Advert

‘‘Travel light’ is an alien concept’

Name: Pawlu Borg Bonaci
Age: 34
Occupation: Singer (Fakawi) and entertainer

My best holiday ever…

In old Tunis we were pulled into homes and offered mint tea; invited to weddings, village feasts and even circumcision parties

It has to be a trip to Amsterdam with my band, Fakawi. We had planned the holiday to spend some quality time with Fabio, our first drummer, before he moved to Australia. Two other friends joined the adventure in a very cold Dutch capital.

It was my second time there. On my first visit to Amsterdam with my family, the weather was quite hot. This time it was January and being outdoors was like being in a -14˚C deep freezer.

But we had a busy and very enjoyable week of things to do and palaces to visit. It was very cultural I must say – not a typical drummer-from-a-band’s farewell party at all.

I would never return to…

I can’t recall ever visiting a country and vowing never to return. I must say that Sofia is one city that didn’t impress me at all, but it was 1990 and I was young, and I only spent a day there so I can’t really say I’ve seen a lot of it.

I can say there are certain areas and venues I wouldn’t return to, such as the London Dungeons, an exotic show in Amsterdam, a particular Chinese restaurant in Soho, the beach in Hamamet, Tunisia, and a few more ‘attractions’ that were a complete waste of time and money.

The most dangerous place I’ve visited…

I’ve never felt in certain danger in a particular place, but some places did feel a bit dodgy. Central Park in New York is not the ideal place to go wandering around late at night if you’re alone. I was there with a big group of young people when I visited the US for World Youth Day in 1993.

At night I would go into the park with around 90 youths from Malta, and we’d spend some time there singing, playing guitar and enjoying ourselves. Occasionally some strange characters would pass by acting funny or with a crazy look in their eyes. I can’t say I felt in danger though – we had safety in numbers.

My favorite city…

Definitely London. There is always something to do, somewhere to go to, something new to discover.

Its multiculturalism makes London even more attractive. I usually prefer countries that hold on tight to their traditions, but I find the diversity of London adds to its magic. You can sit at a coffee table in Piccadilly Circus and watch people from all over the world walk by.

You can spend the morning sipping tea in Covent Garden while being entertained by the most amazing string quartette ever, then take a walk in the park, and on to Oxford Street for some shopping – obviously stopping in Denmark Street to admire the guitars and maybe buy one.

Hop on the tube and catch an afternoon musical or theatre performance, stop for some pub food, and end up in Camden at a rock gig or a roots reggae party, or in Soho’s Ronnie Scott’s for some fine jazz… I don’t think I will ever tire of London.

My most memorable experience on an aircraft…

Have you ever been on a plane that was trying to land, and the approach was so bad that even the cabin crew were screaming and panicking? Well it happened to me on a flight between Kansas and New York. Let’s just say I’ll never fly Continental Airlines again.

My most treasured holiday souvenir…

My PRS guitar from Holland and my Fender Tele from Denmark Street.

My biggest gaffe abroad…

Ordering a steak ‘well done’ from a restaurant in Brussels. I don’t like blood in my food and I don’t want my meat to have a pulse!

The chef was so angry after I returned the steak twice to his kitchen that he came out holding the plate and shouted, “who is this murderer?!” The meat wasn’t as red as my face.

The friendliest people…

The people who live in the streets of old Tunis. We were pulled into their homes and offered mint tea; invited to weddings, village feasts and even circumcision parties. The Venetians are also quite warm and welcoming.

I never travel without...

I want to make something clear: ‘travel light’ is an alien concept to me. My mobile phone obviously always comes with me, as does my camera.

The taxi ride I will never forget…

The chef was so angry after I returned the steak twice that he came out holding the plate and shouted, ‘who is this murderer?!’

I had to leave my hotel in Bologna alone at 5 a.m. to go to the airport. The taxi picked me up and I don’t know if the driver was in a hurry or if he normally drives like that, but he was doing approximately 200 kph.

I don’t like speed, and I think that 200 kph is the ideal speed at which to pick up your mobile phone and call for help.

My all-time favourite holiday photo...

The one I have of my family in Amsterdam.

An unforgettable hotel...

The Hilton Brussels. The buffet breakfast there was out of this world.

I return most often to...

Rockwerchter music festival in Belgium.

My ideal travel companion...

Someone who loves music, theatre and fine food, but is also ready to taste street food and doesn’t mind visiting museums, churches and the like. They would understand my mood swings and the fact that sometimes I need my space and like being left alone.

My two favourite travel companions so far are two of my best friends, Jonathan and Jesmond. By the way, they both don’t like long walks… perfect!

Country with the best cuisine...

Italy… Amen.

My next holiday plans…

Maybe a short break in London. I need a dose of my favourite city.

My dream trip…

It would be hard to choose between a combined trip to Jamaica and Cuba for the music, history and culture; a trip to Morocco because I have a soft spot for Islamic influences and I like the food, music, markets and way of life; and a trip to Japan.

I would love to get lost in the streets of Japan. I imagine Tokyo to be chaotic, shocking, mysterious and crazy, with a lot of things that might seem extraordinary to us, and others that don’t make any sense at all.

I partied hardest in…

It’s a toss-up between Rockwerchter festival in Belgium and Hard Rock Calling in London’s Hyde Park.

How can you not party hard when on stage in front of you there are Paul McCartney, Jamiroquai, Stevie Wonder, Counting Crows, Kings of Leon and so many more great acts?

My travel tip…

Get to know the locals. A country is made by the people who live in it: their culture, their politics, their food, their music, their history… get to know them well.

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert