Monday, July 30, 2007


You'd think that, having grown-up in Miami - tourist Mecca of the southern US, I'd have grown a tolerance for the idiocy of the tourist. Doe people leave their intelligence and their manners at home when they travel? Today's rant is brought to you by the Polish tourists that irked me at the hotel this weekend.

I didn’t want to spoil the reports of the lovely weekend by complaining about the idiotourists who shared the hotel this weekend. I first got the idea that they were going to be a problem as I checked into my room on Friday afternoon. The couple was standing in the middle of the lobby smoking. Now, normally, this would not be a problem for me. I am not one of those militant ex-smokers who think everyone should quit.

It was more annoying that they were standing in the middle of a traffic area obstructing the passage of the other guests of the hotel through the lobby, than that they were disobeying the law by smoking in an enclosed public space. As of 01 July 2007, it is illegal to smoke inside an enclosed public space. Why they chose to ignore that, I do not know.

They really got my goat on Saturday morning, however, when I went to breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The restaurant had a breakfast buffet set-up with the breads at one end of a long table, cereals and fruit in another area and hot "Traditional English Breakfast" foods at the opposite end.

I arrived to see the bread baskets were empty so I asked one of the restaurant staff (behind the buffet table) if they could put out some more bread rolls. I was told they would and she walked off to get them. So I stood there, plate and tongs in hand, waiting for the woman to return.

"Are you going to go?" asked the voice to my right, displaying what I took to be more than a trace of annoyance.

"Yes, they’re getting more rolls." I responded, indicating the returning restaurant employee with the bread baskets.

"Then do you mind if I start?" she (the rude tourist) asked.

I looked around at the tables spread around the end of the room. "Not at all, please do." I started reaching for a roll when the basket came. For reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the woman decided to push her way past me between the table and the tongs, knocking my hand out of the way rudely in the process.

Why she felt it necessary to walk along the curve of the elbow in the tables rather than just stepping directly to the foods she wanted further along, I will never know. I helped myself to a roll and stepped along the curve to where the preserves were and helped myself to some marmalade, drawing an acid glance from the tourist in the process even though I was in no way impeding her progress as she piled half-a-dozen fried eggs and as many sausages onto her plate.

Ah! Well, no need to allow the tourists to spoil my day!

I hope that wherever you are today, you're having a great day!

Don Bergquist - 30 July 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

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