Monday, 13 February 2012

Of a Tale of Two Tour Guides

I've just spent a great weekend in London.
On Saturday I visited High Gate Cemetery and the grave amongst others of Karl Marx. The person taking the cash for the tour was the most grumpy/rude customer service person I've ever met and I've met a good few grumpy ones in my time. I've been to Russia four times don't forget. After she had barked at me she threw us onto a tour guide who was, well, ok but who wants a tour guide who is just ok? Doesn't everyone want a tourguide who conveys passion, humour and interest for their subject? Someone who can't wait to tell you all the stats, the rarely know facts and a whole lot in between.Well this lady didn't as she carted us around various graves with about as much energy as those who inhabit them.

Our second guide was different. Oh so very much different and so very much better too.John took us round the East End of London on "The Jack the Ripper Tour". He was amusing, irreverent, whitty, ghoulish when the occassion demanded, dressed for the part and threw everything he had at it. There must have been 50 in our group and everyone heard what he had to say and everyone wanted to too.

What amazed me was just how few people were around Whitechapel Saturday at 9p.m. Granted it was cold but we passed almost no-one except those in Jack The Ripper tours going in the other direction.And there were enough of them. I must have counted 5 in the hour or so I was out listening to our guide.There's obviously money in death be that cemeteries or how an unfortunate few end up there..

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