The Peregrine Dame in Durban (2014): 7 out of 10: The Pergine Dame Rachel Parsons goes couch surfing in Durban and manages not to get raped or murdered. She seems to go with the flow, but good lord she is an obnoxious tourist at times.
And I love her for it.
The Good: I give her a ton of credit for acting like an actual tourist, getting drunk and high, staying up way too late and going with the flow. She definitely lucked out with her non-serial killing couch surfing hosts, but that is one party house. No sleep there.
As Jim Gaffigan says when you are on vacation why would you want to do what the locals do.. Um the locals are going to work today.
I have watched a lot of travel shows, many of which I quite like (Attaché) but this is one of the few travel shows where the host acts like an actual tourist, warts and all. It is all very refreshing.
The Bad: South Africa has the best Indian cuisine after England (Singapore, Malaysia and The Seychelles are also top-notch) Kind of like the way you need to go to California or Texas for good Mexican cuisine (The best African cuisine is in Queens by the way).
That said, the obsession over Indian food didn’t work for me. It isn’t really the most photogenic food and I will have to take your word on how good the gas station curry is. Miss Parsons is happy to tell us how much she loves Indian food but forgets to use those buttery words to actually descibe the dishes she is eating. Saying it is really good doesn’t quite cut it. Other travel shows have raised the bar on culinary tourism.
Random Thought I probably should have left out of the review
I hope she gave that one guy fellatio off camera… he seemed nice.
I know, I know, but you know what let us talk about this. Lets talk about sex on vacation. Now understand I am not calling for Rick Steves to do a tour of German brothels and I am not referring to actual Sex Tourism like you might see on a BBC expose documentary (Narrated by Prince Andrew). No, I am talking about when our travel guide shares some beers with the locals who teach him or her to sing karaoke or throw stones at the local jews (As is their custom) and there seems an undeniable connection and chemistry between our travel guide and one of the locals. There is laughter, a lot of touching and everyone has had a few beers but then the scene goes to black and then we see our travel host eating breakfast on a train. I have to admit I am curious.
Yeah, the guys in the drum circle at the drug den don’t want to be filmed. I can’t imagine why. He asked you nicely at first and overall he asked you like three times and I am not surprised he had an aggressive attitude by the third time. You are a white woman in South Africa secretly filming blacks at an illegal bar. Think about who you are and where you are.
I also noticed you still used his face in your program. Not cool.
In Conclusion: A lot of people don’t visit Durbin as tourists… well, if you are going to fly seventeen hours to the end of the earth you’re going to hit the highlights of a country.
Durban looks like a nice place to live (relatively) but not really a tourist destination. You don’t see a lot of European tourists flying to the United States to go to Cincinnati or St. Louis. Miss Parsons makes Durban seem like a lot of fun. Miss Parsons also seems like a lot of fun. And isn’t that what travel is about? Having fun? Not looking at frescoes or timing bus schedules. I would rather have her crash on my cream yellow Italian leather couch than Rick Steves.