Monday, February 21, 2011

To Travel Hopelessly

Enormous natural and man-made disasters, huge country-rending demonstrations and food riots, terrorism and war, general economic malaise, and airline service which grows ever more humiliating, invasive, uncomfortable and inefficient.

It's all falling to pieces faster than Patsy Cline ever did.

Can't imagine why anyone would travel at all, unless they lived in Saudi Arabia and had to go abroad to see a woman.

Very contrary to my expectations, The Girlfriend has at this point proved herself loyal and long-suffering -- a year and a half now. She devotedly Skypes me and (perhaps less mysteriously) goes on week-long holidays with me every 8 or 9 weeks. (Of course there was the month-long shackup during the summer.)

So last week we met in Sharjah in the Emirates. (It's the coast near Dubai.)

It was pleasant, especially insofar as there were no enormous natural or man-made disasters, huge country-rending demonstrations and food riots, nor terrorism and war.

(And the economic malaise just meant, for us, that stuff wasn't too expensive.)

The only problem was the other Russian tourists at the resort -- many of them re-routed from Egypt due to the massive country-rending demonstrations there.

The Russians are the new Ugly Americans, as the Americans are all too scared and broke to travel now. Now it's the Russian tourists who scream at the waiters and demand changes in the food offerings, all sunburned and wearing inappropriately small swimsuits and annoyingly loud colors, smoking in the non-smoking sections and letting their bratty children run around unatended.

"You must become an old man in good time if you wish to be an old man long." -- Marcus Aurelius


TEFL SecretAgent said...

I think Americans are generally more travel averse than Europeans but I think that the Russians we all observe now at popular tourist destinations only represent a tiny minority of the Russian population.

Personally, I wonder if there are any places devoid of European or American people all together...

Calf said...

Do you plan to ever move back to the states?

English Teacher X said...

You could try Somalia. . . and all the Europeans and Americans have probably evacuated Libya by now. . .