2
   

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

 
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 08:18 am
Stand out a LOT?! tell us!
0 Replies
 
bobsmythhawk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 10:02 am
Funniest/most embarrassing travel tale! (Or What NOT to do!)
Hi Cicerone:

I've had many trips to Finland. Risteys mentioned in my prior post means crossings in Swedish. About 10% of Finland's population are Swedish Finns. Solveig attended the Swedish school in Helsinki. Finland at one time belonged to Sweden.
Another funny story was the time we were walking arouns Helsinki. The number of people who would ask tourists for money was starting to annoy me. So when I saw one approaching I told my wife to let me handle it. When he asked for money I told him abruply I didn't speak Finnish. We left him scratching his head. Solveig was laughing. Why are you laughing I asked. You said it in Finnish she replied.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 10:56 am
Bob,

Reminds me of an incident in Hong Kong. My Chinese has over the years become rusty to the point where even menus require some thought. I had been in Hong Kong for about a week and my Chinese was slowly returning. I was walking down Nathan, the main drag, and spotted a small sign posted far above eye level. The sign promised optometry in very small characters. I laughed at the foolishness of such a sign, and then realized that I had read the sign in Chinese without thinking. I still haven't figured out how I did that, most of my Chinese was pointed toward studying the Classics, not modern idioms.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 10:57 am
LOL -- "And how would you say that in Finnish?" says this pitiful English-only speaker.

Jespah - More, please!
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 11:06 am
Mr.A -- Good eyes for detail? Maybe the pictographs were explicit?

Thanks, BTW, for the excellent link to whatisart. I couldn't get into all the pages (because my computer needs a tune-up) but lots to see at a later date.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 11:36 am
Asherman, Your statement, "and spotted a small sign posted far above eye level" was a chuckler. ALL signs in Hong Kong are posted above eye level! Wink c.i.
0 Replies
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 12:32 pm
Cicero,

I looked back at what I wrote, and saw that for some reason I wrote about dentistry rather than optometry. The sign was probably six feet overhead, the humor to me at the time was that anyone with lousy vision would never see the sign at all. Oh, well. The mind works strange tricks, but how and why did my mind say teeth instead of eyes? I'll have to puzzle it out I suppose.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 01:09 pm
Really? So it was about the eyes? I thought so, but then... saw the teeth. Heehee. A funny morning.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 01:10 pm
Tall ship sailing is one of the best things I've done in my life! Especially if you consider I suffer from near-terminal seasickness as soon as I'm out of the harbour!

Being at sea, especially out of sight of land, is just fantastic (it's the same on any boat - although I'm not too fond of motor boats!). There are so many stars, away from the light pollution, and the changing sea is always fascinating.

There was indeed a star to steer her by - we did use celestial navigation (well, I didn't), but we had satnav also. When I was steering, the mate just told me a course to steer - I was known as snake-wake - it took a long while to get the hang of steering a 150-ft sailing boat with 17 sails!.

I was at sea one Christmas Day. We had sailed out of Darwin 4 days before, into a cyclone, and my overwhelming seasickness (you don't want to know the details) meant that I was semi-conscious on a mattress on the floor for 3 days. The cyclone abated, and I started to come good on Christmas Eve. This was good news, as the 22 crew on this ship was half Swedish, and the rest mostly Oz, with a spattering of other nationalities. Christmas Eve is when the Swedes celebrate Christmas, so I had to be well enough to try the Swedish specialties. And then, Aussies celebrate on Christmas Day, so there was another feast.

I managed to get through the eating - and I was on 8-12 watch - that's 8am-12 noon, and 8pm to midnight. This is considered the best watch, with the most normal hours - although not my favourite. When we came off watch on Christmas night, we had a few drinks - to celebrate the end of Christmas (or anything). We then hit the sack about 1am, a little worse for wear.

At about this time, the wind came up. The mate on the 12-4 watch was not an experienced sailor, despite what he said, and the person steering was also inexperienced. This was an unfortunate combination, as the ship suddenly jibed - did a 180 degree turn - very damaging to sails and steering gear, and all sails have to be dropped and reset in a screaming hurry. So, they do actually call "ALL HANDS ON DECK; ALL HANDS ON DECK" over the speaker and blow the siren. Bloody scary, I tell you.

I hit the floor, still asleep, partly drunk and without clothes (too hot!). I had no idea what the problem was - scrambled to find some clothes and get up on deck. There, everyone is yelling orders, the sails are screaming, the lines are flying, and, in the dark, I have no idea what's happening - although I don't think we're about to sink. I'm probably the least experienced person on the crew. Find my group, grab a line - get hands torn as I didn't grab my gloves. Just stand there, in a daze, hold lines, haul away, and tie things down, as directed, until things are under control.


Aaaah - the peaceful life at sea.....
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 01:28 pm
Goodness, what a sea story! And on Christmas (well, by then it would have been Boxing Day)!

I'm copying this tale to pass on to my sailing friends.

Margo, try to remember to tell this to Janet as she was the one who got me my volunteer job on the Endeavour. We love tall ships!
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 01:59 pm
Here's a photo of Nathan Road in Hong Kong. This is what I remember about Hong Kong. http://images.webshots.com/ProThumbs/6/12906_wallpaper280.jpg

c.i.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 06:32 pm
The Jersey Audit From Hell (1997 or 1996, I think)

And you thought I only had lousy times in Hawaii.

Actually, I did a lot of audits in New Jersey, and most of them were fine. Even Newark was okay - great Portuguese food in the Ironbound section.

But this was Asbury Park, birthplace of Bruce Springsteen. Asbury Park has gone to seed in a big way. But, auditing called, so off we went. We were me, the CPA, and a woman who'd been hired to administer the database (I wouldn't call her the database administrator; she was more like a data entry clerk with a fancy title). She was along to see what happens at legal audits.

So, we get to the hotel, which is cheap. Oh yeah. Really cheap. Ripped carpeting in the lobby, nicks in the walls, etc. But, the place was booked, it was in a convenient location, and we figured there was nowhere else to go, as Asbury Park isn't too close to any large cities and the less time we spent commuting, the better. After all, we all wanted out as soon as possible.

Anyway, the hotel, at one point in its existence, had been nice. It certainly had good views of the Atlantic Ocean. There were several conference rooms, which we had to walk by to get to the parking lot. After the first day we started reading the cards for each of the rooms, wondering who would possibly want to have a convention or seminar or whatever in Asbury Park, NJ. The hotel's conference rooms were taken up by (1) The Unification Church (AKA the Moonies) and (2) The Natural Law Party. I have no idea why the Moonies were there, although it didn't seem to be one of their mass weddings. As for the Natural Law Party, their speaker was John Hagelin, who in 2000 ended up being their nominee for President of the United States. Anyway, Hagelin looked a lot like the CPA, so for the rest of the audit the clerk and I kidded him about that.

Asbury Park at night was - oy, a trip. First off, you gotta know that the CPA wasn't using his company car as it was in the shop. Hence, he was using his black van, very possibly a van in which he'd try to impress women (more poking fun from the clerk and me). Anyway, Asbury Park at night is deserted. Very quiet, very dark, very dangerous. So, we drive along, after dinner, trying to find the hotel again. The three of us are a little tipsy but not too much. As we go along, we stop at a stop light. A guy on a bicycle motions to the CPA (who was driving) to roll down his window. The clerk and I are scared, thinking we're about to be carjacked, but instead the guy on the bike pantomimes the act of smoking a joint. "Uh, no thanks." says the CPA, who floors the van and runs the red.

After being offered the drug deal, we find our way back to the hotel and its rather dimly-lit parking lot. As we walk along, the clerk suddenly screams. The CPA and I look at each other and at her - huh? Turns out, she almost stepped on a dead pigeon which was lying on the walkway to the hotel. The following morning, we noticed that the pigeon was removed to a place of honor, on the grass next to the bushes next to the hotel walkway.

A disposable camera was procured the following day and the clerk took photos of the pigeon, the Natural Law Party's speaker, etc. She then presented them to the boss (this was the guy who'd replaced the woman in the Hawaii story) after the audit was finished as proof that he should never, ever send her on another audit.
0 Replies
 
bigdice67
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:35 am
My worst experience while travelling, was actually also good for me.

I was in the States for the first time, visiting a buddy in Georgia for Christmas and New years, and then do some travelling on my own. Had a great time with my buddy and his family, celebrating Christmas the American Way.

After that I went by train to New Orleans, and this is where the story starts. The train that I went with starts it's journey in New York State someplace, and then passes through Gainesville,Ga., very early in the morning. Hey, no problem, I can sleep on the train. And I could, but since I used to work as a waiter on the swedish railroad I knew what kind of sounds a moving train makes, and what kind of sounds a train makes when it has to come to a very sudden stop. I woke up and looked around, no panic here, which meant we hadn't derailed, or something like it.

Being awake, I was starting to think about a coffee and a smoke, so I went to the Cafe'waggon, the only place where you could smoke in the whole train. Coffee and smokes, basic breakfast for a waiter. And also very communicative when you're sitting in a non-moving train. Lots of speculation on why we were standing, engine problems, accident further down the track, whatever.

After awhile, the engineer calls out over the PA that we're having technical difficulties, and almost everybody's satisfied with this statement, except this veteran, who says, then why is the whole sheriff's department here, and some state-troopers with him? As if on cue, on of the service-staff in the restaurant came in through the door, saying "No sirree, you shouldn't be messing witth a moving train if you are a mere man!"

Turned out to be, some poor guy decided that guns are too loud, pills not certain enough, but trains very efficient.

It was on the same traintrip that I realized that I had misplaced my passport. Called my buddy's parents when I got to my hotel, hoping that they had found it, while cleaning my room. No, nope, uh-huh, negative. Ok, I thought, no panic now, first I'll check out Bourbon Street. Then we'll see about panic. Turned out that they found my camera, but no passport.

There was no swedish consulate, honorary consul, or anysuch in the New Orleans area that could help me at that time, but in Miami surely, which was my next stop. Had a good time in N'awlens though.

Got to Miami, searched the phonebook for the swedish diplomats, and found one!!! In Fort Lauderdale... and they were closed for the season, till way past my return-date... At this point I was cursing in four different languages. Ok, time to call the general consulate in New York, see if they can help me. They could, and I did what they wanted from me, pictures, photocopies, FedEx overnight-express, the whole sheh-bang. Waited for the return mail, and waited, Martin-Luther-King Day no post, waited. Paperwork back to New York, and some more waiting.

Next problem was where should I pick up my documents? The guys in Florida were on vacation, the honorary consul in Tampa... The guy in Tampa came up with the idea of the Norwegian consulate in Miami, don't you think they can help?

THey could, and I was on my way home, without having to show my passport once until I arrived in Zurich, two days late, $1000 poorer, but more experienced, and with a nice tan!

The next trip, I stapled my passport to my chest....
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:45 am
Sheesh.

On one stay in London I went down into a tube stop to find it jammed with people, unusually silent even for Britons. Took a very long time for a train to come, and it was very, very crowded, but not a complaint from anyone. I thought it was very odd -- courteous if it didn't seem so morose. Just about anywhere else the people should be complaining at the top of their lungs about the incompetence of the network, the heat, whatever.

Didn't find out until later that the slowdown was due to someone jumping in front of the train just up the line.



Not that that's at all funny...
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 10:58 am
patiodog, Anybody with experience in London knows not to take the tube during commute hours. It's murder! Besides, the cheap pass limits it to non-commute hours. Wink c.i.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 02:53 pm
Lovely tales, people - well, except for the suicides!

It is spooky in the tube when the bomb scares happen - I stayed just
over Tower Bridge from the Tower of London on my first venture to London - (cheap accommodation at the student digs of the School of Economics, folks, during their holidays ) - and it is a popular bomb/bomb scare station, Tower Hill station is, and I spent a few quiet times waiting for bombs to be looked for, hoping the IRA weren't especially cross that summer... I guess we will all become like London now - no rubbish receptacles, hysteria about bags left alone for a second...sigh
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2003 03:22 pm
dlowan, Have you ever visited the Imperial War Museum? They have pictures of the tubes from WWII as bomb shelters, and some of those stations still look the same! Wink c.i.

I was in London last month, March 2003, and had a revist to the Imperial War Museum. The outside looked the same, but it seems they reworked the inside of the museum. Still a very good museum, and worth a visit for the first time visitor to London. Also, take in the London Eye, and bring your camera. The view is fantastic. It takes 30 minutes for one revolution. c.i.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Help me plan our Great American Vacation - Discussion by FreeDuck
Wheelchair - Discussion by gollum
SPACE TRAVEL VIA THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE - Discussion by Charli
Silvia, Cauca Department, Colombia - Discussion by Pitter
How many countries have you visited? - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Been to Australia a couple of times - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Went to Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival today in SF - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Places I have traveled to - Discussion by cicerone imposter
Little known flying secrets! - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/20/2022 at 10:47:49