Country Comparison

Friday, December 16, 2005

Country Comparisons from 2 Years of Travel

Here's just a little list regarding my thoughts, in a nutshell, on the countries I have visited in the past two years:

Most interesting/fascinating country: India
Most innocent people: Burma
Most annoying people: (north) India
Most sexual harrassment: (north) India (Egypt #2, Turkey #3)
Country that touched my heart the most: Burma
Country I easily could have skipped: Paraguay
Country I liked much more than I thought I would: Argentina
Most awesome natural wonder: Iguazu Falls (at border of Argentina and Brazil)
Favorite archaeological sites: Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Bagan (Burma), Ayutthaya (Thailand), Palmyra (Syria), Machu Picchu (Peru), Karnak Temple, Ramses II tomb, & Abu Simbel (Egypt), Hampi (India)
My favorite Buddhist shrine: Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon, Burma)
My favorite church: Church of Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)
My favorite mosque: (in Old City of Damascus, Syria)
Craziest traffic: India
Most diversity in one country: India
Most interesting religious rituals to watch: India
Most celebrations: India
Loudest weddings: India
Least favorite food: Kenya
Favorite food: India
Favorite city: Jerusalem
Favorite island: Bali (Indonesia)
Noisiest country: India (with Vietnam a close 2nd)
Most hospitable people: Balinese, Burmese, & Ethiopians
Most friendly African people: Ethiopians
Most friendly Arab people: Syrians
Most friendly Latin Americans: Argentinians
Most friendly Asians: Burmese (Balinese close 2nd)
Most sick I have been with stomach problems: Thailand
Scariest day: gun shootout, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
Angriest I've ever been in a single moment: when Palestinian man "stabbed" me in the back twice in Muslim Quarter of Old City, Jerusalem
Biggest Liars: Arab Egyptians (north Indians are a very close second)
Most trash everywhere: India
Least reliable electricity/most # of blackouts: India
Greatest # of animals living among people: India
Most helpful people, expecting nothing in return: Balinese (Ethiopians a close 2nd)
Worst Body Odor: sub-Saharan Africans (sorry, can't break down by country, because in my opinion, they all smelled really, really bad); Indians #2, Jordanians #3
Meanest Immigration Officers: Syria
Most helpful and friendliest Immigration Officers: Argentina
Most Casual Immigration Officers: Uruguay
Dirtiest/smelliest country: India
Country that shocked me the most: India
Single hardest bus ride: Mozambique, Africa
Single hardest boat ride: Laos
Single biggest altitude drop while flying: over Bolivia
Worst roads throughout country: Mozambique, Africa
Most crowded buses: Africa
Nicest buses: Argentina ("Cama Suite" full-sleeper buses)
Smelliest trains: India
Most colorful buses: Tanzania (Kenya is a close second)
Country where I saw the most people urinating/defecating in public: India
Most scam artists: India
Most turbulent plane route: Tokyo to Thailand
Quietest small town: Yavi, Argentina
Favorite holy town: Omkareshwar, India
Most freezing cold country: Bolivia
Hottest/most humid country: India
Dirtiest/smelliest hotel beds: India
Dirtiest hotel bathrooms: India
Most crippled/seriously deformed people: India
Skinniest people: India and Ethiopia
Greatest # of beggars: India
Most aggressive beggars: (north) India
Most # of amputees: Cambodia
Most colorful dress: India (state of Rajasthan)
Worst massage: Saigon, Vietnam
Best massage: Bangkok, Thailand
Least amount of technology: Burma
Most repressive government: Burma (Syria #2)
Cleanest country: Singapore
Most conservative culture: Burma and Syria tied for 1st place
Most open/tolerant/casual society: Thailand
Most prostitution: Thailand
Most political problems/social unrest when I was there: Ethiopia (Bolivia a close second)
When I left this country, I cried: Burma
Country whose current situation upsets me the most: Israel
Country I am most likely to visit again: India (Israel and Burma tied for 2nd place)
Country I think about the most: India
Country that all travelers I met who have been there always say they love it: Burma
Country that travelers feel the most strongly about (either love it or hate it): India
Most contradictory country: India
Most mosquitos: Bodhgaya, India
Most friendly fellow travelers: the Dutch (Holland)
Least friendly fellow travelers: Israelis
Biggest drunkards (other travelers): Brits (England)
Biggest drug users (other travelers): Israelis
Easiest place for travelers to buy drugs: India
Women dressed the most conservatively: Syria
Most annoying beds: all beds in South America that were too short for me and had foot boards
Single most uncomfortable bed: Ajanta, India
Smelliest bed blankets: Calcutta (Kolkata), India
Something I strongly dislike: cold showers in cold countries
What I miss the most when I travel: family (then, sleeping in the same bed every night and consistently warm showers)

- Julie