Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bus Trip

The wife made me do this, claiming that Taiwanese run tour buses are the best way to travel. I thought it would suck, and it did.

It was your basic "checklist" tour - you know, the kind where the Asian tourists flood out to get their picture taken in front of certain specific "classic" landmarks to show their friends. I am sure westerners do this too - maybe low budget tour groups of Italy? God forbid you didn't hit the classic place or went off the beaten path...and multiple tour groups were on literally the exact same route. We were racing about 7-12 buses full of other Chinese/Taiwanese tourists. They even stop at the exact same Flying J truck stops. Maybe that company should put in a Panda Express because they already sell kitschy tourist stuff to these folks..

The bus portion of this trip thus was prodigious. 8:00 a.m. departure and arriving at the next Best Western chosen for its low cost at about 10:00 p.m. or later. Meals taken on the bus annoyed the wife, but it got me some Subway sandwiches instead of the normal greasy Chinese buffet. The wife ended up hating the Chinese Buffets, which universally sucked. (OK, one Vietnamese-Chinese place was good, but it was not a buffet.)

Locations we visited:

Arches National Park - Utah
Crazy Horse Monument - S. Dakota
Mount Rushmore - S. Dakota
some animal park
Yellowstone - 5 places each for about 30-45 minutes
Grand Teton - stopped at a lodge for a photo op, then left...
SLC - Copper mine, Salt Lake, Mormon Temple, State capitol.

Oh, and Vegas, which was where we started and finished up the trip. Ended up so exhausted that we did nothing in Vegas. I don't like casinos anyways.

The wife decided on day 2 that bus tours suck. Or at least this one did. Not much comfort for me as I knew we had many more days of hell.

Oh, and as a bonus, the guide spent a few hours on the bus discussing which vitamins should be taken, and how Chinese people in America should be like the Jews and Unions and keep close and collude to keep profits for themselves. Like the Koreans, who supposedly collude to keep the price of tofu-hot pot at 8.99. Also, don't drink coca-cola. Cola is bad for you. The same thing I have heard from every Taiwanese for 10 years. (The cola thing.)

He was a good guide, though. I did remind him that not just Chinese people built the railroads - the Irish did too, and he incorporated that factoid into one of his speeches.

Oh, when we visited the Mormons, they brought out their international hotties to show us around. We had a Taiwanese Mormon who had a huge flag of Taiwan button. (All the hotties had their countries' flag as a button.) I was interested in that these tour groups are now 50%-90% Chinese now. I was going to be a smart-ass about this and ask some "innocent" question about her flag, but I shut up. I wonder if China would allow missionaries in if they dropped the Taiwan flag? I also did not ask my Bin Lang question.


Anonymous said...


Kevlar said...

Where is the video of you jammed in a non Fae-Go sofa chair eating a sub way sandwich off a tiny chair back folding table?

As I just went to Keelong on a tour bus with Kaia, and the available population of crooners from Chang hua and Yuanling. I have to ask, do american tour buses have peaceful KTV blarring speakers and rainbow disco lights?

Anonymous said...

Mercifully no KTV system.

Richard said...

I'm subbing for my workmate who's going on one of these tours in the US with his wife. He's not really looking forward to it, but at least it's free - the wife's company is paying for it. I guess that's the only way to make people go!

Anonymous said...

I think the tours would work for Europe, where you can have short hops and see tons of old buildings. Its not as if you want to be in a church for 4 hours. In a national park, you'd like to hike or something.