A Rant: Travelers Who Really Piss Me Off

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I have to get a few things off my chest. I’ve been in Chiang Mai for a couple of months now and see tons of fellow tourists every day. And while the majority seem like pleasant, well-adjusted people, there are a few that are driving me absolutely insane. Here are a few of the worst types:

Mr. ‘Make Mine a Little Bit Spicy’
Rant: Travelers Who Really Piss Me OffI’ve seen this countless times, with the most recent instance involving a French tourist who was ordering a curry at a small Thai cafe. When asked if he wanted it spicy or not, he replied “yes, a little bit spicy”. It was, of course, too much for him and he spent the next ten minutes haranguing the poor waitress about how irresponsible she was to serve him such an outrageously hot meal.

‘A little bit’ is a completely useless phrase because there is absolutely no frame of reference — there is nothing to gauge against. Thais eat red hot coals for breakfast, so when the cook hears ‘a little bit spicy’ he thinks “Okay, I’ll use smaller coals”. If you can’t handle spicy food, don’t order it. Just lie when you go home and tell everyone about the amazingly spicy food you ate. No one will know.

The Backward Backpack Guy
There are times when it makes sense to wear your daypack backwards so that no one can open zippers or slice into it without you knowing. If you’re wading through a crowded train station full of pickpockets, it’s a smart move. But when you’re wandering through the sedate streets of a small town in Laos, wearing your pack on your chest sends a different message: “I’ve traveled thousands of miles to visit your country and learn about your culture, but I’ve already decided that you’re all thieving bastards”.

What are you carrying in there anyway? Gold bullion? Good luck meeting people with that attitude, touron.

Miss ‘Look at My Titties’
For the love of God, put some clothes on. The locals aren’t impressed by your ample cleavage or your tight shorts — they actually find it rude and disrespectful, so please save it for the beach. Just last week I saw a young woman in a Buddhist temple wearing a see-through mesh shirt with a lacy push-up bra underneath and shorts so tight that she was sporting not just a camel-toe but the whole hoof. The poor celibate monk across from her was working his prayer beads so fast it looked like he was twirling a lasso. They sounded like helicopter blades — if she’d bent over he would have left the ground.

And of course, this applies to men as well. Would you walk shirtless through downtown Manhattan? No? Then don’t do it in Bangkok, asshat. Don’t show me yours and I won’t show you mine.

Sex Tourists
Rant: Travelers Who Really Piss Me OffIf you’ve traveled to the developing world solely to hire prostitutes for the price of an Olive Garden dinner, please go stick your junk in a light socket right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I’ve heard all of the arguments for such behavior: “It’s part of the culture”, “They need the money, so I’m helping out” and “Everyone does it”. These defenses are, of course, total bullshit.

You’re simply taking advantage of the fact that the hourly wage where you live is about ten times what it is here and in doing so, you’re exploiting a fellow human being in the most intimate way possible. I sincerely hope that your rash turns out to be more than ‘just a rash’.

Lithuanians
Okay, this one is going to take some explanation. I really don’t dislike Lithuanians — in fact, I’ve never met one — but I needed someone to pick on and poke fun at. I considered the French first, of course, but c’mon… a man needs a challenge. While researching the issue, I stumbled onto this entry in Wikipedia and knew that I had found my new comic foil:

“This small Baltic country was originally intended to be named “Lissuania” but the man who made the announcement had a severe speech impediment and no one realized it. Lithuanians are widely considered to be some of the rudest, most insensitive travelers and can be easily recognized while abroad due to the fact that they all wear smarmy little mustaches — even the women and children.”

Who am I to argue with Wikipedia? I mean, the greatest Lithuanian artist was named Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis — how weird is that?

When I presented this idea to my friends Shannon and Jodi, their reactions weren’t quite what I’d hoped for. Shannon hated the idea because her nephew is half-Lithuanian. My reply was something along the lines of “Yeah, but does he read my blog? I didn’t think so.”

Jodi protested for two reasons, the first being that it was rather mean-spirited and the second that it was just a stupid idea. I admit that I wavered in my convictions but the universe would soon prove me right.

The very next day, she stopped at her favorite local Thai restaurant to find a heated argument in progress. A Westerner was red-faced and screaming at a waitress, causing such a ruckus that the police had been called. When Jodi asked a server what was happening, he explained that the man and his family had eaten lunch –running up a whopping $6 tab– and he was demanding to pay by credit card. This was a small family-run, open-air cafe with plastic chairs and tables and they weren’t set up to take cards — only the largest tourist-oriented places have that capability.

As she went to leave, she asked where the irate man was from. The answer? “Lithuania”.

I rest my case.

{ 306 comments… read them below or add one }

Slice May 4, 2011 at 12:31 am

hahaha, That was a great read, a bit controversial at the end, but I guess it’s justified! I think everyone should dress appropriately in temples and that.

What get’s me is those traveler types that don’t shut up, they just keep talking and talking and talking with one-way conversations. I met one in Vietnam recently and I ended up having to sit next to him on a minibus, I couldn’t get my iPod headphones in fast enough before he started talking again!
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:53 am

Ha! Yeah, that can be rough. I got stuck next to a chatty Trekkie once. Tough trip…

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Ken Kaminesky May 4, 2011 at 1:07 am

AWESOME post Wes! I was nodding in agreement and chuckling from the moment I began reading.

Just love your blog man, keep doing what you do bro, it’s inspiring :)

Peace
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

Thanks, Ken! Much appreciated.

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Phil May 4, 2011 at 1:07 am

Wes, now you’re starting to talk some sense. I might have to tell Shannon to call off the kidnapping.
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

Ha! She’s in Jordan now, so I’m safe ;)

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Ted Nelson May 4, 2011 at 1:13 am

Excellent read. I will now watch out for Lithuanian tourists. I don’t think I have ever come across one come to think of it.
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

They have to be out here somewhere. Waiting for my first sighting…

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helena May 4, 2011 at 2:35 am

I couldn’t agree more with all the points above, except perhaps the one about Lithuanians, but joke taken ;)

You made me smile in recognition the whole way through as I do also hate old fat men (or any man for that matters) without t-shirts and girls with their implanted breasts hanging out in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, girls with super skimpy shorts in Lombok, and the list could go on. And I really, really completely hate and find completely appealing any person that engages in sex tourism, or any kind of acts of buying sex.

I must admit though that I have already fallen partly under your first hate group, as I have already replied once or twice, ‘a little bit spicy’! I must have been lucky though to having replied to a person that either understood what I was asking for, or have learned the hard way that Western tourists can’t take real spicy. Or perhaps I can actually take more spice than I think… You are right though, ‘a little bit’ is a very bad answer and I have wanted to bite my tounge every time it has slipped out of my mouth.

helena, http://www.globaltravellers.blogspot.com

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helena May 4, 2011 at 2:36 am

I couldn’t agree more with all the points above, except perhaps the one about Lithuanians, but joke taken ;)

You made me smile in recognition the whole way through as I do also hate old fat men (or any man for that matters) without t-shirts and girls with their implanted breasts hanging out in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, girls with super skimpy shorts in Lombok, and the list could go on. And I really, really completely hate and find completely appealing any person that engages in sex tourism, or any kind of acts of buying sex.

I must admit though that I have already fallen partly under your first hate group, as I have already replied once or twice, ‘a little bit spicy’! I must have been lucky though to having replied to a person that either understood what I was asking for, or have learned the hard way that Western tourists can’t take real spicy. Or perhaps I can actually take more spice than I think… You are right though, ‘a little bit’ is a very bad answer and I have wanted to bite my tounge every time it has slipped out of my mouth.

helena
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

I think the real issue isn’t asking for a little spice, it’s throwing a hissy fit if it’s too much for you. Sounds like it worked out for you, so you’re in the clear! ;)

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Jasmine May 4, 2011 at 3:23 am

Ugh, I’m also a non-fan of Miss Look at my Boobs and Mr Shirtless Asshat – they look like they’re on some kind of extended spring break trip.
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:48 am

And they act like it too…

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Ainlay May 4, 2011 at 3:42 am

Completely & totally agree with every one of your points – all of them give Westerners a baaaaad name. P.S. My grandfather came from Lithuania and I even agree with your last point (he was a man who very much wanted things his own way)!
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:47 am

Thank you for the vindication! *shakes fist at Lithuania*

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Gray May 4, 2011 at 5:36 am

Awesome rant, Wes. I’ve never even been to Thailand, and I still agree with everything you said (except the bit about the Lithuanians; I don’t believe I’ve ever met any either, so hard to judge). I did have to ponder for quite awhile on the expression “camel toe”. (“WHAT is he saying? Is he saying what I think he’s saying???”) Never heard that one before.
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

Ha! Did you Google “camel toe”? ;)

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Seattle Dredge May 4, 2011 at 5:59 am

hahaha I can’t stop laughing about the slutty-dressing one.. that’s hilarious, and very true! Yet, probably unstoppable :s
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

Agreed — it’s an issue that will never go away.

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Dave Brett May 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

Nothing wrong with Lithuanians it’s the Latvians you should worry about.

And typical French not to worry, but I had a similar problem in India, he asked how I wanted my meal and I said mild but he thought I said wild but we both laughed and smiled and I trooped on, It was funny my mate laughed how I painfully polished the dish

I saw a Italian couple ask to try the wine before they purchased it in Vietnam and they spat it out on the floor and told the waiter to take it away, poor guy didn’t know what to do, what do you really expect for £1?

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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

Spit it out? Amazingly rude! I liked Vietnamese wine. What do you expect for $2 a bottle?

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Jason May 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

I got a good laugh out of this post Wes. Throughout my travels I’ve run into all of these people, and your right they do drive me a little crazy as well. The backwards backpack guy is quite histerical to me, and always give me a great old laugh when I see one.

The best of them are the ones who will go to the extent of carrying there main day pack on their front. Iv’e seen a couple over the years as well. Safe travels mate…

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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

Wow, the main pack? That can’t be comfortable…

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Lily (Explore for a Year) May 4, 2011 at 9:16 am

To this list I’d like to add the “trying-too-hard-to-be-a-hippie” travellers.

These are who have black soles from walking around barefoot on the street, don’t brush their hair (but aren’t growing dreads either), and are chain-smoking their lungs out from the cheap cigarettes or drinking a bottle of beer.

Um, hello hygiene? Did you not get the memo that chain-smoking is no longer cool?
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:43 am

Agreed! Neo-hippies will definitely be called out next time.

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Scott May 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

Funny stuff my man. I honestly had no clue that “backpack guy” did that for security, I thought it was just because it was felt more comfortable after having it on your back all day. Sadly, get ready for another group of annoying tourists about to hit Thailand … the “We Are Recreating the Hangover 2 Bachelor Party Guys”!
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wes May 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

Some do it for comfort or to give the back a rest, I’m sure, but many are just paranoid…

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Brooke May 4, 2011 at 10:25 am

I lived in Lithuania for a year. I went with my ex-fiance’s family to Croatia. It was the trip from hell. I was forced to accompany them for 4 full days (of a 7 day trip) on a massive hunt for Lithuanian bread, because they refused to comprehend that Croatia just might not serve Lithuanian national cuisine. We left a day early, because they were too distraught about not having rye bread. This may explain the “ex” part of “ex-fiance”, even though he was not thrilled about the bread-hunt either.
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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:33 am

Oooh, that does sound like a Hell trip. Glad you survived!

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Ricardo Salazar May 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Loved the post. And your description of your trip sounds great, Jasmine got me onto your blog. Can’t wait to read more.

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:33 am

Thanks, Ricardo. Glad you’re enjoying the site.

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Linda May 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The number of times I’ve wanted to write something like this! Less exotic location here, but there is a distinct lack of respect for the Canarian culture, and I can’t count the times I’ve wanted to simply slap someone for their insensitivity. On the subject of inappropriate dress – I used to work in telecom office which was open to the public, and men often came in shirtless. Into an office! Can you believe it? Not the locals, of course. To be honest the company’s customer base was British, but they weren’t the only offenders. Commenting on women’s attire I have to keep private, otherwise I come off sounding like an old witch, but grrrrrrr!

As for Lithuanians, well, there are some countries whose population, after years of repression, is what we used to call “nouveau riche”, who think showy dressing and a demanding attitude are how you display your wealth, and Lithuania is only one of them. Let’s face it, there are plenty of people from established societies who act like that too, and my own countrymen are no exception!
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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:35 am

I agree — I’ve met great people from all over and some not-so-great ones. The good/bad ratio seems to be pretty much the same for each country.

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Angela May 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm

There are many annoying types of tourists, but sex tourists are disgusting. I fail to understand how they can be proud to pay girls who very likely feel like vomiting when they are with them.
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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

And then they want to brag about it. Bleh…

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Leslie (Downtown Traveler) May 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

OMG you are cracking me up! I actually saw hippie backpackers walking barefoot on the streets of central Bangkok. It’s amazing how clueless people are. It’s a good rule of thumb to think, “would I behave this way in my city?” before doing something outrageous overseas.

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

“Would I do this at home?” is a great question ;)

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Casa de Hamilton Pool May 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

don’t even get me started about Texans! ; )

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

Dude. They’re the *worst*!

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Michael May 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Miss Look at My Titties is usually the same clueless twit who has no problem putting her feet up where ever it suits her selfish self, bus seat backs, restaurant chairs, a young boy’s head, wherever man! I’m on holiday and I can and will follow my bliss any way I see fit, local customs be damned! cool, as long as you’re comfy, mai pen rai

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

Yup. C’mon, at least make an effort, right?

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Adam Pervez May 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Amazing post. :) I’m surprised you didn’t mention drunks. So many people travel to places like Thailand where they can drink at a fraction of the price of home and do it to extreme excess. The results are never pretty, of course.
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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

Good call. My list for Part 2 is growing quickly :)

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Abigail Blake May 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I found your blog through David Lebovitz and I love this post! I live in the Caribbean and I too have seen it all. The cruise ship passengers are the worst offenders. I always wonder if they’d wear a bikini walking through their own hometown. My favorite, though, had to be the porn shoot on the beach. Real hot girl on girl action. This was a popular beach and I was there with my photographer husband who was photographing a wedding. Luckily, he managed to get rid of the German porn stars before the bride arrived.

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:40 am

Wow, a porn shoot? That takes some serious gall!

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polly May 5, 2011 at 1:20 am

Excellent post, Wes. I salute your proper useage of the term ‘asshat’.

In addition to your fine list, I would add the Clueless but Curious – “I did NO research before travelling half way around the world to your country. Now that I’m here, I expect you to explain every single thing about your culture, history, food, music, customs, economy, religion, etc. In English.”

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:42 am

Thanks, Polly. I just saw two older european travelers who were walking into the old city on the first day of Songkran, not realizing what was going on. They were angrily shouting “no!” and wagging their finger at anyone who aimed a water pistol their way. We let them pass but they were headed right into the thickest part of the celebration and I bet they didn’t make it a block before someone got them with a bucket.

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Colleen May 5, 2011 at 1:33 am

My grandmother was Lithuanian, and she was a beautiful and graceful lady. She was a model in New York in her younger days, and she was 6-feet tall, beautiful, fashionable, and an absolute lady in every respect until she passed away a few years ago at 90.

Methinks there may be some Lithuania envy here. Lithuanians are a mostly physically attractive bunch, who have some faults, but faults in beautiful people are less tolerated by those lacking in the looks department.

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:44 am

Thanks for the comment, Colleen. I’m really poking fun at my own ignorance more than anything. As I said, I’ve never met anyone from Lithuania and I’m sure they’re delightful people. But I had to pick on *someone* :)

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures May 5, 2011 at 3:30 am

I would NEVER consider a sex tourist a traveler. What scums!

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:44 am

Word.

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sarah wu May 5, 2011 at 5:23 am

Great stuff, it’s not really ranting beacuse all of the mentions were a fact and true! Espeiclaly the spicy part. My spicy level can be different then your spicy level. It’s like when you go to ER in here, the hospital will ask from 1-10 how much are you in Pain. and my 5 can be a different 5 then yours. Great write up.

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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thanks, Sarah!

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Kit Whelan May 5, 2011 at 7:16 am

Hilarious! I always want to scream at scantily-clad travelers in conservative cultures. Once I saw a Russian girl in Egypt going commando under a ridiculously short skirt, I can’t believe she didn’t explode from the intensity of the stares she was getting!
And thanks for the heads up about those Lithuanians ;)
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wes May 5, 2011 at 8:45 am

Dear Lord… commando in Egypt? Wow.

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marketingturizmadotinfo May 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

Too funny, but so true!!!

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Gareth Leonard May 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Maybe we could develop a dating show that connects ‘Sex Tourists’ and ‘Miss Titties’. The winners get sent to Lithuania to eat spicy food!
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wes May 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

That ties it all up rather nicely!

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Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures May 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Hahahaha I know all these types well! And while I don’t believe I have met any Lithuanians while traveling, there is one nationality in particular (that shall remain nameless) that I believe fits the bill perfectly!
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Theodora May 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I loathe the “pregnant” look with the backpack, also. And, hell, yeah, the tits-out in a monastery look is not a good one. We went to meet student monks at the university in Chiang Mai and there was a girl in a tight white singlet, sans bra. Wildly inappropriate.
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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:52 am

Ugh. There’s always one…

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Jack - eyeflare travel May 8, 2011 at 12:07 am

Great fun this. Yes, Lithuanians are truly the scourge of the travel world [takes tongue out of cheek].
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Alex May 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I have to add that I don’t like Russians on the resorts. Sure, not all of them behave bad, but most get drunk, shout instantly and wear only trousers )

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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:51 am

Klassy!

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Graham GlobalGrasshopper May 10, 2011 at 3:59 am

Hilarious post! I’ve seen a few of these people I’m sure!
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wes May 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

Thanks, Graham. Glad you liked it.

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oliver May 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm

awesome post , ‘Miss Look at My Titties’ was da best ….

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Colehaber.com May 12, 2011 at 9:41 am

Save for the bit about Lithuanians, I really appreciated this list :)

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wes May 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Thanks ;)

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Angelo Joseph May 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Hi Wes,

keep up the good work on your website. We landed in bangkok on tue, from 6 weeks in India and I did see many of the above in the list, in khao san road. It made me cringe!

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Nomadic Samuel (Samuel Jeffery) May 21, 2011 at 12:01 am

A fantastic article! I especially like the part about the turdwaffles who wear the packs on front. One particular thing that is a personal peeve of mine is when travelers who commit ultimate acts of stupidity whine and moan about their situation trying to garner sympathy. A classic example of this was when I met a traveler in Indonesia who ´mere weeks ago´ was robbed on the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. It sounds tragic until you hear that she was carrying $1000 in CASH stored in an unsecured bag in the overhead compartment while dozing off. Somebody made off with it in the middle of the night. I just told her frankly, “What on earth were you thinking – A) Carrying cash & B) not securing your bag!” Anyhow, I wrote this very offbeat article one year ago on my friends and family blog about my ultimate pet peeve ´backpacker archetype: frat boy´ and I will likely use it when I launch my proper blog soon. I think it´ll give you a chuckle if you check it out: http://bit.ly/j9CjGh
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Matt E. May 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hey there I was directed to your blog through another travel blog.They said yours is one of the tops for 2010-2011.I’d have to agree.Keep up the good(and funny!)work,homie.I live in a popular tourist destination,Miami,and I do have one wretched traveler. The “Ignorant of tipping European” -ATTENTION ALL EUROPEANS- Our tipping system is different than yours.YOU KNOW THIS. Don’t feign ignorance. this poor girl/guy is making $2.25 an hour and WE don’t have national healthcare.-ok that’s it haha.Sorry to use your comment space/blog as a soapbox,I know it’s kind of a “first world problem”. I’m not a server,I’m a cook,but servers always get mad when europeans are seated in their sections,because this aparently happens ALL the time.They’re probably all just Lithuanians! hahaha.I look foreward to reading more!Cheers!

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Marc W May 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Cool – you make us readers laugh (and maybe remind them a TINY BIT of themselves?) :-)
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wes May 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Thanks, Marc.

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siga May 27, 2011 at 12:18 am

As you judge about all nation from one incident, even in a “funny” way, tells me how shortsighted your thoughts are. As a photographer you shoud know, how everything is judged by first fast impression. And what we see when come to this blog? Some anti-nationalist? There is bad and good everywhere, in Texas too… A bit more of respect would be apreciated ;)

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wes May 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

As I made clear, I have nothing against Lithuanians or any other nationality. It’s meant in good fun and if you’re offended, I’m sorry to hear it.

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DIVI May 27, 2011 at 1:34 am

The soon-to-be-hovering monk made me ROTFL!

cheers
Piotr

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wes May 31, 2011 at 9:19 am

Thanks!

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Evi @evitravels May 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Hilarious. I’ve been staying in a guesthouse in Phnom Penh for about a week, and eating a bit more often than my usual m.o. in the guesthouse restaurant. I can’t believe how many people are incapable of dealing with the fact that they actually speak a different language in Cambodia — not English. You should hear all the people yelling their orders louder and louder, and being generally rude to the staff. It’s pretty shocking. (The totally frustrated girl trying to describe a “rare” steak for her $2 beefsteak order comes to mind.)

The bikini/single clad ladies in their late 30s in Marrakesh were also a treat …
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Angelo Joseph May 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Currently in vang vieng,laos been here two days.There are so many shirtless mr asshats and miss look at my boobs here its just embarrasing watching them come back drunk from tubing, (not actually making the finishing point, but getting picked up from tuk tuks), singing, shouting loud and just being abusive to the locals. Makes me embarrased to be a tourist here. Luckily i’m leaving vang vieng tommorow, thank god!!!

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WonderingGook May 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Oh.My.God. I feel the same way. On my way to CM on Monday, but down around South I can’t listen to one more magic mushroom story or listen to another Russian yelling at the cafe girls IN RUSSIAN. And um, what’s with the thongs on the beach????

Seriously, simple to travel with respect to the locals & country:
If you don’t do it at home, why would you here?

I’m tracking you down in Chiang Mai, meet me for a beer? :)

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wes May 31, 2011 at 9:11 am

Love to meet up :)

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Eddie May 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I agree with the rest of the stuff, except backpackers and Lithuanians.
During my travels, I always try to avoid wearing my daypack in public places. And it doesn’t matter, is it Sweden, Switzerland, Spain or Turkey. I see your point, that if you wear a backpack backwards, you are broadcasting the message that “I don’t trust you, cause all of you might be thieves”, but at the same time, being a tourist means that you are in unknown culture with possibly different attitudes, which creates a feeling of being unsafe. And not get spoiled vacations you need to make some precautions. Especially when you hear recommendations in local Tourism information centres to keep your things as safe as possible.

As for Lithuanians, I see that you were trying to make some fun and chose them randomly, just as you might choose any other country and make a rant on them as well. A quotation you pasted from Wikipedia, sounds rather ridiculous, and seems to be taken from Uncyclopedia (http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com) or something like that :)
Personally, I had an unpleasant experience with Brits, Italians and Polish tourists, but who cares? There are idiots everywhere, even in your own yard :)

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wes May 31, 2011 at 9:14 am

“There are idiots everywhere, even in your own yard”

Spot on. And yes, the Wikipedia quote was totally made up :)

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Mayo June 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

All funny!
About the Thai – Every time with my other colleague who won’t eat spicy I have this situation when ordering curry. She asks the waiter/ress: “Is it spicy?” They’ll say: “We can make it as mild as possible with no spicy at all” or “we can tell the chef not to put spicy”, but haha that isn’t really answering the question. 100 out of 100 it will still be spicy. So I concluded that curry is spicy no matter what, and that it only goes up after that…

Aside that story, I have something to add to the “clueless and curious”. People should have more care when traveling to Southamerica. It is easy to lose your stuff there (the muggers are really fast). I remember once I was traveling somewhere near the Equator and Peru and I saw these kids who were going on some tour, all showing their iPods, cameras, and jenesequoistechnologistic stuff. That is like asking to be mugged. Truly.

The one that I hate, is the smelly tourist. Most caucasian tourists have to anticipate the warm climate and use that thing called deodorant?? (sad but true). Sometimes I think people don’t wear it anyways. In Canada, I have been in the major subway stations. During the summer it has an aroma of it’s own, which is the only reason that I like winter… but in other places, tourists get noticed because noone smells like this and I am talking about the non-backpacker kind.

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HappyCamperMostOfTheTime June 22, 2011 at 3:29 am

My #1 beef is simple rudeness. I hate that shit. I noticed that the greater the discrepancy between the GNP of the traveller and the country where the traveller is – the greater the rudeness.

It is as if people think that the poorer the people around them are the more they can justify straight out anti-social behaviour. Talking so loud its closer to yelling, all apparently to make people aware that you are there. Or actually bitching about the fact that people don’t speak fluent english. Or that the place is dirty. Or that there are actually touts trying to rip you off – wouldn’t you if you had no viable alternative to make some money?

You’d say that being a guest in a country where you travel primarily BECAUSE its so much cheaper then where you are from that you would actually put forth a bit of extra effort to show people respect but no. Instead you have people penny-pinching because they are on a budget so tight that they should never have left home in the first place, and then, despit the place still being a bargain, still whine about how prices went up compared to 1998. Unfriggingbelievable.

And then people wonder why more and more people in SEA can’t stand the sight of another backpacker, for many the epitome of Cheap Charlie.

My #2 beef is the narrow mindedness that I’ve come across far too often, here too the backpacker crowd scores high in my book. Moving from backpacker enclave to backpacker enclave, i.e. insulating themselves with imported Western Culture, they actually think that they are open mindedly exploring the local culture because they have the guts of steel to eat at food stalls and go see the Must See Tourist Spots using the local bus instead of seriously contributing to the local economy by using local tour agencies, and then bitch about how those who do so and stay in more upscale hotels are not really experiencing the local culture like they are. lol Dellusional is the word that comes to mind. Not to mention arrogant.

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Cara Hines June 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

“Poor celibate monk”…”Asshat”…Bwahaha!! I’m laughing my “ath” off. You are funny. And you know how to assemble some words. Love your blog! Just discovered it. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your humor. I like the way you think. And write.

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wes July 1, 2011 at 7:36 am

Thanks so much, Cara!

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