"How did I end up here?" you asked as you tried to avoid potholes. There are some really depressing places out there, so if you're ever in the area, leave. But get a t-shirt first.
Rmmm79 asked: What's the worst city you've ever visited, and why?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Maybe skip this one.
Grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. It's entirely unmaintained, and has a very unique style of absolute apathetic violence against innocent people. I moved to New Zealand and years later realized that hearing screams that ended in the sound of a gunshot wasn't a normal thing to go to sleep to during the night
I visited Cape Town and was struck by how all the buildings had tall walls with electric fences across the top. If nothing else, they seem prepared for the zombie apocalypse. The trips were nice, but I didn't feel I could really wander wherever at will.
This seems plain enough to be tolerable.
Slough. Full of grey buildings, endless industrial estates, half-assed 'modern' architecture and mobile phone accessory shops. And it's surprisingly expensive to live there. However, it produced my mom who is the nicest person ever.
Iirc Ricky Gervais set the office in slough because it was the most depressing place he could think of.
It was also one of the most generic and soulless. When you see the opening credits, you just think of basically anywhere that's similar. Bland suits, roundabouts, boring ugly cars, bad job.
Swindon is another one.
Still wanna experience the Pyramids.
Food wasn't that great. Traffic. Roadside bombs. Air quality wasn't great.
For a city I've been to not at a time of war, Cairo was one of the most disappointing and disgusting experiences I have ever had in my life. Everything is a tourist scam.
I know two separate people who have visited Cairo.
One of them was on a tour bus with no air conditioning, which was stuck in traffic so bad that it took 4 hours to travel 1.5 miles. He also saw street kids being beaten because they were trying to steal stuff.
Another one was in a taxi where she had to physically hold the door shut.
I learned the "ride's free, dismount is expensive" game on a Cairo camel. I probably wasn't thinking too clearly because the air pollution seemed bad enough to cause brain damage after a moments exposure.
Keep on drivin.'
Camden, NJ - where I found my car sitting on blocks with its wheels removed.
Our friends sold their Camden home at a huge loss just to get away from what they called "a nightmarish place to live."
Didn't Camden have to stop paying their police force for a while?
They fired half their police force (literally half) because they couldn't really afford it. Then, down the line, the County took over policing the city. The idea was that they would be better funded and could come in and clean things up. It didn't work, and as far as I've heard, nothing has changed.
Eh it's definitely changed. City isn't some perfect suburb, but it's light years better than it was 10 years ago. Now the sale of heroin happens behind closed doors, rather than out on a street corner.
Alien-themed jerky? S'go.
If you've ever driven between Vegas and Southern California, you know what I'm talking about. It's constantly the hottest place in the summer. Literally 10 degrees hotter than 5 miles down the road. The gas prices are insane. They have an alien themed jerky and hot sauce store (which is pretty awesome). And they have the worlds tallest thermometer because that town is the butthole of the country.
Hey, that's the place with the "worlds biggest thermometer," right?
Stopped there on the way through to Vegas - my sister wanted to go somewhere with "the worlds biggest something," and that was the only one I found on our trip.
Underwhelming. And the people at the gas station seemed to resent that I was there.
That's the place!
A built-in escape route? Nice.
East Saint Louis, Illinois. It would have to improve to be a ghetto. Broke ass buildings, broke ass roads and broke ass people. Don't even slow down on your way through.
The first off-ramp from the Mississippi River bridge that goes into East St. Louis
That wasn't there when I made the same mistake. I remember heading on over the bridge realizing I missed my exit thinking I'll just turn around, no big deal. I took the first exit off the bridge and landed in a third world country.
Well, it was in the path of a volcano, so...
Angeles in the Philippines.
It's the home of a former US Air Force base, but that base got destroyed by the Pinatubo volcano.
Angeles became the town where aging and fat former US military personnel goes on vacation to relive the heydays of their youth. One where you'd rent one or more women for the night for next to nothing. One where you walk into a bar and see those men feed shots to young girls, followed by empty laughter because they really don't have a lot to say each other: they're all just passing time until they go to their seedy bedrooms with the girl for the night and their one shot.
The city has nothing else going for it, no industry or anything. Their life blood was cut off when the base closed and they had to make do with sex work.
We were passing through while visiting the destruction of the volcano and stayed for 2 nights.
And here's the thing: I forgot my pouch with money, credit cards, passport in that seedy hotel with mirrors on the ceiling when I left for the next city, 4 hours north.
And when I returned half a day later to pick it up, the lady at the reception said "we found it and put it in a safe." Everything was still there.
(Note: this was 20 years ago. Things may be different today).
This is disappointing.
Dubai. A monument to excess and unhealthy consumerism built on slave labour. Once your awe of the magnificent buildings fade it feels like a soulless tourist trap with a sinister undertone. Everything just feels off. I think it's an abomination of a city.
I feel the best way to describe Dubai is to tell people how they have an indoor ski hill in the desert... and in that indoor ski hill they have heating elements at the bottom of the hill so you can warm up. It's like a Russian doll of energy waste.
As a person who has recently returned from a ten-day family trip of Dubai, I can wholeheartedly vouch for your opinion. It's just a monumental mess of concrete. Basically if you're filthy rich, you're welcome.
Uhhh Maid of the Mist? Hello!
Niagara Falls (US side) was depressing as sh*t. We went with low expectations, because we were only going there for a punk show and figured we'd stay in the tourist district and see the sights, and still left feeling disappointed. The falls were cool, but the few blocks surrounding it are full of sh*tty, crowded tourist traps, and if you leave that small area you are immediately surrounded by extreme poverty and sketchy neighborhoods. A local told us that pretty much all of the money made in the area gets sent back to NYC because that's where the companies who own the casinos and business are located, so nothing really ends up going back into the local economy. A lot of bullsh*t. Show was good, though.
You gotta go to the Canada side.
It is crazy how much nicer the Canadian side is.
New Jersey is too popular on this list (no offense, southern neighbors).
Easily Camden, New Jersey. I only went there to see a show at the venue there, but driving to the venue looked like I was in a third world country. I also took a wrong turn when walking from the show to my car, and it got sketchy really quick. Camden is such a sh*t hole!
I was a rower in high school, and nationals were held at Camden one year. It was by far and away the worst experience of my life. We had to get escorted by all of our chaperones to the race course as there was gang activity outside of our hotel, the sidewalks had gum, pigeon sh*t, and human sh*t all over the place, and the humidity was awful. -34/10, never again.