Ignorance Abroad

Welcome to Ignorance Abroad

…with apologies to Mark Twain

Herein I share my adventures in cultural ignorance and education the hard way. You’ll find some differences that are fascinating and intriguing, humorous, or irritating — the last two need not be mutually exclusive.

What prompted me to create this series of articles?


Hotel Des IndesYears ago I was staying at the fabulous Hotel Des Indes in The Hague — stopping off place for kings, presidents, and movie stars — with a room so incredible and with such high ceilings, marble-covered bathroom, richly appointed fixtures that I was tempted to stay in the room rather than go out and tour the town.

Hotel Des Indes BathroomIn the bathroom were two sinks, one normal height, the second so low you could sit on it. I thought, “How clever these Europeans are, they even have a sink for kids!”

Fortunately, I did not brush my teeth in the second one, for it was a bidet. I had never seen one before, having grown up in a rural part of America where a couple of neighbors didn’t have indoor plumbing yet.

I reflected at the time that someday I should write a book about these discoveries and impressions.

What are my qualifications to be a “travel” road warrior?

  • I’ve flown over 2 million miles in my career. This is roughly the equivalent of flying around the world 80 times or four roundtrips to the moon.Around the world
  • I (used to) travel 100,000-200,000 miles a year for work.
  • I have traveled to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America… and to 47 of these United States of America.

Will there be pictures?

Oh yes. With the advent of digital photography and smartphone cameras, I have chronicled my travels and will bring you interesting photos from around the world.

Thanks for coming along.


Bill Petro


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About billpetro

Bill Petro writes articles on history, technology, pop culture, and travel. He has been a technology sales enablement executive with extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Automation, Data Center, Information Storage, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile, and Social technologies.

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