I read this interesting article on a blog. I am quoting a part I liked in particular while describing a certain class of tourists. I know them too well, from having seen them not only in European tourist highlights like Paris and Rome, but also in my own country (substitute the chicken with a panhandler).
The worst kind of tourists are the ones that make your skin crawl. You know you’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve even been one. They can frequently be seen standing in the middle of oncoming traffic, taking a picture of a chicken. They pack their suitcases and leave their brains at home. Everything they see is there to perform for them. They have no concept of island time and are in a hurry although they are on vacation (wouldn’t want to miss dinner reservations.) They planned this trip solely so they can brag later to their friends. They want everything to be like home but different. They came here because things are different, but it makes them uncomfortable.
I always think it is nice of local folks when they treat tourists kindly, with patience. For example, Rome surprised me with many nice gestures from the local people, on roads, in metros, in buses, from the officers of the monuments (who have really trying days, I am sure), which was totally unexpected for me.
I never take the locals for granted, and I do not think they owe me anything. No matter that a large part of the national income is from tourists for a certain country, I still think the large percent of boorish and dopy intruders in one’s city and daily life does have the capacity to irk the common people. And I being a very territorial person with a large bubble of privacy, understand this. I think politeness is one thing, and actually going out of your way to be nice to a tourist is a great thing, even if a single person does it to me.
I loved Rome for this reason too, apart from the great things there.
And that is one think I have encountered as a tourist in Denmark and Portugal too. In fact I miss Portugal so much (due to the affection I got from the friends of the road) that I am right now fighting an impulse to go to Lisbon for the Christmas holidays.
Living as an expat, one may find thousands of unhappy things to say about each country, and Denmark is no exception, it has its fair share of unhappy expats, especially due to the innately insular nature of the society here. But as a tourist, I have met kind people. And as a resident too, I am lucky to have met many nice people.