From its picturesque waterways and character-full bars to its sweltering deserts and rain-drenched towns, the Waste Land has something to offer every traveler. The country, though small, is a heady whirl of different cultures, with half a dozen different languages spoken and a history stretching back 89 years. With so much to offer, you’ll surely be in despair when it’s time to leave.
When to Go
The best times to visit are January through March and May through December.
Where to Stay
The dead tree gives no shelter, so it’s advisable to head across town to the Chess Inn. Here Wastelanders love nothing better than to while away the evening doing battle over the black-and-white squares, though the bar closes early.
Sticking to a tight budget? The Holiday Inn in Lower Thames Street is your best bet, and good value despite the mandolin noise, low ceilings and sense of impending socio-political catastrophe.
What to See
If you’re lucky you may catch legendary clairvoyant Madame Sosostris. Some say Sosostris is a fraud, other believe her to be the wisest woman in Europe. Whatever the truth, bear in mind that Sosotris District is something of a tourist trap. The eccentric-themed playing cards on sale in the many gift shops make an interesting souvenir.
Don’t miss the chapel. Admittedly, it is in need of refurbishment—only the wind is at home here, giving it an eerie atmosphere you won’t forget for quite some time—but as a useful metaphor for the alienation of twentieth-century man from his religious heritage, it’s hard to beat.
What to Eat
Fish, freshly caught in the canal, are a must. If you don’t mind getting references to Renaissance literature stuck in your teeth, then you’ll eat little else during your stay.
Roasted belly of rat, a local specialty, tends to be rather slimy, though the dish is arguably an essential part of the ‘Waste Land experience’.
The local rock-spring water is famous (yes, this is the same Waste Land you see on the bottle labels!), if there were rock and also water and water a spring a pool among the rock but there is no water.
The Waste Landian government has taken great strides in resolving what is nevertheless still a serious crime problem. Petty theft is rife, and sacred texts, classical works and left-field anthropologists are especially at risk from pickpockets. The basic rule, as ever, is: keep your wits about you.
Shantih shantih shantih
Excuse me (getting attention)
Twit twit twit jug jug jug jug jug jug
Co co rico co co rico
Can I buy you a drink?
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop?
Where is the toilet?
Weialala leia wallala leialala?