The Long and Winding Road Shortened and Straightened (Part 2)
Handsome Jake England @doccaballero
Handsome Jake is a rock 'n' roll doctor from Perth, Australia and is the lead singer of Aussie rock band The Caballeros.
Sequels are tough; I knew I shouldn't have had that nap!
Alright, you have done well so far, braved the airport and the flying tube in style and grace and with a smile on your face! You are cleaned up and ready to go.
It's tough going to a new place and not knowing anyone, especially if you are by yourself. Here is a little trick that may not have crossed your mind. Use the internet!
I can't tell you what you like and neither can anyone else, this is why you really should plan your own holiday. Jump on your search engine of preference and get those keywords working for you. If you like paintball in a castle or eating food off naked people, a quick search will tell you if that is an option in the city you are currently looking for fun in.
Don't want to use the internet?
Alright cool, you get to be old fashioned and do it the fun way.
The Hot Tip List
On my first trip to NYC I was dying for a leak...
(of a container or covering) accidentally lose or admit contents, especially liquid or gas, through a hole or crack.
"the roof leaked"
Australian slang: To relieve one's bladder of urine.
"Handsome Jake drank six gin and tonics, and thus desperately required a leak"
...and stumbled into the closest bar I could find.
I am not a big sports bar goer, but a pending bladder infection meant it would have to do. I'm not a monster though; I didn't just go in, drain the dragon and take off! I walked up to the bar and ordered a beverage. Like a gentleman.
This is where you will find out the best information about anything. People who work in hospitality work damn hard to ensure that you have a good time, but here's the deal: they party way harder than you could ever know! After having to deal with jerks all day and night they have to let off some steam, meaning they know the best bars and food in town.
- Strike up a conversation with the bartender.
Tell them you are from out of town. I know your mother said to act like a local so you don't get mugged or fall into a suckers game of three-card monte, but the I love NY shirt isn't doing you any favours.
As soon as people know you are from out of town something happens to them. All of a sudden they want to tell you about all the cool crap that exists in their hometown. I was lucky that this particular sports bar had a couple of regulars sitting next to me, and even luckier that they chimed in and literally quizzed me on what sort of fun I was looking for. Luckier still, they wrote an actual list of things for me to do: bars, food trucks, record stores and more. Being from New York, they talked fast and with a lot of passion. They kept saying "here's the tip!" and at that point, the hot tip list was born.
I have done this in every city I have been to at most bars and restaurants. Doing so means that I've found things that the internet would have never shown me.
Locals know better than machines!
Get out of the car. Driving is the soft option and you will never go anywhere besides planned stops.
If you are in a car, you'll never walk past a club and hear zombie John Lennon playing a once in a lifetime basement concert before he turns to dust. You'll just be listening to sub-par local talk radio in the automobile.
How many times have you driven past that cool store and said "I should go there" and never have? It's as simple as pulling over and parking, but when you are in the car, you are on your way somewhere and don't.
You're on holiday! Walk around and get a feel for the city! It's much more fun.
Sore feet? Shut up!
- Do things you wouldn't at home.
Do you usually eat chicken burritos? Try beef. Usually drink vodka, lime and soda? Try an alcoholic ginger beer. Never been to a rave? Better buy some fluorescent clothes and some glow sticks because you're going!
Taste and smells are great for locking in memories and when they are foreign to you, your senses are heightened even more so. Maybe you will hate that soggy beef burrito. Maybe the ginger beer made your tongue feel weird, and at 4 am you call it quits at the rave because dance music makes your nose bleed. Or, maybe you loved everything and are converted and will never drink another vodka lime and soda again!
Maybe you don't like to holiday like I do, maybe you like tours and let travel agents book everything for you. That's okay for people with kids. This can be a sound option. But if you want to get off the beaten track a little, maybe try something new. You might find out that you love it!
*Dig on Handsome Jake's nitro rock band The Caballeros and check out their new album "Ladies and Gentleman: The Caballeros".