This is an elaborate write-up I wrote during my trip to Phuket (Thailand) to express my feeling about my Indian co-passengers who created a ruckus only to confirm our image outside as an Indian — noisy, nasty and ill-mannered uncivilized people.
Most of the time we forget to come out of our shell and just fail to recognize that we are in a different country and we at that particular time, representing the whole of India. This ignorance taints the image of the entire country.
I travel a lot and got into trouble several times. My husband, who as an ex-sailor (master mariner) helped me in many areas to improve. His constant nagging to improve my habits made me a little better. Now, I enjoy (and also gets annoyed) while I observe others’ behavior while traveling.
Followings are some points I would like to suggest for self-refinement so that we present ourselves in the most delightful manner whenever we are traveling abroad.
To reduce friction or improve the image.
This is the single most reason Indians get into trouble abroad. For example, they get into some trouble as they ignored the queue or instructions mentioned by the concerned authority. Search, study and support the local law or law of the land is an essential prerequisite.
Some are mandatory laws and some are the moral ones. For example, the dress code is not mandatory in West in most places you visit, but in many Asian cities, you are required to cover your body or at least cover till your knees. These rules may sound obsolete in nature but when we are in the land, we must respect the rules.
Although manners are optional, you must follow them to leave the better impact of your nation. People remember your nationality and not your name. If you are not cautious enough, you will leave a bad name for India.
Most of us are not bad but we fail to understand the requirements and expectations and the need to follow them. Again, we tend to follow the rules clearly specified and ignore the one implied or unwritten. Therefore, I say it is a preventive behavior where you need to understand both expected and specified and unspecified.
Observe and Absorb:
To have a defined role for yourself.
Why one needs to observe the surrounding and absorb the information before understanding your expected role in it. Your role could be active or passive depending on the situation.
Some are a crazy drama queen (irrespective of the gender) and obnoxious latecomers and give out orders where and how they want to sit or have someone fulfil their special needs.
Some can be termed as ignorant idiots and they are ignorant about everything – about self, about others and about surrounding in a very classic manner.
Another group of troubling passengers is of Know-it-all type. They just shout out how he or she knows so much as they had similar past experience that was much better and unique. They keep on dragging it to the point until people around him or her acknowledge their wisdom and accept the fact that he or she is the globetrotter in every sense.
There is another type of travelers who are just enthusiastic about eating, drinking and sleeping. They come on a trip because the spouse or the company sponsored or forced in some way. They can be conveniently termed as zombies.
And here comes the last but not at all the least type, the angry man or woman. I had encountered one incident on one of the speedboat trips to phi phi island (Phuket, Thailand).
I entered steeped and found one of the young ladies asking to move forward in a rude and disrespectful manner.
I pointed out another place and asked to sit there.
“No, you move there.” She again demanded.
When I firmly said ‘No’
“That’s weird,” she said.
“Yes,” I sternly said, “it is.”
She sulked for one hour after that heated conversation during our trip to Maya island. Next time, she and her group entered early to snatch our place.
The trip manager had a tough time to manage this tussle with their group.
The manager later had a word with me saying how bad was the group who troubled him throughout with their unreasonable and irrational demands. One of them tried to echo him and his instruction or started singing loudly.
My only appeal is just not do such thing when you are with other nationals as most prefer quieter and private trip even though they are traveling in a group.
There is no need to get recognition every time – good or bad. Most of the ‘care-a-damn’ attitude comes from inferiority to prove to others how different you are from others and expect some admiration or recognition. Kill that ‘I’ to get rid of the need of being different as it is not required because every human is different including identical twins.
Just for quick tips:
- Watch your kids before you enter into a lane or shop. Although the entrance may look decent but the shop may be displaying vulgar or sexually explicit merchandises that will leave everyone extremely embarrassed.
- Keep waterproof pouch for your electronic gadgets
- Know the details of your day activity in advance so that you can prepare yourself for that. For example, for the beach visit, you need to carry swimming dress or for the adventure trip you must carry appropriate shoes, equipment mentioned and dress up.
- Most importantly, wear your dress lady and check how you look or you won’t be able to upload your most memorable moment on the FaceBook or other social media.
- Make your trip memorable in every aspect.
- Try utmost to represent your country in high regards.
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