight up their clothes from home.
Since they don't burden themselves with artifacts of the material world, they can pack more clothes and still be under 12 kg, I guess.
The elephant print pants are an absolute must, on guys and girls alike. Very popular are also those pants where you look like you have 3-inches high legs, where that part that usually holds your butt is by your ankles (you make me think of Obelix).
Shoes, sandals, anything for your feet is optional. They go bare-feet wherever, in a complete disregard of local cultures. They can probably walk on Legos, their sole is so tough and caked with shit.
I don't give a fuck look:
My favorite, and what I went for thís time. Basically what you wear at home, fuck it. T-shirt and jeans are good for nearly every occasion, anyways.
Special mention to the guy wearing his american football jersey.
Not very negative, as you can see, just some observations. Judgmental as fuck, actually.
Next logical item on the list (I lied! There is an order!)
I hate to judge based on looks, to think that humans can be so easily categorized, that we're nothing more than some straight-out-of-the-box, pre-made characters for some Higher Power's sunday Role-Playing game sesh, so I will not attach their personality to their looks.
And here starts the bitching, friends.
I think it's because I'm laidback and can actually listen to people when they are talking, but I meet a lot of:
Armed with their cellphone and roaming data package, they always know the best spot to eat, the cheapest guesthouse, the next temple.
They stop you from walking spontaneously into a Wat on the corner of the street because there's a bigger, better one just 2 kms away.
If you answer ''I don't know'' to questions like ''Where are you going next'', better grab some pen and paper, this guy knows where you're going next!
For people like me who prefer to see as you go, who are not too stressed about paying $1-2 more for a dorm because the cheapest one in town is full, it's fucking annoying.
Granted, sometimes I would have missed really cool things if it wasn't for a random person suggesting what I should do next, of course.
But being figuratively taken by the hand by some random stranger and dragged (or followed) around town can be quite the mood-killer.
Their mouth hands out unwelcomed, basic knowledge like their minds are the sharpest. They don't listen to you when you speak, will interupt you or repeat exactly what you just said in different words to seem like they thought about it first.
They annoy me.
Lonely Planet Zombies:
Their weapon of choice: the latest edition of the traveller's bible. The books are pretty useful, of course, but some people are treating it as a holy book, the one that contains all the knowledge and that will show you the path to a perfect voyage.
First of all, these books were written by people, like you and me. So, it follows their preferences and taste, most of the time.
Second, when I say zombies, I mean it. Some people quite literally leave their brains at the guesthouse and wander around town, nose in the pages, not even looking around to absorb whatever it is that they came for to absorb. I've seen people stop in the middle of the street in front of incoming traffic to look at a map.
There's only so much the authors can cram in there! You're bound to miss out if you think you've done everything in a town because you did the 5 suggested activites.
Also, and this is from experience, their cultural Do's and Don't' miss the nails more often than they hit it, at least for ASEA.
I'm not saying they're useless, I personally use Frommer's Rough Guide when I'm about to cross borders to get up to speed on the upcoming country. I'm just saying, once in a while, leave the book on your dorm bed and go explore. Get lost. There's no instructions on how to get invited to 4am, drunken karaoke with the locals.
They can be the life of the party, or they can be the death of the soul.
Usually super cut, and I suspect they carry a wax-a-chest kit with them.
They say stuff like ''I'll never go to X town, it's way too touristy'' (actually everyone says that) but the only time they leave the confines of their guesthouse it's to go to the bar.
They're loud, they command attention, they're big, they're having so much fun.
If you look closely, you can see a faint glimmer of jealousy in the eye of everyone they are annoying. ''How can they be so free! Is it because they're so cut? Muscles bring freedom?''
Sometimes followed by one smaller, bearded, beer-gutted dude.
They treat the locals like Disney World mascots, don't bother to learn ''Hi'' in whatever local dialect, and will just talk louder and LOUDER if the waiter doesn't understand their order. ''Pizza. Pizza! PIZZA. PIZZA!!!''
Well folks, there's plenty more but I don't like to be this bitchy for this long and I am also quite lazy all of a sudden. I hope I could get a few laughs out of you.
I let the inner geek out more than usual. Deal with it!
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Peace out mafakas!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
JOYEUX NOEL A TOUS!