I guess it’s that time again…time for some tour bus etiquette! Technically, it should be “tour train etiquette”, but I don’t think the mode of travel is as important as the issue…but more on that a bit later.
Today we were scheduled to do a free walking tour in Valletta, the capital city of Malta
With lunch consumed and appetites and thirsts quenched, off we went for a wee walk about. It seems to be getting hotter by the minute. My arms are getting redder and redder. Kier and I both agree that in this heat, we aren’t likely to last another 2 hours waiting followed up with a 2 hour walking tour
On the train we get, in the front row of the third and last car. There is a group of about 6 people in our car that are all traveling together. A few others sprinkled here and there throughout the car. They are mostly all speaking various languages…none of which is English. And then the tour starts…and the various groups in our car continue to speak whatever languages it is they all speak…loudly…right over the narrative coming through the loud speakers. There is a woman and her daughter right behind us, they proceed to get into a loud exchange. What does one do? Well, anyone who has ever watched every Seinfeld episode in existence knows…first you give them the head turn, and then you give them the head turn with the eye roll. After that, what do you do? Well, we sighed a lot, we commented to each other how people don’t know when to shut up. All lost on those who DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH! Which totally prompts me to ask…who goes on a tour when either a) you don’t understand the language it is being given in; or b) you have no interest in the actual “tour” part of the train tour? Folks!!!!! It’s NOT A REAL TRAIN!!!! It’s on WHEELS, FFS!!! Kier and I could see the 2 cars ahead of us…no one, NOT A SOUL, was talking during the commentary. They all sat quietly and listened. We, apparently, were in the PARTY CAR! We…we of poor hearing and NO patience...just about LOST IT! I almost turned around and told everyone to shut the f#*k up! I was paying for this tour and NOT getting my money’s worth. But then I realized…they wouldn’t understand me anyway!! And if they did, they wouldn’t have cared less!!!
So all you tour bus participants…when the narrative on your tour is being broadcast throughout the bus, or train, in a language that you don’t understand…perhaps you should have rethought your choice of tours in the first place! But if you’re stuck in that situation, keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. Let the other paying customers who DO speak the language at least HEAR the narrative. It’s a true test to the traveling ignorant that one has to be told about common courtesy!
Here endeth the epistle.
Oh, and BTW, I sent an email to the tour organizer that we wouldn’t be making the walking tour. It IS the courteous thing to do, after all!!!
Tour bus etiquette - tip #513
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Saint Paul's Bay, New Brunswick, Malta