There's nothing quite like traveling to your dream destination only to discover it populated by opportunists desperately trying to sell you something. It's sad, but true. Just try walking up to the Acropolis sometime: The streets are gorgeous, the restaurants are incredible, and those three random teenagers trying to give you "friendship bracelets" don't actually want to be your friend. I steered clear... others were not so lucky.
After Redditor Braves_Fan96 asked the online community, "World travelers, what are some of the worst tourist traps you have encountered? What can be done to catch it beforehand?" people gave their sincerest tips.
"If people are trying to charge you..."
PSA: The Staten Island Ferry is FREE. If people are trying to charge you for tickets, they're scam artists. If you're traveling to New York, it's worth visiting for the views, especially considering the cost, or lack thereof.
"Lovely, but everybody hypes up..."
Las Ramblas in Barcelona.
Lovely city, but everybody hypes up this one street that's crowded full of people. It's practicallly highlighted in every tour guide of the city yet I still don't understand the draw. Every restaurant and shop on the street is a tourist trap as well: overpriced and under-quality. It's much more worth your time to stroll around the Gothic neighborhood if the city rather than Las Ramblas.
"Don't get me wrong..."
Rome's touristy areas are unbearable.
Every single popular site or place features the same mob of sketchy and all around annoying characters. Friendship bracelets, fake petitions, fake charities, sh!tty toys and souvenirs. You can't take two steps without somebody trying to hassle you.
The Vatican isn't even immune to this. While approaching it, you still have scammers dressed in outfits to trick people they are part of the staff. They basically scam elderly and others into believe they bought the wrong ticket. we joked that The Vatican felt like Hollywood BLVD, but religious.
Then, on top of all of this, the food around these areas are scams as well designed to trick gullible travelers out of their money. I ate the best pasta I've ever had in Rome, and I've ate the worst.
Don't get me wrong, I love Rome as a whole. But man do their tourist areas suck.
"Walking along the street..."
Walking along the street and friendly locals will greet you with "bula vinaka" (hello) and beautiful smiles. Every now and then one will start a conversation with you and ask you for your name. Before you know it, they are carving your name into 'traditional' wooden spears and shields etc then asking you for money for the work you never asked for. They will look upset when you tell them you don't want it and they will explain that now they can't sell the item because they carved your name into it already and they will follow you down the street reducing their price until you finally agree.
Best advice: be friendly, say hello, don't give anyone your name.
I was in Paris walking with a female friend and some guy in front of us picked up a ring off the floor and motioned to ask if it was her's. She said no but he insisted she take it. I said "Don't, he's trying to get money off of you" and she said "No, he just picked it up off the floor!" Sure enough, he asked her for money, she gave him a little, I guess it wasn't enough so he asked for the ring back. When we walked away I said, "You know that guy just took you for a ride, right?" We're from NYC so she felt very ashamed.
"The exact same thing..."
We wanted to visit the Colosseum in Rome. All the way towards it from the tube station, there are dozens of people offering "discounted tours" - you join a group, they get you in for a reduced price, seems good. Except it isn't. These tour tickets are about €20 per person, which seems reasonable until you get to the entrance to the Colosseum and see that it's €12 for an adult, or €2 for a student. My wife and I got in for €14 because she still had a valid student ID.
The exact same thing happened on the way to the Vatican - people coming up to us insisting that it's cheaper to get in if we buy museum tickets. It costs nothing to go into the Vatican! They rely on tourists who don't know any better, see the queue for the Vatican museum and think it's the queue to get inside the city. It isn't.
"One asked our names..."
In Jamaica, we went on one of the guided hikes through the Dunn's River Falls. The exit is completely covered in a maze of pretty typical touristy gift shop type tents selling cheap manufactured garbage. Of course we "coincidentally" had to wait for the buses so we had nowhere to go except the tents. My gf and I (both 18 at the time, & from America) meandered around with zero intention of buying anything but we were dumb enough to entertain the salesmen by letting them talk to us.
One asked our names and when we answered, he carved them into the side of a wooden tiki head and tried handing it to us. We were taken aback because we obviously hadn't asked him to do that but then he started demanding we pay him for it because otherwise he would lose his stock for nothing. I tried to lie about not having money to spend on it, and it was uncomfortable at most until one of the other salesmen blocked the entrance out of the tent and started saying that we were essentially shoplifting from them. We knew it was possible to give them the name of the hotel we were staying at have them charge us through there but there was no way I was a actually paying them or letting them know where I was sleeping so I just put one of the other resorts and a fake last name and told them to charge us. Luckily they let us go. Pretty freaked out through. I kept that tiki head for about 10 years as my "trophy" for swindling swindlers
"When the bar closed..."
In Istanbul I connected with two random dudes, we had some beer together at a bar, spent a good two, three hours there. I bought them a few beers and they offered me beers aswell. Had a genuine good time as I often do when meeting strangers since I travel alone most of the times.
When the bar closed they said they knew a good place near by so naturally we went there. They ordered a bottle of whisky (cheap one), and some girls came to our table. Also, not unusual. But they were working girls, but charged for company and no one told me this.
When the bill came it came with three gorilla like turks. 3600 euros. "My friends" said we all pay the same amount but they had already paid at the bar .
Things escaladed, I was alone in Istanbul 04:00 in the morning, drunk, angry and afraid. Oddly enough I slapped one open handed over the face, drunk mode, so they carried my out front and said some shit and let me go. I would still have paid for the whisky, and possibly for one of the girls company, but not 3600 €.
"We booked a tour with a local guide..."
My dad, brother, and I took a trip to Egypt. We booked a tour with a local guide and the experience was great. However after we saw the pyramids we were brought to "look" at some local stores. Basically you take a look around and the shopkeepers do some convincing and you end up buying some cheap sh!t like a poster made out of "genuine Egyptian paper" or "exquisite cologne" My dad knew what they were doing but he decided to buy some to "support local business" If you want to avoid things like this just look at reviews and if you find yourself in this situation either be persistent in refusing or buy the cheapest thing there to satisfy them.
I'm not a super well-travelled person yet, but I did get trapped pretty good in New Orleans.
If someone comes up to you in New Orleans and asks you where you got your shoes, the proper answer is "on my feet". If they ask where you from, "from my mama".
Keep walking and don't let them polish or clean your shoes, because they'll charge you for that and for their "talk."
Books are life. Recently studies have been published that reading for fun, reading for knowledge, just interest in reading in general is down, and that is a tragedy.
We've become too obsessed with our binge watching and ADHD mindset that we've lost focus on one of life's greatest joys... literature.
There are some stories and books that should be a mandatory read for life. There should be age benchmarks that require knowledge of certain books in order to progress. I know, how "1984" of me. ;)
Redditor u/bugtanks33d wanted to hear about what literature we should all be familiar with sooner than later by asking:
What's a book everyone should read at least once in their lives?
One of my favorite books is "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It was a key element in unlocking what I could see with my imagination. No adolescent should go beyond sixth grade without knowing it. What else?
"ANNOUNCEMENT FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE READING THIS THREAD:"
"MANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED HERE ARE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN AND IN AUDIO BOOK FORM. GO THROUGH YOUTUBE/RANDOMHOUSE/AUDIBLE/OVERDRIVE FOR ALL THE CLASSICAL GOODNESS YOU WANT."
"It almost totally eliminates the financial/time commitment that many will cite for not picking them up. I listen to books on double speed all the damn time. I am working my way through "A Tale of Two Cities" now."
Meaningwondering simon cowell GIF by X Factor GlobalGiphy
"Man's search for meaning - Viktor Frankl."
"The Phantom Tollbooth."
"Milo: "Many of the things I'm supposed to know seem so useless that I can't see the purpose of learning them at all."
"Princess of Sweet Rhyme: "...what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover the wonderful secrets of tomorrow."
"Johnny's Got His Gun. It's so intense, but it's so good. Metallica's song One is based off this book. Guy has his arms and legs blown off, goes blind and deaf, and is left to live like that. I only read it once, but it's forever engrained into my memory. It hits you like a freight train."
"Surprised I haven't seen it here already so I'll add it... The Brother's Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. In Slaughterhouse 5 Vonnegut said it could teach everything that we needed to know about life, except that wasn't enough anymore."
"If the only thing that book did was make you marvel at how people centuries and oceans removed from you in time and place, could experience the exact same emotions about life as you did, it would be worth the read. There's so much more to it, but Dostoyevsky had such a knack for digging deep into universal human experience. And it's just a hell of a good story too."
Classicsdiva read GIFGiphy
"Speaking as somebody who isn't religious, the literary value of the Bible (and the Hebrew Bible) is severely underrated."
I took a class on it in college, with a prof who'd once allegedly gotten into a bar fight over Beowulf. We would sometimes spend half a class discussing a single verse or two because there's so much stuff going on under the hood."
I know so many of those. And sadly, I'm already behind in my studies. I love books and I'm always on the path to find more to consume. Let me ready my already lengthy list.
WARWar Shockwave GIFGiphy
"All Quiet on the Western Front. Everyone should have to reckon with the reality of what war actually means."
"Night, by Elie Wiezel. It is absolutely heartwrecking , and I hated every moment of reading it, which is exactly the effect it is supposed to have."
"Came here looking for this one. I had to read it back in high school and it blew me away how moved I was by it. Stories like his need to be remembered for all time, no matter how hard it is to get through (emotionally-speaking; it's actually quite an easy and short read). I'm so grateful that my English teacher assigned it."
"The Westing Game."
"A Librarian here, such a terrific book. I have gotten so many kids to read it by hooking them with the fact that the reader can play the game and has all of the clues. And good luck as it is fiendishly clever."
All the Good Crazy
"The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Such a great book."
"Oh my god yes. I love this book for being the sex, drugs and rock and roll of the classics world. It is lengthy but has revenge, treasure, plots and schemes and drugs. There is nothing stuffy about this classic."
"The Giver- that book made my 9-10 year old mind really think about what was important in society. It was the first time the idea of "good" things having a negative consequence was presented to me. I think what makes it work is that we are learning how this whole society really works along side a character who has lived in it his whole life."
"As the facade of the utopian society begins to fall away to show devastating consequences of the "perfect life and society" the reader not only feels their shock but the main character's shock. This was a book I read in school 4 times- once in 5th grade and once in 10th for English and then in both high school and college sociology classes. This book written for 9-13 year olds made for great discussions."
Good and Bad of Liferead ford GIFGiphy
"The Grapes of Wrath and/or Of Mice and Men. Both are heartbreaking, but not for the sake of being heartbreaking - instead they provide a glimpse of how freaking hard life can be, but also how beautiful it can be."
That is a lot of good advice. And a lot of great storytelling and advice giving. Did anyone miss anything that should be there? And make sure you read anything by Harlan Coben, he's a fav.
It's always our high school dreams, as shown by every high school teen movie ever, to marry the popular girl or the jock. But high school is high school for a reason; life does not really last outside of the walls of high school in the way it did within.
Jocks tend to fall off their athletic bandwagons. The popular girls have a hell of a time making their way in the working world when their popularity means nothing. People's lives sometimes completely freeze in place.
Or sometimes those people really do completely change, and live their lives for the better.
Here were some of those answers.
"My mom was the elite Atlanta debutante and lived a very cushy life at a budding Miami country club. Beautiful and very popular at the private school. My dad grew up on a farm in Virginia. They weren't poor but they were definitely not refined."
"Eventually my father's family made it down to Miami after selling the farm. He became the lifeguard at the country club pool where my mom spent days lounging about."
"My parents say they saw each other and that was it. The scandal was great - the debutante and the lowly lifeguard...."
"They just celebrated 54 years of marriage. My 'lowly' lifeguard father made quite the life for my mom regardless of what all those elite twats said was going to happen."
"She gladly left the country club life for him and they are still so utterly in love it's crazy. He carries a photo of her at the pool where they met. The only references she makes to being 'that girl' are that they proved everyone wrong."
"They are beautiful and I love their story."-wadinglimpkin
Just Because He's Hot Don't Mean He Can't Be Smart Too
"Not me but my mom married my dad who who was hot sh*t. They met in college when he was an absolute hellion."
"But since then he became a doctor, still a really fun dude. He's also a licensed contractor so when he was bored he built a 6000 square foot barn in our backyard over 10 years completely on his own."
"Absolutely stand up dude."-GravityMyGuy
"I married the cool girl. Super athletic, everyone was her friend. We started dating in high school."
"She's kept up everything people loved about her. Nowadays she isn't as interested in other people, and focuses on herself, her career, us and our future."
"We're planning to buy a house and have kids soon. I'm the breadwinner today but I'm not so sure if that'll be true in a few years lol"-WakeAndVape
See, not all the cool kids go on to have horrible, boring lives after. Sometimes the cool kids were cool because they deserved it.
"As it turned out, I married one of the mean girls, didn't go to her school, didn't find out she was considered that until after the divorce. That's how it turned out."
"Then I dated one of the cool chicks. Did go to her school, did know she was considered that. And she was the most amazing human being I've ever known. That one didn't work out either."
"Now I'm just retired from relationships for a bit, strike 3 would kill me right now."
"This was very therapeutic. I have friends and family that are awesome. Hopefully, I'll have more Someday. For now it's me and my kids I'm focusing on."-read110
A Tale Of Strength (On The Outside)
"My mom was the cool girl all through high school, undergrad, grad school. But life didn't go that well. For most of her life, she had to be caring for someone in the family who was ill, and that took a huge toll on her."
"First it was her dad, then it was me (I had childhood illnesses), then her in-laws in quick succession, then her dad again, and finally she had to nurse my dad until he passed away from a terminal illness."
"She was meant to be social and have fun, and instead she was forced to be around sickness and sadness for her best years."
"But she is a very happy and mentally strong person in general who made the best of things. She hosted a lot of people and events."
"My house growing up was full of people visiting and having fun. She's very charming and easy to talk to, and has a lot of fans all the time."
"Though, my siblings and I find her social side rather annoying. She isn't like that with us, and she tells us her charming side is just an act, and the real her is the lady who is constantly critical of us 'for our own good.'"
"She likes having groupies hanging around, people who are happy to take her help and be grateful to her. She has very few friends who could be considered her equals."
"She also expects a lot from other people and is constantly disappointed. She wants to be the center of everything. She doesn't know to be a guest at anything, she somehow ends up running every event she's invited to."
"She sincerely believes she's helping, but it's just disrespectful sometimes and when we tell her that, she doesn't get it."
"She likes to dominate everything and make decisions for everyone. We joke that if the prime minister was her friend, she'd somehow end up running the country for him."-sensitiveinfomax
Sometimes, Chase The Waterfalls
"My mum was the nerdy girl who got all the As and had zero social skills, and somehow managed to start dating my dad who was the popular, good-looking guy who everyone thought would peak in high school."
"She was actually advised by her family and friends that he wouldn't give her the future she was hoping for. They got married at 19, had me when they were 20, and while they were pretty broke the first few years of my life, he paid for my mum to attend law school, started his own business and 25 years later with 3 kids, they're still so in love and have a pretty cushy life."
"My dad actually met one of the loud voices who told my mum she was making a big mistake marrying him, and she had said how she always knew he would turn out well, which he found hilarious."-samknowsbest8
"Found out recently (30 M) that my dad was extremely popular in highschool from my aunt. I had no idea he was an all-star football player with lots of college offers and was prom and homecoming king."
"Never talks about it, but he's doing well. 2 kids, a dog, and a loving wife, imo he's still winning."-ZoatDGoat
And what counts as successful in high school doesn't necessarily count toward success in later life.
What Kind Of Woman?
"My brother was one of the hottest guys in high school and went on to be a model. He's still cool and hot to many but now he's a bit fat."
"He's my brother so ewww on the hot part in my opinion. But women still swoon and he's so obnoxious. Think Matt Dillon, etc…. Era."
"He got dumped by his model 17 years younger wife for a 26 year old. He has impossible standards and it's making him miserable. He's into these flashy shallow women. Overall he's doing really well and his business is thriving."-RunRevolutionary9019
Always Take The Risk
"I sat next to the popular guy every day pretty much for five years and I was so afraid of speaking to him. I'd watched him and his friends picking each other up and shoving the chosen one into lockers, or chasing each other round into a pile on and throwing their shoes at each other. Typical school sh*t."
"They were rowdy and loud and intimidating, but he was the quiet yet seriously funny one and I crushed on him HARD for years. He remembers me as the little blonde girl who didn't speak to anyone (because I was so anxious all the time)."
"He also protected his sister from some a**holes every break time and she'd come to find him for safety from bullies."
"Should have spoken to him sooner when school finished, because we have the same music taste and we get on well enough now at 26 that we have a 6 month old daughter together, my daughter from a previous relationship and we just got engaged last weekend. I adore him, he's handsome, charming and funny and I would do anything for this man as he would for me."-hospital-flowers
High School Never Ends
"I married the Student Council President/ Prom King. He jokes that he peaked in high school. Graduated 20 years ago. He dropped out of three colleges and hasn't found a career path he is passionate about."
"He hates his job, but he's actually really good at it. He's kind of trapped in it because it would be incredibly difficult for him to find a new job without a degree."
"He's a good husband. He's an amazing father. He struggles with anxiety and some depression. A lot of self-doubt. He's incredibly social and the pandemic hit hard."
"He's put on weight and hates his body. He admits that he worries about what other people think of him and wants people to like him."
"He's introspective and wants to be a better person, but anxiety gets in the way sometimes. He married a theater nerd lol, but we didn't meet until college. I felt a little intimidated by his popular past, but he's very down-to-earth."-madestories
We really want our lives to fit neatly into these stereotypes, but at the end of the day, we are all just people repeating a cycle of wanting more for ourselves over and over again. We can't shove that into a stereotype.
Even the student council president, the prom king, the homecoming queen, and the jocks can't run away and hide in a single identity forever. Life makes you into a more rounded person whether you want to be one or not.
Movies' strong focus on creating drama through conflict inevitably has lead to countless on screen deaths.
Some of those movie deaths occur to minor characters we don't care much about (enter Wilhelm Scream). Nonetheless, they can still pack a punch if the manner of the death was gruesome or sad enough.
On the other side of the coin, a death doesn't have to be spectacular to create drama if it happens to a character we've grown to love throughout the film.
And sometimes, a beloved character faces a gruesome end. That's the double whammy.
Redditor Boston_Strong_CQB241 asked:
"Out of all the deaths you seen in movies, which one really stands out to you as the worst?"
Many Redditors recalled the deaths that drew their intensity from the connection they'd felt with the character who did the dying.
And, yes, sometimes the manner of death only heaped on the drama.
"The soldier in Saving Private Ryan that had the knife slowly plunged into his chest after a hand to hand fight and he was begging the other soldier to stop. Intense."
That Etched Wooden Beam
"The old man (Brooks) who hangs himself from The Shawshank Redemption."
" 'Get busy living or get busy dyin.' "
A Very Different Boxing Film
"Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby. Almost becoming World Champion, then paralyzed, her family only caring about the money she won from boxing, then having her limbs chopped off because of bed sores that got infected."
"All this just to be put down as a act of kindness like the story she foretold of her dog she grew up with. I will never watch that movie again."
Stoic Until She Wasn't
"Vesper Lynd drowning in 'Casino Royale.' That moment when she goes serene and calm, to a panicky and frenzied last gasp for air.... that really bothered me."
Others were spooked by the pure violence of some onscreen deaths. They could barely watch the gruesome moments when they erupted.
But now they can't forget them.
Slam, Slam, Slam
"That f**king wine bottle scene in Pan's Labyrinth. The casual brutality is so horribly realistic." -- Darth_Mufasa
"My jaw dropped the first time I saw it and it still haunts me. In fact, that movie gave me nightmares for two weeks" -- TheSilverCrystal
"The curb stomp." -- AUTheatreNerd
"American History X. The curb stomp. It haunts me." -- DigitFisher
"Ryan Reynolds getting his insides eaten out by an Alien in the horror movie Life. It still traumatized me."
And some people recalled the deaths they witnessed as children movie-watchers. All grown up now, they still can't unsee those old images.
"That shoe from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it was so happy and friendly and then it gets slowly dipped to death. The smoke and its cries of pain are burned into my mind 25+ years later."
"Artax in the swamp of sorrows. Made me cry so much as kid, Atreyo was so hopeless." -- kirby60
"Don't you dare do this to me right now" -- OmgOgan
Multiple Movies' Worth of Sadness
"Stoick from How to Train Your Dragon 2, I still cry every time I even think about it, and the flashbacks in the third movie just break me, great trilogy. Full of emotion and great everything, best Dreamworks movies, in my opinion"
The worst part is that this is only a small handful of the tragic movie moments that are out there. And we have so many unknown future deaths we'll see too.
It might feel like a challenge to come back at someone who has just insulted you, but it's easier than you think.
What's the most memorable comeback you've heard in your life?
No one knows you like your family, hence why they're usually the one who know the best way to eviscerate you using only their words. Anyone with an older brother and/or sister knows what's going on with these comebacks.
She Can Stay
"My son and his newlywed wife were poor college students living out of state. When I went to visit them I took them to the grocery store and let them fill up a couple of grocery carts that I paid for. As we were leaving the store I said, "Now, when your kids are poor married college students trying to get by, don't forget this". My new daughter-in-law piped up and said, "Oh we won't forget. We're going to tell them to go get grandpa!" Haa haaa haaa...I love that gal."
Got That Sacred "Dad Laugh"
"I don't care if it's self-congratulatory, I'm proud of this one:
"Having dinner with my dad and older sister. I got straight As in school or something, and she's doing the older sibling thing."
"Sister: You may have gotten the book smarts in this family, but *I* got the street smarts."
"Me: The corner doesn't count."
"Dad: *chokes whiles laughing*"
Oh, Good Lord...
"My uncle to my husband. "When are you guys having a kid?"
"My husband. "Please don't ask me about my sex life with your niece"
Like, in public. Where people are. Other people. People you don't know, who might just be going about their day-to-day business, and they just so happen to hear someone being roasted alive?
What's Keeping You Alive, Grandpa?
"Was standing behind these two older adults and this teen girl at the gas station last year. She was on her phone and the guy snapped at her for "not knowing how to live without technology" and without looking up she went "don't you have a pacemaker?".
When The Store Hates You...
"Someone yelled out in a Walmart , "I'm not ashamed of who I am".
"Another voice echoed back, "that's your parents job"
You Would Really Walk Up To Someone You Don't Know And Say This?
"Young pregnant co-worker had a stranger stare disapproving at her in a restaurant, then walk up and say "pregnancy isn't very becoming on you." She replied, "well, being a nosey rude bi*ch isn't becoming on you, but here we are."
And then there's these clapbacks. Unplanned, zero preparation, and with little prior knowledge, there needs to be a call placed to some local medical center with how much damage was done with these comebacks.
If You Pantsed It, Fix It
"My friend got pantsed, underwear and all at a party. Instead of pulling his underwear and pants up, immediately, he just kept going about his business, while hanging dong. Those of us that knew him already thought it was hilarious. The people at the party that didn't know him, looked really uncomfortable due to this dude having his pants and underwear around his ankles, with his wiener hanging freely. Our friend/the host said "dude, why don't you pull your pants up?" Pantsed guy said "I didn't pull them down." Then took his turn in beer pong. The host then found the guy that did pull them down and made him pull our friend's pants back up."
Definitely Seems Like You Got Tricked Here
"When I was working as a bartender one Halloween, I came dressed as an old Western style bartender (complete with mustache and accent). We had the evening split up into a little costume party for kids and families in the earlier hours, and then an adults only costume piss up later on."
"One of the regulars laughed at my costume and said I looked stupid, so I told him"
"You should probably come back after the kids have gone because you've come dressed as a c-nt".
"He didn't talk to me for weeks after that. It was blissful."
That's A Mom Burn! Those Don't Heal!
"I asked my mum out of curiosity what she would do if she found a used condom in my brother's room."
"Her response: "I would remind him that you can't get HIV from your own hand"
"For context, I live in South Africa where HIV is very common"
If you have some ice nearby it might be a good idea to go and grab some.
These burns spread.