27
Sep 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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13
Sep 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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30
Aug 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Articles

“I don’t eat fish”

I took a tour of Iceland once.  Lovely people.  Beautiful country.  Other-worldly with all of its various landscapes.  Anywho, the tour went all around Ring Road, the road that circles the entire island.  We ate in restaurants around the country, as well as in locals’ homes.  And this one friggin’ lady on the tour, every time we stopped to eat, would remind our guide, “I don’t eat fish.”  Not because she was allergic, or for religious reasons, or because she was vegetarian and wanted to respect all living creatures—she just didn’t like eating it.  The woman’s in Iceland.  Iceland.  You know what Iceland has?  Fish.  That’s what they have.  They’re a tiny little island surrounded by an ocean full of fish.  And we go into a local’s home, where they have spent hours making a fish-based meal for us—because, remember, that’s what they eat in Iceland—and she doesn’t have the decency to stomach a little trout.

(I actually ate this in Buenos Aires, but Iceland’s fish was just as scrumptious)

You know how they talk about the Ugly American traveler?  A stick-in-the-mud tourist who is unwilling to adapt to a new culture while traveling?  This woman was the poster child of the Ugly American.  And “child” is a good word for her.  It was like she was refusing to eat her broccoli.  I’m getting a little too worked up over this.  Pump the brakes, Robert.  But seriously, when you go to Grandma’s house and she serves you crap food, you eat that food and lie and say it tastes great.  Just because you’re never going to see this Icelander again doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them the same courtesy.  And the craziest part was this was delicious fish.  It was caught, like, fifty feet away that day and wonderfully prepared.  Of all the times to give fish another shot, this would be it.  But nope, Ugly American Woman stuck to her guns.  All she ate was potatoes for the entire week.

Please, don’t ever be like her.  If you ever visit a place where the local food doesn’t meet your delicate sensibilities, for the sake of international relations, suck it up and eat.

27
Aug 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION 1 Comment
Articles

How to Feel Like You’re on Vacation at Work

Hi there, fellow traveler.  If you’ve been checking this site for the past few months, you might have noticed I haven’t posted anything new.  That’s not to say there hasn’t been anything worth perusing on here.  Allow me to direct you to my back catalog of videos.  I’ve got some oldies but goodies in there.

The reason I haven’t been Travel Buggin’ (Copyright, All Rights Reserved) is I’ve been doing this thing called “working.”  It took me a while to re-learn what this “working” consisted of, since I hadn’t been doing much of it last year.  Sure, I traveled the globe and produced videos and wrote posts about my experiences, but I don’t consider that “working.”  Those quotation marks only come into play when your weekdays involve going to an office for a set period of time, oftentimes at least eight hours a day.  And now that I’m knee-deep in this full-time whatnot, I don’t have as much time or energy to be Buggin’ (Copyright, All Rights Reserved).

It’s common sense, but the pro to having a stable job is a having a stable income.  With stability, though, comes some pretty dull days.  Upping the cups of coffee makes a few weeks go by more quickly, but eventually you want even more excitement than an extended caffeine buzz.  You start forgetting the cons of joblessness and only remember the thrill of having unlimited free time, where you could go on an exotic trip without the worry of making it back in time for Monday.  Your rational brain turns off, not considering that spending money on a trip while having no new money coming in will make you poor twice as fast.

So what are you to do?  How can you both keep your job and go on vacation?  After months of wanting both, I finally discovered the solution.  And you, lucky reader, are about to learn the secret:  bring your vacation to work.  With just a few simple steps, you can make even the dullest 9-5er feel like an exciting holiday.

Tray Tables Up
A big trip starts on an airplane, so that’s where your “vacation at work” should start, too:

-Put a filing cabinet under your desk so you don’t have any legroom.

-On your lunch break, overcook a frozen meal until it’s mushy and unrecognizable.  Then, as you eat it with plastic silverware and drink “from concentrate” orange juice, watch a sub-par movie on Netflix streaming.

-Find the most overweight coworker in your office and convince them to sit next to you and share your desk.  You’ll be fighting over a small amount of space, just like you do at 30,000 feet!

See the Sights
You’ve “landed” at your destination.  Now it’s time to enjoy yourself:

-Take lots of pictures, but try to vary the angles of your shots.  For example, a picture of a vending machine is much more interesting if it’s taken lying down on the ground.

-Blend in with the locals.  Do not wear loud clothing.  You’ll be pegged as a tourist, or, in office language, “That Guy.”  A safe outfit for men would include a collared shirt and pair of slacks.  For women, something covering the shoulders would be acceptable.  Also, respect the office’s local culture.  For example, if Susan always gets to pick her cupcake first on “Cupcake Fridays,” do not alter this tradition by picking yours first.  You will suffer the wrath of the locals, or at least the wrath of Susan (and you don’t want to be on Susan’s bad side, especially since you’re sharing a desk with her).

-Many foreign countries have open air markets where haggling is part of the purchasing process.  Before you agree on an assignment from your boss, try to talk him down to a more pleasing workload for yourself.  He will appreciate your shrewd sense of how business works.

Winter or Summer?
Both seasons offer their perks for a holiday, but decide which one you would like before “landing”:

-For a winter vacation, lower the office air conditioning to 61 degrees and listen to Björk.  Then, make yourself an extra large hot toddy and curl up next to your fireplace screensaver.

-For a summer vacation, apply sunscreen liberally to prevent burns from the florescent lights.  Keep a flask of coconut-flavored rum on hand to get a “taste of the tropics” whenever you want.  If you feel generous, offer a nip to your coworkers, but never to Susan.  She’s a snitch.

-Regardless of the vacation season you choose, drink alcohol at work.

These tips will hopefully help you get through the doldrums of an office job.  And as far as traveling on a budget, you can’t get a vacation much cheaper.  Let me know how it works out.  As for me, I’m off to ski down our emergency stairwell.

09
Apr 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
POSTED IN

Traveling Thoughts

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