I was thumbing through our book shelves on Sunday morning, looking for a travel guide to read, when I stumbled upon a book I'd never noticed before: The Safe Travel Book. I figured it was a reference guide that Damon purchased from Amazon last summer, along with the 10+ tourism guides he bought in anticipation of our European journeys.
We spent a good 30 minutes laughing our asses off, as we scanned a few chapters. Chris Rock could do an entire gig around one chapter alone.
Here are some of the highlights (not the complete list, but just our favorites listed in "Chapter 2: What to Take on Your Trip"):
Toiletries and Convenience Items
2.9 The following items will probably be necessary on your trip:
- A roll of toiler paper in a zip-lock plastic bag (a partially used roll is less bulky, and the inner core can be removed to save space)
Note: Because women have more frequent need of toilet paper and supplies at public facilities (and sanitary conditions are uncertain), it is smart for women to fold up a day's need of toilet paper and tuck it into her panties, ready for use at a restaurant or museum facility. PUT THAT MENTAL PICTURE INTO YOUR MINDS WHILE WALKING THROUGH PARIS...CAN YOU SAY SPEECHLESS????
- Woolite-available in small packets in powder form
- Several large handkerchiefs (usable in emergency for bag handles, as a towel, as a mouth cover filter or emergency toilet paper) THIS GUY IS OBSESSED WITH FEMALE HYGIENE....
- An inflatable drip-dry hanger for hanging washed shirts to dry in the bathroom--also available from Magellan's catalogue (2.11) WHEN I READ THIS TO DAMON, HE ASKED ME IF THE AUTHOR WAS MacGYVER...
2.10 It will be important to have the following medicines and other medical items with you 9see 1.75 and 1.76):
- A collapsible drinking cup
- A syringe and needle...
- Water purificationi treatment--household bleach, such as clorox...Order the Portable Aqua/Water Purification Kit, $15, from Passport Health.... WHAT IS THE WEIGHT LIMIT PER PASSENGER, AGAIN?
Security and Crime Prevention Items
2.11 The following items may be useful for thwarting assault and theft:
- A small string of bendable wire, such as coat hanger wire, to fix baggage handles if they break
- A three-foot-long piece of nonstretch clothesline or strong string to replace broken bag handles--several strands thick so that it won't cut into your hand ARE YOU SURE MacGYVER DIDN'T WRITE THIS?
- An attachable door look to use inside the hotel room door where a door chain is not provided by the hotel...
Damon soon told me that his company included that book with his international assignment package. Perhaps this is because the author, Peter Savage, is an international security consultant specializing in corporate crisis management. One Web site states that the The Safe Travel Book is, "...a standard reference for corporate security officers and travel managers." There was a lot of information about terrorism and other topics that might be useful to business travelers visiting high-risk areas, but I can't imagine why any company would provide this to the average employee going to work at a factory in the EU.
Okay, this edition was published in 1993, but I keep wondering if I really would have been gullible enough to buy any of this crap--even back then. The link above is for a revised edition, and I hope the updated version is much more realistic and useful to the average international traveler.
The scary thing is that Damon's company probably bought hundreds of copies at $13-$18 a pop, and employees are letting them sit on their shelves and collect dust.
If they'd only open the cover and turn a few pages, they'd realize the good humor just waiting to be discovered.