Last summer I read an article on the internet about tourists and nationalities that made me laugh for a while, the author is a Spanish writer called Arturo Perez-Reverte and the title is "Hola Manolo, mucho barato" (Hello Manolo, much cheaper), since I had still kept it, I post it here in order for you to have a good time too, reading it during the weekend and forgetting about the cold winter which is coming close to us (weather forecast for Spain tells about having snow, rain and much, much cold). And remember: humor is good for our health.
"There is a nice visual exercise, interesting when you travel with little to do. Sitting, for example, on the terrace of the bar opposite the National Museum of Kyoto, or under the watch of the city of Prague, or the Pont des Arts, toward the Louvre. In any place where groups of tourists traveling led by a guide who stands up, experienced and professional, a flag, a handkerchief at the end of a stick or an umbrella. The thing is, looking appearance and behavior of individuals, to establish by far their nationality.
There are groups with which, using stereotypes, never fails. I thought about it a few days ago, in Rome, seeing a tall, handsome priest in black shirt sleeves clergyman neck with elegant beige sweaters hanging from the shoulders and brown water shoes. Attentive but somewhat absent air, as if his kingdom is not of this world. The conclusion was obvious: priests from Boston, New England or thereabouts. Contrasted with another group close: men with jovial ruddy peasant Sunday best, legitimate clucking separate their stuff, and young daughters following them with reluctance, wearing pants low cash and navels in the air, riddled with piercings. No need to hear them talk Frenchy to put them in deep rural France. I think I even heard them to cry: "By Toutatis!".
When you have the trained eye, a first look set the nationality of each batch. So far, when short ones could be confused with teenagers, the Japanese are recognized because they follow the guide, usually a young girl and also Japanese, with extraordinary discipline: never throw anything on the ground or blow their snot, photograph all from the same place and at the same time, and just half hour queuing in the rain to get on a gondola in Venice or to drink sangria in a stage flamenco de La Coruña. All of them also wear Louis Vuitton bags.
Identify the English is easy: they are those who speak no language other than their own and carry a can of beer in each hand at nine o'clock in the morning. As for the infantry gringos, middle class and Midwestern, they are distinguished by their graceful gait, the passionate conversations of his lungs on the price of corn in Arkansas, and especially by the pathetic way they have, and especially them, when they are white Anglo-Saxon origin, to become complacent with the friendly waiters, vendors and other classes subordinate of the countries visited.
The Germans also put them sucked. There is much blonde, the guys are big, they all walk together and in Prussian order and stand exactly where they stand, half tend to be sucked from six in the afternoon, and when traveling in Europe some parents explain to young children not without tender emotion subsidiary: "Look, my children, this town was burned by granddaddy in the year forty-one, he demolished this restored monument in forty-three, this Jewish neighborhood was cleaned by Uncle Hans in the forty- five".
But the Spanish are simply unmistakable: even Africans tell us when they see us coming near, before we open our mouths, "Hello, Manolo, much cheaper." We are the ones who after raggling half a rupee to a street vendor, leave huge tips in bars and restaurants. Those who fearlessly assert that, given a Ribera del Duero, the wines of Tuscany or Bordeaux are the Don Simon (a cheap wine packaged in carton). We are the ones that after purchasing from a store based on "ies", "nou" and "espensiv mach", we said: "We do not even know English." We are the ones who photograph anything and any place, interesting or not, where there is a forbidding taking photos sign. In order to identify us there is not possible mistake when a guide is talking to himself and about, scattered and ignoring him, the Spanish group buying poscards, sitting in a bar in the shade, taking photos on other sites or taking a "meadilla" (a little pee) behind the pyramid. And when, after fifteen minutes in vain talk, the poor guide gather the group again to follow the route, there's always someone who is coming from buying postcards, see the Taj Mahal and asks: "And what is this?".
Have a nice weekend with a smile!