Sunday, 9 August 2015

Top 5 Most Annoying Campers

love camping, and so do a lot of other people. Some of those people are infuriating. Disclaimer: this post is a bit of a rant. 

5. The Snorer
It's unpleasant when your rest is disturbed by what you may mistake to be a thundering freight train. The sound isn't at all helped by thin pieces of fabric and plastic that are your tent. Luckily with a good pair of earplugs, most snorers can be muffled enough to resume your beauty sleep. 

4. Dirty people
This picture is of a bin. Some people don't know how to use these, and instead leave their litter strewn across campsites. An especially bad episode of this was at a campsite outside Amsterdam, where a group of four tents left so much rubbish and dirty dishes lying out that a flock of seagulls descended and their ear splitting cries tore my dreams asunder. Somehow the campers themselves didn't seem affected by the noise, and on my way past to the shower I glared at their tents hoping they could feel my eye death-rays. 
Then you've got those who leave chunks of omlette clogging the shared kitchen sinks, pee all over the toilet seat, and muddy clumps of twigs and leaves in the shower stall. Clean up your mess! No one will do it for you, you're not five years old. 

3. The Partyers and the Noisy
I'm making a generalisation here, but I'd wager that people who climb on the 'iamsterdam' sign like to throw a party. It's fine if you're playing drinking games before 11pm and go quiet after that (even if the game involves a juice carton and calling out "shtop!"), but please stop singing along to your jangly guitar and making wolf howling noises at all times of the night. Go to sleep! We've also experienced several karaoke nights, and someone letting off a few rounds of fireworks at midnight. 
'The Noisy' champion trophy goes to a girl who had a loud lovers' tiff in which she would occasionally slam her car door and shout "fuck", and who yelled at her friends for not helping pack up the tent when she was the one who had to drive twelve hours. That sounds fair enough, until you heard their protestations that she wasn't letting them help. This was after she had switched to English once one of her friends reminded her that he doesn't understand Dutch, and had no idea why she was verbally abusing him. 

2. Undisciplined children
I understand that it can be difficult to keep children quiet for long periods of time. When it's after 8am and before 11pm, it's fine of your child wants to run around and play. But when a child screams "mama, mama" on repeat hour after hour when I'm trying to sleep, and the so-called mama does nothing at all except some bouts of half-hearted shushing, I get angry. Other children from the same family decided to play soccer in the crowded campsite, turning our tents into the goals (Yannick told them to go away, it was great). They also played sword fighting with metal tent pegs right next to a line of parked cars. 'The Noisy' faced off against the parents, yelling that she was scared for the safety of her car. When both of their parties packed up and left, it was the best day ever. 
This category also includes dogs whose owners let them do what they like at a campground. Some dogs are brilliantly trained and kept on the leash, but some are not and I do not want your dog in my face while I'm eating my dinner. 

1. Wasps
Humans have got nothing on wasps. While I worry about a dog bounding up to me while I'm cooking, wasps are always there (mysteriously, they are especially prevalent in Germany). As soon as it looks like there might be food, a wasp will be buzzing around trying to get into it. They will land on your jam, on your apple juice bottle, and on the rim of your cup no matter what's in it. They'll be so interested in your business that you just want to swat them away. But you can't. If you do, they might sting you. The picture above is of a dead wasp - the best kind of wasp. 

Often there's no way to avoid these types of campers apart from finding smaller campsites and sticking earplugs in. Beware: if you stay anywhere near Amsterdam, you will encounter all of these. 

Honourable mention: Stinging Nettle
Seemingly everywhere in Europe, Stinging Nettle is pesky as it closely resembles an innocent mint plant but packs a painful punch if you as much as brush into it. Yannick took to spitting his toothpaste onto it whenever he brushed his teeth by the tent, believing that might somehow kill it (or at least disgrace it).