9 Apr 2011
Josie of Josie Wanders asked me to answer ten questions as part of the nomination process for the 2017 Liebster Award.
5. What is the first thing you do on arrival in a new country?
The easy answer is that I take an Uber from the airport to the hotel, look around more or less blearily, and promptly fall into bed on arrival.
I’d like to say that once the bags are stowed, I’m up and alert, showered and shaven and caffeinated, I head to the biggest art gallery and check out the iconic works.
Sometimes I actually do this, because I like art, and a look through a gallery is a good way to find out what is important, what is beautiful, what is integral to the soul of the local community.
But generally, the first thing I do is to walk out of the hotel’s front door and explore the neighbourhood. Just to get the feel of the place, to locate myself, to work out which way is north, to find the nearest public transport stops, and places to shop.
Once I’ve done this, I feel more secure, more settled, more at home.
Most of the time I’ll come back with an idea of where things are located, interesting parks and buildings to take a look at later, a local transport map, and a litre of milk because I can’t stand the mingy little plastic things in the minibar.
And sometimes, I think twice. “You can go out, sir, no problems,” said the night clerk at one hotel in New Orleans. “But you won’t be coming back!”
The Liebster Award: