In Australia, Triple M is a nationwide radio station, with studios in major cities. In Sydney, the morning radio show is called The Shebang (formerly the Melbourne afternoon drive time show). They have a feature called “Shebanging the World.” They want to see if they can get a Shebang listener to send in a photo of themselves in every country in the world (over 200). They have a poster you can download and print to be in the photo with you, or you can make your own, and they like it if you can get something recognizable (like a famous building or structure) so there is no doubt about the location.
They take the first one from each country, so I missed out on getting my US photo accepted. Mine was taken in Tiburon with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, but from a different angle from many postcard shots. The US picture is of a guy in Atlanta with a homemade sign standing in front of a Starbucks, which could be anywhere. Since I couldn’t get that one in, I had to make sure I got something the second time I went to Panama.
Unfortunately, I went to the Panama Canal the first time I went back in late 2005, and I didn’t feel like paying admission just to get a photo. Instead, I looked for promising locations when driving around with Luis (who recently started his own blog here). I wanted it to say “Panama” somewhere in the photo, but something big, not just a street sign or billboard (which isn’t the safest place to try to take a photo), or a storefront. I knew we would be heading back to the airport so mom could get home, and I would take a picture there as a last resort, because airports are hard to fake and the names could be found on the internet if they went checking.
I ended up sending that photo and one in front of the hotel, because I could get the name “Panama” in the photo. I sent it off with the following email, and after I sent it, I remembered I should have mentioned that I’m an American, so they don’t think I’m a fellow Australian on holiday and so they know they have another overseas listener.
“Hi Shebangers! Longtime podcast downloader and occasional golden streamer Kevin here. I just came back from a short trip to Panama, and of course part of my holiday was to Shebang Panama for you. Unfortunately, Panama doesn’t have many recognizable structures, save for the Panama Canal, but it is hard to get close to it without being on a tour boat, which I wasn’t able to manage. You can also pay to get in to the tourist part, but I did that last time I was here and didn’t want to spend the cash on it again. Instead, here are a couple of shots for you to choose from, me in front of the hotel, and one in front of the airport. You’ll also notice that Dancing Fifi made an appearance.”
I started listening to the internet stream again to try to hear my submission, but nothing for a week, then there were no new shows for a couple of weeks while most of the country’s radio show hosts went on winter break (it’s winter in the southern hemisphere).
On Monday, one month after I sent the email, I get one back:
Thanks so much for Shebanging the World for us. Please find attached the guys talking about your travels.
This means they got my email and photos (see which one they chose to post on their website here, look for the Crowne Plaza picture), and they even sent me a clip of the podcast (mp3 file) where they read my email on the air! Very cool. I regret not listening to the show on Monday. I ended up downloading the entire podcast anyway, as I always do, so if you want the entire clip, just ask. Thanks to Luis for taking the photos of me.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST CLIP HERE (you can save it if you wish).