How to stay the same after your travels
1. Don’t mingle with the locals. Don’t chat with that old lady selling flowers at the market or the 12-year-old selling postcards by the road. Be convinced that the only locals you need to speak to are your hotel receptionist and tour guide.
2. Don’t try any of the local food. Avoid the kebab in Istanbul, the noodles in Beijing and the nasi lemak in Kuala Lumpur. These are all evil foods because you don’t know what the heck is inside them. Stick to KFC, McDonald’s and pizza. And banana pancakes.
3. Don’t aim to learn anything about the local culture. Don’t make any plans to go to the theatre, visit a street market or attend a cooking class.
4. Don’t plan to make new friends on your trip. You might chat with the people you meet, but don’t ask anything about them, what they do, where they’re going or the people they love. Be preoccupied with updating your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
5. Don’t accept offers from strangers. Don’t accept tea from shopkeepers or dinner invites from concerned grandmothers you meet in the market. Don’t accept offers from men who want to give you a tour of the city. Everyone, but everyone, has bad intentions.
6. Don’t plan to learn something new every day. There is nothing more that you need to know about life and how beautiful it is.
7. Miss the opportunity to see a sunrise in a new country.
8. Avoid the poor areas of the town you’re in. Go only to the expensive shopping malls. You don’t need to see how the other half lives. You don’t need to be aware of poverty.
9. Mix only with your own kind. If you’re Asian, mix only with Asians who speak your language. If you speak English, hang out only with those who do. You haven’t got the time to expand your horizons or learn anything from anyone who is different from you.
10. Stay at home.
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