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Tourist niggles

11 January 2014, 23:30

I don't think tourists realise how annoying they can be. Having owned a B&B for many years, I always found it annoying that there are sites to criticise accommodation establishments (such as Trip Advisor) but no chance is given to the latter to defend themselves. So people will log on to these sites to assess if you have a good establishment or not, based on comments that are never verified.

We once had a group of mountain bikers. In the first place, they were very arrogant, thought they were Gods gift to mankind for some or other reason. The one oke cut his hand, and his girlfriend used all the facecloths in the house to clean up the blood. They were stained and had to be sent to the workshop to be used as rags. When it came to the bill, I asked why they did not rather use toilet paper. The lovely lady said I should just be thankful they did not use our towels. (All white linen by the way.) If I was female, I would have broken her nose, but I'm not so just suffered heart palpitations ... I've disliked cyclists ever since. (Even though I cycle myself)

Dutch guests often got my goat when they asked, can I speak South African. They mean Afrikaans, by the way. I explain that there is no such language as South African, we have many official languages. Maar ja, ek praat vlot Afrikaans. Then they say "its strange the English speak English, but the Afrikaners speak an African language" (Afrikaans), in a sort of insulting tone. Its obvious they've been told by some cretin that the only true white South Africans are Afrikaans speakers, us Engelse are just visitors here, like we still have family in the UK or something. Idiots! Then I have to ask them questions to get their brains functioning properly, like why do English people in the USA, Australia and New Zealand also speak (amazingly!), English! How unexpected. And explain that Afrikaans is really just a Dutch dialect developed over 360 odd years. I don't know why English stays the same, its just the way it is.

Then there are those guests who arrive on holiday with a will to be miserable. You can see their faces as they meander down the path to reception. The main aim of their holiday is to find fault. They don't even greet decently. They carry a black cloud with them, and are depressing to be around.

Then the mosquito phobes. They arrive mid winter, I have not seen a mozzie for 2 months. (We're in a malaria free area anyway) As they get to their rondavels they dive indoors and close all the windows, doors, never to be seen out on their decks watching the sun set. Hysteria when they see we have no mozzie nets on the windows, no net over the bed. They refuse to believe me there are NO mozzies around. Its the Lowveld, you come here for fresh air, not to lock yourself in a damn room all the time. Why not rather stay in a hotel ... or in Europe for that matter!

South Africans can be the pits. I mean, so many people arrive and ask if we have snakes and spiders. I mean, really, who would have thought? Snakes and spiders on a farm in Sub Tropical Africa. A country you were born in, and you don't know the answer to that question?! Come on!

Saffers also love to ignore the fact that we clearly advertise we do not have television. We were a romantic destination, and don't want the noise of one guests television spoiling the atmosphere for others. (Europeans get 10/10, they never want television, they realise holidays are meant to be a break from normal life) But our locals arrive, and are devastated they don't have a box to stare at. How shallow. And they try to argue that they thought we had a box. Nee flip man, suka wena!

Locals also have no sense of punctuality. I'll be labelled racist, but I'm sorry, black guests do not consider time of any consequence. They will arrive at 2 am to book in, they arrive at 11 am for breakfast (even though they can see its all packed away and closed up), we struggle to get them to leave on time. Black people on holiday seem to have no consideration for others, I know I'm generalising, but really, 90 % of our black guests are nightmare guests. (Without realising it I believe...) The rest of the locals are better, but still nothing near as considerate as Europeans.

My last gripe is crime. We warn our guests crime is bad, lock your car up in the garage. Lock your door when you go to sleep. They act like they should never expect this on a farm. Do people not read news? Do no foreigners ever hear how bad crime is in our country. I can't be too bluntly honest, or the guests will run away. But truthfully, there are no truly "safe" places in our country. Travel knowing that there is risk involved. Your accommodation establishment CANNOT guarantee your safety, as much as you want to believe otherwise. Why else do you see security guards, burglar bars, trellidors, electric fences. Get a dose of reality tourists, or you set yourself up to be targets.

On a more positive note, I'm so glad I'm out of this industry now...

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