Bad omens on the way to #Galapagos? #1

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The good folks of the sleeping room.

A minor irritant.

Location: Avianca lounge, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Eleven hour layover. I’d used tens of thousands of Aeroplan points to get business class travel to the Galapagos and free access to lounges like this one. Much needed due to the number of connections and length of layovers. Enough Aeroplan points to get me two dive trips to Mexico and back.

Some airlines limit the time you can spend in their lounge. Between four and six hours. But not Avianca. Thank goodness.

The image depicts the quiet rest area in the modest lounge. Dim lights. A place to sleep. Just want I needed after 10 hours and two evening/overnight flights from Vancouver to San Francisco to here.

Only, there were no available seats when I arrived. All occupied by people, except for one, which was occupied by someone’s bag. Someone not using, but ‘reserving’ the seat.

I waited to see if the bag holder would show up to use the seat. And waited. Tried to sleep in a different part of the lounge. Only to be tortured by a guy having a loud and lengthy conversation on his smartphone. Then, I got pissed off. Screw this reserving stuff. I wanted that seat if it wasn’t in use. (I’m not, admittedly, at my best when I’m sleep deprived and anxious.)

So, off I went in search of a staffer who could help. What I got were stares of cluelessness. Plus, a few refusals. Finally, someone agreed to try to locate the bag owner. Turns out it belonged to the loud guy on the smartphone.

We convinced the loud guy to remove his bag from the seat. Seems he had no intention of using it – at least at that point.

Appreciate that he gave me the seat. Still, I hate people who do this stuff. You often see this at all-inclusive resorts.

Use it or lose it, I say. Wait a reasonable length of time – maybe an hour – or a bit longer during meal hours. If no one returns, I’m grabbing a seat.

Wish this had been the worst of the Galapagos trip. Far from it.

To be continued.

 

Countdown to Tank’s Travels boorish traveller of 2016 award

IMG_2264-2Where has the year gone? Can’t believe it’s getting near time to award Tank’s Travels boorish traveller of the year award for 2016.

We have some terrific contestants this year.

Who could forget the horrid people I had the misfortunate of encountering in gorgeous Palau.

Or Darrell, the Alberta drunk who tortured us with his barbarianism on a trip to Cuba.

I’ll be reposting the contestants stories in the next few weeks so you can become reacquainted with them.

The winner will be announced just before new years.

Enjoy.

PS: here’s last year’s winner. A potty-mouthed scuba diver in Cozumel.

 

 

 

 

Tank is one pissed off snowflake

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This is the bitch who nearly crushed my laptop screen when she reclined her seat hastily in the middle of the flight.

No warning. No slow tilt back.

Nope, just a lot of weight (hers’) thrust in my direction. And, she’s a hefty gal.

If that wasn’t bad enough, she continued to slam the back on her seat throughout the flight.

I knew she was trouble as soon as I took my window seat behind her.

When she called for the flight attendant and demanded headphones BEFORE the flight left the gate.

Who does that?

I hate people who recline. I’ll only recline if someone does it to me. To take back the space taken from me.

In this case, the recline mechanism on my seat was stuck. I couldn’t take back my space. So, I was pinned to my seat. And I’m small.

Another United Airlines-supplied trip through Dante’s rungs of hell.

There’s a lot to hate about travelling. Especially now that rudeness has become normalized.

Tank’s Travels barbarian traveller of 2015

Delicate flower Tank was shocked by the salty language that came out of this diver's mouth.

Delicate flower Tank was shocked by the salty language that came out of this diver’s mouth.

“Fuck you. Fuck all of you.” Salty language and definitely not a slip of the tongue.

Hilarious.

Meet the winner of Tank’s Barbarian Traveller award for 2015.

This guy trumps:

  • the horrible dive boat whiners, bullies and boors in La Paz. (honourable mention)
  • the jungle jerks who moaned about mobile phone service and other indignities at the Kinabatangan River in Malaysia. (second runners up)
  • the dive boat manspread guy in Kota Kinabalu.
  • the botoxed vulgarians who referred to other travellers as peasants in San Francisco.
  • idiot scuba divers with GoPros everywhere.
  • Zooom Electronics, a New York-based Amazon supplier who advertised products they didn’t have and then sold me a defective product. (my most read posting of all time)

What a year. What tough competition. The tipping point for scuba guy was the Torrette-esque way the ‘eff’ word came tumbling off his tongue.

Here’s what happened. Long story short. Buddy was on a ‘cattle boat’, a large dive boat that tends to cater to/enable rookie divers who stay at all-inclusive resorts. He ascended alone, without a dive buddy, likely because he’s an ‘air hog’, a diver who sucks his tank nearly dry quickly. There he was bobbing around in the surf, when his ‘safety sausage’ came in contact with our stationary dive boat. He bellowed that our captain had run over it. Not true. We weren’t under power.

He cried he’d been run over by the boat. Nonsense. His filthy mouth and the rest of his body parts were still attached and intact. This I confirmed when I grabbed my camera and began snapping pictures. More swearing.

Off he goes to find his dive boat. Can't help but think his captain might have preferred to leave him bobbing in the surf.

Off he goes to find his dive boat. Can’t help but think his captain might have preferred to leave him bobbing in the surf.

Later, the cattle boat came barrelling up to ours. In Spanish, his captain mumbled something about having to come over to complain because the diver had demanded he do so. More laughs. As they steamed off, buddy was stood at the back of the boat swearing his head off and performing Jersey Shore-type tough guy arm poses.

In addition to his award, the barbarian has secured himself a chapter in Tank’s Travels upcoming E-book which chronicles some of the world’s most awful travellers.

Congrats to all this year’s contestants.

Barbarian #travellers: #manspreading – #burping

This could be the winner.

This could be the winner.

We have more contestants for the Tank’s Travels 2015 Barbarian Traveller of the Year award.

Manspreading

Men of the world still seem unable to comprehend that manspreading is impolite.

I really wanted to punch the guy in the photo. He was a complete dick on many levels during the couple of days I dove with him.

The scuba dive boat was packed. People were squished together (his girlfriend included) and this jerk has his legs wide open.

Are people really so oblivious to good manners?

Burping

Just to prove I’m not always attacking men, although they seem to lead the sexes in misbehaviour, I present the burping woman.

Encountered her in an airport in Kuala Lumpur. She let out a loud burp just as I walked past. Not aimed at me, I’m sure. But who lets one rip in a crowded airport?

A Malaysian apparently. In Malaysian culture, loud burping is quite acceptable.

As I hadn’t thought to google ‘burping malaysia’ before leaving on the trip, my reaction was western culture-centred.

Burping is rude. Unless it's a home with family members present!

Tank wishes this women a lifetime of good digestion.

I’m rarely at a loss for words. The only word my mouth could form, as I glared at her, was “REALLY?”

In response, she glared back at me in disbelief – seemingly surprised at my reaction.

Tank loves teachable travel moments and this is one of them. When visiting Malaysia, you should feel free to burp as loudly as you wish and as often.

So, only he gets added to the candidates list for Tank’s Travels Barbarian of the Year.

Other contestants present and past:

 

 

“This place is for peasants”: boorish behaviour at SFO @united

We, the peasants, of the United Lounge at San Francisco airport. The peasant in front has two laptops.

We, the peasants, of the United Lounge at San Francisco airport. The peasant in front has two laptops.

I wish I’d had time enough to take a picture of this asshole and his companions. Three (two males, one female. The younger man may have been their servant) boorish travellers, botoxed to an inch of their lives. Wearing the type of travel duds you find in magazines targeting (insecure?) people who identify as sophisticated travellers. You know, the yacht club set.

I first heard, then noticed, the trio when they marched past me in the United Lounge at San Francisco airport. The lounge isn’t opulent, but has comfortable seating and snacks. Staff keeps it tidy and the refreshments replenished – always available to help the spoiled and clueless work the cappuccino machine.

But none of this mattered to the trio. They were looking for a VIP section of the lounge. Where, I guess, they could ogle and be ogled by their kind. Where, I suppose, they could mingle with superior human specimens, without being contaminated by the bottom feeders in the rest of the lounge.

“Is this it?”, the woman barked at the employee busy emptying a trash can. “Is there another section?”

Unhappy with the response, the three turned on their heels and sprinted to the exit.

Heading home to my 'low social rank'.

Raising my coffee cup to low social rank – the coarse, the unsophisticated, the uneducated.

“This place is for peasants,” the older guy remarked on his way out.

Raised by wolves.