7 Things You’ll Never Catch Me Doing on My Vacations

Caribbean Cruise Ship

Since I am something of what Spiro T. Agnew called a “nattering nabob of negativity,” I thought of concentrating on travel activities that I would avoid like the plague:

  1. Speaking of the plague, going on a large cruise ship ranks right up there. I don’t know which is worse, catching Legionnaires’ Disease or equivalent rot when cooped up with several thousand upscale vacationers, or pretending to be friends with said vacationers when I have zilch in common with them.
  2. Ziplining or bicycling, not recommended for someone with an artificial hip or panhypopituitarism.
  3. Staying at a luxury hotel or resort and spending hundreds of dollars a night for a bed and a lot of snooty attitude.
  4. Skiing because of its demogaphic profile, high costs, and high potential rate of injury. (Okay, so I’m a wuss. Is that OK?)
  5. Traveling in the jungle, as I am mosquito-phobic. I’ve got to this age without contracting any tropical diseases, and I want to keep it that way.
  6. I don’t make friends with other American tourists: I travel to interact with the natives of the country I am visiting. If you see me on my travels, don’t talk to me in English, because I will answer you in Hungarian. The only exception: I belong to The English Group of Buenos Aires (TEGOBA) and enjoy attending their Friday meetings.
  7. Visiting wineries, as I am diabetic, and alcohol turns to sugar in the body. Besides, I don’t even like wine.

Within these boundaries, I manage to have a great time when I travel. My next travel post will emphasize the things I love about travel.





I have seen it coming over the years, the burgeoning diversification of wheeled transport for young people. When I first came to L.A. late in 1966, there was a concert film (which included the Rolling Stones) called The T.A.M.I. Show, which was filmed in 1964. It began with a prologue of a couple of young skateboarders rolling down a steep street in what looked like Pacific Palisades. I have even seen a few motorized skateboards recently that look clearly illegal, but their owners must think they are powerful chick magnets.

Of course, bicycles have been around since the 1800s, but now they are getting ever more popular, with occasional street closures called CicLAvia. (I remember getting stuck on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista for over half hour during one of those.)

Next were inline skates, which infuriated bikers because skaters wound up taking too much of the lateral space in bicycle lanes as they moved from side to side.

Although scooters have been around since my childhood, the Razor scooter came in around 1999. (BTW, I’ve seen a few motorized versions of this as well.) Around the same time, the first Segways started coming out. And we mustn’t forget the infamous hoverboard, which is under fire for safety reasons.

I hesitate to think of what’s next. Unfortunately, the devotees of all these modes of transportation act as if they were the only game in town. Their devotees like to get into “the zone” as they speed up past all obstacles, such as stop signs, traffic signals, and unwary pedestrians.

Perhaps it’s like the United States as a whole, which is rapidly fragmenting into ever smaller subsets of wheeled transportation. In future, will there be separate lanes for pogo sticks? Will toddlers’ strollers be motorized and driven by their occupants? Will little red wagons ever come back?