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Monday, February 2, 2015

If you can't say anything nice


     One of my Mother's sayings that I remember most was "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything."  I thought of this the past couple of weeks while I was traveling (which explains my less frequent posts) and reading Trip Advisor reviews in each of the cities I visited.  Trip Advisor is my bible on where to eat, where to stay and what to see.  My Advisor handle is ColumbiaTraveler.
     I have learned that the only way to accurately judge a place on Trip Advisor is to look at the number and percentage of reviews that are in the excellent or very good category.  All other reviews are meaningless if the place has a high percentage in these two categories.  Knowing this I still find it interesting to read the reviews that rate one of the highly rated places as poor.  Just what could be so bad about a highly rated place that they felt the need to post a poor review.  Let me say that I have a hard time rating any place as poor.  Somehow my Mother's saying comes back to me.  I guess it is just my feeling that it is bad to criticize someone who tries to do something well and it doesn't come off well.  Have you ever really been honest with a wait staff who comes by to ask how everything is?  Even when the food I have is not great I find myself saying "OK."  For me an OK really means I don't care for what I am eating.  As an aside, I fantasize about when a server opens a bottle of wine for me to taste to quickly spit it back in the glass and say that the wine tastes bad.  Isn't that the reason we are asked to taste the wine by a server?  Really, at my level of sophistication on wine I probably couldn't tell a good wine from a bad one.  Servers are wasting their time pouring for me to taste.
     Getting by to the poor reviews it seems that people who give these reviews to highly recommended places are the types of people who complain about much of life.  They seem to be an unhappy lot who show this trait but running other people down.  The cynicism is so heavy in their reviews that they must be the only people who know how to do something right.  I try to avoid these people in my life.  I am sorry for their poor self images and try not to let them contaminate by life.  I may not have taken everything my Mother has said to heart but not being too judgmental is one saying that I have tried to remember.

     I have often spoken about our living in the "Columbia bubble."  The truth in this is shown every time I travel when I notice a lack of diversity in the places I visit.  Our country is becoming more diverse but much of this diversity is still more segregated than what we would hope.  We are enriched by this greater diversity in Columbia.  If you want to see this diversity spend some time watching people come into one of our libraries as I did a few months ago.

P.S. 1
   I posted infrequently while I was travelling because generally my posts are Howard County based and I am not sure if my travelling observations are of interest to the people who read my blog.  The crazy thing is I think about more subjects on which to blog when I am travelling.  I have thought about labeling these blogs "observations from the road."  Maybe I will do these blogs on a future trip.

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