Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vulgar tourists

A few weeks ago we went to a restaurant along the waterfront. Because of the strong wind we sat under the roof instead of out on the beach, and unfortunately, the table we chose put us right beside some foul-mouthed American men.

It wasn't enough that we had to listen to them swearing freely with every sentence that came out of their mouths. The one guy, the main mouthpiece, was speaking loudly. We heard all about their visit to a local strip club, something I would not have thought anyone would want overheard. I think the men had enough liquor in them that they did not realize, or did not care, that we could hear. We heard...

How one simply knocks on the door and then chooses which woman they want.
How he got far more time than he paid for because the woman didn't want him to stop.
How his wife had not been able to take vacation due to a new job, but she encouraged him to go anyway (I bet she wouldn't be so thrilled to know how he passed the time).
How he was going to ask for the same woman because she clearly loved every minute he was giving it to her.

He tried to talk his friend into going back with him, when the friend clearly really didn't want to go. But the last we heard was they would be heading back over there once their dinner was consumed.

We ate our meal in silence during this distasteful discussion; we just wanted to get away from the men. Later I asked Miguel if he thought people from Mexico would go to the US, sit in a restaurant (not a bar, a restaurant) where other people were seated nearby, and use foul and vulgar language. He thought not, and I tend to agree with him. I'm not sure why some people think it's ok to come to a strange country and foul the air with their filthy language. It shows such a complete lack of respect for the people who live and work here, and for any other tourists forced to endure the bragging dialogue.



Jackie said...

I can't believe it either.
I wrote about beach behavior last trip to Isla.

Jane said...

Yes, and how do we stop this plague?

MD in Texas said...

The problem is.....these guys probably have the same behavior back home, at least to some degree. Add the anonymity of a foreign destination and a little booze and it's only worse.

Truly a shame though.

Life's a Beach! said...

I noticed a lot of bad tourist behavior last trip. A table at Sancocho's being so loud and foul that people with kids couldn't sit down, old girls gone wild on Playa Norte drunk and topless, middle-aged women walking down Hidalgo barefoot in bikinis at night, etc.... I think it's trashy people showing off on their Mexican vacation. Weird. Ignorance is truly ugly. What's funny is that 'randy' just came up as the word verification!

JMartin said...

I couldn't agree more... my husband & I call those people "those who like to hear themselves talk"... most of them seem to be in sales of some type & mostly men, although I have heard a few women do the same, unfortunately. I tend to be a pacifist, but I WILL and HAVE told those types (with a big Texas smile) that I'd rather not hear their conversation--I would much rather enjoy my own :)

Anonymous said...

What annoys me the most is when the Americans yell on the bus, especially when they're mean to the busdriver.

I had a daypass to a hotel last week, and a group of Americans was cussing loud enough for the entire pool area to hear. I also got to hear them gossip about their alcoholic friends who like to sleep around. Fun stuff.

Obviously most Americans are respectful... but there are a few that just get my goat.

KfromMichigan said...

I call those people STUPID Americans!

Moongrl722 said...

That's just sad and pitiful behaviour. I wonder what his mother would think!!!

I do believe that the people of Isla can easily distinguish those Americans vs. those of us who are more respectful of ourselves and our surroundings. thankfully.

Anonymous said...

I work at a world-class health institution in Minnesota. In the midst of a crowded patient waiting area, a *gentleman* was pacing around, ranting in full voice on his cell phone, spewing vulgarities and profanities. This waiting room was populated by young families, elderly people, middle aged people, some nicely dressed, others not so. He had no respect for his surroundings.

Yes--it happens even in sedate medical offices where you'd *think* people would know better.

I am always apologetic and embarassed by our compatriot's bad behavior in foreign places.

Islagringo said...

I've stopped reporting on the bad behaviour of tourists. I get slammed every time I do for being so negative towards them. I truly believe though that the type and class of tourist to the island has changed in the past few years. I blame those all inclusives and the condo development. People who think they have money to burn also think they are not required to show the least bit of respect or decorum towards other people. Especially the hard working people who are trying to make everybody's stay here pleasant.

I think the comment that the workers here can tell the difference between the ignorant pigs and the respectful tourists is true.

Thanks for publishing this article. It needs to be said.

IslaZina said...

Exactly! And I appreciate your differentiation of eating establishments vs bars, which is why I had an issue with an eating establishment catering to a woman Gringo called a skank crouching on the bar while her t-shirt was cut away. I hear I am no longer welcome there. No loss.

Kathy said...


I don't disagree that certain types of resorts appeal to certain types of tourists.

However, I do take a tiny bit of umbrage to your comment about those staying in the condos...we visited Isla last summer, staying at Ixcel, with my two teen step sons. We live in SE MN and save all year for a tropical island vacation. At this point in our lives, we prefer to stay in places right on the beach with some of the amenities... (altho, I loathe all-inclusives with a hot burning hate...) We are polite to the locals and do not make asses out of ourselves. Our footprint is very very small where ever we go. We feel very strongly that as travellers, it's our responsibility to be ambassadors for the US and try very hard to counter the "ugly American tourist" attitude that is so pervasive.

Blanket statements and accusations don't necessarily apply to all.

I have seen some incredibly awful beach/vacation behavior by people from other than America...unfortunately, we seem to get tagged more often with that label.

Just a thought.
(I posted under anonymous above)

Sue said...

Jackie - I remember when you wrote that. Seems these things are happening too often.

Jane - well, I have my theories but I'm sure nobody wants to hear them - we all probably have our theories.

MD - you are probably right, although the part about the strip club I bet might not be something they would be doing at 'home'. Don't know though.

Beck - I can't believe the way some people parade through town, it is really unappetizing. And that is funny about the "Randy"!

JMartin - I was tempted to say something, but Miguel would have been mortified. I'm not sure if it's the Mexican in him or just his upbringing, but he won't bring things like that to attention, even to his own detriment.

Gringation - I really didn't mean this to be aimed at Americans, rather tourists in general who behave badly. In this case the men were American, but they could have been from anywhere. I've seen very bad behavior by Canadians that made me ashamed to be one, and also made me want to give them a good talking to, as one Canadian to another (hey, you're giving us a bad name, type of thing).

K - Yes, "stupid" suits them, that's how they sounded to me.

Jana - I think you're right, I hope so anyway. And good point about "what would his mother think?". I should have tried that line on him!

Kathy - As I said above, I'm embarrassed when Canadians act badly too, and unfortunately I've seen it more and more and it wants me want to slap them. Rude people are everywhere, airports are a great place to find them, in the Customer Service line. I really wasn't trying to say it was bad Americans, rather bad tourists who just happened to be American in this instance. And I understand your reaction to Wayne but I didn't read it as him meaning that all people who stay in those hotels and condos are like that, I think he meant that having those sort of amenities is attracting a different type of tourist, those who normally would never have considered this little island as a vacation destination until we developed some glamor. I agree we cannot stereotype, I know rich people who are kind and humble, and I know lower-middle-class people who are total jerks. Maybe money should not define 'class', because if we used a different criteria, those well-off men would be the lowest of the low class in my book, regardless of how much money they might have had. And Miguel would be one of the upper classes, because of his love of humanity and kindness to animals, and respect of nature.

Wayne - I think I know what you meant and I do agree that we are seeing a different type of tourist, although that does not mean that they are all arrogant SOB's. They do have different expectations, we see that just in our little apartments - we lose guests because we don't have internet. I remember the day one was lucky to have internet ON THE ISLAND on any given day. Now, people want it right there in their room. A changing dynamic here, that's for sure.

Z - not quite sure what you mean but I think you are agreeing that one can expect different behavior at a bar versus a restaurant.

Larry in Mazatlan said...

I may get flamed, but I think you're seeing some results of a bad economy. I've seen more "trailer trash" in Mazatlan in the last year than in the total of the last six. And not just jerky people from the US. They're from all over.

Part of the problem is that the cruise ship companies are discounting passage by up to 40% to keep customers.