Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Have we forgotten how to behave on holiday?

Is it just me but have some members of the Great British public forgotten how to behave when they go on holiday? Now I sound like a grumpy old woman but honestly the way some people behave leaves me speechless.

Let's begin in the public lavatories. An unsavoury place to begin, but it illustrates my point. The woman in the cubicle next to me answered her phone. She didn't say, 'hang on, I'll call you back' and immediately end the call, but carried on with her 'business' both on the WC and the mobile. Is anything so important it won't wait? I wouldn't want to have been the person on the other end, wondering perhaps about the odd noises and then the huffing and puffing as the woman pulled herself back into her undergarments.

I've seen worse though in a queue for the lavatories at a motorway service station. I was behind a woman who was eating a sandwich from one of those triangular plastic cartons. While she was in the queue. For a toilet. She got to a cubicle slightly ahead of me. When I came out of mine, there she was coming out of hers minus the plastic carton and the first sandwich, but STILL EATING the second. Ach ach ach. No, she didn't go and wash her hands either. How could she? She was holding her sandwich.

Eating food in a public place is a major bugbear of mine. Buy it, carry it to a convenient place (no, please, not the public conveniences), sit down and eat. Not buy it and eat it walking along and going into shops. Not even if it is an ice cream. No! Sit down, take the weight of your feet and enjoy it. And don't speak on your mobile while you're doing it either. It is not polite to talk with your mouth full. Burgers count as food, so does chocolate and the same rules apply to drink.

Sunshine seems to bring out the worst in people. Pushing and shoving for one. So you're on holiday. Lovely. But that doesn't give you the right to push me out of the way when I'm looking at something in a shop just because you want to look at it too. Wait your turn. Just because you've paid for a caravan in Saundersfoot for a week doesn't mean you own Tesco in Haverfordwest or Marks and Sparks in Carmarthen either, so don't behave as if you do and yes (weary sigh) it IS exactly the same as the one back home over the border in England, so don't sound so surprised.

This isn't Spain, we all (most of us) speak English, even the ones speaking in Welsh so you can't understand them. They can understand you quite clearly and you wouldn't want to understand them anyway because they're talking about you and it's not complimentary. At all.

Oh and if, when you're negotiating our narrow country lanes and I'm coming towards you, I will realise that you are hopelessly unable to reverse your car so I will reverse up a steep hill, round a double hairpin bend and into a gateway to pull out of your way because I can. I don't mind doing that much either. But SAY THANK YOU  when I do. Don't drive past staring stonily ahead as if I don't exist. A little wave is all that is required. You could smile too. It doesn't cost anything and then we'll both go away happy. If you don't I will call you an ignorant f******* &%$£! for the next three miles or so, until I feel better.

I mean REALLY! Is it just me?


  1. not grumpy, quite rightly appalled. Public loos send me very squeamish. Motorway stations should all be nuked. And not thanking when someone stops for you when driving a hanging offence. Rant on!
    Though what is alarming is just how cross it can make you when you back / pull in and some bland-faced moron just sails by without so much as acknowledging you. All that anger just bubbling away, not quite out of reach!
    I don't like it when shop assistants, trying to be helpful, I know, lick their fingers and then fumble at the bags to open them up. Bleurgh! (you can tell I'm a ghastly little princess!)

  2. Ewwwwwww! Btw - why do so many women forget to flush the loo?? Look behind you, people!

  3. I'm constantly amazed by the number of women who don't wash their hands after going to the restroom.
    And does going on vacation mean you have to drink till you pass out?

  4. When I first went to Australia I was shocked to see people eating on the hoof, went back to Uk recently and was horrified to see it seems to be accepted as the norm in the UK now too!!If you think the Brits in the Uk are bad try seeing them on holiday in Brittany it makes me want to apologise to the shop assistants for my countrymens bad manners!

  5. Oh I so identify with the one about reversing up a steep hill and round a corner! We live on one of those. I'm used to it. My reversing has improved no end since we came up here, but please, please, say thank you or I may reverse right after you and force you off the road.
    Sorry, got carried away there.

  6. With you all the way on all of those - the toilet telephones calls and sandwich eating ones are plain gross. Yuk.

    When clearing out one of our lad's rooms prior to our house move I found, saved and treasure a badge: 'Good manners cost f**k all'. Indeed.

  7. Gosh I second everything you say - especially the blardy reversing for people. Gosh, the air is blue in our car sometimes - such ignorant barstewards out there!

    As for the EATING in the loo - of for heaven's sake!

    Motorway conveniences are ghastly - never forget seeing one woman WASHING HER FEET in the sink at one!!!

    Mobile phones have their place but I only ever use ours (note I don't even have my OWN!) to phone home and say I will be late. For NO other reason at all! After all, I spent the last 58 years managing without one, why should I change now?

  8. I know just how you feel. I only go shopping on very sunny days in the summer, on the basis of the tourists being at the beach.

    My poor sister works in a popular tourist shop in a popular tourist spot in Pembrokeshire. She dreads rainy days!

  9. Hi, thank you for your blog! But I have to say something to the honour of your country - staying now for a month in Edinburgh, as you can see on my blog that is normally a garden blog: I appreciate it very much that people at the cashier of Tesco or Co-op or, or. or are always giving you time: time to pay, time to put your goods into a bag (or very often doing this for you). In Germany they are pushing, pushing - so that's great in your country!

  10. Yup; pretty appalling all the way around. I really don't know what's happening to people. Too much rush rush means continual multitasking (which, by the way, is apparently not good for you).

    Take the time; the world won't dissolve if you're a minute or two behind your self-appointed deadlines. Learn to relax. Breathe in, deeply; breathe out, deeply. See; it didn't kill you!

  11. Nope, not just you - especially the bit about driving; though not eating ice creams whilst walking is bit tough I think.

  12. do people behave like that??! And as for the single track road one...yes please a friendly wave would be much appreciated.


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