August 7, 2010

Please Don't...

This post may be different from all the other posts. Maybe similar. Who knows.
It's a bit of a to-do or mainly of a NOT to-do list while traveling.

 via

I've been working in the travel industry and it has come to my attention that I could have written about five entire books with stories about weird questions, behavior, moves, words, people (!!!!), and all that...however, it's funnier when you experience them. Then again, it's absolutely no fun at all when you experience them over and over again. It makes people look stupid. They're not. No one is. However, you automatically see how certain people work on or handle certain things and then you just have to turn around and go someplace in order to laugh. Or not. I usually cry because I just think it's sad and just so very embarrassing. :(
Nonetheless, this post will be different, and if I sound slightly annoyed, pissed, irritated, angry, moody and a lot more, I don't mean to sound like that at all. It may come close to it but I don't want to judge or point at people and say "hey, you messed up! Stupid, you!"... all I want to do today is vent. A little. In peace. And I absolutely don't want to harm anyone or cause people to think I'm a weirdo because I write all this down but it needs to be said. In writing. I can't bring myself ever to say this to people. I would love to at times, I do admit this. I'm not the only one. However, my job doesn't allow me this. Here, I at least take the liberty in writing down what I think and feel. It's my blog anyway...so here it is:

While traveling there are things we all should do (or at least consider and think about) and there are things we absolutely should never ever think of doing. Ever. The Do's and the Dont's if you want. In either case, this varies from person to person, and country and city...and even season! Though during my young life (with a huge emphasis on YOUNG) I've learned a few things in life (would be bad if I didn't) and a few things about travelers. Don't get me wrong now, I'm not going to teach you anything. I won't be judging either. All I'm going to say or in this case write is a few tips on how NOT to annoy people when you first meet them. And yes, I need to vent.... :(  So, here it is:
  • When you are abroad, you are abroad. You are not back home. Nothing is the same as back home (that's why you traveled abroad), therefore don't complain about it and don't point out all the time that "back home it is...". It's not, get over it.
  • If you enter a hotel and check-in, don't ask if they speak English. It's a hotel. At least the lady up at the front desk should know English. Again, it's a hotel. English has become internationally recognized (for most parts, definitely up to 90%). If not perfect, someone has to speak it. Don't start with "do you speak English" or worse "Do you understand me?!"
  • Don't assume though people understand you. Even though they may speak your language, they may know just the basic phrases and are not used to hearing everyday conversations. So, speak clear, and easy-to-understand.
  • Use your brain. Please. A phonebook is a phonebook, no matter where you are on this planet. At least in the more civilized areas. Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Russia, and even China have phonebooks...don't start with "At home, we have a book that lists names and phone numbers. We call it phonebook..." No!!!
  • Again, use your brain daily. Not just for one minute. I'm not judging or trying to make people look bad or a slight bit ridiculous...but some things just can't be explained. Or tolerated.
    What do you do when you want to open a door?!

    I'm asking this, because it seems it's not as clear to everyone as it should be. You hold the handle and either push or pull. Right? What if you pull and nothing works? What do you do?!
    Right, you push. And what if you push first and nothing works? Correct...you pull. If both attempts fail the door's locked or if it's a bathroom stall someone might be using it. Some "stalls", for example, have green or red colors indicating whether or not it is occupied, some have "occupied" written on them. Clear?!
  • Brain work is important...traveling can be exhausting. I know that. If you've been traveling, even just for a few hours (not necessarily around the globe, heck I haven't traveled that much) then you know. Traveling is great but also very much exhausting. So, it is just natural that you can't know everything at once. But, please, try to focus. And try not to blame everything on others. If you booked something wrong, you booked it wrong. Not the computer, not the Internet, and not someone else. You didn't read the whole page, or you clicked on something else, or you skipped something assuming it wasn't important. You booked it wrong. No one else. Trust me, I've booked stuff myself and I had to read it four times to make sure I got it all right. Read, everything. And then when you agree, press confirm. Booked is booked, especially when it's a non-refundable price!!!! And left is always left, right always right...no matter where you are. Even when you're exhausted this should be clear to you.
  • Have an email address that you can open and read abroad as well. Sounds so easy, doesn't it?!
    Please don't try to send an email by clicking the tab bar on top and typing in 123455@abcde.com. You have to access your account first. The Internet you're about to use is not the one at home. It's the WorldWideWeb so you can access it but no password is remembered on this computer or any other thing is yours...you share this, and you also share it with the world. You need an account and a passport to that account of yours...yahoo, gmail, hotmail, you can even access comcast, and all other accounts...just know the password and all. Otherwise it doesn't work.
    And trust me on this, this has happened way too many times...it's one major thing that drives me insane!!!
  • Know where you are. If you travel to Europe, know where you are. Know what people may speak. You don't have to speak it though but at least know that you no longer are in Italy, or Spain, or France or Greece. Know where you are. I've had people greet me in some very unknown language. They thought they were in some other city or country. Hmmm...who booked the trip again?!
  • Be prepared. Don't assume, summer's going to be hot and sunny all the time or winter cold and gray. Anything is possible these days...anywhere, anytime.
  • Please shower! Enough said. 
  • Last on this list for today (I can assure you there's a lot more to mention but I won't go there ever)...use your brain. Oh wait?! I said that already...
You think I'm harsh by saying all the above?
I wish I was.
All this has happened to me or others and it's been just very irritating. Worse things happened too and I felt bad for the person. Really. I wonder how they survive back home. Really. I really feel bad and just ask myself if I act that way too when I travel. Obviously I don't make those mistakes. I'm prepared. I want to know about everything and anything about the city or country I'm about to visit, and that before I even hop on the train or plane or whatever. Right after the trip is booked I'm holding a guide book in my hand. Yes, I'm one of those people. This doesn't mean though that I don't make mistakes. I'm human, not a superhero. Even those make mistakes. However, I'm prepared and try not to annoy the @$%^ out of locals.

Most importantly though I travel light. Sort of. At least I have room left for shopping adventures. If you know me, you know that no matter where I'm going I'm going to end up buying new clothes/shoes/bags etc. Yes, I'm that kinda girl. ;)  So, my suitcase is usually halfway filled and that's it. ;) Just thinking about it now makes me want to go traveling again....

Ok, that's about it for today.
I needed to get this off my chest. Big time.
I feel relieved. Trust me.
This post wasn't meant to upset anyone, or annoy you guys.
It wasn't meant to irritate you or others.
My daily nerve wracking face-to-face experiences with weird people has come to a point where I couldn't and wouldn't hold back. I had to mention at least a few things very bothersome to most people working in my field. As much as I love working with all kinds of people, it has come to this point and even though I'm not proud of it I have to share this. Otherwise it's going to bug me forever and we don't want that. Plus, I am trying to stay positive and am trying to shove all negativity away. I'm trying real hard. Writing always helps, and since I'm having a difficult time at work and in life, I believe that part of my negativity comes from my job. Not good I know, but writing all this down is one giant help!!!

The good news?!! I had the cutest couple in today. I can literally say I loved them. Not in that "love" way but they were amazing. Casual, easy-going, super friendly, and just very normal. Loved how they arrived, and how they lived their lives. They definitely used their brain. :) They're off to great European cities now. Wish I could do this now too...ha, see?! The travel bug has found me....




    ♥ Selma ♥

    5 comments :

    Katie said...

    so true! if you go abroad seeking something new, don't complain!

    Swissy said...

    lolol, you're SO right about everything you wrote. When I used to work at the airport it seemed like people have left their brain outside the airport as soon as they entered the airport-area. Ridiculous!

    Elle Sees said...

    I agree! Did you see my Wanderlust Week?I always say, IT's not wrong, it's just different."

    Crazy Shenanigans said...

    I love this!!! You must do this again!

    samnhal said...

    I agree, you should do this again. I've only been out of the country a few times, I want to hear the awesome/ annoying stories that you have from people being real dense. haha, my favorite is when they greet you in the wrong language, and they were probably working so hard to get it to sound right too.

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