Saturday, June 14, 2008

The guide

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This weeks prompt from Sunday Scribblings is 'Guide'
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You see them in every city. Marching along holding a brolly or a flag-on-stick aloft, with a straggling crocodile of tourists trying to keep up.

The tour guide. Sometimes a student, sometimes a prim lady, or a moustachioed ex colonel!
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“Follow me, this way that way, stop, gather round”

Some tourists listen intently, hands cupped around their ears whilst others talk among themselves seemingly unaware that the guide is using all of her training to try and find something interesting to say about a dowdy building or a pigeon-poo strewn statue.

A group of Japanese disciples shuffle along stopping every few seconds to take another photograph. Bus, snap, church, snap, taxi, snap, pavement, snap, sky, snap.

A gaggle of giggling schoolgirls turn as one, as a crowd of bored looking boys slouch past in the opposite direction.

“Look here, look there, look left, look right, look up, look down”

Twenty ladies of a certain age, sensibly dressed for the walk through the city, concentrate on their guides every word. They stop her now and then to ask another question. “How interesting, I say, goodness me, well I never, that’s really fascinating isn’t it Doris”

At the end of the journey the weary walkers bid farewell to their guide who wanders between them, hand held out in the hope of gathering in a little extra cash. Then with renewed enthusiasm it’s off to collect the next band of followers.

Thinks - “off we go again, what have I got here, excuse me, I’m talking, concentrate please, my feet hurt, why do I do this?”



17 comments:

  1. great look at both sides! I felt like I was right there with you! It always bothers me when people talk in the group and ignore the efforts of the guide. but that's just me, That bothers me at concets, plays, school events..... haha I always feel we should be respectful of those who 'have the floor'.
    Happy Fathers Day Keith! xo

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  2. How much fun is this?
    And here I thought, "Well, I never," was strictly an American Southernism.
    The only time I was ever in a tour group was when Mom and I visited my brother in Germany for 2 weeks. One of those days we hopped aboard a tour bus for the Black Forest. I won a bottle of wine for correctly guessing something about the bus's engine. It was fun, but I really did feel like a bit of a lemming. But the Black Forest was wonderful and I'd love to go back. I got a cuckoo clock.

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  3. There was a marvellous character in a TV detective thriller not long ago who purposely told the most exagerated lies as a guide. She was hilarious. Shame she was a victim.
    I got the feel of the job from your piece. You guided us through it well.

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  4. i got a real kick out of your post - can almost hear all of those cameras going clickity-pop!!!

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  5. I refuse to ever be in a tour group for all the vivid reasons you put in your post. Always a great visit!

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  6. Yeah, I don't think this is one job I'm in any hurry to do...

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  7. Love the dry humour. I too join the parade of being anti the tourist group. I really don't wish to be a lemming (agreeing with Janet!)

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  8. I must say whenever I have chosen to take a guided tour somewhere I've enjoyed it. But it's a rare event. I usually prefer to find my own way to whatever I want to see. I do wonder about people who choose a guided tour, and then don't bother to listen to the guide.

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  9. Lovely characterizations, and deliciously fun to read! There really is something about a guided tour that makes me feel that I'm being led around like a horse with blinders. Not the way I want to experience a new place.

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  10. Fun to see what everyone writes about for this prompt. Of course this is a guide. Some folks are just naturals at this.
    Fun writing.

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  11. Ah, the tour guide. That's a good one!

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  12. I rarely join tour groups, but I do like to try to eavesdrop other people's guides, just to see if I can learn something new!

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  13. Its funny that after a while, we remember how interesting the tour guide was instead of what (s)he actually said!

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  14. LOL you do it cause you enjoy it

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  15. I prefer to have a guide introducing the local stuff, so long as it's a private tour guide or in a small group. That's when I could really listen and chat with the guide. Well, some local person besically. If in large travel group, the guide is more like reciting the routine stories. He/She has no passion, either, as people don't listen.

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