The Saturday Cities I Don’t Like
Back in 2008, I wrote about some of the cities in the world I didn’t like. Since then I’ve been to a lot more places in the world. I liked about 99% of them. But, you can’t like everywhere. While I always try to look for the good in place and be fair my judgment, sometimes I just dislike a place. Places like these:
Auckland isn’t a bad city. It’s just boring. Sure, it might be different if you live here or have a car but Auckland lacks a soul. It’s a sprawling city of buildings and suburbs where business gets done. It has very little character. It’s a nice place to spend a day but I’ll take Wellington or Queenstown over it any day.
Crowded, polluted, ugly, and prone to riots, I have no love for Athens. It’s just awful. Even my Athenian friends don’t like it. There is trash everywhere. It smells. And the Greeks could take a few lessons from the Italians on preserving ruins, which isn’t saying much since the Italians do a pretty bad job as it is. I just have nothing nice to say about Athens.
I know – how can I not like Berlin right? I don’t hate Berlin but it doesn’t do anything special for me. I prefer Munich to Berlin. Berlin is too industrial. I’ll probably go back one day but I am no rush. A turtle will probably get there quicker than I will. After hearing so much about the city, I was extremely disappointed at how mediocre it was. I did enjoy it’s nightlife though. I bit too much.
Note: Since writing this post, I’ve been back to Berlin and love it now! Here is why I changed my mind.
This sprawling megacity is polluted and filled with wannabe actors. After a few sights, there’s not much here. Los Angeles is a love it or hate it city and I hate it. I can’t love a city where with so little public transport, wannabee actors, vain rich people, and people who only care about looks and botox. The place is vapid and disingenuous. I’ll pass and head to San Francisco.
People love Phuket and I won’t deny that on this large island there is more to it than Patong beach. But Phuket is the capital of Thailand’s island tourism and as such it is expensive and over developed. There are a million other islands in Thailand that are far more beautiful, pristine, and lack sex tourists. Give me the beautiful Ko Taruatao national park in the south any day.
Boring and overly built for tourists, the only good thing about Siem Reap is that Angkor Wat is right there. I find Siem Reap a city that exists only to serve Angkor Wat and as such, a city not worth spending time in. It lacks life. I loved Phnom Penh a lot more and would rather lose myself there. Siem Reap travel is just not worth it.
No one stays in Belize City. People fly in and then get the first bus to anywhere but there. The city is ugly, dirty, and crime stricken. It’s one of the few places in the world I felt unsafe in…during the day. I would love to go back to Belize but I’ll never stay in Belize City.
The world is a big place and just like you don’t like all the people you meet, you don’t always like the places you go. Sometimes a place just rubs you the wrong way. I try to look for the best in every city but sometimes, there’s nothing I like. However, considering all the places I have been in the world, I think disliking so few is quite impressive.
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