Monday, April 12, 2010

How to kill tourism

So today i was coming back to Dublin from my weekend trip to my home Barcelona and in my trip i saw a man from the check-in desk be rude to a group of women, he probably had his reasons but if your work is facing the public you should never be rude to anyone; a woman telling the customs officer "My passport was stolen"; a boarding message in a spoken english that was so bad that people did not understand that boarding would be done for rows 10 to 27 first; the men seating besides me speaking on how specially Barcelona felt to them and how they would recommend the visit but put a remark that you should be careful with petty crime.

Probably today was a bad luck day for me but if 4 of 4 things i realized were bad, something wrong we are doing, the problem is that fixing this is not easy so you can put this blog in the random rant/head dump section.


Anonymous said...

I am Spanish, and you are completely right. The petty crime is mostly on touristic cities, but the rudeness is inherent. Generally most people dealing with public is A) Too burned out B) Underpaid C) Desperate D) With their work position so "warranted" they don't give a *beep*
Unfortunately, if there's something you can't expect from a Spaniard, it's English and politeness. The former is "too difficult" and the later is socially ridiculed.
Also please make sure to avoid handshakes if you come again...I work with public myself and I can't talk with pride about the average citizen's hygiene.

Unknown said...

In Spanish is traditional to get angry with the people that are inocent, instead of your boss make him pay.
People deserve a friendly when it is served, whatever the situation. Protests our heads.

En España es tradición enfadarse con la gente que es incocente, en vez de hacérselo pagar a tu jefe.
La gente merece un trato amable cuando es atendida, sea cual sea la situación. Las protestas a nuestros jefes.

Anonymous said...

Those are just a few of the reasons why i hate Spain... especially Barcelona. It's not just about tourism, spanish people is just too mean and unpolite and the worst thing is that they're actualy proud of it! "Spain is different", manda huevos

scroogie said...

Sorry to say so, but I experienced this treatment especially in Barcelona. I visited some cities in Spain, among them Valencia, Granada, Sevilla, Madrid, Salamanca, etc. and the people are more relaxed there. It's probably just the turbulence of Barcelona.
Everytime I visit it, I think again that it is a beautiful city, but it simply does not radiate the same easiness and comfort as other spanish cities. Granted, I do not speak catalan, so perhaps I give a bad impression when speaking (or trying) castellano. It is very visible in day-to-day situations, like in the supermarket, while drinking a beer in the night, etc. In Valencia, although a big city as well, it was much more friendly.

Anonymous said...

I am living in Barcelona and unfortunatly the petty theft in Barcelona is very high. Last week we were coming back to home with my wife and kid and in the metro someone stoll my wife's wallet. It's the first city in the world that happens to us. Another example, for the french consulate in Barcelona 80% of people working there are to dea with this king of problems. So telling people to be careful, to let their passport at the hotel and no keeping with them etc it's not a bad idea at all.

Albert Astals Cid said...

FWIW i've been living 27 years in Barcelona and never felt any kind of danger but that probably has to do with me being a local that makes you much less a target for petty crime.

Paul said...

As an Irish person, I read you post and at first thought you were complaining about Dublin!

I expect you can get bad service anywhere, but the comments here suggest that people in Barcelona are particularly skilled at it!

From my only visit to Barcelona, I recall complaining about the hotel room being too hot. The staff found it funny that I wanted it colder, to them it was still winter/early spring and the air conditioning system was turned off. For me it was much warmer than home, I got sun burnt while the locals still had warm coats on.

Anyway, I didn't notice anything too bad and would recommend Barcelona as a decent place to visit.

Anonymous said...

I am not feeling in "danger" (for me that means physical agression) but saying that la Rambla and the metro station on it are safe and that there are no problem ofg petty theft is a little bit exagerated. It's true that we were not speaking catalan and so it was clear that we could have been tourist with passport and a lot of money in our pocket.

And by the way, I like Barcelona but I am not sure that I can say the same about the tourist. There are too many of them to be able to have a good time in the city when the day are nice (and we must admit that this year this days are rare...). So tourist please don't come to Barcelona there already too much of you (it's a joke the city is very nice).