Top Ten List of Things Not To Do When Traveling Through the Countryside of An Underdeveloped Country

Here is the tenth installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not To Do by John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com and Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

Here is the tenth installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not To Do by John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com and Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

10.  When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not forget to bring flip-flops or some such protection for your feet if you choose to stay at quaint inns.  Often you will find yourself in a long line of other travelers and locals waiting to use the single shower in the multi-story building.  Besides standing in other people’s wet dirt, you may also encounter microscopic critters that tend to linger along the tiled floors and are happy to ride your feet back to your country of origin.

9.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not forget to practice squats several times a day to build up your quadriceps and to prepare you for the inevitable pit toilet located in the back yard of the local inn.  Do not assume that you will always have the advantage of something to hang onto while you try to find that happy balance of getting your bum directly over the pit without getting it directly into the pit.

8.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not forget to carry at least two rolls of toilet paper on you.  One roll for the inevitable pit toilets that never have toilet paper anyway and the other roll for when you do manage to find a private toilet where you can spend the next several hours wishing you hadn’t drank that tap water even though you were outrageously thirsty at the time and nothing else was available.

7.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not drink tap water (see #4).  You may drink anything that comes in a bottle which means you may be drinking a lot of beer, which leads us to the next item on the list.

6.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not allow yourself to be over-served even if you are feeling only mildly inebriated at the time and you are dining on a full-course meal.  Chances are some amoebas are lingering on your plate (which was probably washed with tap water) or within the food and you may eventually find yourself in the predicament of trying to balance your bum over a pit toilet while simultaneously trying not to throw up on your flip-flops.

5.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not expect that everyone will speak English and you will not have a need to know the local language.  For example, learn to ask “Where is the bathroom?”  If you’ve read this far into the list, then you know why you need to know this.

4.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not take a room in a hotel or inn that is directly across from a church.  After a few days of church bell ringing to announce the time (6 AM, noon, 6 PM), funerals and weddings (often on the same day), you may wind up with a loss of hearing to rival Quasimodo.

3.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, do not forget to also practice squats several times a day to prepare you for the strenuous hikes that you may encounter, especially on rainy days when the landscape becomes wet and muddy.  You do not want a team of local boys to have to push on your bum to get you up the steep hill that was supposedly a shortcut to the inn in which you’re staying.

2.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, avoid spending the evening with a U.S. ex-pat who grows and smokes his own marijuana.  While it may seem safe at first, you run the risk of your host being a paranoid sonofabitch who may at any moment start ranting about the U.S. government and the CIA and the FBI and their collusion with the Peace Corps and you will suddenly be wishing that you could slip away during those few all-too-brief moments when your host is not staring at you with wide bloodshot eyes while sharpening his machete.

1.   When traveling through the countryside of an underdeveloped country, beware of clear liquids served by young children at a roadside stand, especially at night.  Chances are they are not selling lemonade, but instead are selling “firewater.”  The upside is the firewater may kill all the amoebas that have taken up residence in your stomach.  The downside is you may become too quickly inebriated to appreciate it.

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About 1WriteWay

Writer, blogger, knitter, and cat lover.
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16 Responses to Top Ten List of Things Not To Do When Traveling Through the Countryside of An Underdeveloped Country

  1. Expat Eye says:

    Ha ha, great as always! It could be written for Latvia! 🙂

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  2. #2 sounds like so much fun. You get such interesting Christmas cards from friends like that.

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  3. Marie, Very well done. Really enjoyed the list. looking forward to the next.

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  4. ericjbaker says:

    I’ve seen enough “Americans in a foreign prison” movies (there is such a sub-genre, even if it’s not yet identified by science) to know that you have to steer clear of anything remotely illegal. Then again, I don’t even take side roads in the U.S., as I’ve seen a lot of horror films and hope to avoid chainsaw-wielding, inbred mountain men.

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  5. #3 will also help with the inevitable run-ins with pit toilets 🙂

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  6. sknicholls says:

    I have not traveled much outside of the country…the Caribbean, mexico, Costa Rica, Canada. Would love to go across the the pond someday (would love to se India and Africa)….but this makes me wary of the underdeveloped countries. I should stick to Greater Europe.

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  7. ioniamartin says:

    Underdeveloped countries like the one I came from?

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