As I made my way to work this morning I noticed the early indications that the tourist season in Amsterdam is getting into full swing. Although the clues were all around me there was one sign in particular that made me realize the city was about to be invaded by sightseers again. It was not the people dragging their suitcases around the streets. It was not the confused looking people trying to work out the tram system. It was not even the canal tour boats that have started passing the office every half hour.
No, it was none of the conventional warning signs. The first indication that came before all of these was in the form of an announcement over the crackling speakers in Amsterdam train station:
Why this stood out for me more then all the hints I don’t really know but it did. After that I started to notice all the other tourist activities.
Tourists come in many different shapes and sizes but they can be categorized into groups. Here are just a few you might see this summer during the sightseer migration:
The Suitcase Pullers:
All tourist types start out as suitcase pullers. This also means they are the only group capable of evolving into other types of tourists. They are often seen wondering around Amsterdam and can easily be identified by the suitcase they drag with them and the lost look on their faces as they search for their hotel. The suitcase itself can some times act as an indication of how long they plan to stay in your country. The smaller the suitcase the shorter their stay maybe (or the smellier their clothes will be by the end). They can originate from all countries.
These kinds of tourists are mostly found congregating on bridges over looking long canals or other scenic locations. They travel as a group but are in fact split into two sub-groups. One sub-group operates the cameras and the other sub-group poses for the photos. Between them they are capable of blocking entire paths with the invisible barrier which seems to form between them during the photo taking process, forcing locals to stop and wait until it is over. Most camera tourists originate from England, America and Japan.
Sightseeing tourists are the most vocal of all tourist groups and believe they can break the language barrier with volume alone. If talking louder fails they will resort to the tried and tested method… of… talking… slower… and pointing to a picture of the place they are trying to find. These tourists can often be identified by the guide books or maps they cling too. It is not uncommon for there to be a cross over between the Sightseer and Camera Tourist groups. However, this particular variety of sightseer (the loud speaker) is known to originate mostly from England and America.
This group is a common breed mainly originating from England. To call them ‘tourists’ in the true sense of the word is miss leading since most of their sightseeing will only involve the inside of bars and coffee shops before stumbling around the streets of the red light district. They often travel in packs at night and can be seen trying to carry the most inebriated of the group even though they are all quite intoxicated themselves. They have been known to approach locals and sluringly ask one of the following questions:
– Do you know where we can find a good night club mate?
– Mate. You don’t know where we can get some [ insert drug name here] do you?
– How much do the prostitutes cost around here mate? Do any of them [insert bizarre sexual act here]?
It is because of this group I would like to close this post with the following statement:
People of Holland. Although this has not been officially approved by my government I would like to here by apologize for acts by any and all drunk and loud British tourists. They do not represent Briton in any official capacity. They know not what they do or how they make us hang our heads in shame. I would also like to apologize for Mr Blobby (but we have to apologies to every country for that).