Guest author: Crap things seen while travelling. No3

It’s Sunday, so James is taking a day off from the world of work. Instead, Kieran Meeke (www.secret-london.co.uk), former features editor at Metro steps into the guest author spot with his crappest thing seen while travelling.

Roatan folk dancers

DSCF005749Oooh – where do we start? And finish? The world is full of sad little tourist traps where the staff taking your money are almost ashamed to do so. Almost.

Still, the saddest thing that springs to mind is seeing a massive cruise ship pull into the lovely little island of Roatan, off Honduras in the Caribbean. About 30 buses – bright yellow American style school buses – were there to meet it. A small group of overweight folk dancers stood around listlessly before suddenly painting on bright smiles and bursting into song as the first passengers appeared at the top of the gangplank.

Each couple tottered down to the quayside, to be stopped and framed in a  brightly painted plywood sign saying ‘Welcome to Roatan’ for an obligatory snap by the ship’s photographer. No doubt they were all billed for it later. Count 30 buses, multiply by about 50 to 70 passengers each and you can work out how much time this all took out from the excursion ashore they’d all paid for.

Eventually, the buses drove off in a cloud of diesel smoke, leaving the dancers to count their tips: two crumpled dollars. Just another day in this business they call travel.