So in my nearly 6 months on the road, I have met a lot of travelers. Some of you & you know who you are, will be my friends for life (I hope), but others of you, man, you make me crazy. Here are a few of my favorite love to hate ’em travelers
Mr & Ms I-want-local-price
Okay, how about this? Once you get a local passport, local paycheck, local education & local opportunities, then you can get the local price. That’s fair, right? Cheapskate westerners drive me bat shit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be seen as a chump, or a walking ATM, but I accept the fact that I am probably paying more than the locals. And that’s ok with me, because I am grateful I have the ability to do so. And you should be too. so shut up, already.
Mr & Miss Fussy-Food-Orderers
You people really make me gnash my teeth. You go into a local restaurant & start making special requests & and asking things like “so, what’s the sauce like on that?” and “I’d like such & such, but without this or that, and maybe some extra this, but NONE of that. Are you SURE it has none of THAT?” People! The locals’ english is probably limited to the EXACT name of the item on the menu. And you are damn lucky they know that much. They certainly can’t explain to you the flavor profile of the fucking sauce. It’s pretty simple: learn a few words in the local language, like, perhaps chicken, vegetable, rice, noodle, etc. now pick something out on the menu & just go with it. You may even like it. Or not. Oh, and by the way, pizza will not be like pizza in Italy or NYC, just so you know.
Little Miss Scantily Clad
Ok, seriously. Put on some fucking clothes, already! Does it not occur to you that you are a guest & you should behave & dress accordingly? In Buddhist SEA & Muslim Indonesia it is extremely disrespectful to wander around in your short shorts with your ass cheeks hanging out & your hum-ha for all to see. Oh, while I’m at it, guess what? Bikinis away from the beach are also not appropriate, you git. You wouldn’t think I would have to tell you this. I mean, did you even glance at the culture section in your guidebook? When all else fails ask yourself this: Would I walk around my hometown in front of grandfather dressed like this? Would I enter a church in middle America dressed liked a hooker? NO? Then, guess what sweetheart? It’s nixie no-no when traveling too.
Mr & Ms Distrustful-Of-Locals:
Why did you leave home if you believe all local people are thieves? One evening I was sitting with some locals who worked at the bungalows where Mr. DOL & I were staying, and Mr. DOL walked up to me, a total & complete stranger, & asked ME, not the local employees, to watch his laptop while he went to the bathroom. If anyone is likely to steal from you, more often than not, it’s going to be another traveler. The locals in the above situation were so offended & who can blame them? You come to their country & assume they are all thieves. I travel with mindset that most local people are good & trustworthy. Local people are just like you & me, they are proud of their country & want to share it with us. And while I am careful of where I lay my valuables and not foolish, I refuse to believe that local people are going to steal from me.
Mr & Ms Food-Paranoids
You know them. They brush their teeth with bottled water, they only eat fruit with thick, peel-able skin & all their food choices are based on how hygienic they seem. You can recognize them by their inexhaustible supply of hand sanitizer (both gel & wipes). Street food? Forget about it. These folks would NEVER dare to eat street food. At every turn, they are sure the food is out to kill them. Mr & Ms FP you are missing out on some very tasty treats. One of the best ways to experience a culture is by eating its food. Now, I am no idiot & I certainly don’t want dysentery any more than anyone else, but avoiding “taboo” foods is not going to make you any less likely to get sick (ever think how many people with grubby little hands touched your money ?) hmmm, that gives you pause, doesn’t it? Anyway, my motto: if it looks good & fresh & local people are eating it, then I will too. Meat on a stick from a sidewalk vendor: Yummy! Cut up fruit from a dude with a push-cart: Absolutely! Noodle soup from the little old lady in a stall: Bring it on! Nasi Campur purchased from a train window: Best Ever! I even brush my teeth with tap water. And with the exception of one short lived case of traveler’s diarrhea (noodle soup with mystery meat at a bus station, I should have known better) in Laos I have yet to be truly sick. So unless you are immunocompromised, get out there & try some local food, you pansies.
If you are a backpacker, you know him. You may even BE him. Usually this traveler is a guy and he, hands down, has had the WORST bus/train/plane/rickshaw rides, survived rats & roaches & gun slinging bad guys. He’s maybe even been arrested. He gets all wistful when regaling the tale of sitting at the side of the road for 12 hours, in the rain (or was it blistering heat?) waiting for a flat tire to be fixed. Usually there are goats & chickens or rabid dogs (or maybe even monkeys) involved. Whatever mishap anyone else has experienced, his is worse. By a landslide. He believes that if you aren’t traveling “rough” you aren’t traveling right. You aren’t a “real” traveler unless you are suffering. I say, traveling is not a competition to see who can do it the cheapest, roughest & most miserable. If you are out here, doing it at all, you are doing it right my friend.
So there you have it my round up of the most annoying travelers ever. who drives you nuts while on the road?