Snivelling tourists not welcome.

September 29, 2006

When I say “I can’t stand snivelling tourists” — I really mean whiners — people who complain that the food tastes different and that nobody speaks English. I sort of see that as the point of travel. Well in preparation for the 2008 Olympics the Chinese government has developed an early warning system to identify such travellers. Upon entering China you will be given a from that asks you to check a box if you “Snivel”.

I think the intended meaning was: the act of breathing heavily through the nose (as when the nose is congested) rather than my usage of: cry or whine with snuffling; “Stop snivelling–you got yourself into this mess!” Of course, their way makes it much less useful.

One of the small annoyances and occasional amusements of travel is the baffling array of paperwork at every border, and China’s form is certainly not the first to offer a chuckle. Here is the Argentine Immigration form listing one of several occupation choices as simply “employee”.

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