Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Illegal Aliens and Illegal Natives

Posted in General on August 6th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

On the August 4 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage declared that “The Statue of Liberty is crying, she’s been raped and disheveled — raped and disheveled by illegal aliens.”

Of course, it is a relief to know that those illegal aliens are heterosexuals. Just imagine if it were otherwise, and what those illegal aliens might be doing to Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore is a location, not a proposition! Thank our straight God that Gutzon Borglum only sculpted the Presidents from their necks up; no need for that extra temptation.

NEWS: The Italian government is deploying soldiers on city streets to combat crime.

Unfortunately, being the Italian army, it already has been mugged and robbed.

Of course, as any tourist can tell you, being robbed in Italy is part of the itinerary. The genius of Italian art lives on in any restaurant bill. Observe how the waiter has drawn a three to look like an eight, or a two to pass for a nine; so a bill for 23 Euros might be mistaken for 28. The waiter certainly hopes so. In my case, I avoided the trap. I knew what the bill was supposed to be; there are advantages to being cheap and paranoid. Leaving the correct amount, I looked the waiter in the eye. He smiled and shrugged, as if to say “You caught me; so what! There is always another tourist.”

But I can’t say that I left Italy unscathed. (Only the Visigoths and Vandals can make that claim.) No, I made the mistake of expecting change from a Rome cabdriver. He decided that a 11000 lira fare deserved a 9000 lira tip. (That would be an $18 fare and a $15 gratuity). When I demanded the change, he returned a 1000 lira note. So I refused to leave the cab. He drove the car into an intersection, got out and proceeded to yell aloud. I surmise that he was not praising me. A crowd of Italians gathered around the cab, and those who spoke English wanted to know why I was causing trouble. I told them the details and how I did not want to be cheated.

But my audience was not sympathetic to the plight of the robbed tourist. In fact, I was told, “This is Italy. When you’re in America, you can cheat us.” So I evidently was in breach of social etiquette. To resist theft would be unforgivably rude.

Do remember that when you are in Italy.


Posted in General on September 28th, 2007 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

I just received a letter from “Viking Cruises” asking me to fill out a survey. Perusing the questions, I was so disappointed that they just don’t make Vikings like they used to. I was not asked my favorite weapons or the last time I sacked an Irish monastery. Nor could I imagine Hrolf the Gangly, Eric Bloodaxe or Sweyn Forkbeard asking:

What do you most enjoy about cruising?

a. Unpacking just once and visiting several cities
b. Gourmet meals with regional specialties
c. Socializing with fellow travelers

Christianity certainly had a pacifying influence on Scandinavia. (It had just the opposite effect in Spain, Ireland and the Republican party.) Who would want to go on a vacation with Sorin Kierkegaard?

So here are the type of questions that I would expect from “Viking Cruises“. (I have translated them for those who can’t read runes.)

1. An ideal Viking cruise would go to:
a. Countries that are defenseless
b. Countries with no extradition
c. All of the above

2. Whom would you rather carry off to Iceland?
a. A young Maureen O’Hara
b. A young Catherine Deneuve
c. Even an old Catherine Deneuve

What do you enjoy most about cruising?
a. Unpacking just once and sacking several cities
b. Gourmet meals with regional specialties because that always makes disemboweling more interesting
c. Socializing with fellow sociopaths: the maraud the merrier!