In the latest in our series of Crap Things Seen while travelling, renowned travel writer and Times scribe Will Hide tells us why he never finds anything he thinks is rubbish…
In 20+ years of travelling I can honestly say it is extremely difficult to think of much that I regard as “crap”.
I think if you travel with the expectation that things will be different, not much comes across that’s bad.
It’s when you go with the “ooooh, it’s not like at home, is it?” mentality (which drives me nuts) that you get negative impressions. (Incidentally, of course it’s not like at home – that’s why you just sat in a long metal tube at 30,000 feet for the last six hours).
Yes, there’s hassle in Delhi and Marrakesh but even looking back on that I can (just about) see the funny side. And I suppose the one thing I really do hate when travelling – being at the mercy of airport taxi drivers who know they have you over a barrel – can be put down to an unfortuate side of human nature that you can find anywhere.
In fact travel only serves to highlight for me how much is crap when you come home.
Like the thoroughly annoying tannoy announcements at UK stations that tell you to be vigilent about looking out for unaccompanied bags, which just serve to stir up paranoia. And the equally excrutiating computer-generated “we are sorry you are inconvenienced for the cancelled 18.00 service to Leeds” messages that are totally meaningless because no one actually cares at all. In fact only in Britain does the word “sorry” actually mean “Piss off and leave me alone, I’m going home in five minutes and it’s only two years till I retire and get my pension.”
So I really don’t find much at all that’s crap about being abroad, except the jaded realisation that on returning home, the airport train probably won’t be running, the cash machine will be empty, someone will be chucking litter on the floor two feet from a bin and just one man will be manning the desk at Luton immigration on a Sunday night.
If anyone out there is reading this and thinking “well if you don’t like it, leave”, then great. If you can get me a US green card, or an Aussie work visa, please do get in touch.