29 August 2007

tourist or traveller?

From The Age travel blog - what makes someone a tourist or a traveller?

1. You're planning your trip. You're going to take:
a) Nothing! I'll buy clothes in each country so I can look more like a local.
b) A few sets of sturdy clothes, plus some little knick-knacks to give as gifts along the way.
c) Just the old clothes I always wear - and six pairs of shoes.
d) Whatever's on special at Kathmandu. Plus a hair dryer.

2. So far you've planned:
a) Plan? You can't plan travel . . . Just a one-way ticket will do me.
b) Just flights, and some accommodation here and there to get started.
c) All my flights and accommodation. It's a nightmare trying to find a place to stay once you get there.
d) Absolutely everything. No sense wasting time wondering what to do.

3. You know how to speak:
a) A few languages fluently. You know, I used to be able to speak Swahili, but I can only remember little bits of it now.
b) A few phrases in most languages. I can get by.
c) Er . . . Does Australian count as another language?
d) Just English! It's the universal language, you know.

4. Your idea of "overseas" is:
a) It has to be a non-English-speaking country. I don't feel challenged if everyone can speak my language.
b) Anywhere that'll give you jetlag.
c) Do you have to fly there? That'll do.
d) Tasmania.

5. You've arrived. How do you get around?
a) I'll gadge a lift off the local I got chatting to on the plane - might even be able to crash at his house!
b) Public transport - unless the taxis are really cheap.
c) My hotel's shuttle bus should be on its way ...
d) The tour company's picking me up. There's no way I'm dealing with locals yet.

6. You mainly take photos of:
a) Nothing - photos won't do the experience justice. And, er, I can't afford a camera.
b) All the people I meet - it's the only way to remember them all.
c) Sunsets. They're just incredible.
d) Me and my mates when we get hammered! Geez we do some funny stuff . . .

7. You think locals:
a) Seem pretty nice, but not like that hill tribe in Guatemala who invited me to share a traditional meal of minced toucan that one time . . .
b) Are so friendly - they keep trying to put their hands in my pockets and take me to their relatives' art galleries.
c) Are generally out to rip me off - but I'm onto them.
d) I don't know - can't understand a bloody word they're saying half the time.

8. The food here is:
a) A bit bland compared to the traditional meals I was eating in this Burmese village a few weeks ago . . .
b) Not bad - but geez I'm sick of getting the runs.
c) Touch and go. I'm craving a meat pie.
d) I took one bite and that was enough. Thank God there's a McDonald's here.

9. When you're away, you like to:
a) Immerse myself in the local culture. I dress like them, talk like them - half the time they don't even know I'm not one of them.
b) Do whatever the locals do. I want to see what life's really like here.
c) Check out a few museums, the major landmarks, then kick back at a cafe.
d) I usually take my tour leader's advice - but the pubs are always great!

10. Where will you be in two months' time?
a) Who knows! I'd email, but most places I go don't have internet access.
b) My itinerary says Argentina, but that could change.
c) In the office, probably surfing the net and planning my next trip.
d) Back home, hopefully. You can only live out of a suitcase for so long.

Okay, pens down and tally up those scores. Give yourself four points for every "a", three points for every "b", two points for every "c", and a big fat nought for every "d".

30-40 You're neither a tourist, nor a traveller - you're a knob. You like to think you've been there, and done it better than anyone else. You don't make many friends when you're forced to stay in hostels.
20-30 You're a traveller! Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up to you, but chances are you've seen a bit of the world, and are a fairly responsible traveller.
10-20 You're just on the cusp, and could fall either way. You probably used to travel quite a bit, but have since become older and a bit more high maintenance.
0-10 Sorry about this, but you're a rank tourist - your very existence is the reason tour operators, market sellers, hawkers and touts the world over get out of bed each morning. You find travel pretty annoying at times, but you feel like you need to tick the boxes. And hey, you've got some great sunset photos . . .

(Tasmania is part of Australia, it's the island state at the bottom)

I could easily turn into knob, but have seen enough of them to avoid turning into one.

Courtney came over for dinner after work, so I served baked salmon cutlets, roast potatoes and roast brussel sprouts using the recipe from Bogdan (see comments to Monday's post).

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