5 Jul 2012


Jenny Matlock
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


jfb57 said...

When a group gels it is brilliant. You can have such a better experience. If it doesn't it can be hell!

Debra said...

Ah, wish it would have been better with an easier group !

Jo said...

What? You don't want to do a repeat trip with "Madame De Wever" with the guide going along too? LOL! That lady's poor husband is obviously used to just giving in to her! I loved reading about your trip previously and now about the group.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This sounds like quite an adventure!

Maribeth said...

Jack went to France and was checking into his hotel. He used his French, then English and then told the woman that if she refused to speak to him in those two languages, then she could speak to him in German! She finally chose English, which she spoke very well. She was just giving him a hard time because he was American!

Ames said...

I am one of those people with questions. Fortunately I get my answers from the internet before any tour begins. I don't want to be the one that asks all the questions. :)

I end up learning more than the guide tells so I am the one taking the pictures off to the side and not paying attention to the group. I always have a good time too~Ames

Judie said...

Gattina, I have never travelled in a group like that. Wherever we have gone, we have always had friends a guides. It sounds like fun, if one can find people one likes in the group. A most interesting post, Gattina!!

Mara said...

Oh my, am I glad the only people I have on board are Dutch speakers! No fuss about French and/or German and/or English: just plain old Dutch.

anitamombanita said...

I avoid group travel as much as possible. Even though you can make some great new friends, there's always someone in the group that makes the experience painful. I don't have the patience for that!

Jenny said...

I've never done any group tours like that. We have friends that adore cruising, but it just doesn't seem like something I'd like.

Maybe I'm really a closet anti-social person! ha!

Thanks for a great link for the letter "G".