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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Worst Person I Have Met On My Wine Tours

OK.  This is all true.
Many of my customers have said to me, something like: "Whoo!  Betcha had some real interesting people on your tours over the years, Phil?"
And I always say, "About 99% have been really nice people. Nobody ever was a problem.  And the more they drink, the more they sleep on the trip back to the hotel. And the drunker they are, the more generous they are with tips."

But there is one outstanding exception. 

Now, I have had many totally charming and happy people from Scandinavia in general - and Sweden in particular - but this guy was a total arsehole. 

Sadly, he learnt English with an American accent, which made everyone think he was an American arsehole - which was totally wrong.  Everywhere we went, out of a sense of fairness, I was in damage control on behalf of the good ol' USA, by stage whispering 'He's really from Sweden! Don't blame the Yanks!'

He was obviously loaded with cash: on a world trip and staying in five star hotels.  Large, loud, obnoxious, wildly self-confident, and pudgy.  He had his hair artificially highlighted in blond curls, and wore large red spectacles.  His wife was mousey, sour-faced, and dull. 

I took them to three of my favourite wineries. At each, he made it bluntly plain - beyond the point of rudeness, that in his opinion, their wines were no good.  He spotted a local clay target shooting club on the trip to West Brook wines, and insisted on doing some shooting there.  So I schmoozed the manager and Sven got his way.
(And I was secretly pleased to see he was, in fact, a fecking hopeless shot and maybe hit one out of 12 clay pigeons).

He complained about the lunch, and demanded mayonnaise and ketchup - so he could mix them together to eat with his French fries.

I dropped them back at his hotel, glad that I would very likely never see them again, but also regretting that he was here for another week and would be inflicting himself on our mild mannered tourist guides - and giving them the impression he was a loud American tourist.

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