5 Jul 2012
TRAVELLING WITH A GROUP
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
When you go on a round trip through a country you travel with a group. The first time you see the people of your group of course you don't know them. What happens, we behave like a group of dogs which meet for the first time. We sniff at each other. Not really like dogs do and certainly not the back part. No, we do it with our eyes. We watch each other from top to bottom and then decide if the men or woman look sympathic or not.
What I do is giving them a name. I rebaptize them with adequate names. So in our group was a "Skinny Minnie" (she was anorexic I learned later), a Madame De Wever, named after the fanatical Flemish politician, the Morrocan guy, etc.
All in all our group was nice except it started with "Madame De Wever" who wanted to make a language war trip and insisted that everybody spoke Flemish/Dutch ! All the other Flemish people didn't care they all spoke French anyway and most of the others spoke the two languages Flemish and French. This language war gets on my nerves especially on holidays ! How can one insist to speak a language which isn't really a language but a dialect and travel with that through the world ! She even complained that in the famous museum of Tunis "Museum Bardo" the young female guide didn't speak Flemish/Dutch !
I told her in German that unfortunately I don't speak Flemish (which isn't quiet true) she didn't understand although it is the third official language in Belgium. I tried it with English. All Dutch people speak English, because they are intelligent and know that with their Dutch they won't go far except in little Belgium. She didn't speak English either. I suggested her (in French) to learn it because she needed a language to communicate and not to make language wars. Her husband standing behind her rolled his eyes to heaven and gave me a glance. Suddenly she spoke French ! What a nut ! After that she was very friendly with me and even looked for my company.
In a group you always have several kinds of people, the once who follow blindly like sheeps their shepherd without asking a single question, others who ask and ask and get on the nerves of those who don't want to know anything. And the once who go aside to make pictures and read afterwards what they have seen in their travel guide. I belonged to them. Our guide was so stupid, had black outs, mixed up history and didn't know in which language he explained. He whined his behavior to some group members with the fact that he had had a cerebral stroke ! I only hoped that he didn't fall into pieces and that we, the group had to take care of him. It really was irresponsible of the company to hire such a guy !
Sometimes in a group people are always late and make the others wait. In our case as the guide forgot the time we should be at the bus, gave one time and the driver another. That made it very confusing, because one part followed the driver's time and the others the guide's. Therefore one part always had to wait for the others ! Fortunately that happened only twice, at the end when our guide fell into pieces because of the heat !
Travelling with a group is always an adventure. So far I was always lucky, even made friends. This time it was nice too, but there was nobody in the group I really wanted to meet after our round trip.
The bus, the group and the clueless guide on the round trip through Tunisia