Almost painful demonstration of how to get the toilet handle out of the toilet.
Airline Outrages: Spirit Airline to charge $45 for carry-on bags, Ryanair to charge 1 Euro for using the toilet
Looks like a competition is heating up to see which airline is the biggest airhole this summer. Tough choice. Any thoughts?
photo by rivard via flickr
|World’s Worst Toilets|
|1st||China||18.8% of votes|
|2nd||India||15.9% of votes|
|4.5% of votes
3.9% of votes
3.3% of votes
3.3% of votes
3.2% of votes
3.2% of votes
A special Titanic shout out to France and Italy for showing they wish to be known for more than just their football teams and cuisine.
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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
Countries visited: 68, because I’m counting Tasmania as a country all its own. And Tibet, of course.
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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Name Tim Cahill
Who? Winner of a National Magazine Award and two Lowell Thomas Gold Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, Tim is one of America’s best known adventure travel writers and humorists. He’s a founding editor of Outside Magazine, where he penned the Out There column for years. He is the author of nine books including Hold the Enlightenment, Pass the Butterworms, A Wolverine is Eating My Leg, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh, Pecked to Death By Ducks, Road Fever and Lost in My Own Backyard. His work also appears in National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, The New York Times Book Review and other national publications. He lives in Montana.
Countries visited About 100.
1. Worst Name for a Night Club The Disco of the Giant Ground Sloth, Puerto Natales, Chile
2. Worst Wire Ever Tapped International call at a “Tourist” Hotel in Beijing. Heard during a fifteen minute conversation with my wife: *Click, buzz, click* *a heavy sigh* *sounds of someone eating* followed by *a long satisfied belch.*
3. Worst Menu Item in an Actual Restaurant Boiled Fermented Cow’s Nose, Denpasar, Bali (there is a note on this item, in English “the flavor may not agree with some Westerners.” True, that.)
4. Worst Outhouse The Throne of Terror, built at an archeological dig near Lake Paytexbatun, Guatemala. Archeologists are not biologists and constructed the two holer over an existing vertical cave populated by bats. Visitors are obliged to deal the common travelers’ ailment while angry bats swoop and dive about in a maelstrom of rage.
5. Worst Traveling Companion A guy named Lazslo. No one in particular, just any guy named Lazslo.
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Name Tony Wheeler
Countries Visited I’m at 141 (just in transit at an airport does not count)
Who? Founder of Lonely Planet publications, writer, unreformed traveler
1. Worst Pizza Many contenders but the pub in Nimbin, northern New South Wales, Australia wins. How could the Australian centre for dope smoking, hippy free living produce something so bloody awful?
2. Worst Toilet Darchen in Tibet, Australians talk of ‘long drop’ outhouses. This was the opposite, a vertical mountain of shit, a long climb to the top.
3. Worst First World Airport Terrible third world airports are no great achievement, LAX and Charles de Gaulle compete for the titles of worst in the first world.
4. Worst Visa Queue India gives you the longest line but for sheer tedious slowness followed by absurd, Kafkaesque, mind bogglingly stupid bureaucracy when you get to the front, the Russians are the clear winners.
5. Worst Drivers The Saudis. Missing guardrails or paint scrapes on the rockface at every corner prove, yet again, that warp speed is fine for the straights but you still have to slow down for the corners.
6. Worst Traffic Jams Bangkok passed the baton on to Manila, but despite competition from Dubai the place that is way out in front – i.e. completely stationary – is Shanghai.
7. Worst Connectivity Why is high tech Japan the only place in the first world where my mobile phone doesn’t roam and my ATM card can’t pull money out of the machine?
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UPDATE: The pub that made Tony’s list for worst pizza is now a bistro under new management and would like everyone to know that they no longer have pizza on the menu.
Name Pauline Frommer
Who? Creator of the Pauline Frommer Guidebooks and Co-Host The Travel Show, a nationally syndicated radio show. Pauline appears weekly on CNN.com to discuss the latest travel trends and pens a column for MSN.com. Her guidebook Pauline Frommer’s New York City was just named Best Guidebook of the Year by the North American Travel Journalists Association.
Countries Visited I don’t know. I visited too many before the age of 10 to be able to know how to count ‘em up.
Quick: what do you call a transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Newark with a backed up toilet spilling human excrement down the aisle for seven hours? Continental Airlines called it “poor conditions.” Probably not the words passenger Collin Brock would have used. He felt “physically abused and neglected,” he told Seattle’s KING-TV in his home state. The flight was diverted to Shannon, Ireland to fix the problem. But after the extra stop and delay, the sewage flooding developed again when the plane took off. The reported culprit was a latex glove someone had tried to flush down the loo. Continental apologized to its customers and issued vouchers.
Name John Flinn
Who? Former executive travel editor, San Francisco Chronicle
Countries Visited 37
1. Worst Wine Chateau Gue, a Zimbabwean Chenin Blanc
2. Worst Toilet Deep-freeze outhouse at old Pruitt Hut, Russia’s Mount Elbrus
3. Worst Local Delicacy Hakarl, Iceland’s putrid shark taste treat
4. Worst Pizza Canned spaghetti on toast, New Zealand, 1982
5. Worst Timeshare Hustlers Cabo San Lucas
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