Do you speak English? Non, nein, nee. I don’t…except…

She saw me, and knew I was a tourist right away. She knew we all were. Thirty something tourists, one Canadian in the bunch, one American, twenty-nine Aussies, four Kiwis.

One tour guide.

This girl was holding a piece of cardboard, a piece of paper on it, accosting everyone she could.

“Do you speak English?” She burst out, staring at me and aghast and confused I shook my head no while our tour guide approached separating the girl from the group.

I’ve now been asked this question quite a bit, one after another converging on us in the tourist areas of Paris. They’re waiting for a yes,wanting to explain a fake cause,wanting to separate us from our herds, literally and figuratively.

And before you know it something is missing. A wallet. Some cash. Your camera. Your passport.

Now I don’t tell you this to scare you because I find barring any severe incidences that travel is wonderful, even with its risks.

Paris might be your city that you fall in love with. It’s culture, architecture and history wrapping you in a warm embrace.

Or it might be Barcelona, it’s markets lively, people passionate and good delicious.

But don’t take candy, flowers or petitions from strangers. Don’t open your wallet in the open and don’t wear a backpack if you can help it. Trust me. But don’t trust them. And if someone asks if you speak English, you don’t. You never do.

Death Tourism

People travel because of death every day. They travel to places where people have died every day.

It’s a strange thought, death tourism but yet there remains a market for it.

People travel to concentration camps, people travel to where Sharon Tate’s house once stood, and I took a tour around Whitechapel, walking the footsteps of Jack the Ripper and his victims today.

Maybe not for other people, but for me it was an almost surreal experience.

It was terrifying and I can’t even say I liked it, or felt thrilled by it. Instead I hustled along with my group (and my mum), hands tucked in pockets, head down praying that if ghosts exist that we wouldn’t run into any. In fact one of the sights where one of the women was murdered is now a parking garage, one that John, our guide no longer takes people into because so many mysterious occurrences happened within.

So why, if this terrified me did I go? Was it because I’m untouched and so far detached from the crime?

But then…are we so far detached from The Holocaust? I don’t think so.

The only thing I’ve been able to puzzle out is that we travel to this places because at heart we are decent, good people who cannot fathom any level of monstrosity.

Because at heart we need to understand how someone could but yet we can’t. We can’t because most of us, I hope, do not have that impulse, that level of hatred.

But then, some people do. And maybe that’s why we go…because there’s still awful people, all these years gone, and we don’t understand that either.

Whovian Nerdvana is in Wales

10355840_941427242374_1865265148510813065_nI’ve been in London for almost a week now and yet today made the three hour trek to Wales in order to fulfill a dream of mine.

That dream is seeing Who things, now don’t get me wrong. There is Who things to see in London, a call box in fact but I’m not going to cheat and tell you where to find it.

That you’ll have to figure out for yourself because I don’t give out spoilers.

Which is precisely why I will not tell you what you go through first in order to get into BBC Cymru’s Doctor Who Experience exhibit in Cardiff. I will just say that it is something simply and utterly amazing.

Our day started off being picked up by Jerry, a Scottish driver from Capital Taxi Tours who is simply amazing. He had a dossier ready for10565055_941430690464_7429332577341675257_n us, along with cold as ice bottles of water, Jelly Babies and Jammy Dodgers for the trip.

The drive was long so be sure to bring something to rest your head on. You’ll need it.

And when you return to London if you’re on the right tour you’ll also be shown around that area after having seen the church from Runaway Bride in Cardiff, as well as where Rose Tyler worked. In London you’ll see the Eye, Tower, the three houses which comprised Downing Street and we even stopped by St Bart’s because I’d mentioned being a Sherlock fan.

All in all it is well worth the money, if you’re a Whovian to take this tour from London, or visit the Experience if you’re in Cardiff.