Monday, 4 August 2014

Tourists behaving badly

I try not to moan about tourists. It's not nice and it can sound snobbish. If someone has come all the way from Japan to spend 36 hours here, is it really so intolerable that they can't speak Italian and don't know that they should keep to the right? We're not tourists any more, but neither are we Venetians. We're in a sort of halfway state of "people who've lived here for a bit". So I try not to give visitors a hard time. We were in their shoes once, and we probably got things wrong and annoyed the locals as well.

Nevertheless, there are those moments when you look at the newspaper and think...what did I just read?

If there is an award for "We're on holiday, we can do what the hell we like" it has to go to the couple who were filmed having sex on the Scalzi bridge. In broad daylight. Behaviour which is (a) undignified, (b) uncomfortable and (c) likely to result (for one party at least)  in a sunburnt bottom. For those of you who don't know, the Scalzi is not hidden away in a romantic, unknown part of town. It's next to the railway station, and one of the busiest parts of town. You might as well whip your trousers off in the middle of St Mark's Basilica.

But pride of place for genuinely stupid (if, it has to be said, amusing) behaviour goes to the Kosovan guy who - upon discovering he'd missed his boat back to the Lido - decided he could make his own way home by stealing a vaporetto from the depot and heading off into uncharted waters. He was stopped before getting too far, but - even though this is obviously reprehensible and anti-social behaviour - part of me almost admires the mad ambition of his slightly-the-worse-for wear mind. Can't get home? Why, I'll just borrow a boat. And not just any boat but one the size of a bus! It's a shame he was stopped before hitting the open seas, sailing into an uncertain future to become the stuff of Darwin Awards and Urban Legends.

As I said, I try not to moan about "those people". But as a wise man (let's call him "Pete") once said..."the trouble with those people...is that once you stop being one them...they become a pain in the neck."

1 comment:

  1. All those behaviors could be summarized in one phrase - lack of respect toward the place you are visiting. Why do you go to Venice, your dream land and then trash her up or humiliate her by such unthinkable actions which if they were done in your neighborhood, you would never tolerate. Or maybe those who are guilty just don't care. I'm really sorry for Venice and the residents. By the way, I learned Italian and to walk on the right side of the calli before my first trip to Venice last year. :)

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