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Funniest/most embarrassing travel tale! (Or What NOT to do!)

 
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jan, 2003 09:47 pm
Jespah wins for worst travel tale of the day -- so close, yet so far away from the beach and with a real b!tch for a traveling partner.

Dys -- I assume you were with your parents who must have been frantic.

Margo -- Are you saying that I wasn't respectable, conservative, sensible and organized??? LOL -- I just had to pee!

I do however ALWAYS carry a flashlight! As CI suggests, they do come in handy.
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mikey
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jan, 2003 09:56 pm
i can relate to that one dyslexia, at logan in boston a few days after 9/11. it must've been worse in cairo.

i'll never fly out of there again, ever.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jan, 2003 11:47 pm
About 15 years ago, with my brother and a couple of friends going on a surfing/camping trip down the coast. Most of the towns in the area are separated from the main highway by twisting roads about 20km long. We were driving a 1963 Holden with some as yet unknown about electrical issues, on a moonless night down one of these unlighted roads. At the bottom of a hill negotiating a right hand bend at about 120 kph (73 mph) the headlights went off. There was exactly zero natural light. Somehow my brother managed to get us stopped unscathed with most of the car still on the road. We spent the last 8 kilometres of the trip hanging out the windows with the 2 torches we had navigating. At the time we thought it was hilarious-but we'd been influenced by-ummm-substances. Sends a shiver down my spine to think about it now!
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 07:34 am
JD - I think it is easy for anyone to be stupid anywhere! well, I do a good job, anyway...

Jespah - you poooooor darlin'!

Margo - c'mon - fess up...have a few drinks...

THINK Little 'k - ring your friends!

CI - hmm - what prize would you suggest?

Dys - whew!
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 07:37 am
Wilso! That reminds me of the time I was speeding through the country in my Vee Dub L, and the boot cover/bonnet cover -whatever you cal lit in a Beetle, 'twas the front one, anyway - suddenly flew up and blocked the entire windscreen just as I was entering a blind curve!!!

Who fainted in the loo? Poor love - and yes - why didn't they pull your skirt down straight away!!!
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 09:53 am
Did you know that many people who faint, do so in the loo? Also, most people who die at home, die in the bathroom. So, watch out... it is a deathtrap. Go in, do your thing, and GET OUT. And keep your skirt down.

Noted -- Wilso proves, once again, that your best friend while traveling is a good flashlight.... errrr..... torch!
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 10:10 am
Unless the torches are in the hands of angry villagers. Then get the hell out of Transylvania.

(For a collection of embarassments by a professional traveller -- not a British Gypsy but a travel writer, I should specify -- look to Dervla Murphy's "Transylvania and Beyond," in which she putters through Rumania shortly after the overthrow of the Ceaucescus. Among other things, she slips on a frozen puddle of vomit in the stairway of an unheated hotel and breaks her leg.)
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 11:10 am
As you do.....
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 11:15 am
Having never slipped on frozen vomit myself, I defer to your superior knowledge and will watch for these sorts of roadblocks in the future.

I did know a person who, finally having attained enough vacation time and money in the same spot, flew to Europe for fun. Her first step off the first cobblestoned sidewalk that she trod upon on the very first day caused her to fall, breaking her ankle in some bizarre way and necessitating an immediate emergency flight home. Now THAT's a vacation!
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 11:18 am
Yikes! Under the Ceaucescus you prolly got put down if you broke your leg....
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 11:37 am
When I was about 4 or 5 my family was on vacation in Estes Park, CO. We had gone on a resort-run horseback ride and barbecue into the mountains.

While the grownups were sitting around talking I grew very bored and wandered around the area looking for anything interesting.
Since they brought a lot of groups to this campsite, the resort had a metal cabinet there in the woods to hold supplies. I looked through the drawers one-by-one. They were all empty, except one that held what I thought was a canteen. I ran up to the crowd of adults and shouted, "Look, I found a canteen, I found a canteen!"

It turns out it was a full whiskey flask stashed there by a resort employee who subsequently was severely reprimanded. My parents were extremely embarrassed.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 11:57 am
Years ago, a house hunting trip to California went awry when the flight out of Minneapolis to San Jose struck a flock of geese at about 12,000 feet. I was sitting right by the left engine in the back when I heard this tremendous BANG! and suddenly the cabin smelled just like Thanksgiving. A look out the window revealed a softball sized dent in the engine's intake cowling.

I tried to get the attention of the (male) flight attendents but they only gave me a limp wave. I finally told one of them in no uncertain terms that if they didn't alert the pilot/copilot to the problem I was going to go up and do it myself. Eventually, a whitefaced copilot made his way back to inspect the damage. Apparently another goose had struck the window right in front of him - shook him up pretty good.

Anyway, they turned around and made an emergency landing back at Minneapolis. We reboarded another plane to make the flight. The engine that sucked in the goose required at least a $150,000 overhaul.
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 01:02 pm
The nerve of them! Throwing me out of Yemen! It's the absolute arsehole of the universe. Why would anyone (in their right mind or otherwise) think I would want to stay in that godforsaken country?

My crime was that I was a white female who had arrived there without a visa (which I couldn't get in Australia). I'd come in on a sailing ship, and wanted to stay one night to fly out home the next morning. They threatened to impound the ship (one of those involved in the tall ship re-enactment as part of Australia's bicentenary), if I didn't go back on board, and leave their poxy country. Sheeeesh!

This was in 1989. Now, in 1986 (I think) there had been some sort of coup in Yemen, backed by the Russians. Ships had been bombed in the harbour in Aden, and were still there, making getting around the harbour quite dangerous. There were no lights on them, or anything. The airport had been shot up, and there were still bullet holes everywhere. You couldn't get a cold beer, or indeed anything alcoholic to drink, except in a dark back room in one of the hotels. A huge dust cloud hung over everything, and you could see it miles out to sea. Visibility was practically zero.

The place was an absolute shambles, with wrecked buildings everywhere, and shops boarded up. No-one had made any attempt to restore any sort of normal comforts. The main road from the airport into Aden was a six- or eight-lane highway, with 2 or 3 storey buildings lining it on either side. There were just facades, though, and behind these walls, people were living in cardboard boxes, tin humpies, and anything else they could fiind. Stretched across the road, at frequent intervals, were the photos of the 4 men, who were joint leaders of the junta that now ran the country.

All the expats living in Aden came racing out to the boat - I think they were desperate to see some other westerners. All of them hated it there.

When Aden was a British protectorate, everyone tells me it was a lovely place, very green, and civilised, with nice afternoon teas at the governor's residence, for the select few. But now -or then - but I don't think it's any better now! Yeeecccchhhh!!
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 01:26 pm
Poxinated country is right. Very sad. Thank heavens you weren't hurt. Sounds cool though, a tall ship!?!
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Heeven
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 02:15 pm
Another travel story ...

My sister and I (we were in our late teens) went off on our first wild holiday together - Greece. We arrived in Athens and were taking an internal flight to Mykonos, one of the Islands. We were put on an 8-seater crate (for want of a better word) and waited wide-eyed while our pilot taped a portion of the wing in place (fingers crossed!) We were flying along nicely when suddenly the engine cuts. I look across the aisle at my sister as the pilot starts yelling (we shall presume he was cursing) in Greek. The curtain separating the pilot (small plane, no doors here!) from us is suddenly thrown open and the pilot (who's at the controls?) grabs a mallet of some sort and takes it back to his seat. He doesn't close the curtain fully and my sister and myself watch in horror as he proceeds to whack at something to the side of him with the mallet. His hands are not on the controls and the planes wings are now perpendicular to the sea, which we are seeing out of my sisters window since I have now fallen across the aisle (ripped seatbelt) and on top of her. We are screaming, the pilot is cursing, a lamb is bleating (yes, you heard me, a lamb!) and we are sure we are going to die in 60 seconds or less. Suddenly the engine roars back to life, and my sister and I are soon landing in Mykonos. I swear my handprints were imprinted in the seat. We get off the plane and the pilot smiles (approximately three teeth in his head) and waves goodbye to us!

Our return trip to Athens, you'll be happy to hear, was by Ferry (even if I did throw up my stomach contents all the way).
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 02:17 pm
yikes!
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bobsmythhawk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 07:52 pm
Funniest/most embarrassing travel tale! (Or What NOT to do!)
On one of our earliest visits to Finland (I married a Finn) the younger members of the family left Risteys to have a bit of fun in Helsinki. We were planning on spending a few days and her parents had an empty apartment there we could use. We arrived too late to get some food from the local store so it was agreed whoever got up first would fetch it. You guessed it I was first up. Armed with a tiny English-Finnish Finnish-English dictionary I ventured forth.
All I had to do was give them the list and they would get the items. Easy. This was done when I noticed ther was no butter. It had not been put on the list. I reached for my pocket dictionary and asked for hovimestari. The woman took a step back. other people were called over. Anteeksi (excuse me) I requested to check the information. Voi I asked. The writing was so small I had not asked for butter but a butler.
I made the mistake of telling my wife and the story brought laughs to the family for years.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 08:38 pm
You people! Cooked geese - salty lambs, handprints in seats, butlers (I'd rather have one of them than boring butter any day) yo ho ho and bottles of rum - and, best of all, Margo thrown out of Yemen for moral turpitude!!!!

Tell us about the tall ship, Margo - did you have a star to steer her by?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jan, 2003 09:20 pm
bobsmyth, When were you in Helsinki? I only visited there in route to Moscow about four years ago, but was able to see Senate Square, Rock Church, drive by the waterfront, the park with the modern sculpture of music (I forget which musician it was dedicated to), and some parts of town. Our hotel was located about one mile from the center of town, so I walked around for several hours. c.i.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 07:22 am
Many thanks for the sympathy. Alas, I didn't get my boss's position when she departed.

Another odd travel story. I slipped a few hours before I had to fly out and sprained my right wrist. It was painful but x-rays showed nothing was broken. And, everything was booked. So, sling on my arm, I went to the audit, which was in New Jersey.

I arrive and the hotel desk clerk, looking sympathetic, gives me a handicapped room. And, for the remainder of the audit, I wonder what the heck a shower with no tub and a grab bar next to the toilet have to do with my sprained wrist. I also figured if someone in a wheelchair came to stay at the hotel, I'd offer to share the room with 'em.

I have more. Auditing stories abound - I did something like 100 of them and while most of them were pretty bland, a few stand out.
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