Vigilance on the Travel Trails

A person traveling with me tells me that I am the most vigilant traveler she’s traveled with in terms of security precautions, preemptive battles against scams, etc.

Other than a passport issue in Switzerland four years ago but besides that nothing bad has happened to me. Never been robbed or mugged and nothing’s been stolen from a hotel room (even though I always hide my stuff under mattresses etc especially in lower end hotels).

I’m not sure whether this actually makes me MORE vigilant. Perhaps if something like this happened, I’d realize its big picture insignificance. Until then, it’s an “unknown.”

Either way, I think I have an optimal amount of vigilance – I do venture into dangerous hoods, countries, etc. just always try to be safe…

Hunger and Bathroom Needs

I’ve gone TEN hours with no food. I’ve gone entire days with just a sandwich and a cliff bar.

I’ve gone hours having to go to the bathroom and not being able to.

International travel – where you don’t have access to a kitchen, don’t know where the clean bathrooms are, don’t know where the cheap/quick food options are (e.g. a Subway equivalent) – builds these capacities pretty well.

Language Thoughts

– “Ideas” is one of the hardest words for non-native speakers to pronounce. Especially in French but in all European languages.

– “Make” as a verb is overused by non-native speakers. For example, “let’s make a picture” instead of “let’s take a picture.” I assume it’s like me using tener as a catch-all verb in Spanish.

– I like how the Brits say “indeed” as a superlative. E.g., “Thank you very much indeed for that speech.”

– I remain fascinated by how non-natives have a very hard time selecting “this” or “that” – they select but it’s usually not the right one. Grammatically makes no difference but how it sounds to the ear…. For example, “The boys were being very rude at the show by yelling out at the audience. I can’t believe they acted like this.” The last word should be “that” — at least this sounds best to my ear.

Quote of the Day

“From our hours spent in airports we know that most Americans, when presented with large chunks of free time and removed from demanding home entertainment systems, will still find almost any excuse — a cell phone, a laptop, another bag of chips — not to pick up a book. To travel is to be continually reminded of the growing homelessness of the written word.” – Thomas Swick