By now, it should come as no surprise that people can be the absolute worst when they're on vacation. It's almost as if the airlines force everyone to ditch their brains at the check-in line just to save money on jet fuel. If you want our advice (and you do -- we're good at this type of thing), we'd recommend avoiding the following hot spots, lest you take it upon yourself to beat some humility into your fellow travelers.
Berlin's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a staggering sight to behold. Consisting of 2,711 plinths of concrete covering an area of five acres, it stands as a stark reminder of the scale of the Holocaust. It's also an amazing place to visit if you're looking for an amazing background photo for your Grindr profile.
We're not joking at all.
Although this trend was first brought into public awareness by the blog Grindr Remembers, it began way, way before that. In 2011, the CEO of Grindr was forced to defend budding Hansel Adamses everywhere by arguing that this represented people "coming together as a community (...) to share and inspire others to take part in the memory of the Holocaust," before adding "... and maybe get some hot bratwurst, yeah?" and thrusting himself into the stratosphere.
For legal reasons, we have to point out that he did not in fact say that last part. He also doesn't support the practice nowadays, for some reason.
Seeing as how Berlin is home to an abandoned amusement park littered with dinosaur corpses, these guys clearly suck at Grindr. But at least they were trying to get laid; some jackasses use the memorial to practice their CrossFit. During a layover in the city, a famous CrossFit-doer(?) accidentally used one of the plinths to practice his super-cool handstands. In a world without Instagram, this would have been a case of "no harm, no foul." But it isn't. Instagram never forgets, as it is basically a supercomputer built out of strangers' butts.
Nestled away in the midst of Cambodia is Angkor Wat, a 12th-century complex of temples that has the honor of being the world's oldest religious monument. It's still used as a place of worship by the locals, it's incredibly popular with tourists, and it appears on the country's flag. It is, quite clearly, not a place to get naked.
Yeah, you know where this is going.
Within the last year, several groups of tourists have been arrested for dropping trou by the police who patrol the site. The guilty include two temple-mooning sisters who, through sheer force of will, managed to keep their pants on during the inevitable trial.
This doesn't include the mysterious group of pseudo-furries that was responsible for the photo called Hakuna Matata which circumnavigated the Internet -- a feat presumably only achieved because it quite clearly depicts a scene from a porn retelling of The Jungle Book.
The situation has gotten so aggravating that the local tourist board has been forced to increase security patrols and issue a formal code of conduct inviting visitors to remember that they're at a religious institution, not Spring Break '16. Considering that this is also in addition to asking people not to bother the resident monks with requests for selfies, we have to wonder when the world will inevitably give up on our bullshit and build a wall to keep us in.
Much like Winterfell, Canada, and Hoth, Iceland is a cruel, lifeless void of frozen hatred that won't hesitate to turn your veins to icicles for so much as considering taking a cheeky piss in a snowbank. The problem (besides what we just said) is that the country is currently undergoing a massive tourist boom, and with that comes a boom of people who think that owning a pair of mittens qualifies them to go on hikes that the Night's Watch would consider suicidal.
Fortunately there's ICE-SAR, the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, a volunteer group that patrols the uninhabited wilderness that practically is Iceland and rescues people (mainly tourists) who've managed to get themselves stuck or trapped in the cold. Like, for instance, all the ones who keep driving past obvious "road closed" signs and end up recreating the end of The Shining in their cars.
They also rescue the fools who try hiking in sneakers and hot pants or try fording fast-flowing rivers or go off-roading (which also happens to be illegal). And then there's the second class of people that ICE-SAR have to deal with: the ones who mess up so badly that you're forced to wonder whether they're performance artists. We've already told you about the woman who abruptly disappeared into the wilderness and ended up joining her own search party, but did you hear the one about the picnickers who set up a funny photo on a glacier ... only to watch in horror as the piece of ice they were on broke off and floated them away into the ether?
In 2015, the Icelandic Coast Guard had to conduct 214 rescue operations at a cost of $5,200+ dollars per hour of flying time. When you also consider that ICE-SAR is an all-volunteer group that doesn't charge for their services (out of fear that the possibility of a large rescue bill would make people hesitant to call for help), they're being stretched to breaking point. It definitely doesn't help when groups like this one keep trying (and failing) to realize their inner explorer wankfantasies and rely on ICE-SAR to bail them out for free every time.
It's gotten to the point where the citizenry is calling for restrictions to be placed on the tourist numbers, and to be honest, we can sympathize. It might be doing great for the economy, but that makes diddly-squat if you're paying an idiot tax.
Like it or not, selfies are here to stay. We can't be too sure about saying the same for the people who have seemingly dedicated their lives to taking selfies in the stupidest places possible ... such as the upper levels of the Brooklyn Bridge. You know, because it's super hard to take a good photo in New York City.
Within the last two years, there have been four major incidents on the bridge caused by photographically-incorrect tourists. In August 2014, there was Yaroslav Kolchin, a young man who managed to take a photo that accurately conveys the feeling you get when you realize your epic selfie is giving the NYPD Sniper Unit some unexpected target practice:
Here's Yonathan Souid, a tourist with a newly-discovered passion for cleaning jail cells:
And here's David Karnauch, as seen here shooting the cover of his forthcoming book about pick-up artistry (we imagine):
There was another tourist, Jorge Arredondo, arrested last year, but he had the foresight to not publish his photos on the Internet for us to make fun of, that bastard. As for how so many people are managing to climb one of the city's most important pieces of infrastructure unimpeded, your guess is better than the NYPD's. Despite a massive overhaul of bridge security after a group of artists planted a white flag on one of the towers, tourists are still somehow showing up on top of the bridge. Man, this is the wussiest alien invasion ever.
New Orleans' historic St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is full of picturesque sights, such as the white pyramid where Nicolas Cage will eventually be interred. (Oh shit, we didn't just make that up?!) It's also the final resting place of Marie Laveau, a real-life Voodoo Queen who, through stunts such as healing the sick, saving the condemned, and holding elaborate ceremonies featuring demon-possessed dancers, unofficially ruled the city in the 19th century. We'd invite you to pay her a visit next time you're in the region, except you can't, because people wouldn't stop drawing on her tomb.
You see, there's a local legend that Laveau will rise from the grave and grant a wish to anyone brave enough to draw three Xs on the walls of her crypt. As you can guess, tourists tend to react to this story with so much skepticism that the local religious leader eventually ordered the entire cemetery closed to the public. To be fair, you'd do the same if your place of work was regularly covered in more XXXs than the back room of video store.
By the way, you're only looking at an infinitesimal percentage of the graffiti, because it was some poor bastard's job to clean this shit off once in a while. Tourists would use anything that they could find to make their literal mark, including crayon, lip balm, and eye shadow. We don't want to judge, but failing to bring the most basic implements (i.e. a marker) to your voodoo resurrection ceremony means that you were never intelligent enough to wield any power that you might have gained from it.
We don't want to promote any outdated, offensive, cliched stereotypes here, but Scotland fucking loves to drink. Whiskey, beer, vodka, English blood -- it doesn't matter. If it flows, there's a pub somewhere that sells it in pints. With that in mind, it's not entirely surprising that the government is having a problem with revelers messing up a historic statue in, admittedly, the most hilarious way possible.
In Glasgow, there's a statue of the Duke of Wellington -- a hugely famous figure best known for naming a type of footwear and also maybe some military stuff. For the last several decades, this statue has been at the center of a bloodless battle between Glasgow City Council and the local drunkards, the latter of whom love nothing more after a kebab and bare-knuckle boxing match than climbing the statue and placing a traffic cone on its head. Here's a video of possibly un-sober strangers uniting to make this happen:
Simple, yet effective, yet terrible for the statue. After years of being climbed, the statue has lost his sword, spurs, and probably whatever remained of his dignity. Worse still, the cost of removing these cones is running up an annual bill of 10,000 GBP of taxpayer's money and, embarrassingly, the defaced statue is becoming a tourist attraction in itself.
As a result, Glasgow City Council was forced to take drastic action. They raised the statue's plinth to such a height that the inebriated wouldn't be able to reach anymore. Except not. Thanks to a petition from local residents, the proposal was shot down. It's just as well. After all, the last time someone tried building a wall to keep the Scots from doing something, it didn't exactly go as planned.
For more ways tourist are just the shittiest people ever, check out 5 Tourists Who Managed To Be The Worst People In The World and 4 Insane Ways Tourists Are Ruining Famous Vacation Spots.
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What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror, the third book in David Wong's John Dies at the End series, is available now!