GATHER ROUND, KIDS!
Story time is back!!🎵 Can I get a ‘woop woop’ can I get a ‘woop woop’?!🎵
Today I’m going to tell you about a time I met a real-life travel wanker…someone who was SO completely unaware of other cultures that it was ridiculous and offensive.
My friend and I were in Salzburg having the time of our lives. We’d been going around doing every possible The Sound of Music tourist attraction (because we were super cool and because Salzburg is home to the greatest musical that there ever was #noshame) when we stumbled upon a marionette theatre that was playing a puppet version of…wait for it…The Sound of Music!
We sat down and while we were waiting for the show to start the people next to us arrived. The sweetest looking little old lady sat next to me and quickly began talking to us. Let’s call her Betty. She was from England and her husband had surprised her by bringing her to Salzburg for her 75th birthday. Totes adorbs #relationshipgoals.
Betty told us all about her children and grandchildren and what they’d been doing on their holiday before she realising we talk funny and we were in fact from Oz, and quickly began drilling us with questions about home: “What’s it like?” “I hear it’s hot!” “I’ve always wanted to go.” “yada yada yada,” before she unexpectedly started to morph an ignorant cultural wanker. (At this point it’s helpful to imagine her like Bathilda Bagshot in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as she unravels and becomes Voldemort’s snake, Nagini..here’s the video if you have no idea what I’m talking about)
Betty: “I love koalas! And wombats…and…what are those other things called?”
Us: “Emus? Kangaroos? Kookaburras?”
Betty: “No, no, those things…oh right yes…those Aboriginals”
Us: *mouths open in shock that someone referred to an entire race of people as animals*
Betty: “Where do they live mostly? In the desert? In shacks?”
Us: *mouths still open in shock that this woman was so culturally dumb*
painfully gently explained that Indigenous Australians lived in houses. In cities and in the country. Just like the rest of us. Because they are people. Human people.
After many more culturally inappropriate questions, we moved on to safer territory…or so we thought. Next began Betty’s rant against Germans. A rant against Germans in Austria. Austria. A German speaking country. A legit rant.
If that wasn’t enough, she then decided that this was a perfect time to bring up all the terrible things the Germans did in the war and the awful things that happened to people she knew. Things which I won’t repeat because they truly were disturbing while still managing to be incredibly racist.
We were bewildered as to why this woman, who seemingly hated Germans and the war would come to a show that’s plot was built around the Germans and the War. And why her husband would send her to such an “ghastly” place…we may be rethinking the suitability of the #relationshipgoals mention earlier.
Despite how nice she appeared and how lovely she was to us, we will always remember her as being incredibly insensitive and rude. No matter what, to us she will always be one of those wankers we met travelling.
Don’t be Betty. NEVER. be. Betty.
Btw. the marionette show was still fantastic. Highly recommend if you’re dedicated Sound of Music Fans. They even do the scene where the kids are playing their marionettes as marionettes. #marionetteinception
Have you met a travel wanker like Betty? Share your stories below!