Travel truly is a great thing – if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t do it. It’s fair to say, however, that once you’ve been doing it for long enough you not only get jaded, you also tend to meet the same people over and over again. Some are good, some are bad, and some are absolutely godawful.
Here are our top five travel douchebags that we all meet whilst on the road.
5) The Bill Splitter
This is a character I regularly bring up in travel circles. I would usually make up a fake country to recount this anecdote – for instance, Cheapasfuckistan – but seeing as enough time has passed, I’ll use the real place for a real story. Many years ago I was in Venezuela. Ten of us ordered starters, fine wine, steaks, the whole nine yards. The bill came; if we were to split the bill it would come to $4.60 each. Nine of us rejoiced in laughter and happiness that a feast could be purchased for such a small sum, only to hear those immortal words “I didn’t have a starter”. Mr. Bill Splitter saved 40 cents (which I paid), and everyone decided to never eat with him again.
Most likely to say: “do you have tap water?”
Least likely to say: “shall I just put in the extra 40 cents to save an hour of fucking around”?
4) The Stud
The Stud is always a man, and he is almost exclusively found in places which are slightly lower down on the income scale than their home country. He’s usually not all that attractive, but God Almighty does he buy into his own hype. I’m not talking about the kind of guy who gets married in Asia. I’m not even talking about a guy who has the self-awareness to realise his power is not strictly linked to his looks and award-winning personality. No: the Stud truly loves the smell of his own farts. And this is what makes him such a wank-biscuit.
Most likely to be heard saying: “There’s no such thing as white privilege.”
Least likely to be heard saying “white privilege is real and awesome.”
Wastaman is man, he always a man and he a white man. Wastaman is a white man with dreadlocks. He will usually refer to himself as a “citizen of the world”, might well pretend to be a Buddhist, and will claim that he either doesn’t agree with money or that money isn’t important to him. This usually means accepting drinks, but never actually buying one. Statistically 97% of wastas are upper-middle class, whilst 93% have trust funds (made-up statistics may vary in accuracy).
Most likely to say “people are people, man.”
Least likely to say “it’s my round.”
2) The “real” Buddhist
Before anyone gets into panty-twisting time: I am not slating the religion of many millions of people. Well, not directly. I am slating New-Age Western Guy – or Girl— that has decreed that Buddhism “isn’t a religion”. I once even heard a British writer (also a full-time bartender) arguing with a Cambodian girl on a bus about Buddhism being a religion. You see the silly girl didn’t know anything about the religion she was brought up in. And this is why all Buddhist countries bar none are harmonious.
Most likely to be heard saying (to an actual Buddhist): “you see it’s not actually a religion in the traditional sense of the word…”
Least likely to be heard saying: “you know I wasn’t actually brought up a Buddhist, so it would great to actually hear your opinion on this!”
1) The Topper
King of the castle, numero uno, the best of the best. In travel-tosser parlance, it is always the topper. And who is he (yes it’s usually a ‘he’, although female toppers have been known to exist)? No matter what you have done they did it bigger, better and cheaper, and loved it. You did 28 hours on a seat on a train in China? They did 48. The more they suffer and the less they spend determines the success they believe themselves to be. But as wanky as they are, much like vampires they are very easy to scare off, with the suggestion of going for a Big Mac being the proverbial garlic here.
Most likely to be heard saying “I actually prefer sitting on the floor for 40 hours on a train; you really get to see real life.”
Least likely to be heard saying “That’s a great story, I have nothing more to add. Shall we go get a bucket of chicken? I need a rest from ramen.”