In honor of American Thanksgiving, VIVA Man Travel brings you a few things manly travelers should be thankful for:
Speaking English – In countries where the international language of business isn’t the native tongue, women want to learn it and many are too poor to afford lessons, so they’ll pay you in other ways. Give thanks for your grade four reading level and head to Turkmenistan!
Meat – In Brazil it arrives at your table on a sword; in Austria, in a wheelbarrow; and in Japan, on a woman’s naked body. Notice to countries that serve it on plates: A little more imagination, please.
Foreign Women – Manly travelers don’t sightsee, they check things out. And by checking things out, that doesn’t mean admiring a frieze or contemplating a church buttress. Manly travelers oggle the handiwork of a plastic surgeon in Cali, Colombia, and the quality of glass and red light that draws women to stand barely clothed in Amsterdam’s street-facing doorways. In a foreign country, a trip to a strip club counts as a culturally revealing experience.
Long-Distance Bus Trips – The longer the better, say the manliest of travelers. The good: the grinding of gears lets you know that someone is indeed at the wheel. The very good: A showing of the Nicolas Cage classic, City of Angels, dubbed in Spanish. The great: A Bolivian woman, wrapped in 40 blankets, asleep with her head on your shoulder.
Fútbol in South America – You’re thankful for it because it’s fast and there’s lots of falling down and whinging. And though, judging from the fans’ chanting, the referee is always gay and favors one team over the other, fútbol matches in South America are never predictable. You might wait 45 minutes or more to queue up for the loo at half-time. Or you might pee in an empty bottle and throw it at the lesser men in the cheap seats. Your sweaty, shirtless section-mates will teach you how to identify which players are whores and which ones are sons of whores. They’ll even trample you during a riot so you don’t lose your seat.
Your Home Country – No matter where you go (Ko Phanang, Malaga, Irkutsk), what you see (10s, butter faces, two baggers), or what you do (buy drugs off your taxi driver, drink a fishbowl of booze, pass out in the hostel lobby), there’s no place like home. In your home country, no one talks funny and eats strange animal parts, and people can do basic things like walk and drive a car. That doesn’t happen where you are now, and once you sober up, eat a hoof or two and listen to that incessant honking, you’ll agree and be thankful you’re from somewhere else.