So, I’ve got this idea for a game. It’s a kind of BINGO for travelers, based on all the many cliches we see –and participate in– while on the road. It’s goofy, easy to play and takes up no room in your pack.
There are 20 Basic categories of tourists in the game to watch for as you travel. When you spot someone that fits the description, point them out to your opponent/s and you get a letter (or you can make your opponent lose a letter, if you’re falling behind and want to prolong the game). The first person to spell BINGO wins. Easy!
Just to make things interesting, there are 5 Wild Cards: travelers who are worth double, allowing you to add a letter and your opponent/s to lose one.
For example, say we’re walking along and you spot a Bloody Harry, a guy drinking before 11am. You point him out and now have the letter “B”. The Bloody Harry category is now closed. (Otherwise, you could walk by a bar filled with Aussies and the game would be over.)
Next you see a Commit Already!, a backpacker with a henna tatto — point her out and you’re at “BI”. Your opponent gets lucky next, though, and sights a Wild Card, aDouble Ansel — a tourist with two cameras. You lose a letter, dropping you to “B” and he gets his first letter, tying the game.
Obviously, this does require a bit of math, in that you have to be able to count to 5. Shouldn’t be a problem for most of us but most Lithuanians should probably stop reading now.
I recommend being discrete when announcing your spotting — shouting “Mr Thang!” as you point at a drunken, shirtless jock could lead to a more adventurous holiday than you’d planned on. A whispered “Mr Thang to your left” will save on dental bills.
And without further ado, here are the categories:
The Basics (+1 for you OR -1 for your opponent)
Hey Grandpa! — a man wearing shorts and black socks
Mr/Miz Thang — anyone showing too much skin for the culture/place
Bloody Harry — any guy drinking before 11am
Penny Saved — tourist arguing with a taxi/tuk tuk driver
Armpits and Beer — a guy wearing a beer logo “wife beater”/singlet
REI Rebel — anyone wearing a North Face jacket
Careful, Spielberg! — a guy videotaping while walking down the street
In Yo Face — someone taking a photo less than 2 ft from the subject’s face
That 80′s Show — a guy wearing a golf shirt with a popped collar
So Last Century — anyone taking photos with a disposable camera
Too Soon — anyone wearing a tshirt championing the town they’re currently in
Where’d I Put That? — a guy in a camera vest (bet he has a beard, too)
Commit Already! — anyone sporting a henna tattoo
Isn’t That Cute? — a couple with matching shirts/outfits
Hippy Pants — anyone wearing baggy, multi-colored or droopy pants (MC Hammer excluded)
Get Off My Lawn — an old expat complaining that the place has gone to Hell
Road Block — anyone holding up foot traffic to get that perfect photo
Stop Thief! — any person wearing their daypack backwards
Thai Tattoo — a backpacker sporting road rash from a scooter spill
The Artiste — anyone laying on the ground to get a photo
Wild cards (+1 for you AND -1 for your opponent)
Kitchen Sink — anyone with a backpack and a guitar, didjidaroo or hula hoop
Missed the Memo — anyone wearing a money belt on the outside
Dread Fest — 3 or more people with dreads in a group OR someone with a massive ‘mono-dread’
Revolution, Mon — anyone with clothing featuring either Bob Marley or Che Guevara
Double Ansel — a tourist wearing two cameras
Change the rules or add new categories as you like, so long as all players agree. If you’re playing with more than 2 people, it’s best to only close a category after two uses, rather than one. To make things easy, I’ve included a cheat sheet.
Please note that this is all in good fun. I read through the list and found 9 that would have applied to me in the last year.
What do y’all think? Any suggestions for new categories?