Thursday, September 22, 2011

The game

One way to minimize the chance of trouble when travelling is to be aware of your surroundings at all times, almost to the point of obsession. Combining this with the fun of prejudging people one has never met, J and I developed a terrific though slightly cynical game. One earns points by spotting a wide variety of egregiously touristic behaviour. As near as I can remember, spotting any of the following gets you FIVE POINTS.

- Incorrect use of a camera flash, such as in the sun, with a monument, too close, against a pane of glass.
- Taking a photo of something with the sun behind it, so everything is in silhouette, or of a scene with too much contrast.
- Taking a photo of beggar or other poor child close up with a wide angle lens and camera expensive enough to swap for said child.
- A backpack taller than the person when carried, OR a backpack getting jammed somewhere such as a narrow or low doorway, or knocking something over.
- Lots of luggage, to the point of no free hands. Bonus points if negotiating a staircase.
- A wheeley bag used on irregular surface or cobbles, making lots of noise, flipping, or having to be carried.
- A hybrid wheeley bag/backpack, for sheer crocoduck impracticality.
- A hipster of any size or shape. Extra points if on a shiny motor scooter or wearing sequins.
- A lonely planet guidebook.
- Reading a guidebook right in front of a famous monument instead of looking at it.
- Hiking shoes capable of climbing Annapurna. Bonus points if still shiny or obviously uncomfortable.
- Convertable pants/shorts.
- A terrible sunburn.
- Anyone shouting "Do you speak English?" at close range.
- Anyone asking if they can pay in USD.
- Anyone getting ripped off or scammed.
- Anyone using an audio guide.
- Either one of us tripping or stumbling or running into something.
- Anyone using a taxi when they could walk.
- A visible, outside, or obvious 'secret' money purse, wallet, or bum bag.
- An unusable or perilously dangerous wheelchair ramp. Eg. steep, a big drop at the bottom, or nowhere for a pusher to walk.
- A tourist map. Bonus points if it is being read upside down.
- Anyone asking directions to the 'mall'.
- Anyone so out of shape they can't see for sweat, or climb the stairs to the top of an expensive attraction with a view.
- Funny voices, accents, laughs, etc.
- The smallest and largest dog all day.
- Anyone making a comparison between, say, a wonder of the world and a place 'back home'.
- A McDonalds restaurant.
- Any person with 'only on holidays' facial hair. Bonus points if it's very silly.

To be fair, we both gleefully committed many of these 'crimes against travel' from time to time. Suggestions for more categories welcomed.

1 comment:

  1. my mother forces me to wear a fanny-pack (aka bum bag) every time we travel. she wears one too to match her sandals with socks while my dad wears his Hawaiian shirt and a camera with a comically long lens. it is very sad lol we may as well just carry signs that say "we are idiotic american tourists"
    -Penelope C.

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