UPDATE: Now that Roy McCarthy has set me straight, this post should be re-titled: Don’t Let This Happen to You! 🙂
I don’t think my American-ness has ever surfaced during my travels as much as it did when I went to Loch Ness in Scotland. Let’s be honest. There’s really only one reason people to travel to Loch Ness, isn’t there? Admit it. We go because of the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
Now, I didn’t go expecting to see Nessie herself. I didn’t think I’d get there and go out on one of the tour boat excursions and be capsized into the murky water as Nessie breached beneath our boat. But I did expect to go to Loch Ness and find souvenirs for my 13-year-old nephew who is fascinated by Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and all the other legendary creatures (who he’s more familiar with than I am). Imagine my surprise when I got there and discovered that I’d have more luck hunting old Nessie herself than any souvenirs in the tiny village on its banks!
There are only a smattering of shops and restaurants there. But the shops are proper old-people type shops: woolen goods and soaps. Organic dog foods and candles. Nice hand-crafted wares, but no Nessie paraphernalia at all!
I couldn’t believe it! Where were all the sea creature games, puzzles, posters, figurines, mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, costumes, postcards, umbrellas, miniatures, hunting kits, replicas, swim gear, Nessie eggs, binoculars, books, etc., etc., etc,? The town was missing out on a gold mine! We were all there because of the Loch Ness Monster and it seemed they were doing their very best to ignore that fact.
All I can say is, that would have never happened in America. We would have capitalized the crap out of that opportunity.
I know, I know. This wasn’t in America. Yes, the town was pretty. But sadly, I went to Loch Ness, Scotland and all my nephew got was a crappy postcard. It should’ve been a t-shirt…
Have you ever been to a place that blatantly ignores the reason people are there?