The Traveling Pooka Returns

By Alex Ramsey

November 4, 2007


Pookas rarely stay in one place for long, so it was no suprise, when Pooka mysteriously disappeared some 20 years ago from his frequent guest appearances in my Dallas Morning News column, only to return tonight ready to roll once again with his pics and pans in the travel industry. He insisted I open this blog and start a venue. As always, the conversation with TP is enlightening and amusing.  TP always delivers perspective.

Although we expect to hear future accounts of his recent whereabouts, for now, Pooka’s mum on that account. He is harrumphing though about the sorry state of travel these days, “Unless you are a genuine Traveling Pooka, where time and space are matters of little relevance, travel ain’t what it used to be.”

Sad, but true. It’s not too much fun, packed into steerage and often treated with little kindness. TP notices, “Wealth helps.” Indeed. But wealthy or not, most of us travel, so Pooka talks. Always voicing an opinion, TP states one of his favorite hotels in the world right now is the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, of all places. Elegantly Asian, TP says the service is superb. Gracious and restrained for a change. No pretense. No posturing. Not the same to be said for the W in Dallas, which he finds not even preposterous. “Preposterous would be a step up,” says TP. “Look, they have some decent views, and that’s saying something in Dallas, which is basically viewless.”  That’s about the big plus. On the other hand, TP’s eyes roll at what he describes as “anti-service.”

“I wouldn’t call it a joke,” he says. “Someone spent way too much money for it to be called a joke.”

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – A Pooka Pick

W Dallas –  A Pooka Pan

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