Encountering Travel’s Creepy Guys

Anyone familiar with WordPress may recognize their Daily Post, a daily prompt bloggers and writers can use for inspiration. This week, one such prompt was simply Creepy. The idea is to share a picture of something you find creepy that others may not. Often times, it can be challenging to adopt the Daily Post to a travel-themed blog, but this time something instantly came to mind: the photo below of an art installation at DFW Airport’s international terminal.

Detail from Standing Ovation sculpture at DFW Airport

Detail from Standing Ovation sculpture at DFW Airport

The artwork is a collection of hands captured in applause, both welcoming visitors from around the globe, and sending travelers off to see the world. I get that, but it kind of creeps me out. All those hands reaching towards me…reminiscent of one too many psycho-thriller movies. (Which is why I don’t watch them!)

In the context of travel, there’s a deeper meaning for me. One of the few annoyances of travel in some popular destinations are the hands grabbing at you (figuratively…mostly…) plying timeshares, tours, excursions, and who knows what else, often while you’re still navigating the airport. Much like slasher-movie villains, they attempt to lure you into their clutches with enticing(ish) offers and continue grabbing at you until there is no life left in you. Or, at least, in your vacation mood.

I am sure there are some good deals to be had. We often hear stories about people who are stone-cold resolute in saying “No” when the time share closer comes in. They listen politely for an hour, say “No, thank you” and enjoy their all-inclusive day at the spa, or whatever the bait was. For them, it’s a game: How much can I con the con man out of?

Personally, that is just not the sort of game I travel to play. I am not comfortable if I don’t arrive fairly well researched, so I have an agenda when I land and whatever the hawkers are selling is not on it. The idea of vacation is to escape pressure, and I hate encountering high pressure salesmen at any time, particularly on vacation. Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly creepy, but it’s certainly makes me uncomfortable.

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The artwork in question is Standing Ovation by Fort Worth artist Anitra Blayton, and features life-sized casts of hands in varying stages of applause.

How about you? Have you encountered these grabby guys on vacation? Or are there other things that creep you out when you’re traveling? Let us know with a comment!

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