Travel Is Hell: Exercise and Entertainment

… proving that the only thing worse than no accommodations for either is the opposite.

Below are a few more of  the 119 little inconveniences I’ve experienced as a Road Warrior. This category of The Travel Is Hell (TIH) Series covers the ever-elusive pursuit of happiness:

11. Hamburg’s 20m x 20m x 1.5m deep, warmish pool. No lane lines.

12. Continuous rolling waves as housewives and grandparents breast-stroke heads up—to keep hearing aids, makeup, and hair-dos dry.

13. Sixteen hours of 300-baud, verb-free English punctuated by refreshments consisting of straight Scotch and vacuum-packed plastic bags of dried dead things.

14. For one week, only Middle Eastern and Indian chant on all (3) radio stations.

15. Pathetic gratitude upon hearing “Bus Stop” (The Hollies, 1966) on AM taxi radio.

16. Locked inside chain link fence surrounding 50m outdoor pool in Darwin.

17. Pay phone just outside above chain link fence is just outside of arm’s reach. Next swim session shows up—90 minutes later.

18. Accidentally jump into unheated, and hence 12C (53°F), outdoor pool at 6:00 a.m.

19. Jakarta hotel gym: Climb service stairs from ground to tenth floor 100 times. Avoid squashing large bugs (corpses very messy).

Namaste,

Rick Fleeter

author, Travels of a Thermodynamicist

(A Note to Readers: If you’ve had similarly unique and discomfiting travel experiences you’d like to share—and that have helped you toward a Buddhist appreciation of travel as inevitable suffering, from which you have returned a better, wiser person—feel free to share.)

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