TOUR DE DUNCE(29/06/2007)
Aquest article no estā traduīt al catalā; es mostra la seva versiķ en anglčs
On the inexplicable habit tourists have of dressing oddly when abroad.
CATALONIA TODAY SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE SIXTY-TWO
As is notoriously known, all over the world people who dress and behave normally at home - blending like chameleons into their native milieus feel the need to make themselves more conspicuous than an entire busload of court jesters as soon as they visit a foreign country for pleasure.
Anyone who remembers the late 'Seventies, when Barcelona was barely a dot on anybody's map, will find it hard to forget those tourists who were occasionally bussed in from the Costa Brava and used to wander along the Passeig de Grācia in swimming trunks and bikinis, oblivious to the fact that everyone else was in full office wear. Even now, many of the plentiful weekend trippers to the city still wear clothes that make them look - to quote a local simile - as odd as octopae in a garage.
But I never realised the extremes some tourists are capable of until I went to Dar-es-Salaam a fortnight ago. The local dress code is crystal clear: smart T-shirts, long trousers, and absolutely no hats. On my first day, in one of the sidestreets off Kariakoo Market, I found myself gawping in astonishment at two tourists who were twinned up in identical open-necked shirts, Baden Powell style baggy shorts, and baseball caps with peaks as obtrusive as toucan beaks. They looked so bizarre it was a moment before I realised that on top of everything else they were as white as I was. In a nutshell, they couldn't have stood out more in that African neighbourhood if they'd gone as Laa-Laa and Tinky Winky. No wonder they were being eyed closely by all the locals, whose perfectly natural curiosity was, for some reason, visibly scaring them out of their globe-trotting wits.