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This is a question Stupid Tourists

What's the stupidest thing you've ever heard a tourist say? Ever heard an American talking about visiting "Scotchland, England", or (and this one is actually real) a Japanese couple talking about the correct way to say Clapham is actually Clatham, as "ph" sounds are pronounced "th". Which has a certain logic really. UPDATE: Please, no more Loogabarooga stories. It's getting like, "and I opened my eyes and my mum had left me a cup of tea!"

(, Thu 7 Jul 2005, 16:31)
Pages: Latest, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, ... 1

This question is now closed.

My brother used to work as a croupier on a cruise ship.
He was once asked by an American:

"Do these stairs go up?"
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 12:40, Reply)
I love...
the way that people are talking about how Americans etc are stupid, and in doing so display their mildly alarming inability to spell the most basic of words.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 12:27, Reply)
On a flight from Singapore
to Heathrow I was sitting next to two English ladies of fairly advanced years (you know the type - leathery skin, thick specs, wearing short-sleeved knitted cardigans), who were having a discussion about time zones etc. They had two things that they couldn't quite resolve: how it could be one time in Singapore and another in London; and why it was quicker going out than coming home.

Well, after 12 hours of listening to this, I eventually said to them that I couldn't help but have overheard their conversation (which they got a bit embarrassed about!) and offered my services as a scientist to explain their problem.

Their main problem was how it could be 12 noon in London, but 8pm in Singapore. I had to explain that the actual time was the same everywhere in the universe, but the position of the clock hands was determined depending on local sunrise. (I left relativity out of the explanation, as I was having enough bother with the Idiot's Guide). I suggested getting a globe and a torch in a darkened room to demonstrate when they got home.

I think they must have thought they were time travelling or something - a Boeing 747-Tardis? - as they were trying to add up the number of hours in the air, and work out what time they left etc, and had no idea at all what was happening.

By the way, the reason it takes less time going east is because that's the way the jetstream goes, so you have a tailwind. That was an easier thing for them to understand.

Here endeth today's science lesson.

Ach, they were pleasant old dears but had bugger all idea about anything other than knitting and grandchildren.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 12:25, Reply)
Not entirely tourist related, but hell...currently learning Dutch in preparation to move over to Belgium next year with wife and kid.

Learning the lingo is ok, I speak fairly good German which helps, although managed to make two rather giggly cockups in class...

Whilst explaning my preference of BnB's over hotels, my response was supposed to be:
"I find hotels too clean and unwelcoming"
my actually sentence was
"I find hotels make me sterile"

Whilst explaining my enthusiasm for a meal, I (silly me) used the word "Ravishing", apparently the Dutch use this word more commonly to mean "Rape", when my teacher (playing the waitress) stopped laughing and explained, I kept very quite and ordered to biefstuk met fritjes.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 11:37, Reply)
coniston in the lakes (my inbred homeland)
is a haven for idiots, american or otherwise. My favourite summer prank was telling tourists that the trees in Grizedale forest were fake... "they're all made out of wood". always believed; over and over again :)

spent many a day ringing the payphone in the centre of the village and asking to speak to 'jason' or 'jamie' (theres a million of the fuggers) who'll be in the pub across the road... then when afforementioned jamie/jason got to the phone shouting "w**ker!! and hanging up). this doesnt include the reign of terror we inflicted on the campers (tentpeg thievery, food thievery, tyre deflating etc... ) and many other totally unwelcoming evil pranks that i shudder to think i performed.

a lot of the villages and farms are named from viking times, hence baffled tourists baffling locals with pheonetic pronunciation. of course if i tell them viking used to live there i just got laughed at... how ridiculous! vikings!

re: the actual question. i've been asked when the tide comes in, on the lake. freshwater, 20 miles from the sea. (actually they've now measured tides in a cup of tea, but still).
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 10:59, Reply)
Grand Canyon
We were told by our tour guide at los Canyonos Grandos (eh?) that the three most common questions they get are "Is the donkey ride to the bottom air conditioned", "Is it floodlit at night" and "how long did it take to build".
He assured us this was true, and judging by some of the people there, I'm enclined to believe him.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 10:41, Reply)
On a family holiday in spain...
about fourteen years ago now, we were staying a mate of my dads villa in classy Marbella. Now the sink upstairs didn't have a plug due to the spanish apparentley liking to wash in running water.

Dad doesn't like it, Dad wants a plug, so one morning the folks head into town, leaving my sister and me back at the villa to lounge around. Several hours later, my mum staggers through the door in hysterics closely followed by one sheepish looking pops.

What had transpired was they had inded found a hardware shop, and my dad not speaking a word of spanish and the spanish hardware shop owner not speaking a word of english, had spent an HOUR trying to ask for a plug, even with the aid of diagrams. My dear old dad either through frustration or sheer linguistic genius (bearing in mind he's born and bred Yorksher) resorts to adding an o onto the end of words to make it sound spanish. Hence my dad says "please-o can I have-o a plug-o, senor". Genius

While he was ther he did manage to buy a metal lawn sprinkler thing (wtf?!) which went into his hand luggage on the way back. Hand luggage goes through X-ray machine, lawn sprinkler looks like a cross between a gun and a huge knife. Well done dad. Now can you imagine how the following conversation with the officials went?

There are loads more of these from this one particualr trip. It was the funniest two weeks ever
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 10:33, Reply)
Bollocks to America vs UK
Try East London vs Home Counties...

I was in the 24 hour bagel place on Brick Lane - in the East End of London for those that don't know. I had my lovely posh girlfriend of the time with me.

"Could I have a I diet Coke, please?" she asks in her plummiest tones.

The guys behind the counter looked at her as if she'd started speaking Klingon.

After a few more attempts during which she got more embarrassed, and the whole place looked on in amusement, I leant over and said "She'll 'ave a diet coke, mate"

Drink appears instantly to light applause from gathered customers.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 10:29, Reply)
Bad Scotch Tourist
While on a girls trip to London (ok being from Scotland doesnt quite make us Merkins, but probably still quite amusing andforeign to the cockneys) we were sat wondering what next to visit whilst in trafalgar square, when i jokingly made a suggestion we could go visit Albert Square. My rather retarded mate asked "OOh whats there?" so i replied "a Laundrette, a pub and a street market. Wasnt funny until she tried looking it up on the map as she quite fancied going to a street market. Arse.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 10:07, Reply)
for BRH
I made the "Tak" mistake in Poland too (previously learnt Norwegian, with endless confusion) Just to remind you, the Polish "Thank you" is "Dziêkuje" (jen-koo-yah) COmbine that with the "prosze" (prosher) and you get a language based mainly on elegant sneezes.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 9:28, Reply)
When I went with friends to London in 1994 we fell in love with Covent Garden.
Maybe if you life there, it's a tourist trap with a lot of not-so-funny cunts, but we loved it. So imagine our excitement went we found out (looking at a map of London)that there wasn't just Covent Garden but even "New Covent Garden"! I our tiny minds we imagined "New and improved" Covent Garden being even better than the thing at St. Paul's. It was a bit difficult to get there, though. You had to take the tube, get a bus and then even walk a bit. We even went to look if it was behind this HUGE GROCERY STOREHOUSE before we finally realised our mistake.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 8:42, Reply)
Limited Polish vocabulary
About ten years ago my parents packed the family car and we all drove to Poland for summer vacation. We had made the assumption that we could probably get by in English (improbable) and German (more probable) but in the end we resorted to playing charades and using a handfull of Polish words that we picked up along the way.

I probably misspell these words but I think you will all agree that the words "pivo" (beer), "voda" (water) and "lody" (ice cream) will take you a long way.

Also, we picked up that "prosch" means something like "here you go". Not knowing how to say thank you in Polish, we would reply in German at first, but eventually my father resolved that he might as well reply in our native tongue (Danish). However, this word ("tak") just happened to mean "yes" in Polish.

Before I figured this out, we had puzzled many a waiter by the following conversation:

Waiter: Here you go
Tourist: Yes

Not a very polite reply. Not really stupid either, but it did give me a good laugh in the end.

(I later looked up how to say "thank you", it appears that the correct word is something in the lines of the Russian "spaziba". Oh well).
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 8:23, Reply)
Not strictly a tourist but his first time in London
On a trip to London with a friend of mine from Birmingham, we decide to tour the National Art Gallery. Upon walking in, we spy the big sign giving the dates of paintings from different centuries.
Gallery 1 1500-1600
Gallery 2 1600-1700

My friend: 'That's handy, they've numbered the paintings.'
I believe the laughter stopped approximately 4 hours later.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 7:44, Reply)
across the centuries
London, 1951

My father, while staying in a hotel in the center of London, comes downstairs one morning to find the clerk being confronted by a furious little old man who was literally jumping and down with rage. He was railing about the fact that it was intolerable how the clerk did not speak German. My father, speaking the language fluently, offered his help. He translated and was able to get the man served but his fury was unabated as he keapt leaping up and down. Detecting an odd accent, my father asks him where he came from. At the height of another leap of anger, the man shrieks: 'AUS ISRAEL!!!!!' Remember this occurred in 1951.

France and Austria, 1995
Much more recently, we were visited by some American friends of ours. The husband was a delight but the wife did suffer from some stereotypical misgivings. We met them in Paris as they returned from a trip to China. Beverley, the wife, railed against Paris and asked my very French mother: 'Why does nobody hear speak the language?' (meaning English). A week later, crossing from Liechtenstein to Austria, her husband's passport seemed to have some trouble. Four plainclothes policemen stepped forward to inquire as to the trouble which sent Beverley reeling back, shrieking GESTAPO! Bless our American cousins!
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 7:25, Reply)
Surely the time to be careful in Thailand is when saying that the shellfish tastes good. I had a friend who made the mistake of trying to say it in Thai, and to the delight of me and all the Thais around the table he managed to say "cunt tastes good", to those who don't speak Thai, it really does translate as that, to those who do you can guess what he said. I konow what you mean about the banana thing though, a girl once told me I looked like Beckham, for some reason I thought she was speaking in a mixture of Thai and Engisk and telling mw I had a big dick- Big ham.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 4:02, Reply)
Toronto this time
I had a French woman once ask me how to get to Parliament Hill. She insisted it was located in Toronto, and insisted that Toronto was, nay, HAD to be the capital of Canada. (It's Ottawa, in case you also don't know...)

I sent her to Queen's Park via Nathan Phillips Square... I'm hoping she was abducted by some hungry homeless people...
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 2:24, Reply)
Fairbanks Again
One summer, I had a few Londoners ask me where they could see the igloos.

And you thought only Americans asked the stupid questions.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 2:21, Reply)
From Fairbanks you can take one of two highways, Parks Highway or the Alaska Highway, to get to Anchorage. They meet in Fairbanks, and both head south, from different parts of the city. There are... 4... highways in Alaska, think of a letter Q with a bit at the top, where each half counts as a highway, and each line counts as a highway...

I once had a German tourist with a German-English dictionary come to me with a Denny's touristy placemat map point at the two arrows leading out of the city that said "To Anchorage" and ask me how to get there, and then point me at a map of the state which CLEARLY showed the Q-like highway formation.

"Leave the city, follow the road."

PS. In the winter, take the Parks Highway, it's a better drive :P
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 2:19, Reply)
"Clear"? Not really...
My ambulance was sent to an American tourist who was in cardiac arrest. As you may well know, defibrillation delivers electricity through the heart in an attempt to restart it and this must be done quickly. The amount of shock you deliver is measured in joules and whilst the amount varies for kids, all adult patients receive the same joule amount.
My partner was managing the patients’ airway and I was at the stage of delivering a 360 joule shock.
I verbalised this to my partner and on shouting the warning “All Clear?” – an urgent American voice shouted “Wait!”

Thinking a dangerous contact with the patient had been spotted I stopped and asked what was wrong.
The American replied “The patient is an American”.
Me: “Yes I know. What’s the problem?”
American: “I heard you say you were going to shock him with 360 joules.”
Impatient me: “That’s right…”
American: “Surely that should be 180 joules then?”
Me: “No.”
American: “But our voltages in the states are half of yours, so surely…”
I stopped listening to him at that point.

I truly wish this story were not true, but I would mention that I could hear the rest of the tour group, to their credit, berating the guy who interrupted me.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2005, 0:22, Reply)
Stupid locals
A couple of years ago my fiance and I were visiting my parents in York. Some schoolkid (from the school that I went to, cringe) asks my fiance if she dyes her hair. She replied "Yes I keep dying it brown but it always goes back like this" and he believed her.

Her hair is bright PINK!
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 23:59, Reply)
TRUE -questions to Oz Tourist Board
The following is from an email I received, great stuff...
The questions below about Australia, are from potential visitors.
They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humour:

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how
do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list
of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does
not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in
Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and
we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which
is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night
in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense
rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All
Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make
good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its
It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum
trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare
them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you
tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is
smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated
while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 23:53, Reply)
Good Airport Connections....
Overheard an American tourist:

'It's great that they built the castle [Windsor]so near the airport [Heathrow]'
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 23:51, Reply)
A running joke turns out to be real...
I always saw it as a running joke at the expense of foreign tourists, but the first time I heard an American on the tube say 'Wuster-sir-shire sauce' i nearly spat my burger at them.

(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 23:26, Reply)
Not so stupid Americans
My gf and I met an American family from California while on holiday in Costa Rica. They were Democrats, took a real interest in both our countries (I'm a Brit, she's French), asked intelligent questions and discussed the then upcoming presidential election. The kids practised speaking Spanish to the locals instead of expecting them to know English.

Not at all stupid tourists but thought it worth a mention.
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 22:55, Reply)
Re : Heartspark
Hey Heart Spark, i dont know what it's like where you live but here in australia Tomato sauce and ketchup are 2 different things,
Tomato sauce, generaly the worst of the tomatoes taken pureed and then with some salt added its thrown into a bottle, Ketchup is made from better quality tomatoes and has all sorts of spices and the like.

sorry to be pedantic
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 22:34, Reply)
I too used to frequent the 10 Bells... Though I never noticed the decor. In my time there, circa 1999, it was famed for it's cheap mid-afternoon nudy shows, including local girls and their well groomed axe-wounds (so perhaps a slight ripper theme)... Never did stay long enough to see the tourists.

Am I jaded? - I do very much like the colour green...
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 22:23, Reply)
Stoopid tourists
Admittidly (sp?) i do find a lot of american tourists annoying, but i think their stupidity regarding castles etc. can be defended due to the fact the only castles america have are in disneyland.
However, a lack of sense of irony cannot be defended... we should sell them books made up of sarcastic phrases so they at least have a chance against our razor wit.
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 22:20, Reply)
Previous QOTW - The Onosecond
Huge apologies for this but I have to get this off my chest.

I think my neighbour saw me & Hand Solo practicing with the pink light saber, through a chink in the curtains, last week.

Her grown up daughter (!) was round today and said her mum had been round to the house on saturday night but got no reply.

I was 10 feet from the front door until 2am and I didnt hear anything.

Except for the fat russian prostitute gasping on the pron movie, at a good volume too, as the Mrs was out! I now fear she turned up, looked through the window and just caught a glimpse of The Eel!

Mrs now asking where was I? Oh No!

(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 22:05, Reply)
Americans. Tja.

American tourists crossing over to Canada. God help the canadians. One of them asked for totem-pole seeds (seriously!).

Americans in Scotland asked my mum if she spoke 'American'. She put on posh accent and replied "No, but I do speak English."
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 21:53, Reply)
Not me
But a friend overheard one of our alien friends exclaming on seeing Edinburgh castle:
"That castle sure is nice, but why did they build it on a hill? it's so hard to get to..."

Or words to that effect.
(, Wed 13 Jul 2005, 21:38, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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