'Travel Tips' hosted by Colin Powell


          We are all very aware of the fact that spring break is looming on the horizon. It is waiting patiently to relieve us from our academic woes, procrastinated paperwork, and mundane midterms. Well my little buddy Secretary of State Colin L. Powell took it upon himself to provide the Rebel Yell with vital spring break information for those of us traveling abroad. So let's play the pretend game. I don't know about you but my loving parents are filthy rich and so (because I'm their special little guy) I get to go to (foreign country) this semester, and man am I going to get wasted as soon as I step off that plane. I don't care how much alcohol I drink, or drugs I do because I'm an American citizen, and that means I am a part of the greatest nation in the world. We are unstoppable!
          Well unfortunately I am an idiot and wrong, so very wrong, for 2,500 American citizens are arrested in other countries each year. Half of these international party animals are jailed on charges of narcotics, including possession of very tiny amounts of those lovable illegal substances. The drugs that might be lawful for Adolph Jr. in Germany might be the same ones that will get Saddam Doe arrested in Saudi Arabia. Not all convictions have a direct relationship to narcotics; however great sums of them are provided from disorderly and reckless behavior that is an obvious consequence of alcohol abuse, or boozing it up if you will.
          So screw it, as I previously stated, I am an American and the whole world fears and respects us, so even if the rookie cop on the force does make a mistake and chuck me into jail. After I get off the phone with my boy the U.S. Consular Officer he'll get me out so fast that I won't even have to beg for my life from foreign jailed gangsters.
          Unfortunately for our imprisoned chum the U.S. Consular Officer can only do so much.
          Who can visit us in jail, after being notified of our arrest? Give you a list of local attorneys because our government can't attest... The U.S. Consular Officer, the U.S. Consular Officer can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good... The Candym... I mean the U.S. Consular Officer cannot unfortunately do much for you except be a messenger between you and the states, and provide you with any and all vital information. So if you are caught buying, selling, or carrying items ranging from hashish to heroin, marijuana to mescaline, from cocaine to designer drugs like ecstasy you might be looking at any and or all of the following fearful four.
          Interrogation and delays before trial, basically being treated like a caged animal in primitive settings for shits and giggles. Lengthy trials, don't tell me we all don't remember how god awfully long the O.J. Simpson mass media blitz trial was. You may be subject to weeks, months, or life in prison where it isn't like our cushy American prisons, but with lashings and ungodly hard labor. Finally of course is the death penalty. Now here you might think we are over exaggerating but certain countries like Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey are a little more strict then the slaps on the wrist that we are quite accustomed to.
          Well now that we know not to be revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night, what could possibly be any available precautionary measures? I'm glad you asked. First things first. Apply for passports and any necessary Visa's early in advance. This will get your mind all hot and bothered for the place you are vacationing or studying abroad at and so then you can move on to step 2 which is learning about the place you are going to visit. Imagine being the only fool to go to Mexico and not have the very critical advice to not drink the water. Wishing to give a local merchant a high five and them believing you wish to murder them and their family. All of this and more is avoidable when you do some simple research. A helpful tool provided by our government is a consular information sheet that gives you the run down on vital information. For instance, where the U.S. embassy is so you know immediately where to run to when the angry mobs are in hot pursuit. Definitely consult your school if you are one of those lucky bastards that get to study abroad.
          Now all of this takes another direction if you are traveling alone, and especially if you are a female roaming exclusively. No disrespect to any gals out there, but what you wear around campus or at the club would in other countries be a calling card saying, "Hey look at me, I'm a dirty hooker and I wish to engage in all kinds of crazy intercourse!" This, of course, brings me to the major point of why to never really travel alone. It is for fear of the terrible two, robbed and/or raped. It is recommended that ladies wear wedding bands even if single to dissuade the many dirty predators of all shapes and sizes. Also when the guy really needs you to come over into the dark spooky alley for some reason or another, I'd recommend against it.
          For the most part Colin Powell just wants you to avoid being an idiot. Colin Powell cares because when you screw up you make him look bad, because he went to all this trouble putting together pamphlets and what not and here you go still making mistakes. I on the other hand do not wish to hear on the news for days on end about how you decided to make a couple bucks running an unknown bag through customs and are now getting bamboo chutes shoved under your fingernails by fat sweaty foreign guys named Tiny and Biggie Smalls. If you are one of the lucky few that do get to leave this country during its ongoing woes for a week, do us all a favor and even though it isn't test time, please use your brain, or we'll kill you.