Tourists Suck

Tourists Suck

My wife and I recently took a week’s vacation at an all-inclusive resort in Cuba.

One of the big draws of Cuba is that there are no noisy Americans there.

Now before any of my American friends freak out, let me explain.

A few years ago, we went to a resort in the Dominican. While we were there, we noticed that you could tell where people were from by how loud and obnoxious they were. The quiet ones were from Canada. This was something that one of the staff told me.

In hindsight, I realize the loud ones were just Republicans.


Back to the Cuban trip.

One of the travel agents told us that the benefit to going was that there were no Americans. This wasn’t really a deciding factor (price and timing were), so it was just something to laugh at.

News flash, folks.

People from all over the world can be jackasses.

Let us examine some people*

[We are on a shuttle bus that will be taking us from the airport to the resort. Close to the bus is a beer stand. A Canadian male (we will call him John) steps onto bus. He is obviously not an athletic person. He spots his wife (we will call her Martha)…]
John: [Shouting] Hey Martha! Where the hell is Bernie?
Martha: He’s not on the bus.
J: I know. This is why I asked you.
M: He’s still in the airport talking to someone.
J: Well, he should be on the bus. It’s going to leave without him.
M: He’ll be here. The bus won’t leave.
J: Somoene should go get him. [Obviously posturing so that he is not the one who will do the task]
M: [Sighs] Do you just want me to go get you a beer? Is that it?
J: [Affirmative silence]
M: [Sighs again, and turns to her companions] Anyone else want a beer?
[Everyone shakes their head. She walks off the bus, but not after shaking her head at her husband. When she is out of earshot, he looks up and smirks…]
J: [Making no move to be quiet] Stupid.

Nice, eh? Nothing like demonstrating your love for your singificant other by telling complete strangers how you really feel.

It turns out that on our last day, as we were getting ready to leave, this moron struck again. A kid (probably no more than 10) was standing on the edge of one of the little fish ponds at the front of the resort. He was obviously watching the fish. This guy (John) snuck up behind the kid, and scared the crap out of him by pretending to push the poor youngster into the pond.

The kid scooted off to his parents.

I’d like to point out…

  • This kid did not belong to John
  • John didn’t even know the kid
  • John, in the ultimate sign of maturity**, starts boasting to his friends as to what he just did.


Here’s another situation.

There were several a la carte restaurants. They were pretty good. Nice and quiet. Definitely not as busy as the buffets. On our last night we went for dinner at one of the more romantic places. There was a pianist playing nice tunes, and the restaurant was definitely geared to those wishing to have a nice quiet time.

Until the kids from hell show up.

They run all around the stage, making a boatload of noise, interfering with the poor pianist. Their parents did nothing.

These families were Canadian.

True North strong and loud?


Other than some little snots from England, the majority of the stupidity was performed by our fellow countrymen, which only goes to show that people all over the world can be idiots.

So, I have an interesting question to ask you all: What aspect of your culture or country are you not proud of?

* – Please note, all names are ficticious. If they happen to be the actual names of the people I referenced, I apologize. I am merely making up names for convenience. However, if I guessed correctly, those people deserve it for being morons.
** – The opposite, actually.

16 Responses

  1. LOL. People are stupid.

  2. Some people are just tools…I don’t think that your situations are unique to tourist venues, though. I think that they happen everywhere. In truth, I was expecting HORRENDOUS stories about Canadians acting like kings in developing countries. That is what we do when we go on these all-inclusive holidays, so that’s to be expected. I’m loathe to chastise the parents of the *energetic* kids — having none myself, I can’t speak about how difficult it is to make kids mind, particularly in unfamiliar settings. As for the things I’m least proud of: In France, it’s said that (loosely translated) there isn’t a fence sharp enough that a Canadian will refuse to sit on it. Sad but true — we’re not exactly ‘world leaders’ in any sense of the word. Not only are we overly cautious, we can also be just as obnoxious, just as xenophobic as everyone else.

  3. Hey Jorge, Here is an article you might find interesting: Study finds Canucks, Americans not so different

  4. I was about to give a link to the same study. Interestingly enough the psychologist quoted: “Or Canadians extrapolate the higher rate of crime in the U.S. to infer typical character.” needs to actually read some statistics, since Canada has a significantly _higher_ rate of _property_ crime per capita than the United States. Furthermore, overall crime rates have declined sharply in the United States over the last few years — rates in Canada have fallen much more slowly or have actually increased, depending on the kind of crime. I’m not proud of any of that. Having lived in the United States for almost ten years now — by far the majority of my adult life — I haven’t noticed any broad tempermental difference between Canadians and Americans. There are smart, dumb, funny, humourless, kind, mean, sexy, dour, outgoing, shy, polite and rude people in about equal measure. I see differences more in terms of general opinions about, say, the proper role of government, or the meaning of “free speech”, etc. Of course you know the old joke: what’s the difference between Canadians and Americans? The only difference is Canadians believe there’s a difference between Canadians and Americans. Americans don’t. Joke, obviously, but there is a grain of truth there. The biggest difference is actually that many Canadians believe that there is a difference and are proud of it, but many Americans absolutely cannot conceive of why anyone would WANT to be different from Americans.

  5. what aspect of my country/culture that i am not proud of ????? Well…i would say its the enthusiasm they show to spread the propaganda that our culture is the bessssst in the world and even getting into massive debates about it n then the utter lack of interest shown in putting those values preached by ur culture into practice so obnoxious….k either they shldnt dare to talk abt what they are incapable of putting into practice( coz they dont care ) or show some guts n put that into practice n thn do the talking…. bt thn why u wanna prove that ones culture is the best n the rest is not ! soooo…stupid !!! hate it ..

  6. I think that you likely to meet more people in general who annoy or piss you off then you’re likely to meet those you like in life. In your home and work in general, you surround yourself with like-minded people. But on vacation, you’re forced into close proximity with the types of assholes you’d never come within fifty feet of at home. Moral of the story: assholes are everywhere, it’s just that in some situations the quarters are a little closer than you’re used to.

  7. As an American, I wasn’t even insulted by the ‘loud and obnoxious’ label, because I actually noticed that on my vacation, and I normally don’t notice stuff like that, because I’m pretty loud myself. (Only I don’t think I’m obnoxious. But who knows?) You’re right, though, there are dicks in every country. Have a great weekend, Jorge!

  8. I guess what bothers me in my culture is the perception based mindset of judgemental behavior. You know. Reality is 99% perception based (and most people don’t have a clue or stop and pay attention…) Example: Walk into a grocery store (or airplane, or wherever). See/hear a screaming ‘out of control child’. Think: “Oh man, smack that child.” Some say it out loud; enough for you to hear it. Some will follow you around the grocery store while you are with said child and mumble it _continuously_. Actual reality that 1% don’t get. Child has Pervasive developmental disorder. Non-defined. There is no rational explanation. You must grocery shop. Travel. Live. Think what you like. Judge what you like. But the difference between saying it, and thinking it is.. Hmm.. important. Quite I think. Happens.. probably everywhere.. Jorge.. what do you think? Should I even BOTHER to keep planning my @ 42 vacation? LoL.. (is it like this everywhere? sheesh) Thanks for asking and letting me share ~

  9. when i was travelling, i usually defended americans, because for the most part, they were nice. actually, 90% of them were really nice, but when you met the obnoxious ones, you forgot that you met nice ones and refered to them as “stupid americans.” i always found it really sad when i met these types of people, because the really nice people were ashamed of their country and ashamed of the negative stereotype their countrymen perpetuated… but on my last night of travel, i met some people from out west (BC). they were nice to me, but they were pretty rude, arrogant and wanted things THEIR way, or NO way. i was surprised that canadians could be like that, but these guys were the rough and tumble “EXTREME” dope smokers who swilled beer and talked SHIT to everyone. so, i guess you’re right, Jorge… Jackasses come from everywhere in the world… so we shouldn’t be so hard on our neighbours from the south.

  10. Um… George Bush. You need not change his name as he is not innocent and is, indeed, something I am NOT proud of. Q (hehe)

  11. Hi Jorge! Now you know how I feel. I am an American, but I cringe when traveling outside the states and we find other Americans. Some of them are quite loud, and have absolutely NO CLASS. Why is it that the country bumpkins that don’t know any better end up traveling outside of the states? When I travel international, I try very hard not to appear “American,” which means I try very hard not to look like a country bumpkin, because that’s what many folks at these destinations think of Americans. Head Game from The Vermillion Border.

  12. I generally am annoyed by gung-ho I-live-in-the-best-country-in-the-world types. I get distressed when I hear people say God Bless America at the end of a self-serving political speech, as if no other country has the right to call on God or Buddha or Whoever, but I always thought it was because I’m turning into a crankyass old lady. I do love Canadian beer commercials and CBC radio and TV. TVO puts PBS to shame, I think, but not because one is Canadian and one American. I love living in a bilingual city, but I’d love that if the languages were any two I could manage. And I sound both cranky and wishywashy—does that count for something?

  13. Whaddya mean the picture’s not real? Next you’ll be telling me that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus aren’t real either *sigh* lol Hehe, I know the picture isn’t real but it’s a good effect anyway 😉 Let me just say, I don’t like the John type of person that you mentioned in your blog. I’ve known too many of them in my days *ugh* Have a great week ahead Jorge! *hugs* Karen

  14. Jorge, you didn’t fall into one of the two categories. I was just making a point. 🙂 When I was living in Ireland, my older sis and her best friend came to visit for a week. During that time, they were louder than any other people at any given time. I was embarrased. Particularly because we were related. I was the quiet one who seemed to have some manners walking around with the two loud ones who kept screaming “Mind the GAP” in London and refusing to sleep in a hostel. *sigh*

  15. Oh, there’s nothing worse than an American tourist. Nothing. Loud, sweaty, half-naked, drunk, disrespectful…does NO ONE consult their Lonely Planet anymore BEFORE they get to their destination? I travelled through South East Asia for 5 weeks a few years ago and was mortified at the behaviour of My People. A nice Canadian man I met on a boat going up the Mekong gave me his spare Canadian flag patch to put on my bag, which I did, proudly. I was Canadian for 4 whole weeks and I never felt cleaner. Glad Cuba was swell…I’m DYING to go!

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