The answer to the riddle that is the Middle East peace process?
Just drop a Japanese female tour guide on the negotiating table.
One of two things will happen: the political players will grab weapons within minutes and the room will erupt in a hail of gunfire which will eliminate everyone that has been hindering the process for years, OR the guide will be so annoying the two major players will give into anything she asks just to escape the room!
If you haven’t guessed by now, The Hook was nearly driven insane by a Japanese tour guide this morning!
To be fair, the Bell Desk did mix-up her group’s baggage pick-up and departure times, but we’re only human. And woefully underpaid. Her reaction though, was a little over the top.
Just imagine a squirrel after three cups of coffee and a hit of acid!
Then double that.
I was right in the middle of helping a lovely young lady and her saintly grandmother take their luggage out when two more women needed their bags stored. In drops “Tour Squirrel” and all hell breaks loose. She just walks past all of us and attempts to walk into a restricted area, no doubt searching for “luggages”.
THE HOOK: Can I help you miss?
Anyone else would have stopped walking, but Tour Squirrel just motored on through, until The Hook put his arm out and blocked her path of destruction!
TOUR SQUIRREL: Luggages! (Her voice, drenched in a stereotypical accent, was loud and deeply annoying.)
It’s important to note that I didn’t actually know for certain just what was happening, but experience has taught me a lesson or two about Oriental tour guides and what sets them off.
THE HOOK: I’m afraid I don’t have any group bags back there miss.
TOUR SQUIRREL: My people ready to leave! Where luggages?
THE HOOK: They must still be upstairs, miss. I’ll go up and get them as soon as I’m done here.
Tour Squirrel stormed off, no doubt in search of a samurai sword with which to restore her honor!
And so I set off to retrieve her bags and when I returned, less than five minutes later, she was in the middle of the lobby yelling at my supervisor who had already brought down one load! Not only that, but she had began yelling at him when he first entered the lobby and followed him all the way to the bus. She kept yelling even after the bags were unloaded and he was returning inside for more.
As he was rounding a corner that bordered a flower bed, Tour Squirrel was so consumed with rage she failed to take note of her surroundings and fell right into the lovely flowers!
This didn’t slow her down at all.
She was ready for Round Two with The Hook. I did my best to avoid a second confrontation, but she wouldn’t stop complaining, even when the bus driver stood up for the bell department! I tried to explain that we had delivered her bags, which we normally allot an hour for, in fifteen minutes! She was a little behind schedule, but the situation was under control.
But the language barrier was too overwhelming.
The Hook doesn’t speak crazy.
TOUR SQUIRREL:(screaming) Don’t give me excuses!
At that moment, I realized that if I was on her turf, Tour Squirrel would attempt to have me executed for incompetence! Here in Canada, though, when a tour guide screams at you, it’s best to finish the task at hand and beat a hasty retreat. It’s either that, or you beat the tour guide!
Unfortunately, that sort of thing is frowned upon here in North America.
Damn animal rights activists.