Monday, 13 January 2014

Question: Ingliston. Answer: Leaving.

What do you think this place is best for?

So requests the "biggest project in travel", when what we had asked for was a recommendation, a place to stay in Montevideo, Uruguay, and not to offer our opinion of a minor Scottish suburb.

Ingliston, Edinburgh. Scotland. Home to Britain's premier agricultural show, a Sunday market; once remembered for it's roadside inflatable gorilla and an international airport, notable for 'the terminal that doesn't terminate there'. The last brought emphatically into focus as we take public transport into the Uruguayan capital. Every bus would appear to detour into the international airport, all for the cost of a few pesos. What a pity that Scotland's 'capital tram debacle' resulted in the rails expiring a couple of miles short of what could have been a 'gateway' to inspire national pride.

We follow up on the recommendation, make a booking and then suffer days of further accommodation suggestions. All in places that we hadn't asked about and all for dates that we are supposedly booked for. I must have a doppelgänger. Such are the repercussions of internet planning. Forward thinking can be, often is, counterproductive. Yet again we've succumbed to the notion that as it's high season holiday Christmas time, everywhere will be booked up. A scenario not particular to The Americas. It's probably a biblical memory or wishful thinking on the part of all worldwide accommodation providers. Thinking back over all our trips, I would be hard put to count on one hand the number of 'no rooms at the inn' that we've encountered. You're more likely to encounter a silent door due to siesta, or find a tourist officer's recommended campground closed as a result of redevelopment ten years previously.

Now that we've been plugged into the traveller aether, connected to a world where everybody's a critic, the navigator has the exciting prospect of collecting her first badge. "you're two reviews away from your 'Reviewer Badge''. Do a few more and you'll be up graded to 'specialist: hotels'. She's back in the Brownies, and Brown Owl reckons she should now try to complete her 'Stunt Cyclist' badge.

Returning to that original enquiry; what snippet of information had we inadvertently surrendered, that sponsored such an unlikely request? Montevideo, Ingliston and Paranoia, an unusual triumvirate.

So maybe the answer to that request is similar to the parochial question; "What's the best thing to come out of Edinburgh?", to which the provincial 'weegie' will reply: "The train to Glasgow"

" Akela, can I get my Joker's badge now?"