Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tinkle on a Tourist

As someone who is pretty straight forward and an avid People Watcher, I don’t think that I’ve mentioned to you all – until now – that “tourists” really get under my skin. Now, I know that pretty much everyone, including me, has been a tourist at one point or another, but…come on…if you are going to be a tourist, don’t act or dress like one. The strength that it is taking me now to hold back the burst of laughter (accompanied by indiscrete finger pointing) or the barely controllable urges to vomit is getting out of control.

I guess that it is the combination of many “tourist attributes” that get to me:
What they wear – black socks with sandals, fanny packs, camera around shoulder, clothing that is obviously NOT appropriate for where they are, etc.
How they talk – usually VERY loud, not in English, etc.
How they act – 9 times out of ten not polite, as if they are more important than any of us, disrespectful to people and the local environment

I don’t know…I mean I know that if I were visiting China, I would not be speaking Chinese or wearing a big sun hat or a Bruce Lee outfit, but I would try to fit in. I would show respect and do what I could to blend in. That being said, I have a hard time justifying my irritation towards tourists, but it still thrives. Maybe I am just a bad person…maybe I need to relax and just accept them as who they are. Fuck that! They annoy the shit out of me.

On our recent trip to the Sequoia National Forest, Insane Mama and I found ourselves utterly in awe of the immense number of tourists visiting form countries all over the world. It kind of makes me think of how lucky we are to live somewhere that everyone wants to visit, but at the same time….DO NOT come to my country and into MY FOREST and push me or walk in front of me while I am taking a picture. DO NOT show up with your family of 7 for a .5 mile FLAT hike with EVERYONE carrying brand new, telescoping walking sticks!(….even the freaking children). DO NOT Pass me on a hike without saying hello. DO NOT wear high heels and a dress for a hike through the woods. DO NOT skip looking in the mirror, at your outfit, if you are going somewhere. DO NOT allow your 4 children to run down to jump, scream and splash around in a river – right where 2 adults are trying to enjoy a quiet moment together. IT IS A BIG FUCKING RIVER!

NO…It was not just this trip. My last trips to water parks, amusement parks, beaches…..even the freaking GAP…all the same. Can we post some rules, basic ethics, manners, code of conduct….or whatever AT EVERY international airport so that sensitive (that is what I will call it) people, like me, can enjoy our nation’s visitors? Maybe we could start a Tourist he borde monitor and correct improper behaviors.

PLEASE know that I am in NO WAY racist or have anything against foreigners….it IS the TOURIST mentality that I pee upon.


Molly said...

Hey, I'm from England but even the tourists here get on my frickin' nerves!! They should not be allowed through the velvet rope, they should have to gawk from the sidelines while we, the true residents, get to go beyond the velvet ropes and explore everything without being annoyed!

Stephanie said...

I find that the people I dislike and/or am annoyed by far outweigh those I can stomach for any length of time. Glad to see I'm not alone.

My favorite group to laugh at are not so much the tourists here (Montana) but the "immigrants" from the east coast that move here, and in order to "fit in" tuck their jeans into $1400 cowboy boots and wear turquoise jewelry and maybe a cowboy hat with a feather in it. When they say "Howdy" with a Brooklyn accent, I have to try very hard not to double over with laughter.

Stephanie said...

Oh, and plus, I think we all know that I have more than earned the award you spoke of. I think my dedication to posting, my witty yet striking commentary, and my sunny outlook have more than qualified me for recognition. You're welcome for tagging you...I'm sure you're getting right on it;)

Deb said...

I live in Myrtle Beach, SC dude. A veritable tourist mecca. I feel your pain. I saw a bumper sticker that said "If it's tourist season, why cant we shoot 'em?"
That about sums it up for me. I cant wait for the season to be DUN!

Tracy said...

I live in New Zealand & the description of the tourists you describe is exactly how American tourists act when they visit here.

Maybe there is something in the airplane water which turns some people into "Obnoxious touristist".

Mom Taxi Julie said...

Huh, tourist don't annoy me. I know if I go somewhere I sure as hell am taking my camera. Just think, all the money they spend in your neighborhood is boosting your economy.

T said...

I love your observations. And that you'll say things the rest of us only think about.

Ah to be a resident EVERYWHERE! At least, that's how I try to be...

Karen said...

LOL... I'm with Tracy. What you describe is exactly what I used to see with American tourists in NZ. :-) Oh, and the Japanese tourists.

I think it must be a universal problem wherever you happen to live,

Tena said...

great post! We go to Disneyland a lot, we have passes... and my favorite thing to do while there is people watch! OMG do these people not owe mirrors!

cIII said...

Quit taking the Words from my very mouth.
Let me tell you about the Canadians that come to my local rock climbing area. Sure, it's the number 5 area in North America to Sport climb.....but it 'aint yours. It's mine. Manners please.

Rhea said...

I know what you mean, I hope I'm never an annoying tourist, although I'm sure I've made the mistake at some point in my life.

I always try to be respectful and have common decency. Good post, Chris!

Maddnessofme said...

Yeah, we get like so many tourists in Detroit.

My midwest accent would probably make you want to kick my ass ;)


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