Tourism
As a tourist, when you see this sign, do you just turn around and walk away or do you ignore it and walk on? (Image: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo, Flickr)

Dealing with obnoxious tourists, particularly when they are visiting third world or developing countries, is like dealing with constipation. Not even an enema can suck the bratty behaviour out of them. Here are ten shitty things tourists do when visiting developing or third world countries.

  1. Complain that no one speaks English

I have heard someone say “These people are uneducated. They can’t speak a word of English.”

Are you fucking serious? Many locals can speak numerous languages. If English is not one of them, it is not their fault. And it has nothing to do with poor education. Why don’t you make an effort to learn their language for a change, you cunt.

The same kind of folks might also be…

2. Assume our English is shit

People in many developing or third world countries are multilingual, and English happens to be one of those “must-know” languages. So talking slowly and loudly at locals is rude. Besides, why not try speaking Chinese, Spanish or Xhosa for that matter.

3. Criticise locals or a place in your language

We are not against you using your own language when speaking to one another, but overtly expressing your disdain for the locals and the place they come from is truly a shitty thing to do. Fuck you!

4. Go on township/slum tours

It is not unusual nowadays to find affluent tourists tramping or cycling — which is just as terrible — through slum towns in places such as Johannesburg or Rio de Janeiro. A few things happen when busloads of tourists pitch up to slums:

a) Tour guides tell you not to dole out money as it would invite the riff raff. This is like a zookeeper telling visitors not to feed the animals. Do you get it?

b) The tourists feel so bad, they start doling out cash to locals, inadvertently keeping locals in that squalid situation.

c) The slums are romanticised and the affluent tourist feels that the story of the poor man’s struggle needs to be told. Then the affluent tourist writes a script, which gets turned into a movie, which then wins an Oscar. Meanwhile, the poor man never got to tell his story and is still relying on tourists doling out cash.

5. Not respecting the culture, language and history enough to try to understand them

Before you visit a country, it is only good practice to become familiar with some of the customs of the land, to make sure that some of your actions or words are not offensive to locals. For instance, in China, calling a person towards you with your hand, fingers pointing upward, is the equivalent of calling a dog. People prefer that you point your fingers to the ground when calling them.

6. Take selfies

This is the pits. People have fallen and died while trying to take the perfect selfie at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. Others just seem to think it is okay to take a selfie at sites honouring Holocaust victims. Many seem to think it is fine to pose next to Vincent van Gogh’s portrait and snap a shot, while other visitors are just trying to admire or study the painting. We get the psychology behind wanting to own a part of the place you visited but you are in the way, you are annoying and you are being shitty.

7. Visit game parks that let you play with wild cats

Do you know what some of these game parks are? Captive breeding factories for canned hunting. Yes, you are supporting an evil industry that allows rich “hunters” to shoot a wild cat, particularly a white lion, for as much as $500,000, if not more. The heads of those wild cats are then hung boastfully on the hunter’s walls so visitors can gawk at it while jerking off.

8. Sit at a restaurant because it offers Wifi

Never mind that the coffee is sourced from Costa Rica. Never mind that the café is home to the best croissants in the southern hemisphere. Just ignore the world class jazz on display. Tourists want Wifi and if the restaurant does not have it, they are going somewhere else.

Sadder still, is having a bunch of tourists sitting around a table, glued to their smartphones, not saying a word to each other. They order sparkling water and sip a third of it before paying the bill and walking away.

9. Adult tourists who say “they can’t take another minute of this shit anymore”

Many of these kinds of tourists miss the comforts of home. Either they:

1) Hate that it is too hot

2) Hate that it is too cold

3) Hate that no one else can speak English

4) Can’t stand the smell or noise

5) Just want to get back to their PlayStation and cronuts

10. Use the local language inappropriately

Don’t mock the language.

Just as bad, don’t use it out of context such as this tourist complimenting the beauty of a Chinese host’s mother.

Tourist: Nǐ de mǎ hěn piàoliang

Chinese local: What? You’re saying my horse is pretty?

Tourist: No, I meant your mother.

Chinese local: You’re saying my mother is a horse.

Tourist: I’m saying your mother is beautiful.

Chinese local: Oh, you meant mā, not mǎ.

Tourist: [Baffled] There’s no difference.

Chinese local: So you insist my mother is a horse.

Tourist: [Slaps hand on forehead].

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