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Jeff Greenwald’s World Worsts

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Name Jeff Greenwald
Who? Contributor to such publications as National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Salon.com, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. Jeff is also a performer, whose solo stage show, “Strange Travel Suggestions,” has been running since 2003. Two of his five books include Shopping for Buddhas and The Size of the World. Jeff also serves as Executive Director of Ethical Traveler, a worldwide alliance of politically engaged travelers. More at jeffgreenwald.com and ethicaltraveler.org
Age: 55
Countries visited:  68, because I’m counting Tasmania as a country all its own. And Tibet, of course.

Titanic Nominations
1. Worst Place to be Salman Rushdie I love the billboard over one of Tehran’s big intersections: “On the Day the US Praises Us We Should Mourn.” (Does loving the billboard count as praise?)
2. Worst Place to be Caught without a Seat Protector The toilet on the China Railways train from Golmud to Xining looked like a holding pen for baboons with spastic sphincters.
3. Worst Place to Fall Asleep in a Car One crosses Sri Lanka on twisting two-lane highways with buses passing on blind turns at 120 kph. I’m not 100% sure that I’m not actually dead.
4. Worst Country on the Planet Mauritania is the world’s largest cat litter box. And some people still own slaves. Chengueti, shmengueti; give it a miss.
5. Worst Place to Blow Your Nose and Look at the Handkerchief Afterward Kathmandu, Nepal, has long been one of my favorite places on Earth. I’m still giddily happy there, but you can hardly tell through the particle filter mask.

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