September 29, 2006

When I say “I can’t stand snivelling tourists” — I really mean whiners — people who complain that the food tastes different and that nobody speaks English. I sort of see that as the point of travel. Well in preparation for the 2008 Olympics the Chinese government has developed an early warning system to identify such travellers. Upon entering China you will be given a from that asks you to check a box if you “Snivel”.

I think the intended meaning was: the act of breathing heavily through the nose (as when the nose is congested) rather than my usage of: cry or whine with snuffling; “Stop snivelling–you got yourself into this mess!” Of course, their way makes it much less useful.

One of the small annoyances and occasional amusements of travel is the baffling array of paperwork at every border, and China’s form is certainly not the first to offer a chuckle. Here is the Argentine Immigration form listing one of several occupation choices as simply “employee”.

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September 25, 2006

Tokyo We left LAX 12 hours ago and are in the Tokyo Airport. We leave for Beijing in 2 hours. It still doesn’t feel real, but I am guessing it will hit me when I finally leave the sterile confines on the airport. I spent a few hours on the plane getting a few of my impressions of burning man written up for fear that if I didn’t get them out now, I never would. It feels good to be working on the blog again. I am not sure why it is so hard to do when I am in the US.

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