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Top 10 Silliest Things Tourists Do

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by Lesley Mitchell (subscribe)
Author/lecturer/spiritual tour leader/Natural Therapist/Artist/Soap Maker. eBay store: stores.ebay.com.au/RenascentCollege Website: www.RenascentCollege.com and www.RenascentBathBody.com.au
Published February 17th 2012
Have you ever found yourself raising your voice to make a foreigner understand your language. Been desperate for a meal that resembles something you would eat back home or been exasperated by a fellow tourist.

Welcome to the silliest things tourists do:

Arriving in any new location can be exciting, thrilling, frustrating and confusing, perhaps all at once. Your understanding of all the customs, cultures and often unwritten rules in a country can be difficult to get your head around.

Have you had an experience that leaves you standing there scratching your head? Quite often it is the tourist that leaves the locals a bit miffed or quietly shaking their heads.

Sometimes it good to just let off a bit of steam about things that peeve you.

Here is a list of the top aggravations to locals by tourists (feel free to add your own in the comments section too)

1. People staying in the most beautiful of hotels, acting so upset and angry all the time. Is it the cost of the bill that's getting under their skin?

2. My favourite - it always makes me giggle, and yes, I've been guilty of doing it too: stating your question again but louder in English. Well surely, if they don't understand English it will all become crystal clear if you yell at them.

3. Haven't we all done this at some time: you are in the groove, you know where you are going and then suddenly something catches your eye, or perhaps a moment of uncertainty - you stop - dead in your tracks. Much to the immediate annoyance of those walking behind you that causes a pile up over the top of you possibly ending in what appears to be a rather large game of 'stacks on'.

4. You notice someone enjoying your city, they stop, pull out the camera, set it up and are ready to take a photo. Always the polite person you are - you wait, so as not to interfere with the perfect photo. But they are not content with 1 shot - they are requiring 36,000 shots of the same landscape, all whilst you stand patiently trying to get past.

5. A friend of mine told me that in Cairns, many tourists believe it is the road law to ride their bicycles in the middle of the road. They tell me many are extremely surprised when they are tooted at. Stick to the far side of the road folks and you'll all get along much better.

6. Bikinis and beach wear are great for the beach, but that's where it should stop, how many times have you noticed at beach resorts, people will go out for a meal, hail a taxi, enter a bank or a shopping mall in swimmers. Always makes me giggle.

However this can be taken a step further in many Asian beach resorts, I don't know why, but it seems more prevalent there. There you are out enjoying your iced latte. You are thinking "isn't this civilised", sitting in air conditioned comfort. As you are lulled into a false sense of security, to the dismay of your eyes you do a double take. Is that tourist really naked? Nope, they are just so overweight that their skin is covering the tiny parts of fabric in what was once a bikini. The bikini which may look okay on a size 10 model, sadly now resembles a piece of dental floss that isn't doing much in what it was designed for.

7. I have seen several train goers waving their paper ticket over the myki electronic ticketing systems. Electronic folks, paper just won't work.

8. I'm not a tourist to Melbourne, although I recall when they first introduced the turn right from the left lane over the tramway rule, the terror it struck in our hearts just trying to make a right hand turn. I can only shudder to think of tourists trying to figure that one out. Take the free city circle tram folks and stay out of the city in a car unless you really have to. Even then, take the 30 minute scenic route that allows you to miss the CBD, you'll breathe a whole lot easier.

9. Wearing a huge backpack everywhere:
You know the type, it's the one that says, "I can fit everything I need for 14 months in here without even washing my underwear". They wear them everywhere and usually (due to their size) on their backs. As they turn around the backback lurches at you and sends everything you are holding flying, or worse still lands you upside down in the gutter. You get up dust yourself off and with a casual "hey, check out that church" they spin around and do it all over again.

Even for the wearer, they are fraught with hazards. Years ago, I was guilty of this and had to hang onto poles in trains or if I stood still too long, terrified that I would topple over backwards and like an upside down turtle be unable to right myself. Stuck there, humiliated with arms and legs flailing about awaiting assistance or the unflattering sideways roll, crawl and lurch. Definitely leave the skirts and dresses at home if you are considering this one.

Shopping for rambutans in Borneo
10. When booking flights to Sydney from USA or Canada and you come across a rather cheap flight, please check further as many a dismayed traveller has arrived at their destination, only to discover they have in fact arrived at Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Have you some pet peeves, some funny things you have seen, are you guilty of some silly tourist experiences. Add a note in here and share with us, we'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Why? Perhaps we are guilty, perhaps tourists bother us, always fun to share and see the funny side of situations
Where: Worldwide
Your Comment
hilarious, great article, can't stop laughing, it reminds me of the time our eldest daughter was leaving for an overseas trip of several months, her backpack was so heavy when her dad put it on her, she toppled over on her back just like a turtle and couln't turn over, we helped her up and she promptly unpacked and re packed with only half what she had in there, she managed o.k. all those months with what she took with her, goes to show we always pack to much to go away with. Thanks for the article
by ginar (score: 1|14) 1753 days ago
Have you ever tried to ask for directions in a shop in a country where the English accent is so foreign that you have to ask the same question over and over again accompanied by a somewhat confused expression on your face? I did and was eventually chased out of the shop by an extremely irrate shop keeper who no doubt thought that my intelligence was somewhat substandard. This all happened amidst several fellow customers looking on in glee.
by marqu (score: 0|8) 1920 days ago
A couple of years or so ago I was walking along Regent Street in the sleet (not even snow) and tourists were using their phones to photograph it falling from the sky.
by Sandra Lawson (score: 3|1278) 1922 days ago
Tourists tend to behave the ways they don't normally behave at where they are from because they know that they could get into a lot of trouble for doing so. I'm from Thailand and have seen many male tourists treat Thai women rudely and cheaply. When tourists come to Thailand which is a respectful country, they should follow the dos and don'ts. The "Red Zone" is only a small area, not the whole country. Have some respect please...
by Manaswinee Meesawan (score: 2|116) 1921 days ago
I often wonder when i"m overseas the amount of people that stay at their hotels and don"t leave to go exploring and catch up on the local culture. On my recent trip to Asia I was surprised to see heaps of tourists eating hamburgers, pizza etc
by darne (score: 0|7) 1913 days ago
Interesting article, even more interesting that it is about Australians when it is filed under Things to do in London. Not completely off track, but when I see a tram in Baker Street I feel terrorised. Tourists, London wouldn't survive without them.
by glenn29 (score: 0|6) 1918 days ago
I have to carry my giant backpack on transport and through cities from transport stop to accommodation, because we are in fact travelling for 14 months! Its such a tight squeeze on trains, around Asia especially, but luckily, the only person knocked over by them has been myself, thanks to my father.
Hopefully I manage to leave other people uninjured from my pack!
by thisi (score: 0|6) 1913 days ago
...I carry a huge backpack around everywhere - and I live here!
by jengs (score: 0|8) 1914 days ago
What about the idiots that let their kids run around Fraser Island unattended,then the poor dingoes have to suffer.Ban children from Fraser Island
by cathi11 (score: 1|11) 1903 days ago
We also have the signs. In a window shop in Ho Chi Min City: we open 7 days a week, except Sundays.
by enriquito2005 (score: 1|49) 1923 days ago
I always love, and am guilty of it, people who just hold out a handful of coins and want the shopkeeper to take the correct money. I do it in Australia too and they always take exactly the right money and smile while they do it. It's a great trust exercise and restores your faith in human nature.
by jayboy (score: 1|68) 1754 days ago
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