Wherever the Road Leads

Innocents Abroad

There’s No Place Like Home

I’m a Georgian again. I have returned to Georgia from Florida. Midway between Savannah and the Florida line is Townsend Georgia and Harmony Lake RV Park.

Not into traditional holiday season yet where the weekend and family campers come out, this RV Park is still half full. As was Kelly’s RV Park in Florida, as was Pine Lake before that. Living in an RV is not a lifestyle only for people like me, retired and want to see what this great nation has to offer.

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People – singles and couples – are living permanently in their RVs. This is their home. RVs can be financed just like a typical sticks-and-bricks home, with loans stretching out over many years. Others in older RVs, most likely paid off, can live inexpensively, albeit small, with all the Mod Cons. Here, it’s $350 per month for site rental. That’s site, water and sewer hookup. Electricity is $.13 per killowatt hour – whatever you use you pay. Use less, pay less.

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Included is wi fi and cable television. Don’t want to burn propane or power for hot water? Use the bath house with its laundry room attached. Trash removal is as far away as the dumpster.

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“Ah, yes,” say some, depending where in the country you are, “but your home is constantly DE-preciating instead of A-ppreciating.” Well, ten years after I bought it, my house in the Atlanta area is worth two-thirds of what I paid for it. (Thank you to the Democrat Party.) That loss would have paid for a VERY comfortable RV.

My neighbor... wooden deck, patio chairs, plants and utility trailer.

My neighbor… wooden deck, patio chairs, plants and utility trailer.

However, it’s not a lifestyle for all. Most like the security of home and the comfort of a given, safe routine. But these people still like to do a little traveling.

With thanks to my friend Ian Wilson, here are some comments from those who are only occasional travelers, and it shows. These are actual complaints received by Thomas Cook Tours:

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiancĂ©e and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

When I first read this, I assumed that these were complaints by American travelers. Unfortunately, the American traveler has given himself a bad rap, whether fairly or unfairly.
Complaint Number 10 and Complaint Number 12 led me to believe otherwise.

“Biscuits” to an American, are along the lines of a Thomas’ English Muffin, not a cookie. ‘Custard Cream’? Ginger Nut? I’m virtually trilingual, I speak Canadian, American and Southern (I didn’t say I sound like one, I just know the vocabulary.) I’ve never heard of those cookies.

I looked up Thomas Cook Tours. They operate only on the UK and Continental Europe. So these “Innocents Abroad” are British Travelers. Most probably English.

The Scots are no’ that daft, d’ye ken? We bring ‘wer ane Empire Biscuits wi’ us.

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