Each daily blog post features a ‘tip.’ One that arises due to an error on my part – hopefully though, they’re a source of amusement for you.

Here are a few things I learnt before this project began;

  • In Europe, specifically in Sorrento Italy, the cord hanging from the
    ceiling in the shower is NOT for the fan, it sounds an alarm down at reception – hotel management will drop by to see that you’re okay. Which is good really because then you can ask where the fan is!
  • In New Zealand the blinkers and the wipers are on the ‘wrong’ sides, needless to say while finding the way out of down town Christchurch I had a very clean windscreen and a number of pissed off locals because the tourist wasn’t indicating.
  • In Florence they don’t like you to sit in the Outdoor Gallery to eat your lunch and they also don’t care that it’s the only shady place in the Piazza and you have a cold.
  • Buy an ‘unintelligent’ combination lock for your backpack, mine was highly intellectual and reset itself somewhere between Singapore and London, I had to get it removed with bolt cutters on arrival.
  • If you are ever so late that you find yourself running at high speed down a street in Beijing, watch out for magically appearing underpasses, you’ll be passing under before you know it.
  • ‘Beurre’ is French for ‘butter’ NOT ‘berries’. Butter crepes suck.
  • Ride a camel by all means, but don’t race one. If you’re feeling awkward at ground level you’ll feel like you’re on a busted merry-go-round when it takes off.
  • There are a lot of people in Beijing. There are a lot of tourists as well. Our tour guide said, ‘if you fall behind just look out for my red flag’ waving it in the air for effect. Right. Good. Just a shame 47 other tour companies have red flags and told their groups the same thing.
  • Don’t jump on a trampoline when it’s snowing. Hastings Springs NZ.
  • ‘Scheiße von gestern’ means ‘shit from yesterday’ in German, probably don’t say that when serving a meal. ‘Gullible’ in German is ‘leichtgläubig’.
  • At Port Vell Marina in Barcelona there’s an extensive mirror located above the entrance to the Mare Magnum (a commercial mall), look up, see if you can find yourself and take a photo, everyone does it… but not everyone falls over the only step and lands on the decking in front a capacity lunch crowd.
  • Revolving restaurants can make you a little disorientated after one or two drinks, also, don’t leave your bag on the window sill, it may not be there again at the same time you are.
  • Just because they have industrial sized dryers in Laundromats does not mean you should see if you can fit in one. Kaikoura NZ
  • There are few western toilets in Beijing,  this means you’ll be required to master the ones that have you positioned like down hill skier, many of their toilets also come with their very own toilet conductor, she has the job of opening doors to see which toilets are free,  I vowed to master the ski position whilst holding the door firmly shut, good luck with that. Anyway it brings new meaning to the movie title ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’.
  • The Champs Elysees has 10 lanes of traffic. Even at the pedestrian crossing it’s still a 70 metre game of dodgem cars,  but you don’t get a car.
  • I’m sure this doesn’t  apply solely to Amsterdam but it does in my case, when you stop to read your city map don’t lean against a pole… if you do, make sure you’re not wearing thongs and  have enough water for yourself and to wash the pee off your foot,  dogs like poles too.
  • If you ever have the opportunity to use the first class lounge while waiting for your international flight departure, don’t get lost in the moment and forget you’re flying economy, they board first.