Pet peeves are a ridiculous thing. We know that, but we continue to nurture and feed them anyway. I don’t have universal pet peeves for everywhere like bad grammar or rude language (well, maybe chewing with your mouth closed)… but mostly mine are country specific!
Nepal: I start with my absolute major peeve at this point in time: spitting. Do I ever hate it that people spit here! OMG! Sometimes I’ll be walking down the street, quietly minding my own business and before I can turn my head fast enough, there comes the sound of someone hacking deeply–all the way down from their toes– as they deliver a disgusting, ugly splat of phlegm just inches from my feet. And as I turn my head to the other side in disgust, yet another person –with horrendously perfect timing–hangs another, equally loud and disgusting. There is no escape!
Philippines: Manila is full of zebra crossings, or pedestrian crossings if you prefer. Unfortunately in Manila, I couldn’t help feeling they serve only to spruce up the city a little, make it look more modern. Decoration, if you will. They certainly serve no function. (Kathmandu at least has the good sense not to even bother wasting the paint.) In Manila, they are like death traps for expats who have the deluded notion that when you step out onto one cars will stop. I found myself drawn to them out of habit and then felt utterly frustrated when drivers would seem to speed up as I used them to cross the street.
UK: “Sorry! I’m so sorry to bother you, but this microwave you sold me doesn’t work. I’m really, really sorry to make a fuss, but would you possibly consider replacing it with a new one?!” Why do the British feel the need to apologize profusely for everything, even when something is clearly not their fault, even when they have been more than put out by someone else. When I go back to the UK and complain about something – people look at me aghast that I haven’t gone through this ritual. I’m not rude. But I am direct. “This microwave doesn’t work. I’d like it replaced please.” What’s wrong with that?
US: Last week, on a Nepalese airport transit bus from the terminal to the plane, I sat with a group of about 20 young trekkers from all over the world. The bus was crowded and uncomfortable, and as we all sat there tolerating the jolts and jostling, a young American guy told his friends in very loud detail about his adventures the previous day. Finally someone said, “Speak up a bit, John, the people at the front are complaining they can’t hear you!” It did actually shut him up for a while, and it made me realize how much he had added to the discomfort of the situation. Dear loud Americans, cliched or not, please stop. We don’t want to hear it.
So sorry dear Nepalese, Filipino, British and American friends and readers of my blog. I do usually try and focus on the positive…really I do. But just occasionally, I think I deserve a rant as much as the next person. And I’m sure its not you that spits/drives badly/over apologizes/or arrogantly takes over every conversation. Its the other guy! ;o)
This post participated in the Daily Prompt:She Drives Me Crazy!
Here are some other pet peeves: