A humerous back-page travel article by Jonathan Biggins.
Ten types I don’t want to meet on holidays
We’ve found him: the one man with a grudge against every kind of traveller. Jonathan Biggins sets his sights on the AT community – himself included – and lets rip . . .
1. Grey Nomads
Always banging on about petrol consumption and superannuation, active seniors in caravans or motorhomes muscle in on the sites nearest the facilities and clean the shop out of teabags. Watch out especially for “switched-on” retirees with wireless broadband, endlessly surfing genealogy sites, listening to streamed Classic Gold radio and downloading Glenn Miller.
Officially the nicest people in the world but when you’ve travelled 2000km to see the Twelve Apostles and one of them falls into the sea, you don’t want to hear someone in a colour-coded bumbag saying: “Wow! A shapeless pile of rubble. What a neat illustration of the sea’s awesome powers of erosion!”
Anyone lugging a pack the size of a wheat silo needs their head read; I don’t care how much they save by sleeping on the toilet floor of someone they’ve just met. Never drink with these people; you’ll buy three rounds of Heineken and they’ll return the favour with one plastic cup of cask moselle.
“Active seniors in caravans or motorhomes muscle in on the sites nearest the facilities and clean the shop out of teabags.”
4. Your Neighbours
If they’re here, who the hell’s feeding your cat and getting the mail in?
5. End of Season Sporting Clubs
“What fresh hell is this?” Dorothy Parker once famously said. Little known fact: she was booked into the same Gold Coast motel as an outfit of third-grade wooden-spooners hell bent on erasing the memories of their fateful season. If any group of people wearing matching tracksuits checks into your hotel, check out.
6. Package Tour Tourists
These people think a ten percent room discount and a two-for-one meal voucher give them a licence to brag about never paying retail prices. Only interested in anything they can see from a coach, preferably without getting off it.
7. Lonely Planet Readers
The worst snobs of travel, invariably convinced they’re the first person to set foot on the ground they tread. Never happy unless they’re in acute discomfort in some godforsaken spot even the locals want to leave. “Oh, you went to the Kjazablek Valley? Way too touristy. You’ve got to go inland, that’s the real country. It’s like totally made out of nothing but the people are spiritually connected to the land and the food is completely real – I had dysentery for at least a year.”
Why do they bother travelling? Their minds are fixed on one thing and one thing only: putting together the deposit for a house. I can’t think of any other reason why they’d lock themselves in a room all day and miss out on the breakfast buffet.
9. English People
Identifiable from 10km away, born-again Poms no longer whinge; they skite about the Rugby World Cup. English sporting champions have it easy – they only have to win once and suddenly they’re God. Personally, I’d die happy if I never had to hear the name Johnny Wilkinson again and the Barmy Army was left stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk for ever.
10. People Like Me
Smart-arses can ruin a perfectly good holiday.