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Old 08-30-2017, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,403 posts, read 21,244,496 times
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I went up to Alaska, 10 years ago, with my mother, hoping to see Mt. McKinley, but I never saw it. I was warned in my Travel guide there'd only be a 1 in 3 chance you'd see it, as, oftentimes, it's covered with clouds.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:21 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,592 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I went up to Alaska, 10 years ago, with my mother, hoping to see Mt. McKinley, but I never saw it. I was warned in my Travel guide there'd only be a 1 in 3 chance you'd see it, as, oftentimes, it's covered with clouds.
My SIL was a tour bus driver to McKinley (daily for a season). She saw it once...Expectations vs. Reality...
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:44 AM
 
Location: NoVa
2,126 posts, read 2,911,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I, too, found Tokyo boring, particularly after having traveled from India. Yes, indeed, a city can be criticized for being too clean, sterile, orderly. I feel very uncomfortable in those kind of cities. Add San Diego to the list as well! And many other cities around the world!

After awhile, you find it a relief to find that someone flung an empty McDonald's sack on the ground somewhere, or you find an unkempt homeless person walking about.
Yes, exactly. I would take India over Tokyo anyday. Indian food is far, far, more superior and much more diverse than Japanese food anyway. I love Japanese food, don't get me wrong, but after a while, I long for a bit more spice, you know?

So speaking of expectations vs reality, India was a bit of both for me. Before I visited India, I had this image of dirty, polluted place, filled with beggars, husslers, and smelly cows on the streets. So I adjusted my expectations accordingly from everything I've heard and saw on TV about India.

When I got there (Mumbai was my first Indian city), I didn't see any more or less beggars than I did in other developing countries I've visited. The beggars were very polite - like another poster said, very effective beggars that looked so heartbreaking, and the female beggars would always have a sad looking baby in their arms, that you couldn't help but feel utterly rotten if you didn't give any money. Mumbai and Calcutta were dirty though, to the point that all the street plants were coated with thick dust you only saw brown. I also did see a cow or two on the backstreets of Mumbai, they were just lounging on the side of the road, that was expected and kinda neat. But the food was out of this world delicious and cheap! And the people in Calcutta were friendly, they would go out of their way to help you (that was unexpected).

Then when I visited Goa, I was disappointed by the beaches - I expected golden sand beaches per what I've seen on TV. Well, the color was more red than golden - similar to Sedona's red sands - the sea water was kinda murky too. That was also the first time I've seen women wearing a burkini-like bathing suit on the beach. The reality of Goan food was also way better than my expectations. Too bad I've never encountered any authentic Goan food outside of Goa.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,214 posts, read 2,633,282 times
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I loved Tokyo and I have absolutely no need to see garbage in the streets or smelly homeless people. How can cleaniness be bad?

Tokyo/Japan in general has unique culture, food, language, traditions, art.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:56 PM
 
109 posts, read 73,650 times
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Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
South Africa.

This was not exactly a vacation trip.

...

South Africa literally caught me by a very pleasant surprise. Great value for the money. Great place to visit.

Yes, security situation is not a whole lot friendly but using common sense helps.

I would most definitely like to visit Cape Town with family.

How long ago was your trip to South Africa? From what I read in the news, the economy and living conditions in South Africa have deteriorated in recent years but perhaps that's over exaggerated?
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,403 posts, read 21,244,496 times
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When chicken bussing it around Central America in 2006, I was curious, but scared stiff of entering El Salvador. I usually take the U.S. Consular's Reports with a grain of salt, but with this country being the murder capital, the one Central America country that most tourists avoid, my curiosity got the better of me.

At the border in Honduras: Alright! I'll take the bus south just 20 miles to Las Palmas, and if it looks too dangerous, I'll take a fast taxi back to Honduras.

Surprise! Surprise! Biggest surprise of my travels: El Salvador.

Gaining comfort from my one overnight stay in Las Palmas, $10 for a spacious room),I was going to take the bus to Santa Ana, the capital, through rural towns, but I was told that the buses were too infrequent, and was urged to bus it into San Salvador (Oh my God! I'll be shot, robbed, mugged the minute I arrive!), and so I went. At an intersection leading into the city, the bus driver flagged down a taxi for me, and I taxi'd it to the bus station to catch a bus to Santa Ana. Police with rifles outside, I felt safe. Got to Santa Ana, and my comfort level grew even more comfortable, and bussed on to Guatemala.

After that, I made 2 more trips to El Salvador, and covered a good portion of that country, including 2 overnight stays in "dangerous" San Salvador, and riding the chicken buses, and I met some of the nicest, most honest, people in Central America.

To those back home worried about me? Hey! Aren't we the Home of the Brave?
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:49 AM
 
4,417 posts, read 1,646,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhubaba View Post
How long ago was your trip to South Africa? From what I read in the news, the economy and living conditions in South Africa have deteriorated in recent years but perhaps that's over exaggerated?
Actually there could be a lot of truth in it.

I visited in 2010. And you reminded me this aspect of my trip that I forgot to mention in my post.

Locals pointed out some very strong indicators to me as to how things were falling apart after the govt changed.

There was perhaps a slight bias in their narrative as they were whites but I could clearly see how the infrastructure was deteriorating, clear signs of mismanagement, rampant corruption, huge crime and safety issues, and lots of frustration in the feeling white flight, mostly to Australia and Europe.

I also met with a few Indian decent South Africans who were hit the hardest. They clearly felt a lot of discrimination towards them by the blacks who were now in power. White population was also facing a lot of discrimination among this mess of things.

This was 7 years ago - not sure how bad is it now?

Due to this chaos, one of the weirdest thing I have recently watched in a YT video was white slums in a Black Country - I don't want to give it a racial color but it's sort of unheard of. But then again, A LOT of discrimination and unfairness was hurled towards the blacks during the apartheid.

However, IMO, taking revenge is not one of the solutions because in the end, it's the country that's suffering.

I hope South Africans get their act together, forget the past and work together to make this country beautiful again.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:47 PM
 
Location: New York Area
15,912 posts, read 6,264,006 times
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Default Puerto Rico and Portugal

Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
Puerto Rico really disappointed me. I expected the beaches to be cleaner and more beautiful; I expected the rain forest to be far more impressive; and I expected San Juan to be much cleaner and nicer generally.
PR was about the only trip where I did a "beaches and pool" type of activity rather than more active touring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BD1978 View Post
Conversely, I thought Athens was WAY nicer than I expected. Obviously it is a large city with loads of problems, but we found the pedestrian-only Plaka district to be absolutely lovely, with almost no panhandlers or sketchy looking people as you frequently find in major tourist areas of European cities. I thought the new Acropolis museum was phenomenal; and the Acropolis was as impressive as anything in Rome. Athens is not my favorite city in the world by a long shot, but I really liked it and found it to be much, much nicer than I expected based upon reputation (much of which may pre-date the past 13 years of efforts to reduce smog, congestion, etc.).
As far as European cities my visit to Portugal confounded my expectations. I thought that the rural Alentejo and outskirt city Sinha were far superior to Lisbon. Frankly I was disappointed in Lisbon. I wanted to see the synagogue and attend a service. While I got to they gave me the "fifth degree" before letting me in, even though I certainly don't look like a troublemaker. And this was 1995, well before the 2001 attacks.
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