Pay it, Weegie

Norwegians. So nice, even smug, as long as everything’s going their way. Then the minute the chips go down to eat the dust on the rocks which aren’t as great as they used to be, Norwegians become all… “I vish to speek to the manger.”

Hi. I work at a hostel. It’s my job to tell you you gotta put your stuff in the lockers. It’s two bucks. Even though you think it’s my fault, it’s not. Sorry. No need for rude. No need for manager. It’s not even that much. With a shrug of sympathy and an open-palmed “that’s what you gotta do,” I’ll help you with what you gotta do. Instead, you chose to make me think Norwegians suck.

This is the convergence of customer service with international travel. People like me get to meet everyone in the whole world. It’s like a sampler of national personalities, which, come to think, might be the etymology of “nationality.” And there’s only so many of each. How many Norwegians have I met? Maybe three. And so the picture’s inadequate. I’ve met one Cuban, and I doubt that all Cubans are soft-spoken shrinking violets who just want a nice bottom-bunk, is all. I know the weegies aren’t all unfairly demanding. Yet nonetheless it’s true that when you travel you represent your country. Walking around, in our prosthetically clothing-and-accessory augmented bodies, it’s unavoidable. We each represent the demographic that is us, going down from species, to gender, passing by race and religion and political affiliation and nationality, all the way through education and class and hometown and family and circle of friends. And there’s us.

So dammit… act nice. You put on a face every morning and people can see it. Pay the $2 Weegie.


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