Monday, 5 June 2017

Why look like a tourist.

This is quite baffling. Why is it so many people revel, no let me rephrase that, positively embrace looking like a tourist?
It’s like a complete transformation, seemingly overnight as the airport run approaches. One minute he might lead a respectable life in middle class suburbia, or perhaps she holds a management position in local government, or it’s a man with a van doing an honest day’s trade as a plumber, electrician or painter decorator.
Next minute, he gets the garish floral shirt out with mid calf long shorts, a straw hat and god forbid, sandals with socks. She on the other hand plucks the tiniest shorts known to man and a skimpy top regardless of shape or size. “This way up” ink is proudly displayed and a full English is de rigueur at the airport restaurant.
It seems there is no shame in proudly telling all and sundry we are on holiday now and that’s all that matters.
 This is all well and good while our featured humans are still at the airport. Fast forward a few hours to some far off land, anywhere with a capital city or a beach and I can hear the sound of local hands rubbing together in anticipated glee. The chink of excessive euros tumbling into filling coffers. The ominous whiff of rip off permeating the air. No amount of badly phrased local lingo will save our featured friends from a fleecing.
And it’s all because they look just like a tourist.
When you spot a local, is it because of the garish floral shirt and socked sandals, or is it because he or she is sitting in a cafe sipping an espresso or aperol with a sweater casually draped around shoulders.
I remember fearing the worst when sitting in a local whitewashed taverna in a Cretan village I heard “any chance of doin’ us a Sunday roast mate?” quickly followed by “which channel is the footie on?”
With a sinking heart I decided to move on.
This may well sound elitist and snobby but seriously, I’m not picking class distinction here. There are plenty of cultured people who simply lack the ability to dress in anything other than “tourist trashy”

Back in the days of football hooligans, even the foreign visiting teams hooligans looked classy. At least they dressed well before breaking a few noses.