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Friday, April 25, 2008

cool travel tip #1: learn the 10 language basics on the plane

COOL TRAVEL TIP #1: learn the ten language basics of the country you're heading to while you're on the plane: hello, how are you? good thanks, yes, no, right, left, excuse me/sorry, thank you, and goodbye. I mean, how hard is it? Travelling alone on long-haul, memorize the words between meals. With a friend and travelling low-cost short haul? Play drinking games: whoever guesses right gets a drink and the other buys. Do whatever works, just do it. It doesn't take much effort and the pay-off is enormous. Just try it. If you're really ambitious you can also learn "I'm sorry, I'm a real idiot and I don't speak xxx (insert language here). Do you speak English?" That's far more polite than starting to speak English to someone who doesn't. You can also start conversations with locals by asking them how to pronounce a word, and by doing so, demonstrate that not all xxx (insert your nationality) travellers are ignorant lazy sods who are clueless when it comes to languages. You'll be amazed at what a difference it makes to your experience of the place and how locals treat you. And if you're really ambitious or just want to have fun you can learn silly stuff to get a laugh. Like: "how much for the goat?" or "did you get a good deal on the goat?" or "what's a good goat cost these days?" You get the point.

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