Edward Hasbrouck’s World Worsts
Name Edward Hasbrouck
Who? Author of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World, blogger at www.hasbrouck.org and travel agent guru.
Countries Visited 54 (and hoping to keep that number higher than my age!)
1. Worst Airline Emirates. Consistently incompetent and unhelpful staff at ticket counters
and sales offices on 4 continents.
2. Worst Toilet A hole in the ground behind our “hotel” in Tashkurgan, Chinese-occupied
East Turkestan, only partially screened from public view and blowing dust,
and surrounded by an ankle-breaking mound of rubble and refuse.
3. Worst Airport Dubai. I was predisposed to dislike DXB (see my choice for Worst Airline), but it was worst than I imagined. Changing planes in the middle of the night, I want a place I can rest — not the cacophony of a shopping mall where I have to fight my way through crowds buying raffle tickets for luxury cars, or trip over rows of transit passengers sleeping on the floor for want of chairs.
4. Worst Inflight Meal (Domestic) Aeroflot: Bread and water. (International) PIA. Don’t ask, don’t tell.
5. Worst City for Driving Sana’a, Yemen. Deadly recklessness and unpredictability. Underpowered, ill-maintained vehicles with bad brakes and bald tires, and not enough pedestrians, bicycles, or animals to slow them down to a safer speed. (Runner-up: Townships in South Africa, where there are urban areas with more than a million people with few street signs and no maps, and where a wrong turn can put you at risk of robbery or carjacking. Map Studio, the Rand McNally of South Africa, just published its first map to Soweto in time for the World Cup, and has none for any other township.)
6. Worst Car Rental Fox Rent-A-Car, LAX. Tried to charge me US$200 in damages because my car got a flat tire (while with the valet parkers at my hotel!), and referred their claim to a collection agency when I didn’t pay.