Travel Ideas

The Road Junky Shit List – Travel Nightmares

The Road Junky Shit List is travel journalism at it’s sharpest, it’s wittiest… ok, at it’s most misanthropic. Here we collect an updated and ongoing list of all the shit that drives us crazy on the road.

After the resounding popularity of our ten worst cities guide Road Junky decided to extend the concept of a general Shit List to vent all the things that drive us out of our minds on the road.

If it’s altogether too misanthropic for you, feel free to check out the Bliss List instead.

13. Gaijin Houses in Japan

A gaijin is the generic word for a foreigner in Japan and a Gaijin-house is where they usually end up staying whilst they try to fill their pockets with yen teaching English, selling fake watches or busking on the metro. Travelers are stuffed into rooms with bunkbeds where sleep 3 other snoring itinerant wanderers and pay hundreds of dollars a month for the privilege.

Sometimes the shower is even coin-operated to make a little more out of you.

12. Beer in Asia

Travelers in places like India and Thailand often take a beer to remind themselves of a taste of home, the alcohol keeping the culture shock at bay. Trouble is, Asian beers like Kingfisher and Chang are full of nasty chemicals and glycerin that leave you with almighty hangovers and make your kidneys work overtime.

Stick with the smoke.

11. Diarrhea

Delhi Belly, Montezuma^s revenge or the plain old shits, diarrhea awaits the traveler the world over. How many days when you should be on the beach, scaling mountains or hanging out in pick-up bars are lost to crouching over a dismal cockroach-infested toilet?

Learn about guaranteed diarrhea cures

10. Romance on the Road

You meet the traveler of your dreams and then they go back to live somewhere on the other side of the planet. Even if you’re brave and foolish enough to follow them, the magic is so often gone once it’s back to apartment hunting and minimum wage jobs. Oh, why can’t the romance last forever?2013/05

9. The Backpacker Industry in South East Asia

In Thailand and even Laos, the backpacker scene is mapped out and run with heartless efficiency from hotel room to hill trek to scuba dive to bus ride with other gaijins to smiling hotel tout who puts you through the same circle. Yes, you can avoid it but 98% don’t and what kind of wild adventure is that?

8. Male Rape

Rape is absymal and traumatic for anyone but we include male rape here as it’s less often talked about. Across the planet young guys hitchhiking around are especially at risk or in any country where the religions keep the men and women apart until marriage. Young guys are advised to grow a beard in such places…

7. Airports

We have a theory that Purgatory is probably an airport, as illustrated in the Tom Hanks movie, Terminal. The neon light, the endless security checks, the nasty immigration officials, the lousy food, the feeling that every airport you land is actually the same one…

6. Travel Guide Books

Anyone who knows Road Junky knows that we love to piss off the travel guide industry. Whilst there are travel guides out there that aren’t quite as inane as the Lonely Planet, guide books have taken much of the fun out of travel as backpacking became a safe, sane and mapped way to consume a Gap Year while preparing for a life of conformity.

5.Drunk English Abroad

Across the beaches of Spain and Greece, drunk English holiday makers leave a truly terrifying trail of devastation behind them. Ecstatic about the cheap beer and all-night bars, they beat each other up in the streets, have sex in the alleys and throw up everywhere – often all at the same time.

4. Israelis on the Road

Road Junky understands why Israelis make so much balagan on the road but that doesn’t make it any more fun when Israeli wolf packs piss off the locals forever by haggling over every tiniest coin and playing techno in the room next to you at 6 in the morning. Never mind taping Hebrewletters over all the keyboards in the internet cafes…

3. Born-Again Christians on the Road

Road Junky believes in freedom of religion but not the freedom to convince other people that they have to choose between believing the world is a few thousand years old or spending forever burning in hell fire. Every hitchhker dreads the ride with the little black book on the dashboard.

2. Suburbs Anywhere in the World

Suburbs are a social disease that blight the first world and blame must go to the Americans for inventing them. Lifeless, soulless zones where even walking around is suspicious behaviour, suburbs depend entirely on the car and a culture of isolationism.

1. Mainland Chinese Culture

Even Road Junky is hard pushed to generalise about a billion people at a time but if ever there was a population the deserved it, it’s the modern mainland Chinese. Growing up in a scarred, traumatised police state, many urban Chinese are now on capitalist speed and regard themselves as the pinnacle of evolution. They exploit the rural Chinese immigrants mercilessly and money and power have come to be the only values that matter.