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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Most unusual travel experience?

    What would you say your most unusual experience while travelling has been? However you want to define "unusual."

    In terms of an unusual trip or unusual overall situation, I'd probably cite my trip with my parents and brother to communist Russia when I was 5 (or had I just turned 6?) - to Leningrad, now St Petersburg.

    For "most unusual incident" - hmmm. I've had a few. Perhaps being in Cairo with my American friend and some Yemeni guys who were friends of hers, and having a firecracker chucked under our feet by some idiot young guys in Khan al-Khalili market.
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  2. #2
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    I was in greece in 2003 when the Iraq war started.

    I and some of the people I was traveling with had rocks thrown at us because we were Americans.

  3. #3
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    having a firecracker chucked under our feet by some idiot young guys in Khan al-Khalili market.
    Ugh. Khan al-Khalili. That would not surprise me at all.
    When I was there, I went with a white guy from New York who bought a keffiyeh and proceeded to wear it for the entire time we were there. A shop owner cat-called him by yelling in Arabic: "Yasser Arafat! King of the Arabs!!"

    As for my most unusual travel experience... I was in Alexandria when Morsi was elected. That was pretty cool. People celebrated in the streets into the wee hours of the morning.
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  4. #4
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    For two totally different takes on this question:

    -When in London with my family, wandering some of the streets near where a lot of the governmental/intelligence buildings (or abodes of said diplomats/associates) are apparently clustered, I was happily and innocently taking photos and half a block later got interrogated by a London policeman/security person, who had run after me and was hollaring to me. [My brother was extra embarrassed on my behalf.] Fortunately my camera wasn't taken and I was deemed innocent? lol.

    -When in the amazon rainforest, on the last day while visiting the home of an Achuar villager, only 5 minutes after entering and while we were all waiting for chi-cha (don't know how to spell it...it's the fermented beverage there), I suddenly had the dire need for a bathroom. So I had to awkwardly excuse myself and run out into the jungle to take care of business. lol. (the only other time this has happened to me was when I was in Peru years before, and in both cases it was due to my body having too much fruit on a given day and in both cases there was no toilet paper present - bah! Fun times. )

    Oh. And the only time to date that I've ever gotten a ticket while driving was while in New Zealand. Those South Islanders are very prickly about tourists. One reported me and an hour later I was pulled over.
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  5. #5
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    hmmm... there's always driving to Columbus, GA with the radio in my car out... I had the song Downtown stuck in my head but only knew the word Downtown... so I sang that over and over to myself in the car

    or the time that my sis and I got pulled over in Wisconsin because she was speeding and I had to pay her ticket on the spot to prevent them from finding her stash in MY car and arresting both of us

    or the time growing up when we were staying in a hotel on top of a mountain and the alternator in the car went out... we coasted down the mountain to the town at the bottom so that my dad could sweet talk a garage into letting him borrow some space to repair it on his own

    there's also the time that the man and I were in the bahamas and some random dude wouldn't leave us alone for ANYTHING... the man handed him $20 and told him to scram... he claimed that wasn't enough to feed his hos so I threatened to punch him in the balls and he left looking really offended... he was about my height and skinnier than I am, so not much of a threat

    or always crawling into the back of the last cab of the night completely wasted while in Brazil and asking for a ride to the convent... the cab driver asked WHY?!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I'm not well travelled but I've had some odd and memorable travelling experiences, I know that one which stands out was to do with travelling on a train and I was getting off and there was a black woman struggling, pretty ineffectually with a trolley bag, I was standing to one side and an elderly english guy moved to lend a hand and then said "You could have helped her couldnt you?", this is something which I've thought about and debated about since whether to lend a hand or stand the hell out of the way and let others find their way or sort themselves out.

    Some people do things, messing with their baggage etc. to draw attention to themselves, others its the last thing they want. Even if they want attention, should you bother? Sometimes I think people should get their own shit in order and be left to do so, the best thing you can do is get out of their way and leave them to it, I dont mind lending a hand but not when I'm sure someone is expecting it and relying on it, especially if they are arrogant about it (this, I've come to realise, can be quite apart from any real or imagined status or social class, some people feel others should be at their beck and call and are unashamed about it).

    I know on another occasion a bus driver asked me if I could give directions to a chinese or asian girl who was getting off at the same stop as me, didnt have good english and was trying to get to a place from the stop that involved a fairly circuitous route around two ajoining areas in the dark of winter in an outlying area of Dublin. I had said yeah sure but the girl in question became suspiscious of me, probably the usual "stranger danger" fear that I was leading her into an ambush or something and took off in her own direction, I felt bad about that even though I can understand it and I felt I'd be less liable to volunteer to give anyone directions again because I'd feel responsible.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I knew someone who worked with my brother in a supermarket and had to take time out of work to deal with trauma, she and her boyfriend had gone to some European nation, I think it could have been holland, anyway, it was one which you wouldnt associate with being dangerous like some third world ghetto or something but they were seriously accosted and there was an attempted kidnapping as they left a nightclub.

    Anyway, her boyfriend had been jumped and seriously beaten by two guys while another grabbed her and forced her into a car. I think her boyfriend was half killed but her trauma related not just to the attempted kidnapping but to what she did to the guy who'd tried to put her in and keep her in the car, apparently she half killed him but said that she had done so because she thought that if she'd be raped or killed if she had remained herself instead of going as savage as she could. I also think that she forced the car off the road or into another car.

    My brother told me that she was a changed individula as a result of that trip and for a while afterwards people were wary of her because she was acting like some war vet or something.

  8. #8
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    For two totally different takes on this question:

    -When in London with my family, wandering some of the streets near where a lot of the governmental/intelligence buildings (or abodes of said diplomats/associates) are apparently clustered, I was happily and innocently taking photos and half a block later got interrogated by a London policeman/security person, who had run after me and was hollaring to me. [My brother was extra embarrassed on my behalf.] Fortunately my camera wasn't taken and I was deemed innocent? lol.

    -When in the amazon rainforest, on the last day while visiting the home of an Achuar villager, only 5 minutes after entering and while we were all waiting for chi-cha (don't know how to spell it...it's the fermented beverage there), I suddenly had the dire need for a bathroom. So I had to awkwardly excuse myself and run out into the jungle to take care of business. lol. (the only other time this has happened to me was when I was in Peru years before, and in both cases it was due to my body having too much fruit on a given day and in both cases there was no toilet paper present - bah! Fun times. )

    Oh. And the only time to date that I've ever gotten a ticket while driving was while in New Zealand. Those South Islanders are very prickly about tourists. One reported me and an hour later I was pulled over.


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  9. #9
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Here's the short version of the string of incidents during my internship in the UK. First I had to man-handle some brute who threw his girlfriend on the ground during an argument in a London tube station. I got punched out of nowhere by a drunk on the streets of Edinburgh. I visited Belfast on The Twelfth and thankfully nothing became of all the bomb threats in the city. However, when I visited Stormont I had to walk through a silent protest by about a hundred IRA supporters when I left. By the time I took my mid-internship holiday in Prague I was convinced that significant violence would follow me there. Hours before I left I heard a great commotion as I came up from the subway in the middle of the city. As I went to find out what calamity had befallen Prague thanks to my visit I came upon a great Hari Krishna parade with peaceful believers spreading flowers everywhere.
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  10. #10
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    i was 10. i was being introduced to my culture's way of initiating young boys. this was a fate that was supposed to have befallen me. i was snuck into the village at night. apparently being half white made me a prime target for witchdoctors. i needed to pee, but i was too afraid to go. my younger brother was with me, and we shared a bed. his feet to my head, and mine his. i made it through the night.

    i got woken up early in the morning. there is a large gathering of people. i'm not sure what is going on. i go outside. suddenly, someone grabs me and puts me at the forefront of the crowd. directly infront of me there is a kid not much older than i am, naked, covered in mud from head to toe. he is standing stalk still, as is required by tradition. on the top of his head are coins that were put there, and a dry blade of grass that cannot move as he is being cut.

    i stand there in shock as he is circumcised. no reaction, no sign of pain, no tears. he is now a man. as far as i'm concerned, this is too much. i start weeping for him. i cry and i cry and i cry. hysteria. an aunt pulls me aside and tries to console me. she says it doesn't have to be that way for me. that i can opt to do it in a less dramatic way. she is trying to zip up my coat, as i am shaking. she thinks i'm cold. really, i'm in shock. i tell her "it can not zip" over and over. however, due to my accent, or maybe hers, she thinks i'm saying "i can not accept". i could see why she would think that. in that moment, i don't know if i can accept.

    but she was wrong. i would have accepted.

    went back home, and never mentioned it to anyone. first time i've ever told anyone of it. congrats.

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