Committing the cardinal sin of being a tourist this year? Here’s a simple guide to becoming a shining beacon to all of those starving darlings in poor old Central and Eastern Europe.
Etiquette is a tricky thing. It can make a fool of even the most discerning, well-meant person. You didn’t know the rules for bartering in a market, and now you’re engaged to be married to a peasant’s daughter for the dowry of a lame donkey. Though it may happen; this simple list should enable you to go forth and spread hope amongst the serfs, you western hero!
1) Volume is the key to communication. English is the language of the world and it is your duty to spread it. Make no attempt to learn any local phrases; to be understood you must simply point and shout as loud as you can.
2) The locals will love it if you exclaim over every product and tell them exactly how many of these you could afford to buy right now. Convert everything to your own currency so there can be no doubt. In fact, fuck the local currency. It’s monopoly money anyway; they’ll appreciate your dollars and pounds much more.
3) Inform the locals of their cultural, political, economic and structural errors. You’re right, of course. Set a re- volution in the flavour of your choice in motion, but only if you have time.
4) Don’t tip; the waitresses are not charity cases. They’ve got to learn to make their own way in life.
5) Eat and drink globally. Local delicacies are a conspiracy designed to take your money and leave you beaten and bloody clutching the toilet bowl. If you can’t pronounce it, you don’t want it.
6) Stick to the tourist stuff. If the people are hiding their true culture behind this facade then it’s obviously not worth rooting out anyway.
7) Take pictures of everybody you meet, and some you don’t meet. Your magic flashing box might surprise some people at first, but they’ll be glad to be immortalised in your holiday slide show.
8) Bring as many sanitisation products as is physically possible. You don’t want to end up in a hospital resembling a horror movie as a rough old nurse begins to take saw to limb because you sat down on your hotel toilet seat without a proper inspection.
9) Most important of all, always remember that this hellish ordeal will soon be over and you’ll be swiftly returned to your safe, sane and sanitary motherland, free from the heathens drowning in their mayonnaise, vegetable-based alcohols and cigarette tobacco.
As you’re reading this we can assume it’s too little too late and you have already been subjected to the horrors abound in any country other than your own. Never fear, here’s some advice for your next trip: Fuck that.
– Olive Mediteran Fastfood, Křižíkova 44 180 00 Praha 8, Karlín, www.olivefastfood.cz