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Travel In Asia - What Can Go Wrong?    

By Ken Silver About Asia
2587 Views | 2 Comments | 4/12/2012 4:47:44 PM

I seem to have struck a nerve with my little story of the traveler who left his passport behind. Well, a lot of things can go wrong, when you travel in Asia, or anywhere else for that matter. I don’t mean losing your little Moleskine journal in which you wrote lonely, self pitying essays about how you lost …oh; wait a minute that was me.

I mean seriously wrong, as in “Holy Jesus, I’m screwed!” Assuming you even have time to scream it.

What the traveler community really needs is a universal, objective scale, from ten down to one, of things that can go wrong. We can’t have crocodile attacks lumped in with bad waiter service, can we now?

For example, ten would be realizing you left your sunhat a block away, at the restaurant where you neglected to leave a tip.

Nine would be realizing you left your digital camera a block away, at that restaurant where you neglected to tip.

Eight would be a cramped, smelly “luxury deluxe long distance bus" in whose “luxury deluxe bus restroom” someone has just extensively vomited.

Seven might be stuck for your entire trip, (not just on the luxury bus) traveling with a jerk.

Six would be any interaction with Asian police a few minutes after you lose your wallet.

Five would be a monkey grabbing you passport and heading for the nearest tree.

To continue, we have to admit that there is a real and vital difference between financial disasters and physical disasters. Speaking personally, I’ve nearly driven my truck off the rim of the Grand Canyon, been swept out to sea by a riptide, had a knife pulled on me, been caught without a shred of rain gear in a cold rainstorm in the backcountry 20 miles away from the nearest dirt road, floated in a cheap raft on an icy pond whose sheer canyon walls were un-climbable while my trail buddies Moe Larry and Curly worked feverishly to get me out.

Yes, I’ve also left things at restaurants where I neglected to tip.

There is ultimately, a very real difference between that monkey grabbing your passport and that same monkey grabbing your balls and squeezing. Did you know an ordinary monkey can crush a brick in its hands?

So, four would be that same monkey grabbing your balls.

Three would be being really sick in a country whose medical system relies on amputation and praying to Kali, Goddess of Death.

Two would be any situation in which you’re really f-cked but have unpleasant amounts of time in which to croak or mutter or weep or cry to yourself “I’m f-cked.” This would include slowly dying of thirst in some remote canyon somewhere. One way in which you can distinguish this number level is if you do a lot of crying for your mommy, at least until your body moisture runs out.

The difference between three and two is that lying in a mosquito infested 3rd world hospital at least holds the possibility of your friends paying for a visit from a bar girl.

Number one on the scale of ten to one includes head on truck collisions, elephants sitting on you, and tiger attacks; but can be any event in which afterwards your ghost wanders about, wondering why nobody seems to be able to see or hear it.

Let’s keep it at number ten, people!

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#2012-04-12 21:01:13 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

I think we should submit our worst travel experience stories. I know there are already a couple of books out there with this as their theme, but I think the collective experience on this site could come up with some pretty good tales. I think the one I would write involves being kidnapped by the AIDS addled brother of a driver for a monastary in Chiang Mai, driven in a jeep I had rented up into the border with Burma, fed contaminated food, having to spend the night in a mosquito infested hut without netting, and then being driven in the middle of the night to an event in which I was certain I was going to be the sacrificial victim--and well might have been if it had not for a wandering Catholic bishop. According to you scale I would have to give it a two in that I spent quite a bit of time uttering "I'm f***ed, I'm really f***ed." In fact, I was pretty convinced I was going to die. These days, as you say, I prefer to keep things at a 10 (although this I think is incompatible with travel in China).

#2012-12-14 11:16:32 by hello141 @hello141

Hilarious. Thanks for sharing.

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