During the course of my travels around the world, I have met my share of rude, boorish tourists. Smokers in particular really irk me; when I dine at a nice café or restaurant, I don’t particularly care to be gulping down cigarette smoke while I eat my food. It seems some of these young European tourists – in particular the French, German, Dutch and Israelis - don’t show any hesitation at all upon entering a restaurant before they light up a cigarette.
Unlike the USA, there are no laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants and cafes in most countries, so I guess I have to grin and bear it as far as smokers are concerned.
I remember one particular instance that left a really bad taste in my mouth. I was a passenger on an old slow boat along the Mekong River from the Thailand Border to Luang Prabang in Laos. The guy sitting directly in front of me – he was from Belgium - kept on smoking his fags and the smoke would waft backwards toward me. As I really abhor cigarette smoke, I politely asked him to refrain from smoking. Well, the guy stopped for about 5 minutes before he started smoking again - one cigarette after another. Talk about being an inconsiderate lout.
What irks me even more are a special breed of travelers who hijack their hostel – usually young backpacker types - and party late night (and into the wee hours of the morning), while other guests of the hostel are trying to sleep. These people can get very rowdy and raucous (loud) especially when there is alcohol and drugs involved. Unfortunately this is a notorious aspect of backpacker culture. I find their behavior to be very rude and inconsiderate. See the story of Nate the Great Lout!