Apex point - © Robert Sommers 2024

Monday, July 10, 2023

Dumb tourists

It was a tough weekend for me personally but as they say, things could always get worse.  Still, it has been pretty grueling. So you have to look for the positive things...pause... Gee, I'm not coming up with a lot.

But there is one thing. 

When I heard about the schmuck carving his and his girlfriend's initial names into the Colosseum I heard myself rooting, "Please don't let it be an American." Just this once...

Honestly, the world already thinks that we are the dumbest thing this side of a box of rocks. We don't need anymore bad press. And glory be, my hopes were answered. It was a Bulgarian man, who now lives in Britain and supposedly didn't know that the structure was old.

Which makes you wonder why he would visit it in the first place if he was not aware that it was a place of antiquity?  Was he just there for the pizza? Did he not notice that the place seemed old? Did he think he might still score some tickets to the late afternoon lions/ Christians matinee?

He is an athletic trainer and looks to be the typical, twenty something, self absorbed narcissist peacock with very modern and doofy hair bob which probably would look real good on the back of a Ben Hur style chariot.

Ivan Dimitrov is 27, the Colosseum is about 2000. It opened for business in about a.d. 80, to rave reviews. 

Ivan is actually not even close to being the first man to deface the place, In 2014, a Russian tourist was fined 20,000 euros (about $25,000) for carving a large “K” on a wall of the Colosseum. 

There is also graffiti also that has been uncovered from way back in the first century but I think the miscreants were fed to the cats. 

Then there was French romanticist painter Hubert Robert, who decided to leave his John Henry back in 1767, when he carved his name into the walls of the amphitheater’s ruins while completing a residence at the French Academy in Rome. A Frenchman, surely he did it for love.

There is actually a lot of this sort of stupidity going on. In May 2013, a Chinese teenager graffitied the Luxor Temple in Egypt. The then-15-year-old boy defaced a 3,500 stone relief by carving “Ding Jihao was here” over the artwork. He was quickly caught. So dumb to sign your work but these, once again, are not exactly smart criminals.

They have nailed Easter Island, Plymouth Rock, Joshua Tree, like stupid dogs marking their turf. A seventeen year old Canadian kid just defaced the famous Kondo Temple in Japan. Still, my understanding is that the Russians are the worst tourists in the world right now, if my friends in Asia are to be believed. By a long shot.

I have heard first hand accounts about how awful and disrespectful they are but can't say it really surprises me. Pretty despicable people, all in all.
Russia has been invading Ukraine for over a year, but Indonesia is seeing its own form of invasion as thousands of Russians flee to Bali to escape the war. Tensions between Indonesian citizens and the Russian residents who call the archipelago home have boiled over in recent months after numerous cases of bad or illegal behavior from Russian nationals have strained relations between the two and forced officials to take action.

Most of these visitors have settled on the popular tourism hotspot, Bali, Indonesia. Frustration has been brewing on the island over the last few years — even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — as several high-profile incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic led to clashes.

Some of the documented examples of bad behavior from Russian nationals include people refusing to wear helmets, masks, or shirts when riding motorbikes and getting into altercations with police as a result; two social media influencers filming a pornographic video on Mount Batur — a holy site for the Balinese people — and releasing it to the site Pornhub; a couple posing naked and having a photo shoot in front of a sacred tree in Bali; a couple illegally farming and selling marijuana out of their home — a crime punishable by death in Indonesia; a TikTok influencer filming a “prank” where she enters a supermarket with a painted-on mask, despite strict mask-mandates at the time; an influencer driving his motorbike off a pier and into the ocean, possibly damaging the marine ecosystem; a man who allegedly hit a pedestrian while driving under the influence of alcohol; countless visa violations, and more. 

Most recently, a Russian tourist was deported from Bali after taking a shirtless photo on Mount Batur

One Balinese police officer who chose not to be identified told CNN, “Whenever we get reports about a foreigner behaving badly, it’s almost always Russian. Foreigners come to Bali but they behave like they are above the law. This has always been the case and it has to finally stop.”

So hold your head up America, there are worse people out there than we are, by a long shot. If you go to a foreign country, try not to be an a-hole.

1 comment:

Blue Heron said...

It's always an athletic trainer, always.