Backpackers. I used to be one. Now I pull one of those suitcases with the little wheels on them. And I’m OK with that. No longer do I look down on the folks that choose to lug their gear around in this fashion. It’s the backpackers that I don’t like anymore.
I’m sure the majority of them are fine upstanding citizens. Pretty sure. But there are so many that I view with utter disdain, it’ all I can do to dissociate myself from this maddening horde.
Inspired by this mediocre article, I present to you a few examples of why I can no longer align myself with this puddle of humanity. This blight on the beautiful landscape.
The Must Show You My Tattoo. I’ve seen a lot of tattoos on this trip. In fact I’d say that the majority of folks I’ve seen have some ink splashed somewhere across their body. I actually like a nicely done tattoo. And I especially like ones that are poorly done. What I don’t care for is the hubris some folks have when it comes to their tattoos. They seem to think that they are special. A special tattooed snowflake. My favourite are folks who work very hard to make sure that you see it – rolling up a sleeve, hiking up a skirt, pulling down their pants. I especially love those who’ve tattooed their heads and now must shave their hair into ungodly haircuts so everyone can see their “ankh”.
The Party All the Time Guy. This lot thinks that traveling means having a drink in hand at all times. They are often shirtless as well. They are an embarrassment. I’m embarrassed for them, I’m embarrassed for me having to be associated by proxy with them. They have no regard to what is a proper way to act in public, to what is acceptable in a culture that doesn’t appreciate this boorish behavior. I just want to hit them in the face with a pie.
Let’s Travel and Get Ludicrous Haircuts. Usually young folks, maybe traveling for the first time, who think it would be cool to get a new hair-do to reflect their new-found independence while giving the silent middle finger to their uptight parents. I’ll give these kids a bit of a pass as they are young and ernest and will be quite embarrassed to look at their travel photos in the future.
High-speed Death Seekers. These may be my second most disliked group on this list. They are especially prevalent on Thai islands such as Koh Phangan and Samui. Idiots who ride around at top speed on rented scooters and motorbikes, with no shirt, no shoes, with headphones on, often drunk in an unfamiliar country. Depending on where they are from they are also driving on the opposite side of the road from what they are used to. Sometimes they do all of this in the dark. Would they even consider doing this at home. Of course not. There’s a reason it’s called the Koh Phangan tattoo.
The Dudes, The Bros. My most disliked backpacker. I’ve described them ad nausea in previous posts. They’re the neanderthal-like meatheads, the mouth breathing knuckle-draggers, the short-fingered vulgarians who shuffle along in their ill-fitting tank-tops, their $1 flip-flops, wearing their cheap sunglasses at all times, wearing their stained, flower-patterned, ugly-ass shorts that come down way past the knees. They usually travel in groups and all look the same. They strut around, chins and chest out, having little or no regard for the local people or customs, drinking beer everywhere, going shirtless in cities (and on scooters) and littering. They are the kind of guys who ride jet skis. Usually they are loud, obnoxious and have been heard party yelping at all hours of the day.
I’m sure that there are plenty more people for me to dislike around the world. I just haven’t met them yet.