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Travel Tips for Brats

The following list was sent to me by my neice. Shannon is currently travelling Europe researching wine bars. These travel anecdotes are so good I felt they should be shared....Thanks Shannon. Keep the tips coming.

To update information on this list please go to the can.military-brats newsgroup and start a new thread called "Travel Tips". I will pick up your new suggestions from there and will add them to the list for everyone to see in the future.

  1. When you are in a park by yourself, without any water, cut an orange instead of peeling an orange. This is less messy.

  2. When you are in a park by yourself, don`t smile at old men. They think this means that you like them.

  3. spanish people are beautiful dressed (especially the men)

  4. chocolate melts in your pack when it is 28 degrees outside.

  5. i have a frescoe fettish i never knew about

  6. lots of sangria makes a 12 hour train ride go very fast

  7. train food is worse than ferry food, but better than airplane food

  8. backpackers can spot eachother from a mile away (like when you get a new car and you suddenly notice all other cars like yours)

  9. i will always look like a tourist, so it is better to look like like a poor tourist than a rich one

  10. you can never get lost if you have no idea where you are in first place

  11. if you walk for 8 hours, then dance for 4 hours, you will have sore feet

  12. you have to look out for landmines (dogpoo) in Spain

  13. when ordering fish at a restaurant, it is better to ask "without the face"

  14. never use the default ring on your Nokia cell phone, you will hear it around the world

  15. if you hear a "hiss" or a "meow" it is probably not a cat. It is a man checking you out.

  16. the apple juice(from green apples) is very tasty...(editor's note: she couldn't find any blue apples)

  17. I am visiting grocery stores more frequently than I did at home. go figure

  18. if you see a local teenager standing in front of the bank looking at international exchange rates, he is probably not a world financier. He is a pickpocket.

  19. when using a map, it is harder to figure out where you are than where you want to go

  20. when beer and wine is cheaper than water, it is challenging to keep hydrated

  21. Porteguese pigeons look the same as Canadain pigeons, but different than Spanish pigeons

  22. if you go on a taste-tour of port wine vineyards, it is a good idea to eat something before-hand

  23. if you go on a taste-tour of merlot wine vineyards, it is a good idea to eat something before-hand (okay i did not learn the first time)

  24. mankinds greatest inventions may very well be zip-lock bags and zip-off pants

  25. i previously took toilet paper for granted

  26. if there are 15 million people in Australia, at least 5M of them must be travelling Europe

  27. if you go to the Ballet in Paris, you will cry during the standing ovation

  28. it is a good idea to tie your sandals outside your pack, that way you save room (plus they may stink)

  29. before you get on a subway, it is a good idea to make sure it is going the right way

  30. it is socially acceptable in France to eat crepes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is good.

  31. in real life, the statue of "The Thinker" is very big, and the painting of the "Mona Lisa" is very small

  32. when packing for a trip, it is a good idea to bring a belt so your pants do not always fall down after you lose some inches from walking every day

  33. Jesus alway looks the same in paintings, so I guess that's what he really looked like.

  34. they really do have poodles everywhere in France

Observations from Brussels and Amsterdam:

  1. they have mini-zambonis that clean the dog poo off the streets...very cool.

  2. although they look very similar, it is better to walk on the sidewalk instead of the bike path

  3. it is a good idea to lock the bathroom door, especially when the stall faces a restuarant full of people

  4. the red-light district gives "window shopping" a whole new meaning

  5. my favorite sex toy seen in the red light district..."Vibrating teenager"...guess you had to be there

  6. take lots of kleenex to the Anne Frank Museum

  7. it is good to eat Mussels and little pankakes while in Amsterdam

Switzerland...Zurich,Lucerne, Interlakken, Lauterbrunnen, Jungfrau mountain range, Geneva, Montreaux.

  1. - when you see an English spoken movie (subtitled in German) you will often be the only person laughing in the entire theater...something lost in the translation I guess

  2. - when you have a locker for your stuff in the hostel, it is better NOT to lock your key inside the locker

  3. - when you hear the sound of bells approaching in Switzerland, you are either being chased by a cow or are in the way of a bike

  4. - swiss yogurt and swiss chocolate are really yummy

  5. - australians call the trunk and hood of a car the "boot and the bonnet"

  6. - if you only have aluminum foil and a coat hanger to make a Halloween costume, you can be a great porthole

  7. - if you are wierd enough to be a porthole (which of course i was) you will win first prize for originality

  8. - when it is Halloween and everyone is drunk, do not leave your bag on the floor or else a drunk girl will pee on it (i got free laundry though)

  9. - when swans are happy they wag their tail like dogs

  10. - when you are in the middle of now where in Switzerland, you can see every star in the sky at night

  11. - when you have a small travel/sport towel and have to take your clothes to the shower, do NOT tell your friends this or they can steal your clothes and you will have to run naked back to your room

  12. - when you are climbing a glacier do NOT lick the ice (the idiot beside me did this)

  13. - tap water is really yummy in Switzerland, and you save lots of $$$

  14. - if you loose your sandals in Geneva, you can always write a good sad country song about it..."Lost my Tevas in Geneva"
Heading for Italy....more to come...


  1. - when opera singers are hugging and singing at the same time, it must really be loud and hurt their ears

  2. - after almost 10 weeks in Europe, I have counted over 17 different mechanisms for flushing the toilet.

  3. - "The Cosby Show" is very popular in Italy. However, the Huxtables are called the Robinsons because italians cannot pronounce Huxtable.

  4. - if you drink three grappas (a firewater digestiv) after dinner, you should be careful getting up from the chair afterwards

  5. - the dead people in Pompeii are pretty creepy, some of them are clenching their teeth. You may have to hold your girlfriends hand while walking through creepy bits.

  6. - Pompeiions were only 5 feet tall

  7. - Margharita pizza is named after Queen Margharita, and symbolizes the colors of the italian flag: red tomato sauce, white mozaralla cheese, and green basil

  8. - when you are standing on the spot where Julius Caesar was killed and someones recites Marc Anthonys Shakespeare speech (Friends...Lend me your ears) you will get goosebumps

  9. - when you attend Sunday Mass in the Pantheon, and the rain is coming through the dome in the ceiling, and there is a thunder and lightening storm outside which echoes through the temples, and the choir is singing, and the smell of incense is in the air, you will get goosebumps

  10. - when it is pouring rain and you have been walking for 5 hours without an umbrella, you will get goosebumps

  11. - when you go to St Peters square to be blessed by the Pope, he sounds pretty old and coughs alot, but it is still pretty neat

  12. - when the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is cleaned in preparation for the upcoming Holy Jubilee, some of the loincloths (added to Michangelos controversial nude scenes) painted on the weenies might come off

  13. - in italy, a kiss on each cheek is the standard greeting. if somebody really likes you, then you get a second round of kisses to total 4

  14. - the above tradition originated from ancient times when women were not citizens but instead virginal slaves who were not allowed to drink alcohol. Their masters would come home and kiss them on each cheek to smell their breath.

  15. - I am really glad I was not born 2000 years ago
Observations from Greece:

  1. - they really like the song "Eye of the Tiger" here

  2. - to hail a taxi in greece, you stand on the street and shout your destination to the driver as he goes by. If your destination pleases him, he will stop.

  3. - it is better NOT to eat an olive off a tree. This is because olives are cured in brine for a year after they are picked to lose their extremely bitter taste.

  4. - it IS good to pick tangerines off a tree and eat them

  5. - if you go to an american movie with greek subtitles, you will lose track of the storyline because the greek letters are so cool

  6. - if you are being followed by a weird old man, just turn around to face him, remove your sunglasses, and stare him down. He will run away. This is becasue a common Greek superstition is "the evil eye", which greeks believe are blue. Yes, this actually happenend to me.

  7. - when you are on a bus, the bus driver will cross himself every time he drives by a church. He will also stop for gas (at a regular gas station), while everyone on board gets off the bus to smoke in very close proximity to the gas tanks

  8. - if you hear a strange moaning sound early Sunday morning, it is not the couple next door having loud sex. It is the muslim chants in the mosque down the road.

    That pretty much sums it up folks. I am not sure if I will have access to email on the Greek islands, so I will sign off now.

    I have seen many beautiful places, met great people, and learned alot about the world and myself.

    Although I have revelled in the spontaneity and freedom of a nomadic life, I am also looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and seeing all of you (not in my bed of course, I mean after that).

    And Mom, do not worry about the nose ring...the infection cleared up just fine. Gotcha!



    Many Thanks Shannon for sharing your trip with us. We have all had a good chuckle and have marvelled at your determiniation and wisdom. We look forward to seeing you home soon.

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