Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


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Bloody tourists…

Fucking tourists
Look, I’m delighted they’re here. I’m delighted they’re clogging up the footpaths. I’m even cool with the leprechaun hats, if they absolutely have to. What really offends me though, as the years go by, is the way tourists still, to a man, refuse to ask me directions.

They’re here each summer, these nice American (and French and German and English) people, standing helplessly on the street corner, mouths and maps hanging wide open in the breeze. They’re lost. I’m on hand and willing to help. But who will they turn to? For reasons unclear, the answer would be anyone but me. To add insult to injury, these encounters most often take place in Christchurch: where, let’s be honest, even at the best of times the junky to non-junky passer-by ratio tends to run at about one to one. Even in Christchurch, even while clearly not on drugs – I still can’t get a break.

They look me up and down and quickly look away. “Tell ya what,” says Bob to Louanne. “Let’s ask that angry lookin’ feller with the scabs on his face instead. He looks to be the safer bet.” And Louanne agrees.

I could rationalise it more easily in the past. I wasn’t always so well presented – rocking (what someone memorably described as) Lithuanian construction worker chic. The tourists probably thought I was only getting my bearings here myself, they didn’t want to bother me.

But I’ve smartened up my act. Today I was clean shaven. I was wearing a raincoat that cost over a hundred quid. I was even carrying a copy of the Observer, for Christ’s sake. (Has anyone read this thing lately? It’s like 2% news, 98% asparagus recipes…)

How un-threatening do I gotta get here tourists? I’ll wear socks with sandals if I have to!

Related articles:
McDaids
I’m a Pedestrian

May 30th, 2010.

10 Responses to “Bloody tourists…”

  1. massey Says:

    That sounds rough alright. But by the looks of it your living in Italy now so at least thw weather should be nicer there

  2. Eoin Says:

    Yeah, I’d say Roscommon is fairly overrun with tourists at this time of year too. I just hope, in all that clamour, the enchanting natural of the place isn’t bespoiled…

  3. Fintan Says:

    100 euro for a raincoat is pretty flash alright.

    There’s a Russian mafia joke that I’m probably going to get all wrong here but it goes something like “a hundred euros? you idiot.. i know a shop in moscow where they’re selling the same raincoat for 200 euro!!”

  4. Eoin Says:

    Hey, I’m a flash guy.

    Heard the joke before – but I’m sure that’s a Russian yuppie, rather than Russian mafia joke. The mafia just steal don’t they!

  5. Ciaran Says:

    Tourists stop me all the time for directions. Must have one of those kind faces I suppose

  6. El Kid Says:

    @ Ciaran – Butler looks like an axe murderer. If he didn’t he’d be giving out about tourists bothering him all the time. Besides he doesn’t even know the names of the streets to give diretions – only the pubs

  7. ben Says:

    A skateboard is what you want. apparently they just scream “I run these streets” but generally I haven’t got a clue.

  8. Eoin Says:

    @ El Kid – Ah, it’s easy enough, sure, I just throw in a few English place names – Dorset, Norfolk, Suffolk, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire – and I’m bound to be close enough.

    @ Ben – I’d take a skateboard but then I’m afraid, if I did, I’d be honour bound to mock myself.

  9. shane Says:

    A friend of a friend once related the story of two lost Americans on O’Connell Street remarking, as he approached them, that they’d go and ask the athletes standing over there – athletes being the lads in the tracksuits.

  10. Eoin Says:

    Hahah… deadly. I actually feel a bit better about myself after hearing that!

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