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This is a question Brits Abroad

Union jack shorts, bulldog t-shirts, bars named after soap operas, hen parties in Malaga. Tell us about your encounters with the worst (or best) of our fair country's travelers around the world. Alternatively, tell us about your own doomed quest to find a decent cup of tea in Moscow.

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:01)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

a few years ago, we went on a christmas caribbean cruise that went from florida down to the bahamas and a few other places, then back to florida
mostly this was as lovely as it sounds, and the ship was incredible in terms of facilities and food and drink. but there was just one problem: the PEOPLE. the ship was largely full (and i do mean largely) of rich entitled americans, with a few very twatty brits thrown in for good measure.

mostly we managed to avoid them, but there were a few things that stood out. like the fact that americans won't or can't use stairs and so we had to wait for ages to go up one flight in the lift if we had my niece or nephew with us in their buggies. or the utter cunt who bollocked the lovely filipino waitress in front of us for saying "merry christmas" on christmas day morning. apparently that is offensive to other religions, and she should have said "happy holidays". i thought my brother was going to deck the twat.

anyway, the worst of the lot was this arrogant british family whom we seemed to see everywhere. one evening the ship had a karaoke evening, and my god did people take it seriously. people had rushed to sign up on boarding the ship, and they had brought props and everything. we were amused to watch the daddy of the arrogant brits swagger up on stage, where he did, to be fair to him, a good version of "come fly with me". he and my brother later ended up in the final, whence he was spotted behind stage making loud whimpering noises. when my brother queried it, he said patronisingly, "it's puppying, yah? warming up the vocal chords?"

the next day, i saw him in the lift, surrounded by a crowd of adoring american ladies. he was preening. when they asked if he sang professionally, he said, "clubs, yah? london, yah?"

"oh, i'm from london," i piped up. "whereabouts?"

"er. hendon."

not exactly fucking entertaining people at the waldorf, are you, sunshine?
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 15:39, 40 replies)
Ye Robin Hood Pub
Many moons ago I went on holiday in August with my friend and his family to cost’r-dell-soul (as us tourists would pronounce it), the south coast of Spain. Not somewhere I normally would go but we were staying in a nice flat, my friend and I, and it was fun, hanging by the pool and taking advantage of less strictly observed drinking regulations.

One beautifully hot afternoon we were drinking in Ye Robin Hood Pub (yes, that is the sort of resort it was). Behind us a pair of Londoners were swearing loudly, complaining about everything under the hot sun.
“It’s so Fucking hot here. Too Fucking hot,” declared one,
“Yeah,” said the other, “And there are so many fucking Spaniards around,”

I still to this day don’t quite understand the logic of going on holiday to the South of Spain in the middle of August if you don’t like heat or Spanish people.
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 15:09, 2 replies)
Never go on holiday with your mother in law
Mine recently bought a house in Spain and we obligingly flew over with our two spoilt ungrateful children for a visit. We were in one of the very few Irish theme pubs on the Spanish Coast for an afternoon drink, and I was served by a man with an Irish accent wearing a black felt Guinness hat and a t shirt with 'Irish' written on it. I said 'thanks' and the MOL said 'when you're here you need to make an effort and say muchos gracias'. I protested that he spoke English and she said 'you can't possibly know that'.
A few days later she proved her point in Zara by bellowing at the shop assistant 'RETURNOS SHIRTOS GAMBAS GAMBAS GAMBAS'. Later that day I gently asked why she'd appended the words 'prawns prawns prawns' onto the end of her made-up sentence and she huffed that she was at least making an effort.
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 14:07, 10 replies)
My brother had gone skiing in Austria with a group of friends, but ended up with a bad cold or flu or something so decided not to go on the slopes. One of the others offered to go with him to the pharmacy "'cos I speak German really well, like." So off they trotted. Once in the pharmacy my brother's friend loudly asked "Haven-zie gotten-zie coffen-zie mixture?", then stood, waiting to be served.
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 13:02, Reply)
When I go to The Continent, I like to learn at least a little bit of the lingo, out of politeness - even if it's just the "Please may I have"s/"Can we have the bill please"/"Thank you very much, your daughter is very skilled".
We were in Seville, at a self-catering apartment, and my flamboyantly homosexual friend and I went on a booze run. He thought I could speak Spanish, because I'd understood when the taxi driver had commented on how hot it was (albeit while indicating the thermometer reading on the dashboard and saying something like "Scorchio!"), so when it came to conversing it was I who did it, as he's absolutely terrified of pretty well anyone outside the clientele of the Admiral Duncan.

So I bought a case of beer, and matey bought several bottles of wine.

The friendly cashier said something to him in Spanish, clearly asking whether or not he wanted the bottles double-bagged.

My friend stared at the cashier in horror, and after several beats said loudly and clearly, and not a little shrilly, "AI'M TEYIBLY SORRY - I DEWN'T SPEEK SPANISH!", grabbed the bottles and ran out, without his change.
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 12:29, 3 replies)
Me and my dear wife went to Turkey for a long weekend.
We were enchanted by the beautiful beaches, sparkling sea and people spoke remarkably good English, if rather heavily accented. Keen to try out the local delicacies, we had a delicious kebab, very similar to what we have had back home, but had no luck in getting hold of any baklava for afters. Everyone just look blank when we asked for it in any of the local eateries, and we tried every possible pronunciation of it just to be sure, but no. Then we realised our mistake: we were in Torquay by mistake. How we smiled a bit at our gruel-thin sense of humour.
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 12:08, 6 replies)
Everybody hates us; we don't care.

(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 11:20, 33 replies)
I once had to almost physically restrain a tipsy noo joiker in Naples
because he insisted that pizza was invented by Italian immigrants in Noo Joik but the pizzeria we were eating in claimed to have been opened a hundred years before. He was genuinely fighting furious.

Typical fucking hysterical wop.
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 8:49, 15 replies)
It's the lobster one - again
Some years ago I was working with a great bunch of guys who were the epitome of the 'work hard, play a billion times harder' ethos.
We'd secured a mahoosive contract to supply a large Danish company with some serious hardware and, as I was the 'Engineer' of the company it fell to me to be there when it arrived - fuck knows why, I wasn't doing anything to it but hey ho.
I'd been on the lash with the guys in the departure airport for quite a while when the flight was called and I was 'quite refreshed'. Luckily I was allowed on to the plane into first class, whereupon I was given more booze. And then more booze - rinse and repeat.
The plane was then diverted to Schipol - where I hit the complimentary (at the time - dunno if it's free now) first-class bar. An hour later, now 'heavily refreshed' I got on a plane to Copenhagen.
On bumbling out of baggage claim in Copenhagen I was at a loose end for a while until the car we'd re-booked could come for me.
I don't remember getting from Copenhagen to Roskilde. I don't remember booking into the hotel. I don't remember getting to my room.
I DO remember waking up thinking I'd got a Somali refugee camp in my mouth and a drummer's convention in my head. In my bleary state I looked for a familiar room landmark to let me have at least an idea of which country I was in. Luckily there was a brochure from the hotel on the nightstand next to a polystyrene box bound with blue tape that clearly I'd put there the previous night.
I opened it the box.

There was a lobster inside.

I looked again.

Still a lobster.

Where the fuck did I get a lobster? WHY the fuck did I have a lobster on my nightstand?
I had not a scooby, no frickin' idea.
I closed the box, went for breakfast and waited for my car to the factory, brooding on the fact that I had a/ clearly bought a lobster and b/ what the fuck was I doing with it?
I gave it to the hotel kitchen. They looked at me like I was a pissed Englishman trying to pass off a lobster to them - and they were right.
All was revealed when my lift came. It's not easy to raise the subject of random lobsters on your nightstand - to a man who has only just met you - but raise it I did.
Apparently there are lobster salespeople in Copenhagen airport who sell lobsters to travellers. I'd bought one and promptly forgotten, Thank god I didn't think it was a kebab!
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 6:54, 4 replies)
I once saw Alexei Sayle in the northbound car park of Keele Services on the M6.
in different directions; over a wide area.
"millions of seeds are annually scattered abroad"
(, Tue 29 Apr 2014, 2:32, Reply)
Forget Brits abroad.
I talked to a guy from Brooklyn in Copenhagen airport - he wondered why his coffee cost more in Denmark. He couldn't be convinced that the Scandewegians were a tad wealthier than the Italians or, in some ways, the 'merkins.
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 19:05, 4 replies)
I believe the Linekers bars to be the very definition of all that is right with the English in a foreign land.
You may beg to differ but you will be wrong.
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 18:39, 4 replies)
Well that sounded better in my head

On a shamefully drunken jolly high-powered business trip to Budapest, I had my passport stolen while I was in the hotel bar.

I remembered that I'd noticed a woman behaving in a suspicious way: she was wandering around, talking to men - particularly men in expensive business suits, rather than scruffy-looking gits like me. I also noticed her because she had the highest heels I've ever seen on anyone who wasn't a transvestite. It didn't take Poirot to work out that she was a prostitute, and apparently the barman was in on it as she conferred with him regularly.

So, it seemed likely that she had lifted my passport from my bag during one of her circuits. Perhaps the barman had distracted me at the key moment. Thankfully, the Hungarian police and British Embassy were all very helpful and efficient, and I had no problem getting home.

I had more problems when, without thinking, I casually mentioned to my wife that I'd had my passport stolen by a hooker in my hotel...
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:34, 1 reply)
That's bananas!
Staying at my cousin's flat in Perth, WA I was hailed by a neighbour who ushered me through her house to her back garden.

"I bet you haven't seen these growing before!" she said smugly, pointing at a crop of bananas. I politely nodded.

I didn't have the heart to tell her that when I was a child my grandparents had taken me to the Victorian Conservatory in Blackburn's Corporation Park. We'd seen bananas and loads of other tropical plants thriving, even in the weak northern sunshine.

I guess the haven't heard of greenhouses in Australia.
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:17, 7 replies)
Wizards of QOTW, only you can save me now
I'm writing a best man's speech for a rather conservative crowd but after a game of Cards Against Humanity on the stag weekend I've been wagered that I can't get the phrase "chunks of dead prostitute" into the speech without upsetting the maiden Aunts.

Of course I could just stand up, yell the offending phrase and make a run for it while they're busy administering the smelling salts but I quite fancy serving it up as a punchline in classic qotw style.

Can anyone improve on "chunks of dyed Prost's red suit"? That's going to need a hell of an F1 related buildup.
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 11:49, 42 replies)
Something, something, British law degree, something, international reputation, something.

To cut a long story short, Dickson Poon.
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 11:41, 6 replies)
I'm just back from abroad, it was full of Brits.
I went to London.
(, Mon 28 Apr 2014, 8:57, 3 replies)
I was a 21 year old virgin, the guy without a date at a mostly girl sixth form college, that kindof loser.
Until I had an epiphany and went on a 'Club 18-30'holiday. Never looked back, i slept with every girl i took a fancy to, serious. Total fanny rat.
(, Sun 27 Apr 2014, 23:43, 1 reply)
Was on /links a few years back

This article Perfectly sums up what this QOTW is trying to achieve.

(, Sun 27 Apr 2014, 19:00, 2 replies)
Ryan air flight to majorca
This was scummy long haul (took just over 2hrs)

For some people that distance is just too long without a biff. So they sold the electric kind on the flight. Obviously before our flight had barely left British airspace people were lighting up... literally. Seeing some p!ssed up scally try and light their electric biff with a lighter attracted some astonishing looks.

We all clapped when we landed.
(, Sun 27 Apr 2014, 18:57, 11 replies)
I saw a bloke in Spain with his shirt off, showing a tatoo around his navel; it said 'Born and Bread In Wolverhampton'

(, Sun 27 Apr 2014, 16:48, 7 replies)
You're Assholes

(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 23:22, 32 replies)
San Diego, CA
A lovely place - wish I was there right now, but I'm not.

I was in a bar with a strict ID policy, which isn't unusual in the US so I'd shown my UK passport and settled down with a beer. Very shortly - and abruptly - I was joined by a small angry red faced fury with a wife who has faded in my memory beyond description, because all she contributed was "Thas' right".

An Ulsterman. A vehement, fuming, frothing at the mouth Ulsterman who made it VERY CLEAR TO ME in a short space of time that THE STATE OF ULSTER RIGHT NOW (I grew up in the '70's before Paisley was voiced over, so I understood him) WAS A FUCKIN' DISGRACE and he'd moved to San Diego where he could live a decent life away from THEM FUCKIN' HEATHENS.

San Diego is about the most Catholic city you'll get in the US - it's a liberal and open place. I took, in a couple of hours, more concentrated vitriol than I'll ever get again, I hope. He might be still there for all I know, not seeing or understanding the difference between what he'd left and what he was in.

He bought me a lot of drinks though, so he wasn't all bad.
(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 18:49, 17 replies)
Gammon Ham with Pineapple Chunks
Normandy. The only region of France with weather as bad as the UK. I guess that’s why so many Ex-Pats feel at home here.

I pause to look at the menu outside the John Bull restaurant:

Gammon Ham with Pineapple Chunks.

I suddenly realise I’ve never eaten Gammon Ham with Pineapple Chunks. Not here. Not back home. Not ever.

“Ah!” I say out loud, “Gammon Ham with Pineapple Chunks, I guess this is a restaurant designed to appeal to British people.”

“Exactly!” chuckles the French waitress smoking a cigarette in the doorway.
(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 17:50, 5 replies)
We sit in bar with no roof, whilst thumping house music is pumped out at deafening volume. So loud you can barely hear yourself think, let alone actually have a conversation with the person next to you. Simultaneously episodes of Peter Kay Live or Fools and Horses are played in a loop on a gigantic TV screen. Not that you can actually here what is being said, the music does for that. Outside a child is fast asleep in a buggy. We stare into our drinks and say nothing.

People do this for pleasure?
(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 17:31, 6 replies)
i like travelling on my own, but sometimes, it's just too expensive and i need someone to share a room with me. this can be fun, but it can also be a complete fucking pain in the arse.

2 weeks doing nothing but get wasted. fun, but repetitive.

best friend:
brilliant, until she got her foot done in by some wanker stamping on it and got carted back from the medical centre* at 3a.m, morphined up and effectively stopping what me and the rather nice bloke i'd met were about to do.

mad auntie #1:
complained for a fortnight that spain was "just like blackpool but with foreigners" and needing me to show her how to phone england every fucking day because she was too dense to grasp the concept.

mad auntie #2:
refused to wash herself with anything other than baby wipes, wanted to go to bed at 7.30 and expected me to say prayers with her. i solved that one by getting her completely shitfaced on cheap bacardi, after which she loosened right the fuck up.

and finally, debbie.
went to the pub the first night, spent the rest of a 2-week holiday in bed, reading magazines and drinking lager. didn't shower once, took one pair of knickers for the entire fortnight and utterly stank the fucking room out. my then-ex was on holiday with us, so fortunately, i could spend a lot of time in his room(no, not like that), away from the stink.

always choose your roommates wisely.

*she got jumped when i wasn't there, otherwise of course i'd have been at the medical centre with her.
(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 15:39, 4 replies)
Holiday reading
Most Brits when on holiday take a book or two to read whilst on the beach/by the pool. In most cases this is a harmless way of relaxing.

Depends on the book.

My advice - do not take a copy of a tome known as The Game. I went on holiday to Bucharest a couple of years ago and made the mistake of reading the above title.

Lost in a two year long haze of endless Romanian poon.

Help me.
(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 9:11, 5 replies)
Crimes against good taste
Lived in Lanzarote a few years ago. Whilst house hunting we looked at a place owned by an old brit woman who had carpets throughout and wood-chip wallpaper, painted in pastel shades. You wouldn't think twice about it here but I swear in all my years there I NEVER saw a single other house with carpets or wallpaper. It was fucking hideous.

Also remember talking to a pissed old irish guy in PdC who was perched on a barstool and gazing out to sea. He looked puzzled for a moment as he stared at the island on the horizon. He asked me what it was and I told him it was Furtaventura. He paused then said "Hmmm. It wasn't there last year was it".
(, Sat 26 Apr 2014, 9:00, 3 replies)
Thanks to Albert I was reminded of the time that I was in Europe and missed a flight and I had a
fairly important engagement to get back to in old blighty and so I caught a train, then another train and caught a ferry and then a train and before you knew it I was at my destination although to be fair it was considerably longer than an aeroplane flight but shit happens and I got over it. Thanks goodness for furriners and their ability to run a train service and not charge whatever they think they can get away with because British people are cunts and all work where they cannot afford to live.
(, Fri 25 Apr 2014, 22:31, 2 replies)
technically it wasn't "abroad", technically it was "the lake district"
but if you're a total rah who thinks anything outside zone 1 is roughing it, you might as well be abroad.

one summer when i was a child, we went for a long weekend in the lakes. we were minding our own business in a teashop, my brother and i fighting over his revolting habit of licking his finger and touching the cake HE wanted, when this terribly posh woman wandered in.

"ay say," she said to the girl behind the counter. "do you do cream teas?"

the girl blinked a bit. "no," she said after a minute's careful thought. "only milk."

the posh woman blinked back at her. it was hard to say which of them had puzzled the other more. "righty-ho," she said faintly, and swished back out again.
(, Fri 25 Apr 2014, 22:21, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

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