Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Those Complaining Tourists!

There was a post today on a Thailand forum where the member posted a thorough and informative travelogue-type report about his visit to the Land of Smiles that made me stop and compliment him on it. Is it just me, or do far too many people come home from a vacation or holiday and spend most of their time bitching about things they didn't like wherever it was they went? Maybe those are just the more vocal folks, I don't know. It seems to me that if one is going to spend a couple of thousand dollars to go somewhere that one ought to do their level best to enjoy it.

All too often I run across folks in Thailand that think the Thai owe it to the them to change things to be more like they would be in their own living rooms, where they spend most of the rest of their leisure time while complaining about their previous trip because they weren't treated like some form of deity or person of privilege like the statue of Bacchus above that I photographed in the Ripley's museum at Royal Garden Mall in Pattaya. Just go with the flow, people... you're on an adventure! Be grateful.

The whole thing reminded me of the Monty Python "Travel Agent" sketch from 40 years ago, where the man began a rant that lasted five solid minutes. You've met people like this - we all have. The text of it is below. It's still funny today!

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Monty Python's Travel Agent Sketch: The complainer's rant...

“I mean what's the point of being treated like a sheep, being carted around in buses surrounded by sweaty mindless oafs from Kettering and Coventry in their cloth caps and their cardigans and their transistor radios and their 'Sunday Mirrors', complaining about the tea, 'Oh they don't make it properly here do they not like at home' stopping at Majorcan bodegas, selling fish and chips and Watney's Red Barrel and calamares and two veg and sitting in cotton sun frocks squirting Timothy White's sun cream all over their puffy raw swollen purulent flesh cos they 'overdid it on the first day'!

And being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Continentals with their international luxury modern roomettes and their Watney's Red Barrel and their swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending they're acrobats and forming pyramids and frightening the children and barging into the queues and if you're not at your table spot on seven you miss your bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday night there's a bloody cabaret in the bar featuring some tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some big fat bloated tart with her hair Brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners.

And then some adenoidal typists from Birmingham with diarrhea and flabby white legs and hairy bandy-legged wop waiters called Manuel, and then, once a week there's an excursion to the local Roman ruins where you can buy cherry-ade and melted ice cream and bleedin' Watney's Red Barrel, and one night they take you to a local restaurant with local colour and colouring and they show you there and you sit next to a party of people from Rhyl who keeps singing 'Torremolinos, Torremolinos' and complaining about the food - 'Oh! It's so greasy isn't it?' and then you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer from Luton with an Instamatic and Dr Scholl sandals and last Tuesday's 'Daily Express' and he drones on and on and on about how Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages Enoch Powell can speak and then he throws up all over the Cuba Libres.

And sending tinted postcards of places they don't know they haven't even visited, 'to all at number 22, weather wonderful, our room is marked with an "X". Wish you were here. 'Food very greasy but we have managed to find this marvelous little place hidden away in the back streets. Where you can even get Watney's Red Barrel and cheese and onion crisps’ and the accordionist plays "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner"' and spending four days on the tarmac at Luton airport on a five-day package tour with nothing to eat but dried Watney's sandwiches and there's nowhere to sleep and the kids are vomiting and throwing up on the plastic flowers and they keep telling you it'll only be another hour although your plane is still in Iceland waiting to take some Swedes to Yugoslavia before it can pick you up on the tarmac at 3 a.m. in the bloody morning and you sit on the tarmac till six because of 'unforeseen difficulties'. i.e. the permanent strike of Air Traffic Control in Paris, and nobody can go to the lavatory until you take off at eight, and when you get to Malaga airport everybody's swallowing Enterovioform tablets and queuing for the toilets and when you finally get to the hotel, there's no water in the taps, there's no water in the pool, there's no water in the bog and there's a bleeding lizard in the bidet, and half the rooms are double-booked and you can't sleep anyway...” [CUT]

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

... pretty much sums up why I don't travel.

khunbaobao said...

The trick is to avoid such folks and just go out and enjoy this wide, wonderful world! ;-)

Michael Lomker said...

I'm pretty laid back on my trips to Thailand. I went during Songkran last time and my friend dressed up because he wanted to go somewhere nice to eat. Seemed like a bad idea to me and I told him so. Sure enough, we ended up having our motorbike doused with a bucket of water. He got off and totally chewed out the offending parties. I think it was the first type-A Thai that I ever hung out with. I found it amusing...I knew what I was getting into when I came during Songkran.

I guess my point is that people are people and it isn't always the white guy that is unreasonable.

khunbaobao said...

Oh, I hear you, ML. I have a couple of Thai friends with tempers. Three, actually - but I only hear about his battles with his Thai BF and haven't actually SEEN it yet. However, I've seen two others red in the face and having loud conversation with someone. They were protecting me, but still...

Christian said...

Can you tell us which forum this was on? I checked all I know, didn't found anything matching. Unfortunately, my last holiday in LOS was below my expectations and now I'm thinking what do to better next time.

khunbaobao said...

Christian - the one I was thinking of is called "Back for 3 weeks already" on Gaybutton's new forum. Well worth taking a look at.