Going on a group tour is an interesting experience and it does not depend on where you go. No matter where you travel there are people and they usually make for most of the entertainment.
The old saying there is always “one” in the crowd is never more true than on a tour where that “one” invariably shows up. This is the person who is always late for the bus, who asks a question that was just answered or is inclined to wander off on his or her own leaving the tour group to contemplate it’s next move. Which should be to let the errant fellow or gal live out their days among the ruins of Pompeii or the among the trees of the Black Forest.
I have been on this tour for five days. It is a river cruise with a small ship holding 120 people. I woman just asked at the desk how to get outside to the upper deck (after five days on board mind you).
And then there is the language barrier, did you know that most non English speaking people will understand you as long as you speak s l o w and LOUD. Try it, find someone who speaks Russian and tell them to speak to you s l o w and LOUD and see if you don’t understand their every word.
Then we have the tipper. No matter what country they are in they tip in dollars which no doubt is appreciated by the locals who now must go to a bank and convert seventy-five cents. Of course by the time they get to the bank the dollar is worth 20% less than when they got it.
On this trip they give you wine with dinner. Needless to say it is rather modest table wine. None the less one women wants to see the box. I am hoping she means the box containing the bottles and not a box the wine comes in. Given I am in France I refuse to believe they would serve us boxed wine. Where does the wine come from she demands. She is told from the border area near Germany. What’s the name of it? I don’t know the Steward says. It’s just table wine. Why can’t I go into the refrigerator to see it she demands. Not allowed he replies. This is starting to turn into the wine war.
Following directions…it’s a dream. Here we go. “Are there any “red” group people on this bus?” You are supposed to be on the middle bus with me. “Put all your luggage outside your door before you go to breakfast. That includes your airplane carry on luggage.” “Ah, where do I put this carry on, it won’t fit on the bus?” “I can’t hear you.” Did you set your headset to channel “4” (as I instructed you four times now).
As I have often said, these people vote. Now I admit the average age of these travelers is more than 70, but I refuse to attribute this scary behavior to just age, taking 10 minutes to get on the bus perhaps, but having ones head up ones butt is not unique to the elderly.