The British On Holiday

What the crystal clear water in La Grotta Cove, Corfu Island, Greece really looks like when the tourists get there…

by Neil Bamforth

I came across an old survey recently were 15,000 hoteliers from all over the world explained what they thought of the British. I was quite relieved that my mother wasn’t mentioned, albeit it would have been about 46 years ago that I was last part of a family holiday abroad that included my mother. She was, and is, of the generation that firmly believed if you just shouted loudly in English at a foreigner their total lack of understanding English would suddenly become a complete understanding.

I WOULD LIKEY A CUP OF TEA WITH MILKO AND SUGERO!” she would bellow at a bemused Greek waiter. Much to my childish amusement.

Quite why adding extraneous ‘y’s and ‘o’s to shouted words would make it any easier for the bemused Greek waiter remains, to this day, a mystery to me.

Of course, things have improved greatly since those halcyon days. Most Greek waiters learned to speak English. Probably on the grounds that they realized the British would never learn Greek and their ear drums were still vibrating from my mothers loud requests for tea with milko and sugero.

According to this survey in 2007 – and I do hope things have improved since then – The Brits cheery notion that it’s people were considered a shining beacon of hope and goodness was somewhat delusional.

In 2007 at least, most hoteliers thought the Brits were arrogant, badly dressed, untidy, loud, drunk and nowhere near as nice as the Japanese. Surely they were mistaking us for Germans?

It turned out that hotel staff in Corfu didn’t actually like it when we did a drunken conga through reception at two in the morning and then rush into the gardens to catch a sexually transmitted virus.

Hoteliers did admit that the British in 2007 and earlier did spend a lot of money but it was mostly on beer, other alcoholic beverages and burgers.

The Lonely Planet Guide suggested the behavior of the British on holiday was primarily because we are obsessed with celebrities and worship people who have no talent along with our penchant for binge drinking. This coupled with a general air of disillusionment in Britain mainly based on the weather resulted in our mad behavior.

I think the hoteliers were being a tad harsh on the Brits myself, although I have to confess to a slight bias in this view.

However, have you ever shared a hotel swimming pool with a South African? I have. What they like to do, and you have to remember they are fairly big-boned, is climb to the top of a diving board and jump on your head. Then, as you helplessly flop about with a spinal injury, the rest of their equally big-boned family hoot with derision and order another round of beer.

What about the Swedes? You think the Brits can drink beer? You’ve seen nothing until you’ve seen a party of Thor’s locusting their way through the swim-up bar. The Brits get drunk and catch venereal disease. The Swedes get drunk and want to commit suicide. Probably comes from living somewhere ridiculously dark for much of the year.

The Americans came second favorites in this survey just behind the Japanese. Me? Jealous? Don’t be silly.

At least the Brits didn’t come bottom. The French did. Although I find that odd. Think carefully. Have you ever seen a French person on holiday in anywhere other than France? Italy is full of Germans, Spain full of Brits and Greece full of dust and gay people from everywhere except France. The Dutch are literally everywhere, the Swedes have all committed suicide and the Americans aren’t on holiday anymore, they’re running away from Trump and intend to stay until he goes.

The French never leave France for a holiday on the grounds that God never leaves heaven for a vacation in hell.

Regardless of the results of this survey, one thing that hasn’t changed is that the worst tourists ever are indisputably the Russians.

They meander along the beach, muscle bound, in the tightest Speedo’s imaginable, wearing Versace sunglasses and special forces tattoos. You get the impression when they look at you that they’re imagining what you would look like with no head.

A drunken Brit might well vomit on you and that’s nasty, but a Russian would happily garnish your pizza with a dash of polonium and that’s much worse!

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Posted by on November 26, 2017. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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14 Responses to The British On Holiday

  1. Glenn R. Geist Reply

    November 26, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I’m a bit insulted and demand that you assert that in the realm of rudeness, crudeness and sartorial vulgarity, it’s USA NUMBER ONE.

    But have you noticed that photographs showing how lovely a place, or its accommodations are, or the elegance of the conveyance that gets you there are all staged? The reality is that anywhere from Queens Grill on Cunard to Queensland, Australia, you’re elbow to elbow with yobbos in their underwear and wearing backwards baseball caps. Stay home, wear your dinner suit and heat up something in the microwave. Think of the savings.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      November 26, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      It’s not that Americans are bad tourists…they’re lovely people…just very…er….loud?

      In a nice way of course ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        November 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

        I’ve found that most tourists between the ages of 18-55 are loud.

        • Neil Bamforth Reply

          November 26, 2017 at 5:08 pm

          The loudest tourists ever were about 10 years ago. They shouted very loudly all the time. Breakfast, dinner, around the pool. Everyone hated them.

          After three days we discovered they were partially deaf.

          Everyone bought them drinks then.

          They were still loud but also pissed. Now that was funny!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    November 26, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I no longer go on vacation that involves travel to tourist destinations. After living in Key West, Florida for 20 years I find myself less interested in travel and more interested in staying home. I don’t like crowds to begin with, and find myself happiest at home, with my dogs, and my Roku. Peace and quiet equals relaxation. The picture of tourists on the once beautiful island of Corfu says it all.

  3. Bobbie Peel Reply

    November 26, 2017 at 10:08 am

    English speaking tourists, in my experience, seem to be the most obnoxious. The English, not the British, are the number one, with Americans a very close second. Both are very loud and want everyone in the area to know where they are from. The English like to have a picture taken holding alcoholic beverages, both have shocking table manners. The Australians are number three. Again, very loud and if you take โ€œmateโ€ or โ€œStraliaโ€ out of their sentences, they really donโ€™t have much to say. Canadians are very nice, they donโ€™t want to be taken for Americans, so are New Zealanders, quite the opposite of Australians.

    All other foreign tourists I have encountered in the US came across as decent people and were genuinely curious about our country.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      November 26, 2017 at 10:54 am

      I think much depends on where you are. In my experience, many Cubans can be obnoxious as hell, acting entitled and just being downright rude. At least this was my experience after living 20 years in the Keys. And you are exactly right when it comes to the others. I’ve been embarrassed by American tourists more than once.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      November 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Ah so your an Englishophobe ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      That’s a joke by the way…

  4. Lyndon Probus Reply

    November 26, 2017 at 11:56 am

    It’s a most curious phenomenon indeed. People who would never dream of pitching their litter our their car window while at home are happy to do it while on vacation. Those who would eschew loud talking and drinking themselves into oblivion at home are more than aggressive in doing it while on vacation. Is it because they are encouraged to act with impunity in places as diverse as Corfu or Key West? A laid back atmosphere touted as “paradise” by their tourism bureaus seems to give visitors some “right” to do as they please, because, after all, they are paying for it. Thoughts?

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      November 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Nailed it Lyndon.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      November 26, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Exactly and well said Lyndon.

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