to think British tourists should just damn well behave themselves in other people's countries?

(82 Posts)
NulliusInBlurba Fri 08-Mar-13 08:29:32

I live in Berlin and have done so for over twenty years now. Over that period the tourism industry has grown exponentially, and the city has benefited from that enormously. I've benefited too from the proliferation in cheap EasyJet flights. Most of the British tourists are great - interested in the cultural history, eating a sausage and drinking a beer or two, then maybe a techno club afterwards. But a handful beggar belief, and they are giving all the Brits an appalling reputation here too. Just for the record: this is the capital of the largest country in the EU, it's not a Greek seaside resort. (Not that Greek seaside resorts should have to put up with this crap either, but they seem a lot more economically dependent on this kind of 'guest').

This is the story, my (very rough) translation below:

"There are reports that 30 tourists went on the rampage in a Friedrichshain [a district of Berlin] hotel on Thursday afternoon. The group has now been banned from the hotel on the grounds of causing malicious damage and breach of the peace.

Employees at a Friedrichshain hotel on Warschauer Platz called police late on Thursday afternoon, because a number of hotel guests were gong wild in their rooms. A police spokesperson said that officers indeed found 30 British tourists on the rampage, some of whom were extremely drunk.

According to a hotel spokesperson the British people, who were between 30 and 40 years old, damaged beds as well as furnishings and fittings in the corridor. The identities of the tourists were recorded with the authorities and then they were banned from the hotel. On Friday morning the police spokesperson was unable to say where the group was now staying or even if they were still in Berlin."

Shame on you, whoever it was! Now fuck off, we don't need your kind here. It's bad enough when you do this kind of thing in Blackpool, but at least you're staying in your own country. Jesus, these weren't even teenagers! Imagine the British outrage if a large group of German tourists wrecked a British hotel!

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 08-Mar-13 08:41:31

I think you'll find that some people are going to behave badly in whatever country they're in.
I'm sure that there are many incidents of people from different parts of Europe behaving badly in the UK.

maddening Fri 08-Mar-13 08:50:35

Twats are twats whatever their nationality.

I think YABU in singling out Brits, because they're not the only ones to behave badly abroad.

As I understand, Germans don't have the best reputation in the Med (hogging beach chairs!). Brits have a great reputation in the US, there it's the French who get slammed (no tipping, unnecessary snobbery).

But I agree the Brits seem particularly bad at this particular kind of ruckus, ie grown men who should know better getting ridiculously drunk and causing mayhem.

But being American I don't feel I can judge. We're probably the worst blush

canuck43 Fri 08-Mar-13 09:01:00

Brits abroad forget they are the foreigners.

Sunnywithshowers Fri 08-Mar-13 09:02:53

YANBU to be upset by what happened. YABU to say that all Brits behave similarly abroad.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 08-Mar-13 09:03:42

My friend works in a hotel here in Italy and loves British tourists. The cleaners always say they don't really have to when Brits have been in the rooms, whereas they dread parties of Germans arriving.

The plural of anecdote not being data an'all. wink

youmaycallmeSSP Fri 08-Mar-13 09:04:50

YANBU, it's embarrassing. I used to live abroad in a beautiful city that was a hot-spot for tourists and has a major European football team. When a British team was playing them and the fans came over I used to pretend I was American.

That said, the only time I've been abroad AI, the only drunken loutish behaviour I saw was from a Russian getting dragged off the beach by two security guards!

ThingummyBob Fri 08-Mar-13 09:05:35

Massive over reaction to tarnish sixty plus million people because of the actions of 30 or so, no? hmm

LessMissAbs Fri 08-Mar-13 09:05:41

Brits are well known for this sort of behaviour. Perhaps its because life in Britain is now so controlled and mollycoddled that as soon as they are away from it, they go wild.

But I do agree OP. I'm not British, and I can't believe the way quite a high proportion of British "conduct themselves", nor the way some of the women here seem to accept it and run around after them nonetheless.

I used to run a holiday letting business, and the Brits had a tendency to break things, cover them up by arguing they were faulty and then complain and ask for money off.

Perhaps its why no-one votes for them in the Eurovision Song Contest!

MrsGeologist Fri 08-Mar-13 09:07:08

OP did say that most are fine.

I'm not sure if it's a nationality thing. These people are probably disrespectful wankers at home too.

LessMissAbs Fri 08-Mar-13 09:07:11

should have read a high proportion of British men conduct themselves

Thumbwitch Fri 08-Mar-13 09:08:22

YABU to assume that it's just the Brits. What about those Aussie Olympians who played up before their events? In Egham, iirc.

And I know of several European older teens who liked to go shop-lifting in London - one of them even told my brother that it was "the thing to do" and they even competed against each other to see what they could get away with. Mind you that was in the 80s. And one of them was arrested.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 08-Mar-13 09:11:08

I work in summer schools for international teens in the UK and every year we get vandalism (Italians), shoplifting (Italian and French) and general trying-not-to-pay on buses etc (Italian and French)

Love the Spanish though. smile

mrsstewpot Fri 08-Mar-13 09:13:57

My Mum has an apartment in a lovely traditional town in Spain however to get there, you have to board the plane with the Benidorm crowd.

Nevermind the, shall we say lively, hen parties and groups of lads heading over, I think they are much more bearable and better behaved than the groups of freshly released for a golf holiday groups of middle aged men.

They make me cringe trying to be lads again, getting obnoxiously drunk, thinking they're so funny and smart, sleazing over the air stewardesses, competing for alpha male with there loud comments about young women and crude jokes. I just think, urghhh, you lot are all married with kids.

WorraLiberty Fri 08-Mar-13 09:21:04

Ahh you can't beat a bit of Brits abroad bashing on a Friday morning....

Yes it was appalling behavior - inexcusable.

However, there are also 'many kinds we don't need here' too (to coin your charming phrase).

Every country will have 'many kinds' they don't need...some of them will be badly behaved tourists and some of them will be badly behaved 'home grown' people...like the German Neo Nazi gang thugs for example.

YANBU to think that British (or anybody) should behave themselves in any country, and that includes their own.

I don't think any British hotel would be particularly welcoming of this behaviour either.

In my travels I've experienced rudeness from British and Americans, so I don't think it's just a British thing. But the drunkeness is truly embarassing - I do think that Brits have a tendency to drink to excess and extreme drunkeness is not seen as shameful as in other countries. I cringe when I see the films of drunken behaviour in some tourist hotspots.

TroublesomeEx Fri 08-Mar-13 09:23:55

This sort of behaviour is one of the reasons I don't travel. I'm embarrassed to be counted as a 'Brit'.

I agree with world. Everyone should behave themselves and respect the country they are in whether or not it is the one they were born in.

NulliusInBlurba Fri 08-Mar-13 09:26:35

Um, I did say that most of the tourists are fine - that's hardly tarnishing the reputation of 60 million people! To be honest, I think that reputation has been pretty well tarnished already here by the badly-behaved minority. Nothing I can say will affect the reputation here of 'Brits' as drunken louts in people's minds. All the pub crawls don't help. The next step will be that small hotels in particular are reluctant to take bookings for large parties of Brits - and then all the well-behaved people will suffer too. Berlin has plenty of tourists - it's not dependent on accepting bookings from a small but disruptive sector.

It is unfortunate that plenty of tourists behave badly in different ways when they're abroad (and Germans abroad can often be insufferably arrogant). However, the large groups of people going out to get deliberately rat-faced, and then calling that a good time, seems to be mostly (obviously not exclusively, there are always exceptions) a British phenomenon. Germans drink a lot of beer - but on the whole are not out to get as drunk as possible. Other tourist nationalities do not have this poor reputation in Berlin - the Italians, Russians (honestly!), Spanish, Americans. People might grumble a bit about them being rude or mean or ignorant or whatever, but not that they're thugs.

It's an immense pity that Brits used to enjoy an excellent reputation in Berlin, thanks to protecting the city during the Cold War, and all that is now being destroyed by some inconsiderate jerks. Just makes me sad.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 08-Mar-13 09:30:27

YANBU. It's embarrassing.

Brits do drink too much and do stupid things on holiday, not all of them obviously, but I've seen it happen in resorts before. Add to that the fact that Brits hardly ever use other languages (myself included), and it really doesn't give a very good impression of the country. You can tell the Brits abroad from the sunburn.

WorraLiberty Fri 08-Mar-13 09:35:10

But how closed minded would anyone have to be to let what you quite rightly say is a 'handful' of badly behaved Brits, tar a whole nation? confused

There have been some appallingly behaved Irish travellers in Britain, some appaulingly behaved Eastern Europeans in Britain, some appallingly behaved Africans etc..etc..

But most people are open minded enough to know that they don't represent their county's people as a whole.

Agree with OP I'm afraid. Can easily spot the Brits in Paris, especially on Saturday evenings. Out in the sticks in summer it's easy too. Have to say though the expats can be just as obnoxious as the tourists, and the poor French have to put up with them most of the year. Again, a minority, but enough to give us a bad reputation.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 08-Mar-13 09:37:52

I do think it's ironic that the Germans think the Brits are drunken louts......

LessMissAbs Fri 08-Mar-13 09:40:37

Actually Worraliberty, I lived in Germany (I'm not German either) and found the Germans to be incredibly tolerant towards foreigners. Far more so than the British would have been. Every woman that walked past the group of unemployed Turkish males in the small quiet town I lived in would be jeered at, including blatant sexual gesturing; I remember being at the prize giving for our local running race, and two middle aged drunken Turkish men came on stage and disrupted it. It was handled so sensitively, far more so than it would have been in the UK I think.

Basically, they acted like the drunken middle aged British men MrsStewpot describes. And did anyone read about the incident at Glasgow University student debate of the sexist heckling of female debaters recently? Why is the UK producing so many men like this?

I do think the tolerance for binge-drinking in the UK is the root of the problem really. When I moved to London I was a hard drinker myself, worked in bars for ages, and even I was shocked at the levels of public drunkenness. Especially among middle-aged types -- i mean, students all over the world get hammered, but you usually grow out of it.

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