When visiting a foreign country, it's important to remember you're basically a guest in someone else's environment with a different culture and a distinct set of rules. You're there to spend some of your tourist dollars and, in exchange for being respectful and well-behaved, you'll be shown a good time.
But, since human beings are objectively the worst animals in the world, they usually have no idea how to act when it comes to these visits. I'm not talking about making innocent mistakes, like offering a handshake to a woman in hijab, or declining an Albanian's offer for coffee or a shot of raqi.
I'm talking about going into another place and making a complete and total ass of yourself by belligerently deciding to disrespect the country and its people during your visit — something I idiotically did when I tried scaling a pyramid at Giza. I was I could say I was young and stupid at the time. Thankfully, my boy Khamis was there to bail me out of trouble. (not my picture below)
But there are some acts of touristic ignorance that can't be forgiven, like when these drunk visitors to Thailand thought it'd be a good idea to spray paint a wall.
I get that when you're hammered, the dumbest things seem like a good idea. White Castle at 1 am? Fire up the crave case!
Brittney Schneider and Briton Lee Furlong thought spray-painting a brick wall was a stroke of brilliance. While graffiti is vandalism, it's usually a harmless crime and Nothing a little bit of powerwashing can't fix.
But when that wall is a 13th century artifact that's been perfectly preserved for hundreds and hundreds of years, that little act of vandalism isn't so little anymore. As for the two tourists, a night out drinking turned into a scary experience with some terrible implications.
Like 10 years in prison, for starters.
The two travelers, while heading back to their hostel after a night on the town, saw a can of spray paint next to the 13th century wall. They had no idea they were defacing a priceless artifact.
On top of the potentially scary, long-term prison sentence, they could incur a hefty $30,650 fine for their effacement of the Tha Phae Gate. From the way Brittney tells the story, money is the least of her concerns.
She had a lot to say about the jail conditions in Thailand after she was brought into custody, saying that she had to sleep on the floor and the food was inedible. I've never been to Thai prison, but judging from my very thorough knowledge of the film Kickboxer, I can extrapolate that it's probably very bad.
Brittney said that, although she was drunk, she came to her senses after writing the "B" and stumbled back to the hostel with Briton. When they woke up, cops were waiting for them with some surveillance footage and a few questions.
The two didn't deny anything and immediately fessed up to the crime, but were taken aback when they discovered they ruined an irreplaceable piece of history. Whoopsy daisy.
They're not the only tourist to do something totally stupid for the sake of just doing something totally stupid. The internet is full of selfie fails, but none as groan-inducing as the destruction of this 18th Saint Michael Statue in Lisbon while trying to snap a photo with the priceless artifact.
What's wild is that this isn't even the first statue in Lisbon that's been destroyed by some moron attempting to take a selfie with it. In the same year, another person decimated a 125-year-old statue while trying to snap a photo with it.
If you're more offended by people vandalizing natural wonders, then you probably won't want to see what some vandals did to this mossy hill in Iceland, one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.
Experts say that the moss formations on that hill will take about 70 years to grow back, which means that "Send Nudes" will be stuck there for a good 7 decades before it's totally erased. Great job, tourists.
A popular rock formation in a national park in Oregon, "the duckbill" took thousands and thousands of years to form. It's a beautiful work of art that is sadly being abused by Instagrammers in an attempt to create inspiring "deep" posts. Like this.
And all it took was a few minutes for a few idiots to go and destroy the rock, bringing it crashing to the ground and breaking in tons of itty bitty pieces. There's even video of them doing it, and the whole thing is infuriating to watch.
Tourists: please, please, please stop making the world a worse place for everyone else. When I go on vacation with my family, which is already stressful to begin with, I don't want to have to worry about a bunch of locals hating me and my obvious touristness. Thanks.