Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Travel, Past and Future

Yesterday I saw a slideshow (it's like a news story, but easier on the brain) of the world's largest cities. Some of them I've visited, some I plan to visit, and some I probably will never see.

28. Jakarta, Indonesia (10.1 m.): I have the feeling I'd die there.
27. London, England (10.1 m.): Not as threatening as Jakarta, but also not as close. My wife has been there and loved it, and I always promise I'll "make up" any accidental pregnancy with a trip to London, so maybe we'll end up visiting there before we're through.
26. Shenzhen, China (10.6 m.): I expect we'll end up visiting there before we leave China, if only because it's the border crossing to go to Hong Kong.
25. Paris, France (10.7 m.): Poland's most-beautiful city (that's a little trolling of any far-right French readers I might have), Paris has a lot of stuff that I recognize, so I should probably go one day.
24. Tianjin, China (10.8 m.): VISITED.
23. Kinshasa, D.R. Congo (11.1 m.): Another place I would expect to die. And not near anything that attracts westerners to Africa (unless you're Kurtz).
22. Guangzhou, China (11.8 m.): There's a really good chance we'll visit there, since nearly every flight from Beijing to Southeast Asia is routed through Guangzhou. (Less obvious is why they all have 28-hour layovers.)
21. Moscow, Russia (12.1 m.): Maybe as dangerous as Kinshasa. I recently read a tweet from someone who was assaulted on the Moscow Metro for wearing a shirt with an English slogan on it, but his attacker became his best friend when he responded in fluent Russian. I don't have the language skills to placate the xenophobes.
20. Los Angeles, CA (12.3 m.): VISITED.
19. Lagos, Nigeria (12.6 m.): I'd probably die before I got off the plane.
18. Manila, Philippines (12.7 m.): I think we might visit the Philippines before we leave China. It seems like a cheaper, less-dangerous Thailand (and since we're going to Thailand next month, we should visit the Philippines and see if my supposition is correct).
17. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (12.8 m.): Who doesn't want to visit Rio? But I don't have the body for it right now. Or probably never again since I was 17, really.
16. Chongqing, China (12.9 m.): There's a really, really good chance we'll visit here, since it's near Chengdu, Panda Flophouse of the World.
15. Istanbul, Turkey (13.9 m.): I'd like to see Hagia Sophia and walk across a bridge between continents, but I wish Turkey made an effort to change the English-language name of their country to something less ridiculous, like Turkia, and the government's lack of commitment in the fight against Islamic State gives me pause before I turn the browser in Expedia's direction.
14. Calcutta, India (14.7 m.): I like the idea of India, but I knew a guy who went to India and was hit in the head with a brick thrown at his van. It turns out Indians love the lulz just as much as the next ethnic group. My wife has no interest in visiting India (also a safety concern, I believe), and I don't really know what there is to do in Calcutta aside from seeing poor people. Well, they have a Black Hole there. I guess that's something.
13. Buenos Aires, Argentina (15.0 m.): It's so far away. It just seems tiring.
12. Karachi, Pakistan (16.1 m.): We've had a lot of fun joking about dying on trips so far this post, but let's not kid ourselves: there's only one city on this list where I'd really die, and that city's Karachi.
11. Dhaka, Bangladesh (16.9 m.): Less open defecation than Calcutta. When that's your selling feature, you need to reevaluate your life.
10. Cairo, Egypt (18.4 m.): Sure, pyramids, but what else? It doesn't seem worth the trip. All the good stuff's in the British Museum anyway, right?
9. New York, NY (18.6 m.): VISITED.
8. Beijing, China (19.5 m.): VISITED.
7. Osaka, Japan (20.1 m.): My wife visited Japan when she was younger and she would like to go back while we live in Asia.
6. Mumbai, India (20.7 m.): All the poverty of Calcutta with the added annoyance of its stupid name change. No thanks.
5. São Paulo, Brazil (20.8 m.): Brazil without the beach? Whose idea was that, and how quickly was he fired?
4. Mexico City, Mexico (20.8 m.): I've already been to several large Mexican cities (Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, et cetera). I've already experienced pollution tourism. What else does Mexico City have to offer?
3. Shanghai, China (23.0 m.): An excellent chance we'll visit soon.
2. Delhi, India (25.0 m.): Delhi will see your rampant poverty, Calcutta, and raise you worse air than China (seriously).
1. Tokyo, Japan (38.0 m.): Another city we will probably visit in the next two years.

No comments: