Funny way to explore
Comedian Mark Banks talks about his travel peaks and valleys
MARK Banks is one of the most recognised and respected South African comedians. He has been in the business for 25 years. His show Bankrupt will be on at the Baxter Theatre from July 31 to August 10. How widely have you travelled? More than your average successful astronaut. Because laughter is needed in so many far-flung places, lots of travel is required. I see myself more as a comic missionary than a comedian.
Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?
New York City. A quick two-anda-half weeks in and out. I try to do it every couple of years.
Your worst experience on a holiday?
The expensive, over-rated, sticky and over-priced Seychelles. Your funniest experience? An American speedboat full of millionaires that had crashed into a reef off the coast of Barcelona.
What do you avoid during a holiday?
People, noise, queues, trying to claim Voyager miles, too much travel in any country with too many animals that can kill you. Rich talk with me living in Johannesburg. Best meal abroad? English fish and chips, mushy peas, scampi and a roll eaten out of a newspaper at a bus stop in the rain.
Favourite place to have sundowners?
Twelve Apostles Hotel in Oudekraal on those summer days you get in the middle of winter.
What have you learnt from your travels?
Don’t panic. Don’t always get there first – remember, the early worm gets eaten. Never be the first off. Be polite. Respect other countries – remember you’re on their turf. Ideal travelling companion? After trying 2 453 701 applicants I haven’t found one yet. I love lone travel.
Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
Probably a bit of both. I love tearing around art galleries on the back of a Harley-Davidson. I am constantly trying to merge the two. Greatest travel luxury? A very good, solid, five- litre, four-wheeler lightweight suitcase. People always travel with too much luggage. Buy there. Holiday reading? Everything on where I’m going. Usually I keep a diary of every minute. Favourite drive? California coast highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Chapman’s Peak Drive. The road to the Seychelles airport departures. Dream trip? I still want to do the Orient Express or the Trans-Siberian 12day train trip that ends in China. Love trains.
As a seasoned traveller can you share some tips?
Travel as lightly as possible. Don’t eat anything you don’t know how to eat. Be nice.
ALL ABOARD: Banks is crazy for trains and dreams of taking a trip on the Orient Express or the Trans-Siberian Railway.
FUNNY MAN: Mark Banks