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Travel Tales Michael’s Own Best 150

by Michael Brein

Pages 2 and 3 of 41

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Travel Tales: Michael’s Own
Best 150
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True Travel Tales, Volume 2
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Michael Brein
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Published by Michael Brein, 2018
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Some story excerpts from this book
Also by Michael Brein
True Travel Tales
Travel Tales: Michael's Own Top 25
Travel Tales: Michael's Own Best 150
Travel Tales: Women Alone — The #MeToo of Travel!
The Road to Strange: Travel Tales of the Paranormal and Beyond
The Road to Strange: UFOs, Aliens, and High Strangeness

Watch for more at www.michaelbrein.com.
You wouldn't believe the incredible strories people have told me about their travels.
You wouldn't believe the incredible strories people have told me about their travels.
The Milk Missle
Michael Brein
Over Africa, 2006. A woman sitting next to you on a flight casually struggles to open a thumb-sized coffee creamer. You know what a struggle this can be — it just doesn’t want to open. And, all too often, something can and will go wrong. And wrong it surely does this time. The scene now morphs into slowww-moh-tion! A fingernail clips the wrong part of the flimsy lid, and a droplet now launches, sailing through the air like a cruise missile on a mission — right in your direction.
You are scrunched into a small seat — with nowhere to turn and nothing to do. In your mind’s eye, you are going (in a drawn-out, very deep, slowed down bass voice) “Ooooh Nohhhhhh!” And, sure enough, the milk droplet hits you square in the shirt. “Splaaaat,” it goes, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You are, indeed, now the ‘victim.’ This droplet is meant for you. What to do?
Well, the woman — her husband sitting just across the aisle — does not at all react. Instead, she feigns total indifference to and unawareness of this whole dastardly (although accidental and certainly not premeditated) deed. NOT GOOD ENOUGH! This means war, I am thinking.
Come on! Common decency requires at least some token, a meager attempt at a humble apology. Instead, I get total
denial, not only from her but also from her husband who must now be in collusion with her, for he surely cannot be oblivious to the launch of this white, not-so-stealthy, milk missile.
Again, what to do? I will get some satisfaction out of this, I proclaim to myself! Enter the ‘fool’ in me. The best defense is a good offense, and I do, indeed, have the perfect strategy in mind: I will reduce them to tears from embarrassed laughter.
l decide to order some soda water from the flight attendant. Soda water, like chicken soup, is the supposed cure-all for this particular kind of ill — namely, a stain spot on a shirt. Somehow, I manage to vocalize and gesture some sort of ‘fizzy water’ in a mix of international language as well as English and German. I am outdoing myself purposely with this very animated exaggerated tactic. It is all part of my strategy.
Success! This gets a barely suppressed chuckle by the couple. Good, I think. The plan is beginning to work.
The seltzer, soda water arrives. I begin to massage it onto the spot on my shirt, making exaggerated circling motions on my now increasingly soaking wet shirt. This makes it far worse than it ought to be and, of course, funnier than hell. But, of course, I am doing this all on purpose. It’s all part of my very ludicrous and silly plan; and I am the consummate ‘clown,’ after all.
Now, I sense more of a muffled, contained laughter, just a tad short of the point of no return to raucous, explosive laughter out loud. But it does not happen: we don’t quite get there.
Oh well, I’m sure that I am seen by them, though, as either a complete ‘idiot abroad’ or something far worse than that. I have no doubt that they later collapsed onto the floor in the privacy of their home with convulsive laughter.
The ‘fool’ in me thinks that they really did not believe I actually put on this show exclusively for their benefit in the hope that I
denial, not only from her but also from her husband who must now be in collusion with her, for he surely cannot be oblivious to the launch of this white, not-so-stealthy, milk missile.
Again, what to do? I will get some satisfaction out of this, I proclaim to myself! Enter the ‘fool’ in me. The best defense is a good offense, and I do, indeed, have the perfect strategy in mind: I will reduce them to tears from embarrassed laughter.
l decide to order some soda water from the flight attendant. Soda water, like chicken soup, is the supposed cure-all for this particular kind of ill — namely, a stain spot on a shirt. Somehow, I manage to vocalize and gesture some sort of ‘fizzy water’ in a mix of international language as well as English and German. I am outdoing myself purposely with this very animated exaggerated tactic. It is all part of my strategy.
Success! This gets a barely suppressed chuckle by the couple. Good, I think. The plan is beginning to work.
The seltzer, soda water arrives. I begin to massage it onto the spot on my shirt, making exaggerated circling motions on my now increasingly soaking wet shirt. This makes it far worse than it ought to be and, of course, funnier than hell. But, of course, I am doing this all on purpose. It’s all part of my very ludicrous and silly plan; and I am the consummate ‘clown,’ after all.
Now, I sense more of a muffled, contained laughter, just a tad short of the point of no return to raucous, explosive laughter out loud. But it does not happen: we don’t quite get there.
Oh well, I’m sure that I am seen by them, though, as either a complete ‘idiot abroad’ or something far worse than that. I have no doubt that they later collapsed onto the floor in the privacy of their home with convulsive laughter.
The ‘fool’ in me thinks that they really did not believe I actually put on this show exclusively for their benefit in the hope that I
could, indeed, shame them into uncontrollable embarrassing laughter out loud.
The ‘superhero’ in me almost, but not quite, succeeded in doing just this. The ‘idiot’ in me knows, once again, that creating laughter at his (MY) own expense in a situation such as this is the perfect way to go. I did try this tactic again in Russia in 2001, this time in St. Petersburg, at the Peterhof Palace and Fountain, and I succeeded beyond measure! See the next story.
The Peterhof Fountain
Michael Brein
St. Petersburg, Russia, 2001. There’s nothing so much fun as making a gaggle of Russian teenage girls giggle. And even better, there is nothing more rewarding as seeing them all convulsing in uncontrollable, raucous laughter out loud, thus having no possible better a time than that. Being the consummate ‘clown’ that I am, this was my plan for the gardens of the Peterhof Palace in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, where they have one of the world’s finest arrays of beautiful fountains. The ‘clown’ in me is really up to making the group of young Russian girls laugh totally at his (MY) expense. And I plan to do this very thing at the infamous Peterhof Palace ‘Splash Fountain.’
This is a great one! There are many flat slate stepping stones neatly arrayed in one area. Now, the girls are very mindful that if you dare to step anywhere into this zone, you just may fall victim to getting squirted by a random fountain squirt-spurt shooting right up at you.
It’s a crapshoot, of course, for you never quite know where the fountain will squirt next. It is one thing for guys to get squirted in his way; it is another matter entirely for girls in skirts. So, they tread very carefully, one of them, then another, darting back and forth, trying to both entice and evade the random eruptions of the fountains.
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