People. Humans. Homo sapiens sapiens.
People person’s paper people!!!!
Paper needs aside, we are gathered here today to celebrate humanity! Specifically the travel community. Meaning tourists. And Hotel Staff. And receptionists. And Tour guides. And the random guy on the street who translates for you or gives your lost self some directions. All. of. them.
The people you come across on tour are absolute gems. They help in boosting a country’s GDP and bring home pleasant memories to share with one and all, therefore spreading joy, they promote their cultures, spread diversity, even help out lost souls, but they also prove how a community of humans can be ABSOLUTE IDIOTS.
Hold that thought. Lets ride on till the end, ok? Cause maybe, just maybe, you may come across something and look into the void and say….
So without further ado, lets begin….
Remember, when it comes to being a personality type, you either know them or haven’t come across them yet or better still, you are them….I mean, there may be a point where you read something and go….
at the screen.
NUMERO UNO: THE RANGE OF RECEPTIONISTS.
And no, Pam Beesly isn’t mentioned.
Receptionists are often one of the first people we come across when on tour. Unless your tour guide doesn’t believe in freshening up after a morbid flight and you’re on the grind before checking into your room. That’s a different story altogether.
Now, when we talk of local patriotism, receptionists are the absolute CEOs of being true patriots. They will make sure that the glory of their country is felt by each and every visitor and will give you the best itinerary that ever was! You know the pamphlets that exist at the reception desk? Those pamphlets are their PhDs cause you can ask them anything from any page from any pamphlet and voila! You’ve got yourself a free thesis!
One of the times when I was a recipient of such a thesis was in Rome, just two years ago. My mother wanted to see the Sistine Chapel but the receptionist had other ideas.
“Musei Vaticani, you get a painting….Like this!”
*points to painting on the wall*
“No need, allora! Visit Roma! See the historical city! Roma beautiful!”
I think he went up to the glory of Caesar’s rule, what with the fifteen minute segment of highly animated praise of the dream that is Rome. But at the end, we did go to the Musei Vaticani and saw the historical city of Roma, all in a day! That’d prolly make him proud, right?
And then we come to a point where people restore the belief that human beings are indeed idiots.
Sometimes, receptionists, though highly patriotic, turn out to be absolute crankies! They will yell and scream and make a big fuss about stuff.
For example, in a situation where the hotel website, the laminated card at the reception desk, the other receptionist, probably even the owner, tell you that the check-out time is 2pm but then, in comes Karen and goes: ClEaR OuT By TwElvE NoOn, else Imma call the manager!
And then the manager comes in and says: The checkout is at 2pm. Cheers!
Cheers, Karen, my work here is done!
Points have been made, people!
NUMERO DOS: THE SILENT SAMARITAN
Like a wise man once said; Actions speak louder than words.
These people are those that restore one’s faith in humanity. They may be hotel staff, or street vendors or even the taxi drivers and why I call them silent is because these people are normally the ones who are native and do not speak English or anything other than the country’s official languages. But that doesn’t stop them from being absolute angels!
When I was on holiday in Athens, there was a slight problem with the lock of the suitcase. The thing was jammed and wouldn’t budge, as a consequence of which, there were some quite painful attempts, all in vain. On calling reception, a technician was sent to our room and that chap was one of the most gentle people I’d ever seen. He had a tool-belt and had quite a big built but he came in with a small grunt and a smile, indicated rather sweetly that he did not speak English but once the problem was conveyed, he inspected the lock, smiled at my dad, pulled out a tool and in two minutes the lock was open. He did a small curtsy-like thing as he left but that small act of help was such a delightful experience! The memory is still so strong! I mean actions really yell, ain’ it? He reminded me a bit of Hagrid, just saying.
All in all, these people are national treasures and must be protected at all costs.
NUMERO TRES: THE TUBE.
Now, when on tour, we use various modes of transport and obviously, that brings us to co-passengers. You can love them, you can hate them, but you cannot stop them from chatting with their significant other on the phone about the impending family gathering that is to decide their fate.
That escalated quickly.
At the end of your ride, you will either know your co-passengers university mark-sheet by heart or you simply won’t know anything at all! You all either find that you two are long lost cousins or you will keep it at the ceremonially appropriate curt nod. Trust me, I know how a passenger’s Amazon order went wrong. She had ordered a purse and the delivery address was misread and….damn, I know a lot!
But these guys happen to be the most interesting part of the trip cause they give major feels about how the local life goes in which ever place you are! I mean, historically and culturally, you’ve got monuments and tour guides but the local humdrum and gossip is the daily commute. I mean, the knowledge you gain here may be totally useless but at least you’ve got an idea about how small talk works, wherever you are. Take it from a person who is absolutely rubbish at small talk.
Another perk of these passengers is that some of them are rather friendly and give you quite a few tips if they know you’re a tourist! Tips and several ideas for further travel. Did you know that a university in Durham teaches Harry Potter studies? That’s some serious Expelliarmus stuff!
NUMERO CUATRO: THE TOUR GUIDES
Or as I like to call it, The Essence. You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.
There are guides who are absolutely amazing, they will show you around, give you enough time to explore on your own, let you shop, recommend, be kind and basically be aces at their jobs but then there are those who do not believe in easing the tourists out before adventure.
I know of a certain guide who refused to let us check into our hotel as there was a lot to be done, apparently, so off we went, right off the plane and into the cab, making our way to the tourist spot on the itinerary! The temperature was fifty celsius, I had suffered eight hours of severe air-sickness, I was in skinny jeans and packed into a cab to start off on a wanderlust mission.
Fifty degrees celsius and skinny jeans are NOT compatible. Don’t ever try that, ever!!!! Besides, this chap was probably on an IMF mission cause he was racing across the city, covering every crevice before the Syndicate took over. His mission, and he damn well chose to accept it.
Then there are the chilled out guides who are glad enough to let their tour groups wander and probably get lost(no pun intended), while they have a chat with the local vendor about the weather and the government’s inefficiency.
But then again, these people are the guiding lights. No literally, guides are guiding lights! And believe me, they are not just guiding you through the place, they also guide you through the race that is humanity. A race of absolute geniuses.(Not!)
No we genius, ok, we genius.
NUMERO CINCO: THE TOUR GROUP
Grand finale, ladies and gentlemen! The tour group. Fellow travellers. Here are the categories:
The emotional wreck: This person will go through an Taylor Swift song all in one trip! They’ll have romantic periods, they’ll have resignation periods, they’ll have the ‘need to please everybody’ period topped with a full blown heart break! And then they’ll be watching the sun go down in eerie solitude. So when on holiday with these people, remember that you’ve actually lived two lives within your trip, here leaving you with a tremendous blank space.
The Parrots: These people are the ones who haven’t been taught to SHUT UP! They are mostly the ones on long trips and by chance, you meet one of them in the middle of their trip, see you at the end of the world! Their travel talks turn into family talks and social talks and before you know it, you know all about a stranger’s hen-do and what their aunt said to their mum at Thanksgiving! Good luck! But anyway, what did their aunt say to their mum at Thanksgiving?
The Dum-Dums: These people are often the most obnoxious ones on a tour trip. They will be judgemental about everything and sometimes they will be hating on other tourists for no reason. These people often claim to be well informed about the world but actually, they know nothing but the Wikipedia page. They can also go to the extent of being morally and politically incorrect and when corrected, they will be offended. These people are what make certain trips unpleasant but the only way to deal with them is to remind yourself that the world is a big and beautiful place and no toxic person has a right to ruin that experience for you! So just ignore them and focus on the brilliant island, mountain or monument, sprawling in front of you!
The Aloof: These people, though out to explore a part of the world, are stuck entirely in a world of their own! They are actually quite nice to travel with, as there won’t be any interferences, no heartbreak, nothing at all cause these folks are probably somewhere in Narnia throughout the trip. They will be innocent and quiet through the tour guide’s discourse and will probably wander off or not show up at certain places, cause Aslan’s send them to battle. The only problem is that if they get lost, it becomes quite a mammoth task but who are we to defy Aslan?
And that’s a wrap!
All I can say that human beings, though exceptionally lopsided, are a hell of a community. A community that does its bit to keep the Earth moving.
Until next time!