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TRAVEL FASHION TIPS from AROUND the WORLD

Travel fashion can be a tricky business, a sticky wicket. It’s not always easy knowing what’s démodé in Dubrovnik or au courant in Austria. Our senior travel fashion correspondent in the field provides some helpful dos and don’ts for dressing from around the world.

TRAVEL FASHION TIPS

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Travel Fashion Tip #1: DON’T wear all green when at Los Angeles International Airport.

Bad Travel Fashion at LAX

Travel Fashion Tip #2: DON’T dress like Bob Pinciotti when in Stockholm, Sweden.

Bad Travel Fashion in Stockholm

Travel Fashion Tip #3: DON’T sport a mullet when at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Out of Control Mullet OHare Chicago

Travel Fashion Tip #4: DON’T mix florals and plaids when at Milas-Bodrum Airport in Turkey.

Bad Dresser at Bodrum Airport

Travel Fashion Tip #5: DON’T dress in light pink, men, when in Bangkok, Thailand.

Bangkok Pervert

Travel Fashion Tip #6: DON’T squeeze into a Speedo when in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Man in Speedo

Travel Fashion Tip #7: DON’T advertise your alcoholism when in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Drunk Dane

Travel Fashion Tip #8: DON’T combine shiny aquamarine heels, neon pink tights and a red feather when in St. Emilion, France.

Bordeaux Society Wedding Guest in Red Hat

Travel Fashion Tip #9: DON’T over-accesorize when in Istanbul, Turkey.

Overaccesorized in Istanbul

Travel Fashion Tip #10: DON’T wear short shorts when in Chicago. Especially if you’re going to be riding a bike.

Short Shorts in Chicago

Travel Fashion Tip #11: DON’T wear plaid pedal pushers when in Split, Croatia (why his wife allowed this infraction, I don’t know).

Guy in Orange Pedal Pushers in Split Croatia

Travel Fashion Tip #12: DO impersonate Mr. Kotter if you want to score with the babes when in Catania Airport in Sicily. I love this guy.

Mr Kotter in the Trapani Airport

 

 

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A LIMA CHURCH WALK

JW MARRIOTT LIMA

I want to visit the center city this morning, complete a Lima Church walk I mapped-out in my Lonely Planet guide last night – I just don’t want to pay for a Mercedes to go there. On the other hand, I’m not really up for being kidnapped and raped today, either. The JW Marriott valets call Pablo for me.

Pablo Luis Rios Venegas

Taxi a su servicio – Seguridad y Garantia

Telf. Dom.: 582-3025

Cel.: 99718-4083

Pablo speaks no English. I speak very limited Spanish. We attempt conversation on our way to Central and I think we kind of get each other. I ask for a return ride back to the hotel and he asks me (I think) at what time.

Commit? He wants me to commit? Did we list commitment issues among my various psychological maladies a few posts ago? If not, we need to add commitmentphobia to the running tally.

“Noon,” I tell Pablo. But I’ve crossed my fingers behind my back.

A LIMA CHURCH WALK

Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Starting at the Plaza de Armas, walk northwest on Conde de Superunda to Camaná. The Iglesia de Santo Domingo lies on the corner. Don’t let the pretty pastel décor fool you: this Lima church houses (and displays) the skulls of San Martín and Santa Rosa.

Santo Domingo Church Lima Pulpit

Iglesia de San Agustín

Walk southwest on Camaná two blocks to the Iglesia de San Agustín at Ucayali. This Lima church — flanked on both sides by red concrete — is fairly foreboding from the outside…

San Agustin Church Lima exterior

But the interior is soothing…

San Agustin Church Lima

Iglesia de Merced

Exit the Iglesia de San Agustín and head one block further on Camaná, turn left onto Miró Quesada and arrive another block later at the Iglesia de Merced. You will be rewarded with at least two dozen ornate and magnificent baroque and renaissance-style altars. And the crazy thing is, there are no other tourists in this place to wander into your frame and spoil your photo!

Iglesia de la Merced Lima

Monasterio de San Francisco

After exiting the Iglesia de Merced, keep going down Miró Quesada for three blocks, then take a left onto Azángaro and go another three blocks to the popular (too popular?) Monasterio de San Francisco, the final stop on this Lima church walk.

San Francisco Church Lima

Photos of the monastery are permitted, but photos of the famous catacombs are not, which is fine with me: the catacombs are not sufficiently gruesome to be very photogenic while the churchy area has more personality. Anyway, it’s very pretty and the graphic, geometrical red and white designs please my visual sensibilities quite a lot.

San Francisco Church Lima Ceiling

So you’ve completed my Lima church walk. Now what? You in the mood for some torture?

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APPLYING FOR THE GLOBAL ENTRY PROGRAM

Before I launch into an overview of applying for the Global Entry Program, let’s start with a brief quiz.

The longest immigration and customs lines (in terms of duration) can be found in which city?:

  1. Bangkok
  2. Bogota
  3. Chicago
  4. Mumbai
  5. Siem Reap
  6. Tel Aviv

Faithful readers (both of you) have an advantage here, knowing I live in Chicago. And the winner is….

Chicago! We’re #1! Not only for bed bugs infestations and highest murder rates (in the U.S.), but according to my non-scientific observations, Chicago boasts the longest, slowest customs lines out there (and they’re not getting any shorter).

Three times a year I land – bedraggled and worn-out from some long-ass flight —  in The Windy City, relieved to finally be home. Then I walk the long, long corridor boasting our many sister cities only to reach an hour-log immigration queue and that looping, cringe-inducing Welcome to America! video.

Welcome to America! Now stand in line for an hour, get finger-printed, wait for your taxi in 10-degree (windchill) temperature, pay $45 to get downtown and endure rush-hour traffic for 75 minutes. Your hotel, by the way, is infested with bed bugs. Now try not to get shot, would you please?

Well lately I’ve been noticing certain smug individuals bypassing the endless line, smartly sliding their passports through a scanner and then passing straight into the arrival hall, Bob’s your uncle. I decided to apply to the Global Entry Program and join them.

GLOBAL ENTRY PROGRAM APPLICATION

Click here to access the Global Entry Program. Completing fifteen screens of questions — contact information, address and employment history, travel history, identification, etc. — took me approximately one hour and cost me $100. I completed my Global Entry Program application on October 21 and was presented with a list of in-person screening dates. I selected the earliest available: February 11.

My interview at O’Hare’s international terminal started five minutes early and lasted all of ten minutes. The Customs agent asked me reasonable questions — how I supported myself during my period of unemployment, how long I visited the Muslim countries in my travel history, whether I had broken any Customs laws, how I researched my trips — then fingerprinted me, took my photo, explained the process to me and issued my Global Entry Program number to me on the spot.

My Global Entry Program identification card (for Mexico and Canada) arrived within a few days and I was able to immediately register for TSA-Pre (expedited security screening at select U.S. airports for frequent travelers of participating airlines) with American, Delta, and United using my new Global Entry Program number.

GLOBAL ENTRY PROGRAM EXPERIENCE

I flew Delta (an airline I fly infrequently) once since being accepted into TSA-Pre. I was not randomized to the TSA-Pre line, and I may not have access to it when I fly Delta considering my lowly SkyMiles status. My other national flights have been on American (I am Platinum) and I have been randomized to the TSA-Pre line for approximately half of my flights. Not all cities have a line, and at those airports that do, it’s not always open. Even when it is open, there’s no guarantee of being selected to pass through it. The half-dozen times I was accepted, clearing Security took less than a minute: there was no line to speak of, and I did not have to remove my shoes or my computer from my bag.

I’ve tested the Global Entry Program on one international flight, which arrived in Miami. We Global Entry Program members were not allowed to just scan our passports and pass through the immigration line, but we were placed in a separate, shorter line. I still waited 15 minutes, which was much better than the 45 minutes to an hour I estimated that the people seated at the back of the plane had to wait. The 15-minute delay didn’t cost me any time, as my luggage took an additional five minutes to arrive. The customs line was as daunting as the immigration line, and I did not see an expedited option for Global Entry Program members. Instead I found an agent who took pity on me (I was about to miss my next flight) and whisked me through. I re-checked my bag and narrowly made my connector to Chicago (my luggage did not).

Had I not been placed in the Global Entry Program expedited line I would have missed my flight to Chicago. In two months’ time the benefit of being a member of the program has been worth the time and expense of the application.

Passport photo

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