Kim Mance’s World Worsts
Name Kim Mance
Who? Host of Galavanting.tv and editor of the online travel magazine GoGalavanting.com. She also writes a bunch of travel stuff around the internet (eg The Huffington Post) and is host of TBEX ‘10, a gathering of travel bloggers and new media writers.
Countries Visited 33
1. Worst Cliché Found in Travel Writing “I’ll definitely be back soon.” Yes, we’ve all wanted to return to a place. We get it.
2. Worst Airline Air Tran. When the flight attendant began screaming in my face, the first thought that came to mind was, “Hmmm, I wonder if she’s bi-polar or just really hates her job.” Either way, it didn’t bode well that for the next few moments of flight prep as I tried to turn off my cell phone as quickly as possible while she continued to scream. And though the other passengers were all looking at me as if to say, “Don’t worry, we know it’s not okay: But the tickets were cheap — and they lost our baggage too”, I couldn’t help but look at my friend and giggle and while thinking to myself that shouting at passengers is inappropriate, whether or not I turned off my cell phone within a split second of notifying my husband the flight was ridiculously delayed. But that giggle did not please her in the slightest and she threatened to throw me off the plane. Wow. It was then I decided that I would never again fly Air Tran. Ever, ever.
3. Worst City for Driving Tirana, Albania. Driving in Albania was both one of the worst and most exhilarating experiences of my life. I was driving, but on parade. It’s one of the places on earth where women are quite expected to stay in the passenger seat. And when they don’t it’s a downright public exhibition. But I was legally allowed to drive — so I did. Traffic police at various intersections neglected their duties to gawk at me, pedestrians stopped to stare. Male drivers glared as though I might as well have been a mass murderer. For I dared to drive. And in the meantime, I seamlessly negotiated traffic that was similar to what I would imagine to be Parisians on crack.
4. Worst Ride on an Animal Jerusalem, Israel. Soon after being lifted into the air atop the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City, the camel seemed sad and I seemed clichéd. Then after mere moments, the camel — defeated — bent down and I paid its owner some Shekels. I quickly wished I were back in the Arab Quarter eating greasy falafels marveling at citizens carrying weapons and learning to play a lute. Followed, of course, by a very chewy cup of coffee served by the charming shopkeeper.
5. Worst Beer Brussels, Belgium (surprisingly) Before I really liked beer much, a friend convinced me to taste raspberry fruit beer in Belgium. It made me want to vomit. It turns out, I was more of a Guinness girl. Sorry, Belgium. I love thee otherwise, and have since realized many of your beers are delicious and nuanced; but that was some seriously icky stuff.