Tags: travel etiquette, travel customs, travel manners, etiquette questions, cellphone etiquette, technology addicts, manners and etiquette
MS. BEHAVING adores technology and believes it is our friend … up to a point. Her readers, evidently, feel the same way. To wit:
A READER WRITES: On a recent luxe trip to Athens, our enjoyment was somewhat dampened by a couple in our group who kept taking pictures of everyone at every waking moment, without asking. Is this rude?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: In a word: yes. The Parthenon doesn’t care, but human beings do. Your fellow travellers are to be pitied, Ms. Behaving believes, for there are some in this world who can’t be any place, in the moment, without documenting it. Think of those who are so busy taking pictures that they can’t enjoy what is actually in front of them! So sad. If you are hounded by amateur paparazzi, Ms. Behaving says you are well within your rights to take the offenders aside and – kindly - say that you are not always ready for your close-up … so would they please ask you first before snapping away? If you are to be memorialized in their archives, you reserve the right to look your best, after all.
A READER WRITES: My best friend drives me crazy when we’re travelling, constantly checking GPS on her iPhone to get directions, waiting for reception, etc. And then when we have a down moment, she spends it checking e-mails from home. Is this any way to spend a vacation?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: In a word: no. Ms. Behaving strongly suggests that if one is on vacation – as opposed to a business trip – one should embrace the spirit of place. Unless awaiting news of an available organ for transplant, one shouldn’t spend leisure time the slave of a gadget, no matter how chic. Be adventurous! Be unavailable! And enjoy where you are. You are supposed to be away, after all. As to GPS obsession: be madly low-tech and use a map. They are pretty, free, accurate, don’t need satellites to work, and have been used for centuries.
WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .