Oct 15, 2008 - travel    14 Comments

The art of travel (is to keep shut about it afterwards)

For someone who loves traveling, I get seriously annoyed when people try and ram their traveling anecdotes down everyone’s throat.

This is wedding season in Pakistan and one gets to socialize with people from whom one normally stays away. One of the most talked about thing these days at such events are the travel stories (the other favorites are how much money one lost in stock market crash and when will President Zardari get married and to whom).

Recently, a friend’s husband was on and on about Raki this and Raki that (It’s an alcoholic beverage which is extremely popular in Turkey). Needless to say he just came back from Turkey and wanted the whole world to know how absolutely wonderful Raki was, how much he misses it here and how beautiful all Turkish women are. I seriously want him to visit some other country sooner and get something new to obsess over because the way he is on, he may name his soon to be born daughter Raki. Imagine living with a name like that!

Another travel related irritant is people starting every sentence with, “When I was in States/Ireland/Australia/Brazil/Timbuktu/insert your preferred destination blah blah blah.” This line literary becomes a prefix to every god damned sentence. If they think it is charming, let me take this opportunity to tell them that it is not.
There is a serious variety of travelers who are not too happy with their stories of London, New York or Dubai, after all, every Tom, Dick and Harshal has been to these places. They have to come up with more exotic locations to impress everyone around them. The two most popular destinations amongst this group are Machu Pichu and Angkor Wat. I once met a guy who went on and on about Alpaca farming in Peru. At that time, I did not even know what Alpaca (it’s a hairy domestic animal) was so I just kept on nodding my head like a moron, I only found out what an alpaca is when I saw ‘Aliens in America’ – three years later.

Once I met this girl whose every sentence started with words like ‘When I was in Paris’, ‘French food is so….’, ‘we stayed in a Château in … ’, and ‘French Riviera is so fab’. After regaling us with the tales of French sublime and exotica for a couple of hours, she casually asked me if I have traveled to any place recently. I quietly said, “Yes, I have. I just spent two weeks in Uganda and it was all VERY exotic.”

Mercifully that was the end of the tirade.


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  • Good Point. I find myself sometimes referring to a place in conversation…but for me its always somehow relavant to the story I’m telling…or maybe I just like to talk too damn much 🙂

  • Tazeen pissed. Very pissed! Tazeen no care fuck where you travel. Tazeen have you shut mouth. Tazeen no care what you drink! Tazeen pissed! Tazeen prefer you shut mouth when you travel as well. That way you no drink at all! Tazeen pissed! Very pissed! So pissed she burn poster of Raki Sawant!

  • AHA!!! So basically you wanted to tell us that you have spent two weeks in Uganda. 😛

    My experience tells me that you just need to ask one question about a place to such people – for the kicks you can ask about something you already know – baaaaaas. That starts a novel which only ends if you start looking the other way.

    No one has ever asked me any such question ever. DARNED!!!!

  • Whether I am in US, Canada, or Ireland, I enjoy reading your blog… and when traveling to and from these places, especially when I am hanging out at the airport in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Amesterdam, Frankfurt, AND, Geneva, I tell all, people that I run into, about your blog 😉

  • Ah Those irritants ! (Specially the Maachu pichu ones…. for some reason its the exotic place of the year….)

    Another thing… the real pain… when the bombard your inbox with 300 fotu slides when I don’t even care of what they wore or how they pose… Why don’t they understand that there is FB for that !

  • wel said girlie.. 😛 btw have u really been to Uganda?

  • eh i hate people who brag about going to the states as if that makes them the coolest people ever. Unfortunately you tend to meet alot of them at mehndis and weddings.

  • Alvi,

    Haha , you got that right, i wanted everyone to know that I have been to Uganda.


    Yes, but the trip was not exotic at all, it was work related and very insulated.


    I so hear ya my friend, some of them are so primitive that they dont even zip the files.


    You are the BEST 😀

  • And I thought I was the only one with stories tell about my travel from Malad to Santacruz every day.
    There two kinds of people, tourists and travelers. I actually like hearing the traveler’s stories over a beer or two or three or four. ok they really dont shut up at times.

  • but but but… you write blogs about yr travels with pics in them…

  • of course faisal,

    But did i ever start a sentence with, when i was in Tehran/bangkok/prague etc? No, i dont do that.
    When you travel, you are bound to mention that to your friends and family who are interested in your escapades anyways, but ramming useless info down the throats of random strangers, thats politically incorrect and downright obnoxious

  • so i m not allowed to tell u that i jus came back from sweden n tho i went there expectin meatballs and ikea… i found neither 🙁 ???

  • Tazeen, there used to be a well-known writer here in Bombay – Dom Moreas.

    years ago i noticed quite a few of his articles began with,”When i was in London…”, “When i last visited Glastonbury….”

    at that time i thought it was a rather pompous thing to hint that u’ve been all over the world

    i never read him again…ur article reminded me of him.


  • err… my situation is a little differnt. i think i am beginning to irritate people with my ‘WHEN I WAS IN KARACHI’ soliloquy.

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