The word ‘glamping’ refers to glamorous camping; there are people who don’t like camping and has to take along hair straighteners, DSTV, foot spa’s etc. to make their camping experience more enjoyable. These ‘glampers’ also look like super models in any situation, from a wilderness safari to an Oppikoppi festival. I’m sure there must be a similar made-up word for a tourist or traveler who can walk around in heels and a miniskirt and has the appearance of being on the way to a fashion show no matter what country she is in. Glam-traveler…Glameler?
Whatever that word is, I am the opposite of that. My standard tourist outfit consist of comfortable shoes, a huge backpack, water bottle and map of city being visited in my hand. For some reason foreign mosquitoes love my blood; on previous travels in Rotterdam it looked as if I had an acne break out, because of all the mozzie bites on my face. In Cusco, Peru I was viciously attacked on my arms and legs…and the mosquitoes of New York are no different. It’s like I’m that emo-girl from Twilight and they’re the Edwards who can’t resist my blood. So, currently I have two feet like watermelons and no visible ankles (swollen from walking around too much), a red rash on the lower part of my calves (no idea where that came from) and mozzie bites up the sides of my legs.
Usually, I don’t mind looking a bit ridiculous when I travel; there is usually always someone more sweaty or awkward looking than me within a 20m radius. But not in New York City. I get stared at on the subway by girls in pin-stripe skirts and button-up blouses. I am starting to believe they take people on free ferry trips to Staten Island, past the Statue of Liberty and then drown all the ugly fat ones on the side of the Island, only returning with beautiful creatures to stride down Fifth Avenue. So, to help me feel less insecure and less fat-footed I try to focus on other things…such as the stupidity of Americans. (Evil grin) There are just so many examples of the stereotypical uninformed American walking around here! We met a girl in the place we stay and when she heard we’re from South Africa, her response was: “Oh, I have a friend who lives in Ghana!” Um, it’s like, are they taught in school: If you meet someone from a foreign country, reply with “I have a friend who lives in (enter any other random country here).” Another example: as I was walking in Central Garden I heard a woman exclaim to the Ice Cream vendor: “My ice cream is too frozen!” Yes. It’s an ice cream on a stick. I has to be frozen to stay up there, duh.
But enough of me being mean about beautiful stylish people and more about New York. We went to the Ground Zero Memorial (a nice public space), walked along the Hudson River Promenade (It’s romantic and even longer than Durban’s promenade!) and walked on the High-Line (BEST THING TO DO IN NEW YORK!)
(I include a picture of the Memory Waterfall at the Ground Zero Memorial.)