Would you say you are dumber than most people? It’s a serious question. When you think about yourself, your brain, do you think, “You know, I’m not real bright. In fact, I’m kinda stupid. Maybe I’m not rock-chewing stupid, but compared to the people I see every day at the Gas-N-Sip, I am a bit of a boob, maybe even a nincompoop.”

I’m guessing that you don’t feel that way, and as you are reading THIS magazine, you’re probably right, but I’ve still gotta ask: If you’re NOT dumber than half the people in the world, then why in the fuck would you ever use TripAdvisor? Their entire business model is built around convincing you to take the advice of janglewits, and if you can’t see that, then maybe, you know, you should reconsider your answer to the original question.

TripAdvisor, for those of you who don’t know, is a crowd-sourced rating site for hotels, restaurants, bars and services providers. The notion is that all sorts of folk travel all over the world eating, drinking and sleeping at all sorts of places and TripAdvisor provides them a place to either praise or bitch about those experiences. At first blush, all seems well and good, but what it fundamentally means is that really stupid people get a say in the options you will see if you rely on TripAdvisor to plan your next trip. By definition, half of the people who review restaurants, bars and hotels on TripAdvisor are dumber than the other half, and dumb people tend to like dumb, lowest-common-denominator stuff. Thus, the stuff on offer in a market that caters to dumb people prioritizes mass appeal over unique adventures and experiences.

Using TripAdvisor gives idiots an audience and encourages them to keep pecking away at their keyboards when they should actually be out doing dumb-people work. Those ditches aren’t gonna dig themselves, dammit.

 

FUN FACT, #1

Of the top 100 restaurants in Antigua, Guatemala, forty-five have a four-and-a-half-star rating! Nearly all of the rest receive four stars! Wow! All food is equally good!

 

DEMOCRACY IS A LOUSY IDEA:

The Dooley family is descended from the High Kings of Ireland, just like every other clan of paddy-mutts on the planet, so you’d think we’d be a democratic bunch — and when it comes to ordering a society, we are — but when it comes to figuring out where we’ll order our next drink? Are you fucking mad? That takes a discerning mind and a refined sense of the trade in strong whiskeys. Telling us where to drink is not the job of a fraternity brother whose other contribution to our society is sticking his dick in a punchbowl. Look, the whole reason democracy exists as an institution is not that it will give us a good government. It doesn’t and won’t. Rather, the point is when choosing a ruler, it’s safer to vest power in the idiots than a tyrant because the idiots can’t manage to stay on task for more than a few minutes at a time. Democracies stagger from hither to yon, repeatedly doing dumb shit — but all the dumb shit they do tends to balance out the boat and keep it moving forward somehow. That’s a very good thing. Dictators get mean over time and then pass their crowns to some bastard like Caligula or Asshat III. Better the plebeian wobble than the clown hammer of despotism, BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD TRUST STUPID PEOPLE WITH OUR VACATION PLANS.

 

FUN FACT #2

Of the top-ten restaurants in town, two received four stars. So did the restaurant ranked one-hundred and first — McDonald’s!

 

EXPLORE ON YOUR OWN, FOR FUCK’S SAKE:

TripAdvisor, Yelp!, or other crowd-sourced tools are fine for what they are, and they probably do help the birdbrains and the simpletons follow the crumbs to their next cookie, and for sure, many of the restaurants, bars and hotels that top the lists are excellent joints, but we beg you to travel like a real person. If you’re here, you’re making a conscious choice to leave your bullshit behind so that you might wade, sweetberries-deep into another world. So do it. If you wanna find a place to drink, wander down the streets at night until you hear music you dig. If you want to get a bite to eat, do what people have been doing for thousands of years, look for some signage and then follow your nose. If you want a recommendation on a place to stay, strike up a conversation and if the person isn’t a fucking IDIOT, ask them where they’ve been and what they might suggest. Or better yet, just get drunk and then see where you wake up the next morning. You might be glad you did. You might wind up with herpes. Either way, however, you will NOT be the dingus who starts his next conversation saying, “I heard that place was awesome on TripAdvisor,” because then, no matter how much you enjoy your truncated, paint-by-numbers vacay, you’re still a damned fool.

JOIN US IN EXPLOITATION!

La Cuadra Magazine and Cerro San Cristóbal, a vegetarian restaurant with stunning views of the Panchoy Valley, are teaming up for a contest. Try your hand at lampooning TripAdvisor reviews by writing one for the restaurant. Submit them to the Facebook page of either business. Make us laugh and you can win free stuff! You might even land yourself a gig with La Cuadra, too. We’re always looking for writers who don’t suck. So don’t suck!

Click here to submit your BadTripAdvisor review, or just type one into the comments section below! Length is not important. Do whatever the fuck you want. Submission open until January 29, 2016. Winners announced February 1, 2016!

First Prize: Q1000 gift certificate from Cerro San Cristóbal Restaurante! 

Second Prize: Q500 gift certificate from Cerro San Cristóbal Restaurante! 

Third Prize: Q250 gift certificate from Cerro San Cristóbal Restaurante!

Here’s a few examples of what we’re looking for, only funnier. Go hog wild.

BTA Nachoes

BTA IraqBTA Trip Advisor

  1. Firstly, I had to pay to get a free ride up this hill in a van that did not have proper shock absorbers as the unpaved, spiraling road up the mountain was very bumpy. Dusty, too. I was charged Q10. Outrageous. Having to pay to get to the top of a hill restaurant with panoramic views of the valley. I complained the entire way up and for the first ten minutes of our lunchtime on the rooftop with shade umbrellas. My friend could hardly hear my diatribe over the live Argentinian guitar. For gosh darned sakes, we are on our trip to convert the heathen Catholics to our brand of Christianity in this green hilly place and they don’t even have a good mariachi but import foreign music. Then I had to ask a waiter to take my order. It took forever. I guess they pick this stuff fresh from the organic farm to prepare it as it is ordered or some such villainy. There was no lite ranch to be had. Just some berry infused homemade mumbo jumbo or this weird sweet tamarind stuff. Who in their right mind has heard of junk like that. Then we were left alone to eat. No one asked how it was as I was about to take my first bite. The bill was not put down as the plates were served. I sat suffering through that live music feeling a breeze coming across the valley, squinting slightly because of the sunshine and bright blue sky as long as apparently I wanted and only got the bill when I asked for it. It was outrageous. I paid Q35 for a huge plate I could not eat, covered as it was with totally weird greens. No iceberg at all. We paid for this disgraceful abomination and when we were unceremoniously returned to what passes for civilization without a paved street or stop light, good street signs, or even a good bright yellow golden arches in sight, I just sat down and prayed to Lord Jesus for a frosty and fries. The Lord answered me and there behind me, but without good signs, was a Wendy’s. Bless my soul but that was good. Half a star

  2. I give it a Terrible rating for Unsanitary food handling—-I can only say that I have never had a dining experience like the one I had recently at Cerro San Cristobal. The ride up that horrid road was bad enough, I mean, since they are charging $1.30 per person, they should, at the very least, pave that damned road. My date and I settled in and enjoyed lunch. The salad was good, the beer was cold, I liked the piano player. The view was stunningly beautiful. My major complaint is that, when I returned from the bathroom, my date had disappeared. I looked all over for her. I finally found her naked (well, truthfully, she was wearing her socks) in the kitchen having sex with the chef and the waiter. She has never acted this way before, as far as I know, I mean it was our second date, so I’m not really sure, but I think they slipped her a roofy. The waiter informed me that I should go sit down, my pizza was not ready yet. All that grunting and unsanitary food handling really bothered me. I hopped in the van and wrote this bad Tripadvisor review on my iPhone on the way back to Antigua. I left the bill unpaid for my date.

  3. Ha! Grunting and unsanitary food handling can get under one’s skin. By the way, your “date” is still in town. She’s been spotted by the Londoner’s kitchen window, looking hungry.

  4. “Resturant No Hay.”
    My first visit. Rating: TERRIBLE
    This was my second trip up that hill to the restaurant. The first time I went, we had been up all night partying. When we got there at four-thirty in the morning, we were so disappointed to find out that they were closed and would not honor us by opening.

    My second visit Rating: TERRIBLE
    I figure I will give them a second chance, so I recently drove my Massarati up to this hard to find restaurant. When we arrived, the parking area was full. My bodyguard, a former Kaibil who followed us in a Range Rover, got out and politely asked an employee to move one of the cars out of the lot to make room for my Massarti. When our small request was not taken care of immediately, I got out of the car and explained who I am. This, in itself, was disappointing, as all cultured Guatemalan people above a certain social status know who I am. I do not like to brag, but my family is very important in this country, and you can fairly state that we are one of the fifty families that own most of this country, with a proud lineage dating back to our ancestor, an officer in the invading force of Pedro Alvarado. For Christ’s sake, the guy who looks like Elvis on the twenty quetzal bill is my great-great-great-great grandfather. Still, no vehicle was ejected from the parking lot to make room for my Massarati. I had to park in the street and leave my bodyguard to watch the car. I left my iPhone with him so he could make some stock transactions for me and arrange to score some drugs for a party.
    On to our “dining experience.” I can hardly describe the level of disappointment n this low class comedor. The waiter paid no special attention to us. As is my custom, I did not look at the menu–I always order what I want. I was horrified to find that they refused to serve me anything I asked for. “Beluga caviar!” “No hay.” “Cristal Champagne!” “No hay.” “French Truffles!” “No hay.” “Fresh Alaskan Salmon!” “No hay.” We had a beer and left. I will never go back to Restaurant No Hay. and I will tell my friends to avoid it. I will send only low class people I do not like to go there.

  5. “nice screw and bolt”
    5 of 5 starsReviewed 17 January 2016
    the screws were delicious, the hand brake was nicely cook and polish. the wheels were big, the chef must have some good screw drivers.

  6. Every time I make a Google search, all I get is a page full of TA sh!t! Their search facility on their website is total cr@p. Somebody please close them down….

  7. I love that blog post because it is so true. I would like to throw in my two cents. I own a vintage bakery in Southern Chile employing four people, all family. We produce without machines, up to 120 years recipes, all daily mades, all hand decorated up to vintage wedding cakes. I once made the terrible fault to myself join Trip Advisor and set up a profile. Once set up nothing happened. I forgot about the whole thing and moved on, the bakery grew three years attracting a lot of people, today clients come more from tourism and the region, less locals at least. Then a few very good and I think honest reviews came in, okay, I was glad, I even reposted them, they seemed downward honest, then as 8th review some unfriendly retarded capital fucks posted total dishonest shit about products we don’t even sell or don’t sell in the way described. Put the ranking down from 5 to 4 stars, never mind, I don’t give a crap because there are only 6 locations in our southern town anyways. Best was that I contacted trip Advisor and told them in a very polite way that I suspect this to be written by some envious and prepotent liars and that it simply did not even match our products. Response was I am not allowed to take my business down there. Wait, what the fuck? I am not allowed to pull my business from a website that lives off my business? Would have loved to stick that review right up where the sun never shone. Even better they told me to have it reviewed by other people, well, we are bakers and work in a small quality niche, 14 hours each a day, in marketing, production and sales. How the god daring bear crap would I strain some stranger´s balls to write in a crappy forum. I can only advise anyone NOT ever put their business in there, I guess that up to 95 percent of businesses in trip advisor are put there by the owners, the other 5 by Trip Advisor stuff – would YOU actually take your time to do it? right, you most probably would not. I am thinking about adopting this blog posts strategy and give a way a decent vintage German doughnut of one of a kind to the weekly best shitty review we get – just to pay these dumbheads back where it hurts (at least a little). Greetings!

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