Money belt monoboob and other travel complaints

You’re lucky if you have the chance to travel, so going around complaining is pretty lame.  That said, nothing brings people together like shared whining.  So, in the spirit of solidarity, I give you my travel complaints:

  • Glass coffee tables.  Being able to rent an apartment for a few nights is an affordable luxury.  The chance to cook, do laundry, and enjoy a bit of privacy in the middle of a hectic itinerary is the advantage of this new Airbnb era.  Perhaps it is just coincidence but the majority of apartments we stay in seem to have glass coffee tables.  For an insomniac like me who often walks around disoriented in the dark of night, glass tables are an extreme health and safety hazard.  Airbnb decorators of the world, I beg you, my kneecaps beg you, enough of the glass coffee tables already!
  • Money belt monoboob.  HOB and I have never been pick-pocketed though we’ve visited plenty of pickpocket infested areas—that’s because we keep our valuables tucked inside a money belt underneath our clothes.  We both started out with traditional around-the-waist money belts which we found uncomfortable.  These days we wear special shirts with a chest-level hidden pocket.  These shirts are comfortable and feel more secure.  Safe, comfortable and completely unflattering..  Yeah, turns out if you’ve got a bunch of stuff crammed into a pocket over your chest, you look like the queen of the flat-chested monoboob kingdom.  And of course in 99% of the pictures of me on the internet I’m wearing the money belt-shirt so, yeah, that’s not so great for my ego.   I just want you all to know that I have boobs, two boobs, okay?usausa
  • Lack of infrastructure for people with disabilities.  While other countries seem to associate the United States with junk food, 20th century t.v. shows, and sketchy 21st century  foreign policy,  I wish often we could be associated with our more progressive achievements instead: for example, the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Of course lots of countries excel at access, but it’s not enough just to have well-intentioned people doing their best—it has to be the law.  So many places suffer from lack of accessible facilities; in public buildings, museums and transportation.  Travel is a party we all should be invited to and excluding people with disabilities is a giant party pooper.
  • Shower curtains (or lack thereof).  I mean, we stay in cheap places so we can’t complain too much but what’s the deal with so many hotels having no shower curtains?  There’s just no possible way to get clean without spraying water everywhere.  Or the shower that’s just a handheld spray-head—- how can you suds up and hold the sprayer at the same time without a third arm?  Or then there’s the opposite problem: tiny showers with curtains that cling to your body.  Ewwwwwwwww!trash1
  • Garbage.  Traveling makes so much trash.  Just think of it, the obscene amount of trash from just one plane ride.  Then after the plane ride—still more trash from eating and drinking on the go.  At home we drink filtered tap water from a reusable bottle, but while traveling we are often drinking bottled water and without ready access to recycling, those plastic water bottles turn into more garbage.  And street food is a notorious trash producer.  Half of our vacation photos show me stuffing my face with street food goodies out of plastic bags or Styrofoam containers with plastic cutlery—my street food habit makes me a one-woman garbage monster.audiotours
  • Audio tours.  Speaking of garbage, let’s talk about audio tours and how much they suck.  Some audio tours—most notoriously the free with admission variety—are ridiculously self congratulatory (I’m looking at you, Palazzo Doria Pamphili and Cathedral of León.)  Others suck in their own special ways, like the audio tour of the Clock Tower of Rouen that is narrated by “the ghost of the tower” and the vapidly orientalist narration of the audio tour in the Alhambra.  Audio tours also suck because you end up tangled with these bulky things around your neck, getting the straps caught up with your camera, backpack and binoculars.  However, if you are going to get audio tours, by all means use them with pizzazz, like the German couple in the photo above who rocked the matching outfit/hairstyle/audio tour look.
    nope
  • Photography restrictions.   Why the fudgsicle do so many places prohibit photography?  WHY WHY WHY WHY?  Hey museums, do you have a sick desire to frustrate travel bloggers?  Don’t you want people to photograph your collection and put those pictures online and hashtag the living bejeezus out of them so more people will visit and you’ll make money from ticket sales and sucky audio tours???????
    tweak

    If you ban photography, how am I ever going to get another shot like this?

    Okay, let’s face it, these things are annoying but not a moral outrage.  But hey, a little light kvetching between friends can be entertaining.  What are your top travel complaints?

    matchingturtlenecks

    I really hate it when I pack for a trip and it turns out my husband packed a matching turtleneck so we end up looking like Germans in all our photos….

 

 

 

33 comments

  1. I hate it when the signs for the mens/womens require you to stop and solve a puzzle. So inconvenient.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I’m so desperate I just guess and turn around if I see urinals…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I hate those non photo signs, I really can not understand why they wouldn’t like a bit of free advertisement. Mind you it took the National Trust here many years before they would allow photography in any of their buildings…….but they do now, which I am so thankful for 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand the no photo policy in churches when a service is in progress, but otherwise, what harm does a non-flash photo do? I’m happy the National Trust allows photos now because I love your pictures so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, so glad you love the photos it means a lot. And I love all the strange weird (in the nicest possible way) places that you take us to 🙂 so heres to lots of travelling and photographing for both of us and our other halves of course 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “what harm does a non-flash photo do?” – It destroys exclusivity, and they might argue a reason for people to visit physically.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I understand visiting art in person—after all I go though a great deal of effort to do just that—but like every one else, I only have a finite amount of money and time for travel and the ability to research art and architecture via the internet has been quite helpful. Also, it is difficult to write an engaging blog post without photos.

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  3. Pretty much on the money, I think.
    I have to say I’d rather no shower curtain than a shower curtain, even with the mess it makes. Anything to avoid fighting it.
    I guess my biggest gripe is mobile phones and either paying huge fees using your home telco or the hassles of getting a new sim card. It seemed on our last trip I spent half our time away in a telco shop!
    Actually, I was wrong, I have one bigger gripe and that is why light switches in hotels appts etc have to be hidden?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We carry a phone that doesn’t need a new sim in every country, which is great, but calls/texts are extremely expensive. I once managed to not hang up a call correctly while we were in Georgia and the fee was gigantic!

      I don’t normally have difficulty with hotel light switches but never can seem to figure out how to control the heat.

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  4. I love the matching turtle neck part!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have matching backpacks too—-twice the dorkiness!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Why do German couples always look like brother and sister? Or are they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Germans are quite practical. They get the two-for-one discount on haircuts and travel gear.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I also find the no photo policy frustrating, particularly as I suspect it is all a plan to make you buy over priced postcards of the key attractions in the gift shop rather than any genuine need to protect them. It also generally results in lots of people subtly (or not so subtly!) flouting the rules and taking pictures anyway which, as a stereotypical rule abiding Brit, possibly annoys me as much as the ban. When we visited the Vatican a number of years ago photography was allowed in most areas but not in the Sistine Chapel, the bit that most people actually wanted a photo of. The argument was that it is a sacred space that should be respected but all that was achieved was one very irate and loud security guard running backwards and forwards, grabbing at cameras and shouting – significantly more disruptive than allowing photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do hate it when people use flash, despite “no flash” policies. That can actually damage art, unlike typical photography. That’s a rule I like to see enforced.

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  7. I haven’t once been able to handle an audio tour. For some reason, no matter what I do, they continue to fall off. I must have a really small head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps that’s blessing in disguise—I know from working at museums for a long time that the audio tours are not sufficiently cleaned….

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  8. I need to travel again so I can share a gripe – it’s been so long, I can’t remember anything. I think it’s hysterical that those two guys are sitting there not looking at the work – just listening to the audio. Hmmm. I want to see a picture of the monoboob shirt, please. Sounds much better than the money belt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Airlines with different rules for size and weight of baggage which finds me unpacking the dubious contents of my suitcases and carry on bags in departure areas of airports in ‘Europe under the fascinated gaze of fellow travelers. They like the bit where I bust a gut weighing the damn things best…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve given up trying to understand the airline rules and just hope they let me bring the thing on. I do arrange my things a bit before the flight (like what I’m keeping in the overhead and what stays by my feet). I can only hope my fellow travelers are in awe of my variety of snacks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the best part is the way people fall back if I am obliged to open the case containing the kippers

        Liked by 1 person

  10. We just returned from Japan and Seoul, SK. In the most modern areas of central Seoul, which do look wonderfully modern and architecturally cool, I noticed the wonderful colourful paving was smooth and then other areas, where artfully designed gradiated steps were dangerous if you weren’t paying attention to your step. Sadly not great for cane walkers nor wheelchairs.

    I noticed very large super busy with commuters at major train rail stations in Tokyo, Kyoto and Seoul, barely had elevators that were easily visible or even big enough for multiple users. I’m talking about train stations that have over at minimum 1-2 million commuters and visitors, flowing daily through those the major hubs where there are several rail lines converging through 1 station.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so jealous of your trip and I’m looking forward to reading your posts about it. (I’m not allowed to go to Korea because I would eat so much I couldn’t get into the airplane home).

      China had similar problems. One public bathroom I used had a wheelchair access stall, but the bathroom itself was only accessible by stairs.

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      1. Should something tomorrow released to the Internet. 🙂 Hint: it starts off with food.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. My partner has a knee problem which slowing him down now…so stuff like this noticeable. And I lived in Toronto where it has 1 million commuters and visitors flowing through daily, Front Street subway station, a major station. It has visible elevators right in the middle of the station in several areas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear about his knee problem—was he able to travel okay despite being slowed down?

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  12. Anyway, on the other side, I was impressed to see a lot of people walking up and down staircases beside escalators in those stations. Also old people that you would seldom see in Canadian major cities doing this because it becomes crowded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Japanese people live longer than almost everyone in the world—maybe the exercise is part of the reason why.

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  13. There was 1 day in shanghai he had to rest abit. Shanghai had some high pedestrian bridges over busy multi-lane roads that were several stories of staircases. It sounded ugly aesthetically (to me).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve rented apartments through HomeAway. Recently they introduced new fees which must be pretty exorbitant for the owners, so the owners try work-arounds. If I even have any correspondence with one of these rebellious owners, HomeAway send me a sternly worded warning letter about breaking the rules, which I am way too cautious to actually do. So far I’ve avoided AirBnB because I keep reading horror stories, but maybe it’s time to take a chance…

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