Chillax. You’re On Holiday

Inexperienced drivers can give their passengers quite a ride. Particularly when they change gears. Going up isn’t too bad but changing down can cause quite a jolt. One of our customers wrote to us when he got back from a week away in the sun this Christmas and we though his experience was worth sharing.

Our customer took his wife to an African country that’s trying to develop its tourism ‘product’ (he and we would prefer not to say which one) but his experience there will be one that we think many of our readers can identify with.

His reference to an inexperienced driver is what he thought happens when the African laid back approach meets European expectations, ie, it delivers quite a jolt to the system. That jolt is not entirely unpleasant. After all, its why many British holidaymakers travel to far off places at Christmas in the first place – presumably so as to ‘log off’ and generally unwind. But until they acclimatise themselves to the slower pace of life, it can give rise to frustrations about unmet expectations.

And here’s his message to his fellow British holidaymakers; many of whom felt the need to bend his ear over the breakfast table: “Don’t go to far away countries with undeveloped tourism facilities if you’re not prepared to accept a few lapses in the standards that you’re used to”.

Here’s his list of things where the equivalent of grinding gears can be heard.

Internet connectivity

The amount of capital investment needed to offer high speed broadband across a hotel’s entire estate (ie, all rooms, all bars, all beaches) is simply beyond most African countries. So please don’t whinge if it isn’t there. And yes, it will be expensive, and slow and sporadic. But isn’t it nice not to be online all the time anyway?

Hot water

Lots of guests all leaving the beach and having a hot shower at the same time will put pressure on any hot water system. Especially African ones who probably aren’t sure what the importance is here anyway. So yes, the water may only be tepid. But you’re in Africa!

Insects

Here’s the thing. Africa has lots of insects. Like us, they like the climate. And they particularly like dropped food and European skin. Preventing every insect from entering a hotel bedroom is simply impossible, so best give up trying.

Customer service

If you’re attracted to a holiday destination that prides itself on its laid back or stress free approach to life, then it’s a racing certainty that same approach will be taken towards to customer service. In other words, it may be slow. But you’re on holiday!

The good news is that our customer had a great holiday. He just wishes that, similar to encountering learner drivers, we all show some more patience sometimes.

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