Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A short collection of rants

I almost titled this blog “observations” but that wouldn’t have worked because its more me making ‘observations’ and then making wild, crude, offensive remarks. So rants fits better. I’ve been reading a lot of Cracked recently in downtime, this a website specialising in lists. It is worth visiting for stories of Epic things in Space, Stories of friendship in time of war and other bizarre lists. So in list form… a short collection of rants.
1.      People who dress like spengs.
When travelling you come across a fair few people. My least favourite are the travellers who decide to ditch all previous(or not) fashion sense. I had a very heated argument with Jacob and David on a previous travel trip about this same topic. Just because you are travelling doesn’t mean you should change how you dress. This mainly relates to people who don ‘hemp’/parachute pant esque trousers and shirts. Wearing dreads and basically looking like a tramp. I mean, half these people look like they’ve never worked a job, so how do they manage to travel? These styles are in the minority… and can be spotted a mile off. In this category is also people who wear Peruvian hats (or any ‘traditional’ gear from said country). In some places its cold I get it, but 24/7 in the jungle? I don’t see you adopting all the other traditional garb… with your Nike trainers on still.
For the record I still dress like I did back home, I don’t even have walking boots anymore. I wear shorts more but still have skate shoes and t-shirts with silly slogans such as ‘no gracias’.  Im not supposed to judge by clothes but well, some people just make it too easy.

2.       A certain type of traveller.*
Now this is based off observation, I am not stereotyping or generalising but is based of 99% of encounters with this particular ‘group’ of travellers. In one of Welsh’s blogs he documented certain types of traveller… although a good list, it has some omissions. Now I ain’t calling names but I’m not the only person who has bad experiences with this ‘group’. I have found them to be arrogant, impatient, rude, have a pack mentality, inconsiderate etc. For instance, they have been incredibly rude to bus drivers, other patrons on the bus (in this case they happened to be my friends and an incredibly nice pair of Swiss) and generally miserable to everyone else. In another occasion I came back to my Hostel room to find my bed covered in garb belonging to one of them. If I had been asked; ok, or my friend it would have been ok. But neither of these happened. This is just bad etiquette. Now it may sound like I am whinging about minor escapades, which I am. But when this builds up and is the normal behaviour it begins to grate.
It’s not the English traveller, although we of course have our own faults.
*If you really want to know who makes up this group then message me or guess on the comments.

3.       People who make no effort to learn the language.
This probably comes under English/American travel faults. As nations we are probably the least bilingual. But I have sat in restaurants and watched people go “I want a BEER please” or “THE BILL PLEASE” Or just talk in loud slower English to get what they want. In South America at least it is not hard to learn 3 phrases that can be used in restaurants… ‘Quierro una Cerveza (or replace Cervaza with whatever is listed on the menu) ‘I want….’, “La cuenta” – ‘The Bill’ and of course “por favor” – ‘Please’. Anyone who doesn’t do this is clearly a spack. If you were in a restaurant in England and somebody asked for “La Cuenta” people would whine about it, why be any different outside of the UK? I could understand in China or Japan where the languages are harder but as far as I can remember this happened less out there. (Incidently I have forgotten what the bill is in Chinese) actually I have now remembered it is ‘Mei-Dan’, Pronouced ‘My Dan’.

These rants have all been aimed at fellow travellers. A few more irritants more located to locales.
4.       Taxi Drivers/Drivers in General
In most developing countries driving is appalling. The horn is the standard, it replaces the breaks and any form of social logic. In a traffic jam, the horn will resolve it. In Peru taxi drivers see you walking and obviously think walking is for idiots, and so honk at you. In most places you pick up a taxi but here taxi’s seem to think they will pick you up, by loudly irritating you with their horn…

5.       Locals trying to pick up Western girls.
This is less a rant more a series of amusing anecdotes with a bit of fun chucked in. Western girls are quite appealing to guys in some developing countries. But their behaviour often doesn’t do them any favours. For instance; in China a guy asked me how he could make himself more appealing to western women, A) I have no idea, B) In general they don’t like Chinese men, C) When it gets hot… STOP ROLLING YOUR SHIRT UP TO CHEST… either take it off completely or don’t do anything. It is the most unappealing look to anyone ever, and I say that as a straight man. Even I know that is a terrible look.
In Peru the behaviour can be downright odd. In the hot springs on the Salktantay trek the Peruvian guys slowly edged towards the girls in our group, almost like a game of “whats the time mr wolf” until they were very dangerously close to invading personal space. In a nightclub the Peruvian guys literally stood at the side of the dance floor and very obviously leered at the girls. If they didn’t act like some weird kind of pack animal stalking something they might have got somewhere. Not all Chinese/Peruvians behave like this, in fact I have met plenty which are not like this at all, But it is these instances which stand out. For Peru this may have just been a weird Cusco thing, elsewhere in clubs they pay little attention to anyone else and focus on dancing to Salsa/Reggaeton… which leads to my next point.

6.       Salsa and Reggaeton
Now I hate RnB/pop music and generally dance club music. Salsa and Reggaeton are much better. This is everywhere in South America (obviously) but after a while it is so repetitive and the same songs everywhere, also the dancing (as I can’t go beyond basic Salsa) gets very samey and so to me boring. However it is a marvel to watch the locales get the Salsa on and when they move, they move, I first learnt this in Colombia.

7.       Early Mornings
I write this as I have to be up at 6am for a tour to see some animals on an island. Early starts are horrendous but a necessary evil. For the past week or so due to tours or buses I have had to be up at a silly time (except for yesterday when I slept in till ten).

People may have noticed in my last blog that I was a bit weary, well no longer, I got over that and am back with a vengeance. I have vented and hopefully you see the humour in this post, as some of my ‘observations’ are more amusing than truly frustrating, but some are.  After the ‘weariness’ I am back with a vengeance, two posts will quickly follow this – Peruvian food and Loop da Loop; reinvigoration of me via Arequipa, Colca, Huachachina and the return to Lima before 50 hours plus of pure travel. Thus basically winding up the Peruvian leg of adventure.

- English Abroad: A three hour conversation about football from England? Seriously... 

-Hippies. Everywhere and anywhere. Poi in the dorm room... cool. Hare Krishna centre... enlightening.
-Cold Showers. Only acceptable in the humidity of the Jungle.
-Toilets: where you gotta pay to use and yet they are still dirty. I mean why am I paying you to sit on your ass? Main offenders: Tibet, China. Or just holes in the ground...
-Sunday Happy Hours.... Making sobriety next to impossible.
-Menus where half the food is unavailable. 
-Foreign TV. This ranges from the batshit insane to the downright bizarre. South American soaps are even more hilarious than American ones. If you've seen bold and the beautiful, imagine that but like with 1/10th of the budget and the acting is 5000 times worse.

1 comment:

  1. This was brilliant.. I agree with all of it.