In order to visit the Presidential Palace (former Royal Palace), you need to make a reservation at least two days earlier. My mother and I arrive on time and wait for the tour to start when an American family of three women and four children, all related, arrive. The first sign that this is going to be fun is that, despite the receptionist telling them about the rule, they make a scene about having traveled from far, wanting to visit, etc. The tour guide decides to bend the rules for the kids and agrees to take them on. Meanwhile, the children practically pick the Reception Hall apart. Since the museum is inside a functioning Government building, you are not permitted to leave the tour without announcing to the guide and waiting for an escort.
Kid #1, around 14 years old, the first chance she gets, takes her shoes off, lies down on the floor, and reads her book. Throughout the whole tour, not once did she look at the building or listen to the guide. But, hey. At least she was quiet, I guess. Still, would she have been allowed to do the same in the White House?
Kids #2 and #3, aged between eight and ten, make a point of touching every single item labeled with a “do not touch” sign.
And my personal favourite, Kid #4. The sweet little darling is about three, obviously way too young for a 100 minute-long tour. She is running around like crazy, getting behind the cordons, climbing up on the delicate historical furniture, while not a single adult from her family, including her own mother, pays ANY attention to her. After the tour guide pleads with the accompanying adults for the hundredth time, the little hellspawn’s mother drops this pearl, saying that Kid #4 doesn’t listen to her and that the kid will just scream if she tells the kid anything, so YOU do something about the kid. She then questioned why should she leave the tour when she paid for it?!
The poor guide, and every other visitor in our group — also paying customers — had to put up with an increasingly hysterical toddler and her entire entitled entourage for the rest of the visit, except the Royal Church. By that time, our guide had finally had enough and forbade them from entering. We asked her if we’d be allowed to buy her a drink on us after all the ordeal.