Monday, 10 July 2017

700 Posts and More Travel Snippets

Well, folks, it’s another milestone for The Plastic Mancunian – this is my 700th post. This means that I have written 700 posts of utter drivel, averaging about 900 words per post making a rough total of 630,000 words of nonsense to bore anybody who happens to stumble on this web site whilst presumably looking for something more important and interesting.

In fact, the 10th anniversary of The Plastic Mancunian is 21st March 2018 – and I think that might be a fitting point to call it a day. I haven’t fully decided this yet but it seems a good place to stop and put my energies into writing something more worthwhile – watch this space.

However, that is about 8 months away and until then I shall continue to bore you with drivel. 

I rarely use Facebook these days, but one of the main applications I use is something from Tripadvisor that allows me to record where I have travelled. Thus far, it tells me that I have been to 34 countries, including 368 cities. By “cities” the application really means cities, towns and villages; but I’m not complaining. It also tells me that I have travelled 294,688 miles and seen 25% of the world. 

I aim to increase all of these statistics before I say hello to God in person.

Here is a map of my travels:

I thought I’d would repeat a similar post I wrote way back in 2010 (you can read it here) and share a few more snippets of fun that I have experienced from my travels from 2010 to the present day:

(1)        Muscat, Oman – I had a rather strange but very tasty dish: Camel Biriyani.

(2)        British Columbia, Canada – I stood on a glacier in the snow drinking whiskey. I hate whiskey but it was required to warm myself up.

(3)        Reykjavic, Iceland – I found myself on a dance floor in an Icelandic night club surrounded by five gorgeous, tall blond women. Mrs PM said that I looked terrified.

(4)        Boston, USA – I met Henry VIII on a street – promoting Virgin flights to the UK. He didn’t think I was English and asked if I wanted the trip of a lifetime – back to England.

(5)        Cape Cod, USA – We stayed with a wonderful old couple in Cape Cod who referred to us as “the kids”, not really realising that I was 48 at the time.

(6)        Salvador, Brazil – The only way I could communicate with a lot of Brazilians was using very bad Spanish in the vague hope that they would also speak it as a second language. It worked – once or twice.

(7)        British Columbia, Canada – the scenery in this wonderful part of the world is amongst the most breath-taking I have ever seen.

(8)        Seattle, USA – Mrs PM’s dad was asked for ID when ordering a beer. He was 68 years old at the time.

(9)        Muscat, Oman – the hottest temperature I have ever experienced is 46°C. I thought I was going to melt.

(10)     Hakone, Japan – I used an onsen for the first time. It was like taking a hot bath.

(11)     Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona is home to one of the greatest football teams in Europe, if not the world. And I managed to find a bar showing my own beloved team’s game. They are Walsall and are in the third tier of the English football league.

(12)     Santorini, Greece – I climbed a volcano in beach sandals.

(13)     Berlin, Germany – I walked into a restricted area outside the Reichstag, reserved only for German politicians and staff. A stern but friendly German police officer showed me the correct way to go.

(14)     Muscat, Oman – I refused to carry on a training course until my students agreed to form the Omani division of the Walsall Football Supporters Club. They agreed but wondered why I don’t support a good team like Manchester United or Manchester City.

(15)     Alaska, USA – Alaska is the only place I have ever seen blue ice floating in a freezing cold sea.

(16)     Blue Lagoon, Iceland – Heaven is sitting in a geothermal spa with a silica mud mask drinking a glass of beer.

(17)     Boston, USA – I informed a group of American tourists on a famous boat used in the War for Independence that they were lucky to have won and that one day we’ll be back. They took it in jest rather than lynching me – I guess Americans do understand British humour after all.

(18)     Tokyo, Japan – The Robot Restaurant is the craziest and entertaining show I have ever been to.

(19)     Bύzios, Brazil – Mrs PM and I saw a model phot shoot at our hotel whilst relaxing by a pool. I did not stare at them and I certainly didn’t take any photos myself (well not many anyway).

(20)     Alaska, USA –                 I was introduced to log rolling, where two men run on a log in water until one of them plunges into the icy water. Great fun to watch but not much fun if you lose.

(21)     Reykjavic, Iceland – I ate whale for the first and only time. Not a whole one!!

(22)     Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – The only mosque I have ever visited is the Sheikh Zayed Mosqu in Abu Dhabi. It is huge and beautiful and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers.

(23)     Kunming, China – I was asked, as guest of honour, to select the fish we would be having for dinner. The poor thing was swimming with his friends and ended up on our plate. I was sad about this particularly at the end when the tank was missing one resident.

(24)     Lisbon, Portugal – Lisbon has a smaller version of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

(25)     Hakone, Japan – We stayed in a Japanese-style hotel and wore a yukata for mealtimes.

(26)     Monaco – I have never seen so many supercars in one place at any one time.

(27)     Rome, Italy – I celebrated my 50th birthday in Rome with friends, one of whom , another Dave, was also 50. We were forced to wear a “50 Today” badge while the women in the group wore a T shirt with a picture of the two of us enclosed in a heart with the slogan “Happy 50th Birthday You Old Gits!”

(28)     Berlin, Germany – We actually ate a Berliner, which contrary to a popular ex-American president, is a doughnut (a Berliner Pfannkuchen in fact).

(29)     Tokyo, Japan – Mrs PM and I got lost in Shinjuku railway, not once but three times. The third time, a member of staff who tried to help us was also clueless.

(30)     Boston, USA – I had a beer in Cheers.

(31)     Nice, France – Nice is my favourite city in France and I will not let the antics of a nutcase in a lorry stop me from going back.

(32)     Puerto Banús, Spain – I strolled down a crowded street walking between a cruising Ferrari and a cruising Lamborghini. Bloody show offs!

(33)     Dubai, United Arab Emirates - In order to conquer my fear of heights I climbed the Burl Khalifa in Dubai – the tallest building in the world at 828 metres. My quest  failed. I am still scared of heights .

(34)     Tokyo, Japan – This city is absolutely huge. Having spent three days there I only saw about a quarter of the place.

(35)     British Columbia, Canada – I met a Mountie, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

(36)     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – We strolled along Ipanema Beach whilst drinking a coconut and shortly afterwards on Copacabana Beach while drinking beer. Beautiful.

(37)     Marbella, Spain – Keen to show off my blossoming Spanish skills I ordered  a beer and ended up with shandy!

(38)     Kyoto, Japan – Two very drunk businessmen starting talking to us in a sushi bar and tried to persuade in very broken English to join them on a bar crawl. Thankfully we had a bullet train to catch.

(39)     Kunming, China – I ate some of the most wonderful yet weird food I have had. I avoided insects.

(40)     Beijing, China – I ate some of the most wonderful yet weird food I have ever had – again! I avoided pig brain.

(41)     Dubai, United Arab Emirates – You can buy gold bars from a vending machine. I didn’t because I am skint.

(42)     Alaska, USA – There is a photograph of me about to put a dollar bill in the cleavage of a very buxom waitress.  And Mrs PM’s dad was doing exactly the same. Don’t worry  - everybody was doing it; we were in a themed restaurant/bar pretending to be a whorehouse and it was a bit of fun. The photo was taken by his wife.

(43)     Tokyo, Japan – I used the world’s best toilet in Tokyo. I’m glad I work in IT so I could work out how to operate it.

(44)     Berlin, Germany – We were in Berlin for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall but missed the celebrations by two days.

(45)     Kunming, China – I saw the world’s worst toilet on a building site in Kunming. I am delighted that I didn’t have to use it.

(46)     Iguaçu Falls, Brazil and Argentina – I visited something more impressive than Niagara Falls, namely Iguaçu Falls. We were so impressed that we saw them in Brazil one day and just over the border in Argentina the next day.

(47)     Barcelona, Spain – La Sagrada Familia, the famous cathedral in Barcelona, is still not complete 135 years after it was started. It will finally be finished in 2026.

(48)     Kyoto, Japan – We visited a shrine with around 10,000 sacred gates (torii). An amazing sight.

(49)     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - In order to conquer my fear of heights I climbed Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro to see the legendary statue of Christ the Redeemer. My quest  failed. I am still scared of heights

(50)     Hong Kong – After visiting for the umpteenth time in 2013, I can safely say that it is still my favourite city in the world. Mrs PM and I hope to go again in 2018 for our 20th anniversary.

That's it for now. If I have made you laugh or held you interest for a minute or two then that’s great. 

See you for post 701 and once again thank you so much for bothering to read the nonsense I write.


River said...

#12; you climbed a volcano in beach sandals? You like living dangerously :)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Well it was a small volcano in Santorini - and it is dormant - I think (hope)!




Mrs PM said...

It's not dormant!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi dearest,

Oh dear. Wish you had told me that when I was there.