Tourists, and Other Forms of Entertainment
by, Tom Ace, Carnivorous Vegetarian
As many of you do not know, I have been on vacation. But enough of
that. I know none of you want to hear about my vacation but seeing
as how I really don't care what you think I'll tell you all about it.
Vacationing is a very popular pastime. Way up there with weasel hunting
on elephant shaped sharks. When people are on vacation there are
several things they can do.
1. Rest on the beach
2. Walk around in funny hats, loud shirts and camera's the size of
minor third world countries.
3. Stay locked in the hotel, live off room service, drink bottled
spring water which is actually tap water sold in bottles, which as
soon a you take the slightest sip of it, and swish it in your mouth
you will feel strikingly refreshed and one point three seven
seconds later you will be breaking world records in the 12 metre
sprint as you try to reach the bathroom on time. After remaining
in the bathroom for a long time (three months) you will get up and
leave the hotel and get as far away from civilization as possible.
It is then that your face will expand twenty times its normal size
and turn a nice bright shade of red as you try and hold in the
second coming of the trots, twenty times more fierce than the first
and only found when you are not in running distance of a toilet.
Three and two thirds of a second later, mere miliseconds before the
big blast, you will be abducted by aliens.
4. Go home.
I vehemently wanted to rest on the beach, taking only short breaks for
nap-time, but the people I was with, being a bunch of goober-heads,
decided to go on a tour. Seeing as I didn't want to be left out, I decided
to try and fit in, by A) Wearing a funny hat and B) Refusing to speak any
language other than Esperanto piglatin with a lisp. My reasoning is that
most tourists only speak English (even if they come from Paraguay) no matter
where they are on this great planet of ours. (Which is kind of amazing
seeing as how as soon as they come home, if they live in New York and
happen to drive a cab, they seem to forget any form of language they have
ever known.) What these tourists don't realize is that local people in the
country you are visiting do not speak English. It is a known fact. Here is
a typical conversation, from a tourists point of view and a local
persons point of view.
Tourists Point Of View
Tourist: Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to the central bus
Local Person: Dis Icht Von Big Booger ovv der touristo.
Local Persons Point Of View
Tourist: Eqsqueze Miii, kin yu taal mi chow chew gchet tzo ze central
bus station (Literal translation in local language of choice: I need to
squat pit chicken flannel republicans on the central bus station.)
Local Person: This is one big booger of a tourist.
My point being that if the tourist refuses to speak the local language of
choice (Prussian) he will not be understood, and he might as well be
speaking Esperanto piglatin with a lisp, and so, I did.
My group of tourists and I got on a tour bus that says in nice big green
letters this is a tourist bus. I believe this was meant to give shop
owners ample time to jack up the price of every useless little souvenir
trinket in the useless little trinket souvenir shop. There are several
ways to jack up the price so even a veteran tourist will not realize the
prices are even more outrageously overpriced than usual.
1. The sticker change.
This is done buy simply changing those little price stickers of
each of the trinkets. Of course this is very time costly and
turnips never grow well when planted to late in the spring.
2. The Currency conundrum.
(I may or may not have used conundrum improperly, so what, I'm
using big words so that I sound all sophisticated.) The way this
works is that all prices will be marked in numbers but it will not
be marked in which currency the price is. Then the shop keeper
tells tourists the price is not in dollars, but in local currency
of choice for local people.
This works something like this:
Local Person: How much is this oversized gold plated platinum
diamond encrustedrubby covered trinket with two year warranty?
Shop keeper: 150 million quedjitsasolas (250 billion
quedjitsasolas to the American penny)
Local person: Wow, you raised your prices from last week.
Tourist: How much for this stick of gum?
Shop keeper: Twenty thousand American dollars please.
Tourist: O.K., I'll take two.
3. The speak in foreign languages trick.
It just so happens that this happened to me. I was at a flea market
in a foreign language speaking country, a foreign language of which
I happened to understand and speak fluently, well I could understand
pretty good at least. As I was walking through the market a person
called out the price of the stuff that he was selling.
(Warning! The following section requires an understanding of
(Achtung! Le following section requit le understanding dune cheval
qui mange un chat.)
Person in market: le pied de Elvis! le pied du Elvis Cinquant
(Translation: The foot of Elvis! The foot of Elvis, fifty
English speaking tourist: How Much does Elvis' foot cost?
Person in market: Only one hundred dollars.
English speaking tourist: It looks as though it is not so fresh.
I'll give you ninety five dollars for it.
Person in market: I tell you what. Give me Two hundred five
dollars and I'll give you both feet.
English speaking tourist: You got yourself a deal.
After a tour of every overpriced boutique in business, my touring group
(pronounced groop) actually went to tour some real overpriced tourist
attractions in the form of rocks. "Now if you look at this rock carefully
with your eyes crossed a 3D image will magically appear" is the type of
thing the tour guide would say as we tried inhaling fumes from every
semi-narcotic plant we could find. Other tourist attractions included, in
no particular order, buildings with people still living in them, buildings
with no people living in them, the zoo and the bathroom.
Tourist 1: Look Honey, look at the great view. Lets take a picture!
Tourist 2 (her name is not really Honey): That is the bathroom.
Tourist 1: And Look at the great architecture. The tiles placed with
such exact accuracy. I wonder which empire built it.
This is another problem with tourists. They Have to take a picture of
every little thing they see. "Oh!- My!! I absolutely must take a picture
of that strange green and brown formation," Is something you hear quite
often coming from the mouths of tourists. This is usually followed by the
reply "That is my toe fungus you dolt."
Thousands of years ago, when mankind first started to inhabit caves,
entertainment was scarce, but every day, all the cavemen would gather in
circles and stare at all of the people wearing those ridiculous looking
mammoth skin clothes. A giggle would start, followed eventually by
uncontrollable laughter. "Those stupid tourist will wear anything" is the
type of thing the average local cavemen would say through his laughter,
while slapping his Armani suit pantleg.
Mankind has come a long way since then. Tourists no longer wear mammoth
skin clothes to try and fit in with the locals, most probably because they
have found much more ridiculous things to wear, to try and fit in with the
locals. Here in Israel, there is a standard garb that all tourists must
wear. In the form of a funny looking hat. The locals call this garment,
in their language of choice (Hebrew), A "KOVAH TEMBEL", which when
translated to English, this is really true, means dunce cap. This of
course does not stop the tourists from thinking they are dressing exactly
like the locals, that they are fitting in. To understand we must know what
is on the tourists mind at all times. A tourists brain is thinking
something like this.
Tourists brain: Do di do di do, tum de dum de dum, la de da de da.
oooooga boooga, ojo-bojo. Broooooooooooosky!
As you can see, the tourists brain is obviously a very complicated
place, and it is therefore very difficult to understand why he would think
that wearing a duce cap would make him fit right in with the locals. This
also helps to explain why many tourist feel the need to wear a shirt that
looks as though someone has just lost their lunch all over it, when
visiting warmer places, such as Hawaii and hell. What this does not explain
is how tourists, in their right minds (as opposed to their wrong minds) can
spend up to 50 billion times the gross national product of their country
of origin when on vacation (usually in under fifteen minutes). A normal
person, on a normal budget can turn into a dollar spouting spendaholic just
by going on vacation. It happens very quickly, as the case below shows
Person: Golly gosh, these prices sure are expensive here in my country
of origin, seeing as I am not a tourist.
Person steps on plane: gimme gimme gimme, I'll pay anything, argggghhhh,
ahhhhhhh unghh, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Please gimme gimme
Stewardess: I'm sorry sir, the bathroom door (with that cute little
occupied/vacant switch) is not for sale at the moment (Thursday;
1:15 PM. Year of the Mouse). Trying to wrench it free will only
cause us to skip you when we hand out the complimentary hot towels.
It seems as though this amazing phenomenon will remain a mystery for the
After a hard day of touring, the tour group I was with decided, because
they wanted to relax, to go tour some more, with the occasional stop to
light some money on fire. They decided that the easiest way to do this was
to take a taxi. They forgot, however, to take several things in to account.
* A) The place they wanted to tour was across the street from the
hotel where they were at the moment.
When the taxi driver was told the destination, he was a good sport and did
not want to embarrass anybody and so he took us on a ten minute drive and
charged us accordingly. When we finally arrived, everyone noticed that we
were across the street from where we began. This did not surprise me,
what did was that after we were done touring, they insisted on taking the
cab back to the hotel.