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Benji Lanyado’s World Worsts


Name Benji Lanyado
Who? A travel journalist for (mostly) The Guardian and (sometimes) the New York Times.  He blogs at benjilanyado.com and tweets @benjilanyado He has double-jointed shoulders and isn’t afraid to use them.
Age 25

Titanic Nominations
1. Worst Bus Ride The journey from Sarajevo to Belgrade is a very powerful one, for the obvious political reasons.  My belly found it a little too much to take, and I was convulsed with explosive diarrhoea for the final hour.  Belgrade bus station experienced the wrath of my innards.
2. Worst Souvenir There is no such thing as a bad souvenir.  The worse they are, the better they are.  I pride myself on picking up cheap tack.  My favourite souvenir was a fridge magnet with a yellow mermaid on
it, waving a starry flag emblazoned with “Montevideo” and a flock of flamingos.  It glows in the dark.
3. Worst City for Driving Cairo.  The Egyptians abandoned peripheral vision many eons ago.  The Pharaohs, I believe, deemed it unnecessary.
4. Worst Train Ride On a night train from Krakow from Wroclaw, I was drugged and robbed.  Apparently it’s a semi-regular occurrence on night trains in Poland.  The robbers slip a canister of gas into your carriage, knock you out, and rob you. The bar stewards.  Luckily it was back in the mid-digital age (2004) so they only made off with a shitty camera and a Discman.
5. Worst Tourist Information Office: “Good afternoon sir, and welcome to Hoi An [Vietnam].  I have information for hotels, beach location and prostitute sex.  And also car hire.”
6. Worst Reaction to my Writing I once received a charming missive from Shanghai, in which the mailer requested that I would be “reincarnated as a flea on the anus of a dog”.  Bless him.

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Famous Travelers

  1. June 25th, 2009 at 14:35 | #1

    The fridge magnet sounds absolutely wonderful. I must have it! And I love that prostitute sex is more important than car hire in Hoi An.

  2. June 30th, 2009 at 06:49 | #2

    A minor point:’reincarnated as a flea on the anus of a dog’ is not in the Buddhist doctrine. It comes from an excellent novel, ‘Bangkok 8′ by John Burdett.
    Gareth Powell

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