Spent a couple of weeks on the road, perturbed at the behaviours of some of my fellow travellers. If you want to be a jerk, stay home. Seriously, it should not be that hard to be respectful:
- of the country you are visiting- yes the coffee may be better back home, or the showers are hotter or the internet is faster but telling people ad nauseum will not earn you a welcome. I was in a store in Sydney, Australia, when a tourist wandered in, pointed to a camera and said “how much“. when told, he retorted in a loud voice “I got that for a hundred bucks less back home” and walked out. How to win friends!
- of the natural and built scenery- no chopping things down, carving in initials or stealing stuff! 200 year old trees do not need messages telling others who you currently are in love with
- of the people you meet- keep cool and treat people politely. Rudeness will not make you popular. Don’t shout if you do not feel you are getting your way or feel people do not understand you. Find a new way to explain what you want calmly
- of the staff who assist you. Treat someone well and generally, you will get good back. When you don’t get good service, find ways to complain appropriately.
I would love to see a frequent flyer points system where people got rewarded for polite and respectful behaviour. Didn’t cut in line? 100 points. Said “thank you” 200 points. Helped carry a bag for an elderly person? 250 points.
I guess such a system already exists. The Buddhists call it karma. And I think people who behave like A###holes have to contend with that reality!