March 19th, 2009
|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.
Yes, but I imagine that if anyone else on the bus at that moment in time had asked, it would have been easiest for us Americans to just fake being Canadian. Unless there were other Canadians on the bus at the time... :)
That kind of thing actually happens a lot more than you think; some American tourists during the reign of George II would go so far as to sew Canadian flag patches on their backpacks to avoid the stigma and harrassment. I think that goes a little too far, honestly, and could be very unfair to our brethren up north, but there are indeed some well-founded Ugly American stereotypes being perpetuated abroad on a daily basis and there's gotta be some way for the good tourists to say "Hey, I'm not like that, honest. I'm not even eating at McDonald's here, am I? No! I'm here for the experience!"
Ah well. I admit back in 1995 I was hanging out in Paris and heard several French youths openly speaking about me in French (assuming, I guess, that being an American tourist, I didn't bother to learn the language.) Their rationale for my being American, by the way, was that I was wearing sneakers. No, I don't quite understand it either, but I turned to them and said "tiens, je suis Canadien" and didn't hear a single word from them after that.
I admit I felt kinda bad for Canada after that, but you fellows would've understood.
Edit: This was before I went to a midnight Rocky Horror showing in Paris and made a lot of fun new friends, including one who said "You're in Paris for three more nights? Great! That's three more girls!" I took a taxi back to my hotel and fell asleep.
Edited at 2009-03-19 03:57 pm (UTC)
The joke among Eurotrash like me is that you can tell a Canadian backpacker from an American backpacker because the Canadian is only wearing one maple leaf.
Heh heh..vis a vis the French teens eating in McDonalds...they should not throw stones.
I was last in Paris in March of 1998, and it was my last night there. I did not speak enough French to feel comfortable really getting by, and I was feeling rather intimidated all around, as this was my first solo experience internationally (well, in a non-English as a primary language foreign country). So after hemming and hawing to myself for a while, I hung my head in shame, and admitted defeat by walking into the McDonalds in the Champs Elysee.
And when I did walk in, lo did my eyes see but four or five lines six to ten deep, and the whole place was like a monkey house filled with Le Teenagers du Parisian! And I order my une cheeseburger, une petit Coke et une pomme frites plus grand and walk to my table, and I'm suddenly siezed with the urge to scream out "What the hell is wrong with you kids? I'm stuck eating here in this McDonalds cause I suck and I'm too nervous to go eat in a nice restaurant, but you don't have that problem! How can you actually CHOOSE to hang out here like it was a gastronomical Studio 54! (You know, except without any of the rampant drug abuse or sexy orgies in the basement. That I know of...) You brats can go and eat some REAL food!
On the other hand, Midnight Rocky Horror in Paris sounds like Teh Shiz-Night. I would have loved to have seen that.
Edited at 2009-03-19 04:28 pm (UTC)
They did the "Raise your hands if you've seen it this many times" thing and when they got to cinquante my hand was still up and one of the guys leaned over to me and said "Cinquante is fifty" and I said "Oui, je sais" only I was in Paris long enough that the Oui came out like sounding like "way"...
...and they all moved back over to me on the Group W bench...
I'm only up to about 15-16 myself. I need to catch up!
And on a related note, they STILL have a weekly shadow cast doing Rocky at the Tower Theather these days. You should pop on down and see how Teh Gnu Hawtness does it these days... *heh*
I heard Tower got a gang back together. Out here we've got a few groups that do their thing. I enjoy the film experience more than I usually enjoy a lengthy pre-show, but the folks up there are having fun and that's what counts.
Noticing that there aren't so many callbacks nowadays, though, that's a bit sad -- but fortunate if you're extensively vocal. Get a lot of nice laughs in an otherwise quiet house.
Yeah...I've noticed that...if the crew at Tower didn't have their own confederates "priming up" the audience with call backs, I don't think there would be so much at all...but I've learned a fair amount and can help out where I can. But I do get the impression people used to get more into it in the days of yore.
And now people are trying to make a new cult trend out of Repo! The Genetic Opera...which is a movie I like more the more I see it, and has some great callback moments in it. Were I ten years younger or more, I'd be jumping into the shadow cast for that (The Rocky folks do Repo every month or so)
Oh yes, it happens. In Rome we met an American lady who was shocked to learn that the Italian police officers did not speak English. Moreover she felt that her complaint of having had her pocket picked in the Piazza Navona was not taken seriously enough. Note: There are signs all over Piazza Navona, in just about every language known to mankind including English, that say "Beware of pickpockets."
FWIW, I spent a pleasant afternoon in the Piazza Navona watching pickpockets work and there were cops quite close by the entire time. I can see getting a little annoyed that you've been randomly chosen for a illegal tourist tax.
I've personally experienced the thing where people pegging me as North American first ask if I'm Canadian, because Canadians are terribly offended to be taken for US citizens but the reverse is not true.