I had been meaning to write about tourism more widely today, and then I thought back to things I've overheard tourists say at various attractions around the world. And thought I'd just post a brief couple of thoughts about that.
So here are a couple of choice phrases that I have heard over the years from the mouths of tourists that have stayed with me.
"It's really beautiful, it's just such a shame they built it so close to the road."
At Tate Modern
"Okay, we've done this room and that room, that just leaves this room.... or have we done enough art?"
I hope that I have not managed to utter anything as stupid. Actually, okay, I have one confession, when my ex and I were about to fly out of Mumbai we'd booked ourselves into the Iskon Hotel in Mumbai, its is a nice hotel owned and run by devotees of Hari Krishna which has amazing food, and its own temple within the hotel complex which runs food kitchens for followers and guests, very nice place to stay and not too far from the airport.
Anyway as my ex and I were heading back to our room we were accosted by a really big (I'm 6'2" and this guy must have been at least three inches taller than me, I digress) he asked if we had visited the temple? We had got there after rather long journey due to serious floods in Goa, little did we know what would happen that afternoon. (Again with the digression). No, we hadn't taken the opportunity to see temple, so off he took us off to see the beautiful temple a few footsteps away.
He lead us in and talked us through the various elements within the temple. After a moment he fell silent and let us wonder at the beauty of the place. And what did I say, as he stood welcoming us into this sacred place? And I still cannot for why it sprang out of my mouth. I uttered "It's amazing how you keep it so free of dust." !!!! I don't think about dust, I don't have OCD, I'm not constantly aware of surfaces, but at that moment I managed to offer the point of view of an American house-wife in a cleaning commercial from the 1950s. Fortunately he was such a happy guy that he just nodded and turned back smiling at the impressive ceiling above us. Doubtless to say after we'd learned a bit about the early days of the Hare Krishna movement we thanked him, made a donation to the food kitchen run by the devotees and continued on to our room. My ex enjoying the opportunity to laugh at my perfectly chosen compliment. Anyway these days I try and keep my ear open for new utterances. (My internal monologue has stopped me saying anything as stupid as the above, ever since.)