“Going away this year?” It’s a predictable conversation opener at parties and the hairdressers. But rarely do you glean any decent information from such exchanges. However you do hear the much repeated crap about transsexuals and diarrhoea should your answer be “Thailand” or “India” and for an open minded traveller this grates, you may even become so irate that you leave the salon half-way through your cut and stomp off down the High street with your L’Oreal cape still attached, looking like Phil Oakey on the way to a Batman convention after drunks have shouted ‘Don’t you want me baby’ down his entry-phone once too often. So here are a few of the most common myths, accompanied by accurate exposition. Followed by a few facts that maybe you should be aware of, but are little known.
A Few Fables
‘Eastern people wipe their arses with their hands’- In The East it’s common that people ‘sluice’ (wash their bum) after doing number 2’s, rather than wiping with toilet roll. You may have noticed that sometimes there is often a small hose and sprinkler next to the toilet in Airports, well this, or a jug, is what our friends in The East use to ensure they’re clean afterwards. But somehow this has turned into the myth that they only use their hand. Question- If a Seagull deposited an arse-dollop on your arm would you wipe it off with a tissue and leave the smear there until your next shower, or wash it off immediately? The answer of course is a simple one. So Eastern folk have got it right. And they have cleaner arses. (please note, the term ‘Eastern people’ refers to the folk living between Egypt and Australia, not Hoxton, who prefer to wipe their arses on any semblance of good taste).
‘All Americans carry guns’- They don’t, but they might have one at home, especially outside the Metropolis’s of NYC, San Francisco etc, where less smart Americans tend to live. For a laugh ask a gun owning American why they have one. The platform of their argument is invariably “because the constitution says I can.” Rather than actually needing or wanting one. An extended debate on this subject can become quite surreal.
‘You get Delhi belly if you go to India’- There is some truth in this, but in the main it’s baloney. It’s like boring bastard plain eaters saying ‘It was them Prawns I ate two weeks ago’ when they have trapped wind. You can get a terrible stomach in India, but it’s nothing like as bad as people believe. I’ve been to India three times, totalling four months, I ate local food all the while, and I’ve been ill just the once.
‘Thai Lady-boys look just like Birds’- Much hackneyed, this one. Quite simply, they don’t. They look just like boys but dressed as girls. I’ve never seen the appeal in going with a prostitute, but if you’re one who partakes and are inept when determining gender and don’t want a ‘Begbie’ moment here are some pointers- Start by checking out the face, look for pronounced eyebrow bones and jaw, stubble, then check the Adam’s apple, then the size of the shoulders, then the rubber tits, then the boyish hips and swagger. If one or all of those features are not a giveaway look at the size of the feet and hands. If you decide to proceed to ‘Booshki-Booshki’ after judgement and then get a Bangkok-surprise you must be a complete moron and deserve the cold Carrots and Onions you are served up, rather than warm Hairy Pie you were hoping for.
A Few Facts
There is no need to go to Cuba soon- When speaking to someone about travelling there can come a point when you realise that they are actually a complete Fuckdribble. It’s the moment that they chant the words “Make sure you go to Cuba before Castro dies otherwise it will be too late, as communism will end”. It’s like a Clarion call for Cock-ends. And it is absolute crap. Once they say it you know they’ve never been there, or went with blinkers on. If anyone honestly believes that as soon as Castro dies Mickey Mouse will walk in with a Chequebook and turn it into a theme park they deserve to be bum-dunked by Goofy. Cuba will change, that’s inevitable, some argue that it would benefit from change. It is regressive, not in a good way, due to the continuation of communism. But, having spent a month there this year, I can assure you that it will take at least 20 years for even the greatest of changes to become apparent to a visitor. Don't rush.
Don’t drink tap water in Russia- The water system in Russia, particularly in St Petersburg, is decrepit and unclean. This problem is impossible to remedy without a complete rebuild. The water contains dangerous levels of metal and parasites. There is also evidence that it still contains E-Coli following contamination by raw sewage decades ago. Even boiling the water does not ensure its safety. Bottled water is the only way. Also note- The street robbery of tourists is considered acceptable by the Police and locals alike.
Singapore is dull as dishwater- Passing through the Airport is great, it’s got everything you need when making you’re connection between two flights. But if you venture into town it’s diabolical. Imagine the biggest shopping Centre you’ve ever been to, Meadowhall, Blue Water, Westfield. Then Imagine a Thousand of them nailed together, selling crap that only the acutely distasteful botoxed wives of wealthy would consider buying. Then imagine them being staffed by Chinese people convinced that their own culture was no good and so trained themselves to speak English-American embellished with false smiles. Well that’s Singapore. It is rubbish.