Tuesday 21 August 2007


It's funny really how you live here and therefore no longer consider yourself a tourist or even a foreigner. You even find yourself disgusted with the tourists (or is that only me?!)

No, I am only joking, well only a little bit anyway. I am meant to love tourists as that is my job, but I tell you, having to be nice to tourists all day is hard work. Here are some recent 'issues' with my British clients abroad:

Picture Mount Entna - the largest active volcano in Europe and the 10th largest in the world. I am careful to remind people that they will be walking around the crater of the actual volcano. I tell them it can get cold at 3,300 metres, and they must wear comfortable and warm clothing. Of course not all of them listen to me! During the past week I've had clients dressed head to toe in their whitest of white outfits, some wearing shorts so their already white legs turn purple once the cold sets in. One lady wore ridiculously high heels with open toes and of course broke the heel on the hike up.

I do get annoyed when clients ask if there is an ATM/cashpoint or money withdrawing facilities on the volcano. Hello, it's a volcano!

When I went to the top of the crater, I was shocked by the amount of people trying to go under the safety roped off area. Now let me explain about the roped off sections. They are roped off because behind it is an active crater.  A crater where lava may pour out at any moment. It's therefore compulsory to have an Etna guide when you are up this high. When I was there some tourist had small children, much to young to be trekking an active volcano. To make matters worse the small child's hat flies off into the active crater. Rather then cut their losses and keep going, the father lifted up the safety rope and walked closer to the active crater. Thankfully he only walked one step before guides came running from every direction to stop him...and to save his life.

I must stop now, I could go on and on about tourists. But I will save some more stories for another day. I have 2 days off to go to the beach and be inundated with well...tourists!


Anonymous said...

Aussie Aussie Aussie...Oi Oi Oi! Now are we the most adaptable people on earth, or is the gypsy part of your genetic coding... Maybe the communication medium has changed from air waves to e waves?? Love the blob..LOL.....can't wait to see the island. Cioa

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Good question...I think it is a combo of both adaptability and gypsyness (if there is such a word.)

LaLa said...

I'm a year late but I like to start from the beginning.

It's definitely not only you when it comes to tourists. When I moved to Pennsylvania Dutch Country (Lancaster, Pa) I spent the first 6 months getting to know my surroundings. But once I got into the day to day living the places I did my errands were teeming with tourists. I remember hating weekends and summer vacation. But I made peace with it eventually.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Lala,
As they say 'better late then never!' You do have to make peace with the tourists after a while don't you??