Run the equator: July 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

An open-ended list of things that pissed me off around the world (and still do)

I was going to call this one “Ten things that pissed me off around the world” but once I began to think about all the times I was annoyed, pissed off or wished I had a shotgun to blast someone out of their idiotic useless existence during the course of this trip I couldn’t stop counting and soon I used all the fingers of my two hands and took my socks off so I can start counting using my toes. Hence the current title.

  • 1. White people waiting for a table in front of a restaurant in Cuzco.

    Why the hell would you want to stay in line for lunch with twenty other idiots wearing The North Face jackets at a place that has burgers, roast-beef sandwiches and steak fries at 3400 meters altitude in Peru? Because you’re too much of a coward to try to experience any of the local food in a city that has a million restaurants and because it looks very much like any joint you would find in your pathetic town back home, so it makes you feel safe. If you miss your own corner deli and their stinky pastrami so much, stay home.

  • 2. Public service employees begging for a handout like they deserve it.

    This asshole day-guard walks up to me in the museum of Coptic Christian history in Cairo and asks me “You Christian?” “Yes” (I’m not but in Egypt you’re either Muslim or Christian, there’s no such thing as an atheist) “Me too, see?” (Shows me a cross. Grins. As if now we’re buddies) “I have 10 children. Give me money.” He’s following me through the building so I give him a 1-pound note to shake him off. He looks at me like I did him wrong “Only 1 pound? More! 10 children!” and stretches his hand again. Piss off. I took the pound note back and left him there. Asshole. If you really have 10 children and can’t care for them you should have gotten a vasectomy.

  • 3. Listening to the same idiotic questions from other tourists you meet.

    Where did you come from? Where are you going next? Did you like X? Are you visiting Z? Shut up. It’s all the same. I didn’t talk to you, so stop talking to me because it’s obvious you don’t have anything interesting to say. Do something useful and leave me alone.

  • 4. Dishonest hotel managers.

    So this place is a shithole and you still want me to pay in advance for four nights? And you told me 40 Euros on the phone and now it’s 50? How the hell did you get into Lonely Planet anyway? Their editors must be on crack.

  • 5. Inane “must see” places that are just boring pieces of junk.

    If the top attraction in the city is the public library that exhibits some gorgeous murals from a celebrated local artist, just spare yourself the effort and time and don’t go there. Lonely Planet is on crack.

  • 6. Imbeciles who show up early for everything.

    On our 40-day African safari our guide would announce every evening the schedule for the next day: “tomorrow morning, the wake up call is at 6:30, breakfast at 7, we leave at 7:45″. Each morning, as I woke up at 6:30, the other white people had already packed their tents. By 7, they were done with breakfast and were idling around casting passive-aggressive looks of disapproval at me. Bite me! I’m not going to bend to peer-pressure, I need my beauty sleep.

  • 7. Yes, we have hot water. Yes we leave at 10am.

    Everyone lies. You’re just a big fat wallet on legs. Get used with it or bring a shotgun.

  • 8. Rickshaw drivers in Asia.

    When you take a ride to town coming from the station with your backpack the driver always knows a great hotel, just around the corner – usually a shithole that gives them commission for every clueless guy they drop at their door. Those assholes all have an incurable ear disease – they can’t hear the word “no”. Maybe a jackhammer would help.

  • 9. White people trying too hard to embrace local traditions.

    During the water festival in Chiang Mai everyone gets wet and everyone throws water about and nobody gets mad. But when you see a group made exclusively of tourists armed with buckets and water pistols, dousing every open-back taxi truck that passes - a day after the festival has officially ended - showing them the finger is not only ok, it becomes mandatory.

  • 10. Paying 2 Euros for plain coffee.

    Seriously. Europeans are crazy. They should all grow a pair and boycott Starbucks but I’m afraid it’s too late, they’re hooked.

  • 11. Local travel agencies that charge a heavy markup for stuff that you can get for less around the corner.

    And the morons who do not do their homework and keep paying, perpetuating the scams.

  • 12. Fat balding Anglo sex-tourists trying to make dinner conversation with Thai prostitutes who don’t give a shit.

    You know who you are. And I stared and snickered at every single one of you just to make you feel even more self-conscious, defeated and worthless than you are.

  • 13. Paying too much for poor service because you have no choice

    Getting on the island… cheap. Getting off the island… not so cheap. What are you going to do? Ask to speak with the manager?

  • 14. Douchebags who rave about how awesome and spiritual India is.

    All you little shits who act elated, telling everyone who’s within earshot that “India is, like, soooo awesome, so spiritual, I wish I never had to leave, this is the best place ever, man! You don’t understand!” like you are the first person in the universe to ever get laid - go live in the slums on a less than a dollar a day like 90% of India’s population, without bottled water, internet and your stupid iPod, go sell paan or drive a rickshaw for a living and then come and proclaim your epiphany to the world. You are an idiot and nobody cares about your pseudo-intellectual bullshit and your condescending “enlightened” attitude.

  • 15. Retarded teenagers checking their Facebook “walls”.

    You absolutely have to stay in touch or else your friends will stop loving you. And make sure you use all caps and poor grammar, it makes you look smart. “I’M IN THAILND LOL AND ITS SO KEWL WE HAD DA BEST PARTY YOUR NOT GOING TO BELIEV WHN U C THE PICTRES!!!!1” Seriously… better free that bandwidth for someone who has more important things to do, like uploading an angry blog that nobody reads!

  • 16. Horrible European tippers.

    I don’t tip more than the norm (whose norm? mine!) because I think that some professions are already making lots of undeserved money. Take bartenders, for example: one dollar a drink? Are you kidding me!? But even I wanted to take a shotgun at the Euro-dipshits who dropped only 10 dollars in the tipping pot for the army of porters who, for four days in a row, had set up our tents, cooked our meals and transported all the heavy equipment on their backs running barefoot at lightning speed while we were trudging and sweating our way on the Inca trail for the sake of our crusty pathetic egos. Israelis, Aussies and Kiwis included at a discount.

  • 17. Losers who visit the Coliseum and have no idea where they are.

    Who is this guy Octavian Augustus? Look, that statue is naked! (chuckle) Who built all these ruins? Was it the Romans? What's the capital of Rome? Not that anyone cares, but these people make us look like a nation of uncultured idiots and help perpetuate the stereotype that all Americans are stupid and they only know how to make war on other countries. Amen!

  • 18. Jackasses on group tours, who show too much skin in public in Muslim countries.

    Nobody, anywhere, needs to see your lard bulging under your belly-shirt. If you happen to be hot you’ll get more attention than you want for that deep cleavage and the short skirt. Maybe some of those pious, innocent men will get into accidents turning their heads because of you. The traffic will be jammed for hours and I’ll be stuck in a cab without air conditioning, listening to bad music, until they dig the bodies out and remove the rubble. All because you showed cleavage. You monster!

  • 19. Everyone else.

    Stay home. I hate people.

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