Do They Hate Us?
When I lived in the
The men officiating a sham wedding at Vilu Reef resort in the
The Maldivian prime minister,
Still, it makes you wonder if people hate us when we're on vacation.
Maybe they do.
I've lived in cities that rely on tourism for most of my life, including the Keys,
Earlier this year, for example, a
Last year, a German tourist was jailed after he told a cast member at
Crimes committed by visitors to
That doesn't mean people in
Beyond the criminals that go on vacation, is there anything else that tourists do to make us dislike them? Sure.
When I lived in
Even when the tourists don't break any laws, it's not always easy to be nice to them. But like them? That might be asking too much.
Part of the reason the natives disdain the very people who are the source of their livelihood, I think, is that their customer is there to have a good time. When your home is seen as nothing more than a playground, it's bound to lead to misunderstandings and maybe resentment. I always envied the visitors I met when I worked for the simple reason that I had to work and they didn't.
If there's one place that has risen above all this -- or at least tried -- it's
I waited almost two weeks for cracks to appear in their Aloha, and with the possible exception of a surly waitress at the Wailana Coffee House in
Is their friendliness put on? Sometimes. Do they like the way we behave? Not always. It's the same way the world over.
By the way, no one ever shot a tourist while I lived in the Keys. That kind of thing only ever happened a little farther north.
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