“We love tourists…

… …. because they bring us their money.” . An admission that starts like this might be considered a surprisingly honest one. But that is not the end of the sentence: “But we would love them even more if they just left their money at the airports and then flew back home.”

Ouch, that hurts! Is it really so? They all smile so nicely when a virtuous German tourist with a sun-burnt nose, showing off the physique of his ever so handsome albeit morbidly obese upper body, casts his most promising looks to the prettiest girls in sight. And the look of anticipation he gives her only lets us be certain of one thing: that, even today, fat bellies are praised by pretty, young Asian women as “Buddha-like” or at least as a “sign of great wealth”. Right?

Well…individual wealth may be sufficient to secure a night or a few days being graced by the company of a beauty otherwise far out of one’s reach. Upstanding Middle European tourists like ourselves are pardoned for behavior like this. After all, we do enjoy the reputation of being a “walking ATM”. So that is no reason to want the tourists gone. Right?

But times have changed. The sandal-wearing Germans who competed against the French and the Belgians to be first to mark their loungers with their nationality-appropriate towels in the early morning are long gone, with English hooligans arriving in their place.

When I think about this species of tourists, it is unclear to me why I, on the one hand, am so proud of my full head of hair in my 66 years of age, while the descendants of the former empire make a display out of getting rid of their hair and choose to be bald instead! Perhaps they do it because they are trying to cover the fact that their own hair is starting to fall out. Maybe they want to give off the impression that they don’t want to have hair?

It is a probably a similar intent to deceive which hides behind the decision to have more tattoos covering their reddish-pale skin than the size of their body can handle. The smaller the cleanhead, you can observe this, the more tattoos are needed to give expression to their apparent strength and toughness. When coming across so much pure manliness, often mixed the empty eyes of alcohol addiction, not only apprehensive Thai ladies but also other tourists in general are gone in a flash.

Speaking of which, I must hand it to the second generation of Russian tourists to expand their explorations in Asia. No more droves of bottle-blond Babuschkas with lips painted pink looking like it their make-up had been done by Stevie Wonder, and no more of their companions with their blank earnest looks in their blue and white striped military undershirts. Now, following the economic crisis and the fall of the ruble, tourists of this type can still be found at the local tourist hotspots in Vietnam or Cambodia.die sich öffnende Tür, bevor sich in der Kabine alles verwirbelt und jene ausspuckt, die auf dieser Hoteletage ihr Zimmer zu suchen gekommen waren. Und während des Essens, bei dem sie alles gnadenlos verspeisen, was keinen Führerschein hat, drücken sie ihre Magenwinde mit solcher Lautstärke nach außen, dass man versteht, warum sie durchs ganze Land eine Mauer gezogen haben. Sie diente offenkundig schlicht dem Schallschutz benachbarter Völker.

If one does run into tourists from Russia at the more traditional beach resorts, then they are from the upper class of the former Soviet empire, which is usually given away by their multiple cell-phones ringing simultaneously and their entourage of models well over 1.90 m tall with long, towering legs. Poor Germans and Brits with your sandals and bald heads – all that’s left for you is either alcohol or envy!

So is that it? Is that the reason why Thais want tourists to come to Suvarnabhumi and no further? Absolutely not. It gets much worse. I’ll give you a hint as to who I am talking about: they always come in groups, they walk with small, fast steps and follow different types of flags and pennants around all day with military-like fervor. Should one of them lose sight of the flag, thus making them a potential deserter, they are driven back to their herd by the resounding cries of their fellow group members.

They push their way to be the first onto elevators when the door opens, even before the people trying to get to their rooms on that floor can squeeze their way out. During meals, after they eat anything that doesn’t have a driver’s license, they pass wind with such an impressive volume that you start to understand why they built the wall – obviously, it was so their neighbors wouldn’t hear all that noise.

Hmm, whoever could that be? You guessed it, the people of mainland China have discovered tourism! Their presence in swarms at temples, hotels or eating establishments is a threat to the existence of all other kinds of visitors.

The Thais protect themselves the way they know how: “Khopkhun khrap, tae mai tong klap ma khrap” were the parting words given from a restaurant owner we know in Phuket to the tourist mob that had just left, after their presence ended up driving all the other guests to relocate to other restaurants. He also politely raised his hands together in a “wai”, also bowing slightly. The translation of the Thai sentence above is: “Thanks, but don’t come back! “

Basically, despite the difficulties, the patient and smiling Thais still love their tourists.