Forget that horsesh*t about traveling to gain new experiences and expand your horizons. Most of us travel because we secretly believe that our country of origin is vastly superior to whatever far flung destination we are gracing with our presence and we want everyone else to know it too.
The Linguistic Divide
Contrary to popular belief, locals do not appreciate it when visitors take time to learn a few snippets of their language. The fact that they can mock you without your understanding is what makes you such a welcome guest. Besides, language is only a barrier for those who don’t speak loud enough. If at first you don’t succeed, try yelling and possibly even getting angry to demonstrate your impatience.
Act the Part
Travel only changes the outlook of those who are unsure of their convictions. As a tourist, you are bringing money into the economy and this pretty much enables you to act however you please. Demand forks and ask for ketchup with everything. Throw money (literally) at those less fortunate, slow moving locals in order to get what you want.
Haggling as Death Match
Let’s face it; the locals only want to rip you off. If they’re not going to clearly communicate their prices then they have just declared a throwdown. So what if it’s only two cents in your currency and it took you 20 minutes to reach that price, you won!
Look around – everything is SO foreign. It’s as if this has all been staged as a chapter in your personal memoir. Life is your art project and you should treat it as such. Block busy walkways as you repeatedly take identical photos in search of the perfect shot. Stick your camera in the faces and homes of locals and click away; asking permission would spoil the shot. Thank you universe!
Be a Cultural Ambassador
Many locals will never get to travel, so treat this as a valuable opportunity to show those less fortunate how to improve. Suggestions include, constantly reminding others that things are much bigger and better in your country, followed by lengthy explanations of why this is so. Sometimes you will need to engage in tough love and actually point out how disgusting and foreign their practices are, particularly in terms of toilets (Surely it’s much more sanitary that human waste is located within your home rather than outdoors and of course it is more hygienic to clean with paper than actual water).
Don’t worry about wasting your hard earned funds on a return ticket. Apply the suggestions above and chances are you will get a free ticket home when your many new friends take up a collection to return you to your beloved home ASAP.
Published under the title Make Yourself Unforgettable in the June 2013 edition of The Voice.