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No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled. - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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March 19th, 2009


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09:22 am - No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.
The Telegraph recently ran an article detailing the amount of ludicrous complaints tour operators have received from various tourists who would have done better just staying at home.

One tourist was unhappy because there were too many Spanish people in Spain. Another one complained that the beaches were too sandy. And a third was bit by a mosquito and was thoroughly chagrined, because "no one told us they bite."

"No one told us" is a common theme. Wonder why.

Oh, and then there's the elephant. That might be the best one of all. G'wan and read it already.

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From:tansu
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
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Which do you think are genuine, sincere, non piss-take complaints?
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From:phonemonkey
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
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I reckon the real ones are: 4, 6, 7 (remember the complaints about the one-handed children's TV presenter?), 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, 19 and 20.

5 wouldn't actually surprise me after all the middle-aged women I saw in Chiang Mai looking daggers at their husbands eyeing the Thai barmaids.

And I think 15 might actually be legit if the tour operators had put a family in a hotel full of stag parties.
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From:tonysalieri
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
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Sadly, this is not a new thing at all.

I remember a tour my Dad and I took in Italy around March of 1992. We went to Pompeii, Florence, the Colosseum, ate some really fantastic food in a country restaurant...and all we'd hear from the American tourists in their little clique in the back of the bus was shit like:

"I wanna be back in America where I can get a proper hamburger"

"Why is everything in this city so old and busted? You think they should take more pride in the way they look?"

"The food here is lousy."

etc etc etc.

My Dad and I, as one, rose, walked to the front of the bus, and sat back down. For the rest of the day, we pretended to be Canadian.
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From:phonemonkey
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
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When we visited Rome a few years ago, we found ourself walking behind two American ladies who were loudly complaining about how horrible the coffee was, and what they would give for a Starbucks. They eventually decided to go to a McDonalds where they knew the coffee was just about acceptable.

Having said that, it's definitely not just an Anglophone thing. I know someone who went on a Czech coach trip to Italy, and she was the only person who did not bring a week's worth of Czech food to eat.

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From:wring
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
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when I become King of the World, these people will be killed.
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From:reveritas
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
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Someone should hook up Nude Beach Wife with Elephant Peen Guy. "No, honey, I'M the most insecure!"
(Deleted comment)
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From:phonemonkey
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
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Mind you, the birthrate in this country shot through the roof when Ikea first opened stores here - suddenly affordable double-beds were available, when almost everyone had slept in twins before. I know that correlation ain't causation, but it's an amusing thought.
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From:lbmango
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Note that there's a Monty Python routine based on this...

this is actually a bigger problem with British travelers than Americans... Terry Pratchett makes a lot of fun of it too...
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From:saint_buddha
Date:March 19th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
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British television has a ton of daytime programs about British people complaining while on vacation. The shows are hilarious. My favorite episodes are when they are filming people vacationing in Florida. Nothing is acceptable.

I went to a wedding in Italy last summer. It was at a villa in the middle of nowhere. The groom was English and the bride was Canadian (both still are). The groom's mother and the bride's grandmother, both English, bitched non-stop one day about the owner doing some improvement on the property because they were too loud. The bride and groom were groaning in embarassment. It was pretty funny because I didn't expect to encounter that in person.

Edited at 2009-03-19 08:00 pm (UTC)
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From:mybadhairlife
Date:March 19th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
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I witnessed travellers who were upset that the ocean contained fish.

One of them ran screaming from the water because of a school of fish.

I laughed my ass off at them, of course.
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From:grendelyn
Date:March 19th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure I would complain to the tour operator about it, but I am certain there are too many Spanish people in Spain. Also Andorra.

Oh well, at least it keeps them out of England.
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From:spwebdesign
Date:March 19th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh well, at least it keeps them out of England.

Hardly! Not that I'm complaining, of course.
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From:del_the_psycho
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
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There's Indian food in India! What the fuck!
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From:phonemonkey
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
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I bet that complaint was about an all-in resort. As far as I know, those places usually have "international" food primarily, and may or may not also have whatever the locals eat.
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From:herself_nyc
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
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That was hilarious.
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From:maga_dogg
Date:March 19th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
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My favourite one from around here was the person who was shocked - shocked! to discover that the mountain trail goes through avalanche zones. How could the gubment allow people to put themselves in such awful peril?

Also (from cruise-ship passengers who are never venturing into the woods anyway): "What, you have bears here? Oh, now I don't feel safe."

The regular Idiot Question, from people who've just stepped off a cruise ship and walked half a dead-flat mile, is "So what's the elevation here?"
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From:dogofthefuture
Date:March 19th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
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"We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant."

It just *happened*. One day I woke up and unaccountably, I was with child. There is no way we could possibly have prevented it.
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From:plumtreeblossom
Date:March 19th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
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I sort of wish I worked in a complaint department. I would blog the stupid ones and get a book deal.
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From:brak55
Date:March 19th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure U.S. tourists are about the worst in the world.

Even back in the mid-70's, when I lived in Europe for awhile, I heard about it. One day, this guy comes stomping down the middle of the sidewalk screaming "God damned fucking American tourists!"
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From:mmcirvin
Date:March 20th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
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I'm not actually sure about that. I've seen some terrible behavior by Americans, but the one (granted, completely unscientific) survey I saw on this several years ago, of European resort workers if I recall correctly, put Americans behind several other nationalities for sheer horribleness. The UK was the worst (the story was in a British paper, so there was probably a reporting bias induced by that angle).

I think some resentment of American tourists is just political or cultural-hegemony-based resentment of the United States as a whole, rather than a reflection of unusually bad behavior on the tourists' part.
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From:sandrylene
Date:March 20th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
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Awesome. The linked article on 20 stupid questions was also pretty priceless. "Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?" "Yes, and in my pocket there's an undisturbed piece of rock from it, as well."

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