Anacreontic Songs

As anybody who has had the good fortune of traveling to Spain knows, there’s nothing worse than big gangs of British tourists. Usually, they’re identifiable through drunken public singing, urination, and occasionally, through loud and futile attempts to speak the local language. Very often they take the form of hordes of large, ruddy men, often wearing matching customized t-shirts celebrating a bachelor party or university reunion, and more often, they’re the ones vomiting in the street before the Spaniards have even made it home from dinner.

Today, The New York Times resolved everyone’s doubt about who the world’s worst tourists are with an article about Britons in Greece. Some highlights:

Earlier this summer, flying home to Manchester from the Greek island of Kos, a pair of drunken women yelling “I need some fresh air” attacked the flight attendants with a vodka bottle and tried to wrestle the airplane’s emergency door open at 30,000 feet. The plane diverted hastily to Frankfurt, and the women were arrested.

And, for when the hotel sponsored activities just don’t seem entertaining enough:

In Laganas, on the Greek island of Zakinthos, where a teenager from Sheffield died after a drinking binge this summer, more than a dozen British women were charged in July with prostitution after taking part, the authorities said, in an alfresco oral sex contest.

The article grew out of a recent British Foreign Office report entitled “British Behavior Abroad” (incidentally, also the title of an upcoming National Lampoon film), which claimed that over the course of 2006-07, “602 Britons were hospitalized and 28 raped in Greece, and 1,591 died in Spain and 2,032 were arrested there.” Little wonder that some countries have starting to consider imposing travel restrictions on stag parties — similar to the standing ones against football hooligans — and some hotels have begun denying entry to any large group of British men. But, while some countries are upping the barriers, others are removing them, meaning that if the dollar ever reaches a point where it’s reasonable to travel again, we can look forward to meeting large, badly dressed groups of Britons wandering the streets looking for the next 5 shot bar special. Sorry, Dan.

~ by Jessica on August 26, 2008.

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