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:

“Gelieve te houden een oog op uw bezittingen. De zakken van de oogst werken op dit gebied.”

“Please keep an eye on your belongings. Pick pockets operate in this area.”

“Veuillez garder un oeil sur vos affaires. Les poches de sélection fonctionnent dans ce secteur.”

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.

Camera Tourists:
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.

Excessive Tourists:
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.

16 responses to “Tourists”

  1. Paul says:

    You had to mention Mr Blobby didn’t you!

  2. marycub says:

    tourists in amsterdam are nothing but annoying!! as are the ones in the hague.

  3. Aisling says:

    But really, can you blame them??? Amsterdam is GORGEOUS (at least from the photos I’ve seen, since I’ve never been).

  4. Invader Stu says:

    I’m sorry Paul. I had to do it. You should be going out at apologizing to Americans too.

    You’re right Marycub. Where ever they are they can be annoying but give them a country with lots of alcohol and relaxed drug laws and they get more annoying.

  5. hedgehogman says:

    wow you have a good eye to watch and observe tourist. You can become the next tourism minister, or you have done it?
    nice article

  6. marycub says:

    Amsterdam for me is full of funny memories all involving drunk/pissed/high tourists. So yes they do become more annoying thanks to dutch laws, but they do become highly amusing also. But it is definitely the brits who stand out the most, and actually i’m sometimes shamed embarrassed for them because i’m also british, and they give us a bad name.

  7. JaG says:

    Mr Blobby is soooo sad, butn that crazy frog thing is waaay more annoying!

  8. sharlet says:

    You can’t really blame the tourists for going to Amsterdam for the sex; it’s what the country is famous for isn’t it. :P There’s ample supply…

    Besides, I have yet to hear of countries that turn down ANY kind of spending by tourists. :P

  9. roxanne says:

    Next time I’m in Holland I promise not to ask you where I can get drugs or prostitutes. Alrighty, mate? :)

  10. Tamara says:

    Dear Stuart,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I must say I usually enjoy your posts very much(why else would I be coming back) Also your analysis of tourists is funny and right on the mark, but….
    I was one of the few (I think) that was blissfully unaware of the existence of Mr.Blobby….and I sincerely hope you will not repeat this ‘favour’ of bringing something like this to my attention again.
    Thank you so much
    (and I hope you settled in in your new place. It’s always a lot of work- I know, I did it 13 times after moving out of my parants house 13 years ago…)

  11. marycub says:

    ok let the tourists go to ‘dam for sex but do they need to shout about it at schipol airport? I used to always end up sat next to them too when i flew to the uk :/

    as for the drugs if i remember correctly apart from weed, all the drugs were sold my dodgy foreigners and not the dutch :/ :/

  12. Invader_Stu says:

    Aisling – Very true. It is a very nice city.

    Hedgehogman – I think I would be banned from the job very quickly

    JaG – You can’t blame us for the frog. You have Norway to thank for him :)

    Sharlet – There was talk of bringing in a law to stop selling weed to tourists but that would he been crazy. Amsterdam would have become poor over night.

    Roxanne – You would have asked where to find prostitutes if I had not said anything?

    Tamara – I am very sorry. I did not mean to do more damage by bringing up the subject of Mr Blobby… At least I did not say anything about the Chuckle Brothers :p

    Marycub – The ‘other’ drugs are normally sold by people hanging around on street corners. They usually whisper out the names of the drugs they are selling as you pass. One even asked me if I wanted Viagra once

  13. sharlet says:

    Oho! :) Btw who’s the Chuckle Brothers?

  14. Invader_Stu says:

    You asked for it. Don’t say I did not warn you:

  15. Mr. Blobby says:

    No need to apologize for me. I’m perfectly capable of doing that myself, thank you.

  16. korent says:

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