Friday, July 2, 2010

Traveling pet peeves

Since I'm back from a long trip and a little grumpy I thought I'd just vent some of my pet peeves about traveling.  Read at your own risk...

I'm only 6'1" or so, not exceedingly tall, but most of the rest area bathrooms in this country hang their mirrrors so I'm looking at my belly and chest.  Look, I understand the guys in wheelchairs and dwarfs have to comb their hair too but should that inconvenience 99% of the rest of us using the damn bathroom?  Can't you just paste up one small mirror at wheelchair height for a few bucks and leave the other 10 mirrors for average height people?

On the subject of rest area bathrooms, why do men feel a need to piss all over the floor and toilets?  I'd rather just go in the woods than in some of these bathrooms where I feel like hosing off my sneakers when I come out.

In a similar vein, what's with those hotels that place showerheads 5 feet above the bottom of the tub?  I have to bend over to wash my hair.  Are plumbers in this country shorter than normal?  Are they doing it to save 1 foot of copper pipe for each motel unit to economize on construction costs?  Do people other than me like to bend over when showering?  Who in their right mind installs a showerhead at chest level?

Why do people from cities drive like such complete idiots?  The closer you get to a major city, the higher the proportion of complete morons and inconsiderate assholes driving cars.  Is it brain damage from breathing all the exhaust fumes?  Pent up rage from having to spend hours commuting a mile or two down the road? (I am certainly spoiled with my 1.5 mile daily commute to work on a relatively quiet county road).

Why is Canada so expensive?  The exchange rate was almost par (I believe $0.96 US got a Canadian dollar) but prices were 10-20% higher in Canada for everything.  And service in restaurants in Canada is typically slow and surly.  I feel bad picking on them since today's Canada Day but oh well.

Why do the cheapest chain hotels offer the most free amenities?  Days Inn, for example, is typically inexpensive, usually clean and decent, and offers free WiFi, newspaper, parking, breakfast, etc.  When I've stayed at Marriotts or Hiltons for geology conferences they typically charge for Internet ($12/day at one place), parking ($20/day), breakfast (over $10), etc.  Give me a Days Inn, Comfort Inn, EconoLodge, etc. anytime.

Why do NJ and OR not have self-serve gas pumps?  Is there some strong lobbying organization fighting to save those miserable, minimum-wage, gas pumping jobs?  Are people in those states too dumb to pump their own gas?  I prefer to pump my own rather than wait for some surly attendant to do it.  And why is NY the only state without those locks to hold the gas pumps on so you don't have to stand their squeezing the handle to whole time?  Legislators in this state can't get a state budget in on time for the past few decades but they have time to pass laws about gas pump clicky things.

Do they really have to fence in the entire western part of this country with barbed wire?  There must be billions of miles of the stuff, even in remote areas completely devoid of cows. The only places not wired are towns and National Parks.

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