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On a visit to the beautiful Outer Hebrides off the coast and Scotland, my wife and I had a wonderful day exploring standing stones, ruins and lovely beaches, with almost no other tourists in sight. It was a small island, and when it came time to find an evening meal, it took quite a while to find any place at all. Anyone we asked seem to either stare at us with intense disapproval, or appeared too incapacitated by drink to respond. Finally, after hours of searching we found a restaurant that was open. 
   We were the only guests, and after some time a toothless woman approached and said two words, in a strong accent made even less comprehensible by her lack of pearly whites. "Celery soup," she said. Dumbfounded, my reply was yes. The soup duly arrived.
   She returned later to remove our soup bowls, and stated the following:  "Roast lamb, curry chicken, omelet." I had to order for my wife, who was almost bursting with laughter. After we finished the main course, we braced for the worst, as the woman approached again. "Peach Melba," she gummed. It was all I could do to nod assent, despite having no idea what Peach Melba was. 
  Three courses, nine words spoken. Oh yes, the Scots can be thrifty.

READ it carefully. :-)
It's amazing, you will understand the above word by the end of the conversation. Read aloud for best results. "Tendjewberrymud" Be warned, you're going to find yourself talking "funny" for a while after reading this. This has been nominated for best email of 1999.
The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review.
Room Service (RS): "Morny. Ruin sorbees"
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialled room-service"
RS: "Rye...Ruin sorbees...morny! Djewish to odor sunteen??"
G: "Uh...yes...I'd like some bacon and eggs"
RS: "Ow July den?"
G: "What??"
RS: "Ow July den?...pry, boy, pooch?"
G: "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."
RS: "Ow July dee bayhcem...crease?"
G: "Crisp will be fine."
RS : "Hokay. An San tos?"
G: "What?"
RS: "San tos. July San tos?"
G: "I don't think so."
RS: "No? Judo one toes??"
G: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo one toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...why djew Don Juan toes? Ow bow singlish mopping we bother?"
G: "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine.
Yes, an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We bother?"
G: "No.. just put the bother on the side."
RS: "Wad?"
G: "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
RS: "Copy?"
G: "Sorry?"
RS: "Copy...tea...mill?"
G: "Yes. Coffee please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Ass ruin torino fee, strangle ache, crease baychem, tossy singlish mopping we bother honey sigh, and copy....rye??"
G: "Whatever you say"
RS: "Tendjewberrymud"
G: "You're welcome"

HELEN ATCHISON, B.C. Tel's assistant manager of Operator Services, says overseas tourists sometimes have trouble with our pay telephone system. One call went like this: "Operator, I've just arrived from Britain, and I can't tell what coins I must deposit for $1.45. Can you help me?" "Just put in four elks, four sailboats and a beaver," the operator replied.

As AN author in England I am often riled by those who fail to understand what long hours of concentrated toil go into the writing of a book. But my frustration hit a new high when I entered Canada by way of Victoria. On the landing card I showed the purpose of my visit as business. The immigration officer was suspicious. "What is your business?" he demanded. "I write books." "And what are you going to be doing in Canada?" "Traveling in the Arctic for three months researching material for a new book." "You can't say that's work," he retorted, and amended my landing card to read: "Purpose of visit — Vacation."

A COUPLE from England had written for reservations at our Colorado Springs country inn. On the afternoon they were to arrive, the woman called to say they were driving to Colorado and would not be able to make it that night, but they'd see us the next day. The afternoon of the second day, we received another call from her. "We'll be unable to stay with you tonight, as well," she said. "We are somewhere in the state of Nebraska, and have seriously under estimated the size of America."

THE London double-decker bus was packed on the lower level, and the elderly woman who sat down next to me had had to stagger upstairs with two full shopping bags. When the conductor had collected all the fares, he came back and said to her, "Tell me where you're getting off, ma'am, and I'll carry your bags down for you." Good as his word, he handed her the bags from the platform when we reached her stop. "There's one passenger who thinks you're a perfect gentleman!" I said to the conductor as I got off the bus. "I don't know about that," he replied. "That was my mother-in-law."

AS A naturalist at Cape St. Mary's Seabird Sanctuary in Newfoundland, I had to interpret the ecology of seabirds for the public. Visitors were always overwhelmed by the number of birds, and I was usually inundated with questions. Because many of our visitors were from inland Canada and the United States, they often displayed an understandable ignorance of marine life. On one occasion a man from Ontario, apparently used to seeing birds in wildlife parks and zoos, turned to me and said, "This is marvelous, but how in the world do you feed them all?"

THE road crew on which my husband worked in the Yukon placed red warning flags where there were holes in the road. One day during lunch break a tourist stopped and said to the men, "Hey that's pretty smart the way you flag the holes in the road." Asked what they did where he came from, the tourist replied, "Oh, we fix them."

A German tourist walks into a McDonald's in New York City and orders a beer.  The local guy in the line behind him immediately gives him a verbal jab, "They don't serve beer here, you moron!"   The German fellow felt embarrassed, however he turned to the New Yorker with a surprised look on his face and begins to chuckle.  "And what's so funny?" the New Yorker demands.  Oh, nothing really, I just realized how stupid you are.   You came here for the food!"

As US tourists in Israel, a man and his wife were sitting outside  a Bethlehem souvenir shop, waiting for fellow tourists.  An Arab salesman approached them carrying belts.  After an impassioned sales talk yielded no results, he asked where they were from.   "America," the husband replied.  Looking at her dark hair and olive skin, the Arab responded.  "She's not from the States."  "Yes I am." said the wife. He looked at her and asked. "Is he your husband?" "Yes." she replied.  Turning to the husband, he offered. . . . . "I'll give you 100 camels for her."  The husband looked stunned, and there was a long silence.  Finally he replied, "she's not for sale."  After the salesman left, the somewhat indignant wife asked her husband what took him so long to answer, to which the husband replied, "I was trying to figure out how to get 100 camels back home."

AS TOURISTS, my mother and I trod the historic streets of London, suitably awed by the history and permanence of everything around us, including street signs. Even on construction hoardings, on which we stencil the blunt admonition POST NO BILLS, the English use elegant signs. Headed the CITY OF WESTMINSTER and in red Old English script, one enameled sign proclaimed, BILL STICKERS WILL BE PROSECUTED. That the British also have an historic sense of humor and justice was shown by the graffito scrawled below, which protested - BILL STICKERS IS INNOCENT!

WHILE traveling in Turkey, I quickly learned of the Turks' fondness for haggling. Often, I found, the money discussed was far less important than the outcome of the transaction.
  One day, at a village bus station, I was approached by representatives of two competing companies. When I asked one man the cost of a trip, he replied, "I take you on my bus for six hundred lira."  Immediately, the second man stepped forward. "With me," he said, "you go for five hundred lira."  The contest was on!  Back and forth they argued as I watched in speechless delight.
  "Four hundred."
  "Three hundred."
  "Two hundred."
  "One hundred."
  Finally, the first man thrust his hands upward, "Okay!  Okay!   For free!  I take you for free, my friend. NO money!"   Flabbergasted, I watched him scrawl out a ticket. "But why for free?" I asked.  His face cracked into a wide grin.  "Because," he said, "I win!"

WHEN we took some English visitors on a trip to Alberta, among the first things they wanted to see were "real working cowboys." A great shout arose inside our car when we finally saw some. There they were - just like a scene in the movies - dressed in jeans, cowboy boots and battered Stetsons, sitting easy in the saddle and riding herd on some cattle. Only it wasn't quite like the movies. The "cowboys" were Indians!

THE tourist returned to her hotel after sight-seeing. "My memory's awful," she said to the clerk. "Could you tell me what room I'm in?"  "Certainly," was the reply. "You're in the lobby."

WHILE I was visiting at an artesian hot spring in Saudi Arabia, a cement mixer followed by a pickup with ten laborers in it pulled up. I thought they had come to bathe in the hot springs, as is the local custom. Instead, they unloaded some 100 blankets and threw them into the drum of the truck. Then one of the workers dumped a case of laundry detergent, box by box, into the mixer. A hose was hooked up to draw the hot-spring water into the mixer, which the men then started up. Presto -a giant washing machine.

A BUS LOAD of tourists were driving along the shore of the Dead Sea when one passenger spotted a nomad apparently fishing. Excitedly she asked the bus driver to stop and sent their guide to ask the man what he could possibly catch in the Dead Sea. Upon returning to the bus the guide said the man would tell him only if he gave him "dollahs." Some money was collected and the guide went back to the nomad. Grinning, the man pocketed the bills and said: "See, I caught another one."

OUR family was touring an historic mansion, where the guide was especially enthusiastic about its many charms. "This house is over a hundred years old," she commented proudly, "and not a post or beam in it has been repaired."  A visitor spoke up, "I'm sure we've got the same landlord."

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Last updated May 19, 2008 by Becquet's Custom Programming