Boatpeople, for us hapless residents, the season is long. Have a thought for the flesh units trapped in those destination towns. Your oceanic hell wagons belch carginogenic smoke, blast us with their fucking PA and mediocre musical stylings whilst decanting far too many people into the surrounding countryside. Day after day, for months. It starts tap dancing on the nerves.
We didn't ask to be put on the CS schedule; in fact, we were given no say in the matter. You may be on an expensive holiday, but no one else is. While your paying presence might provide benefits to a narrow demographic, you should probably know that much of your sweet, sweet visitor spend is expertly snatched back by your bloodsucking cruise co affiliates, which is why all those pre-booked day trips cost twice as much as they should. Your dollar isn't equitably distributed and much of your impact amounts to exploitation. To too many of us, you are just the thudding chug that wakes us in the morning and the smokestack emissions that permeate the contents of our clotheslines. We twist the names of each boat into childish obscenities just to make ourselves feel better about the whole situation. I'm not telling you what they are.
But you know, not everywhere has to end up like Venice. Avoid falling prey to AO (arsehole overseas) Syndrome by taking a few moments to consider one important principle; there are thousands of you and you all tend to do the same things.
Some of them aren't very nice.
Let's begin with not dropping your fucking rubbish everywhere. We're still picking up your cigarette packs and plastic discards from last year. Leave your crap in your room. Locals are disgusting enough.
It would be great if you could use the literal biblical plague of buses specifically laid on for you to get into the city, instead of the local public transport which is already inadequate for our purposes. These tourist buses create toxic stank and inconvenience for locals and they will not go the fuck away until you give them your fare, so have a heart. You're making people late for work and school when you form 30-deep lines trying to save $1.50. You even fill the bus sometimes so that locals miss their rides altogether. Come on now. Also: don't loudly complain when another passenger opens a window on the trip into town. You wear 500% and 355% too much Red Door and Flower Bomb, respectively.
I know you're on a boat motherfuckers, but remember those basal social skills. Treat locals with the respect you presumably afford fellow travellers on your amazing prefabricated journey of discovery. We aren't props or extras. Those people with dogs outside cafés are probably deliberately avoiding eye contact. You are never the first person to loudly interrupt their personal convos by declaring how much you miss your dog, seizing and handling the unknown canine, snapping memorial photographs and going on to wanderingly impart your unsolicited attitudes to everything from race relations to phrenology. Don't expect on-demand deferential engagement. We're trying to chill for 20 mins with a friend and every successive version of you edges our hand closer to that cake knife. Just smile at the dog and move on.
Further to this, people going about their business at their private addresses aren't props, either. I say this as someone who lives on an increasingly popular walking route. Please don't stare in to our houses; we can see you. Think twice about coming up driveways to take photos of private property. Don't pester strangers in their gardens when they're busy or obviously disinclined, and staring fixedly at them over the fence until they acknowledge you is a pretty fucked up thing to do. If you're determined to go ahead with this behaviour, the least you can do is throw money; it might stop me clipping you in the head with flying dog shit. I cannot tell you how much the imposition of awkward pleasantries with a day-long stream of randoms takes the shine off enjoying one's own yard. It sucks.
So does trying to patronise a very small local supermarket packed to the tonsils with boat people who have just emerged from a vessel groaning, nay, listing with every fucking foodstuff known to mankind. They need more, and right now. They cluster in impenetrable clots in every aisle and in front of the items you need, stripping the stock whilst glancing over their shoulder at you but never, ever conceding access voluntarily. They don't bother carrying local currency but do want to dispute the exchange policy at the checkout with 20 peeps banked up behind them. They're always up for an arguement over NZ's alcohol ID requirements, the high cost of cigarettes here and maybe demanding the checkout person's help to sort through the things they actually want from the two stuffed baskets they've emptied on the conveyor while shouting to their sister in law who is jumping the cue with another two baskets.
Visitors, there's a reason why you don't shop like this at home and that reason starts with throat and ends with punch.
Further to the whole militant group behaviour thing: no matter where you are, footpaths are for everyone, mmmokay? Gathering in dense agglomerations of twenty to smoke and yap and gawp forces everyone else out onto a road thick with speeding logging trucks to get around you, including people using walking frames and mobility scooters (I shit you not). I don't know what it is about gobsmacking entitlement and a certain cruising demographic but Celebrity Solstice, your tacky payload is the worst for this kind of sociopathic fuckery. Cheers.
I was actually fully shoulder charged the other day by some Juicy Couture (I have as many questions as you do)+ ashy highlights trick because I wouldn't dive all the way off the footpath for her and her sloppy second during their two-abreast aggressive thigh gap sashay back to the Solstice.
Shoulder charged. On one level it was quaint because it's been a long time since someone came at me like that, and physically I could have her swung her around by her budget extensions on two fingers. R glanced at me somewhat pensively from the gutter (we had made room for them, btw), willing me to recall my higher purpose but self respect demanded that I pop a tactical clench at the last second. Petty joy is truly the best joy; I had almost forgotten that. It was enhanced further by the sight of the disciple dimly questioning her kween's majesty as the offender tottered into the verge after her phone.