Category: Geography

You may call them “lost”, but we prefer the name “geographically disadvantaged.”

Will Need To Take A Different Beirut

| Knoxville TN, USA | Geography, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(It is the late 1990s. A couple walk in. She is obviously Jewish, he not-so-much. As it turns out, he is a Lebanese Druze.)

Female Customer: “We’d like airline tickets flying into Tel Aviv and back from Beirut.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what we can find.” *types into the computer* “Meanwhile, how will you get from Tel Aviv to Beirut?”

Female Customer: “Oh, we plan to rent a car and drive.”

Me: “I don’t think we’ll be able to find a rental car for that.”

Male Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, right now the Israeli-Lebanese border is a war zone.”

Tax Mex

| NJ, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Hotels & Lodging, Money

(I am driving two guests to a convenience store and they are talking about Mexico and taxes.)

Guest #1: *to Guest #2* “Do they even have taxes in Mexico? Don’t they just pay cash for everything?”

Pales In Comparison To Wales

| Wales, UK | Geography, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I work in a tourist information centre in a Welsh town. As well as its regular Welsh town name, the town has an anglicised version since it is a popular seaside destination for a large swathe of people from central England. The anglicised name sounds similar to another popular seaside resort that actually IS in England, but it’s a good 350+ miles away from us.)

Me: “Bore da, Canolfan Groeso [Welsh town]. Sut gallai helpu chi? Good morning, tourist information [Anglicised name of Welsh town]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah. I want sailing times for the ferries to the [island near the English town].”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t have that information to hand, sir. I can either give you the phone number for [English Town]’s tourist services or I can pop you on hold whilst I look it up.”

Caller: “But people sail from [town not far from English town] all the time. Why haven’t you got it to hand? I could look it up on the Internet myself!”

Me: “We are [Welsh town], 350+ miles from [English town]. We tend to only provide information for [Welsh town] and the surrounding county.”

Caller: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “You’ve called Wales, sir. The services you want are in England.”

Caller: “Wales?”

Me: “Yep, Wales.”

Caller: “So you’re not [English town]?”

Me: “Nope, we’re [Welsh town].”

Caller: “Well, what’s the point of that? Why would you do that?”

Me: “Erm, I’m really sorry but I don’t follow?”

Caller: “Why would you be in Wales?”

Unable To Think Independently

| Ireland | Geography, History, Tourists/Travel

(Years ago, I worked in an Internet cafe. We have an American tourist come in and check his email. His email doesn’t have a traditional webmail service. You have to connect through a special program and chose your location.)

Customer: “I can’t connect. It’s not showing my mail.”

Me: “I see what it is. You chose to use the UK access number.”

Customer: “But I’m in the UK.”

Me: “No, this is Ireland.”

Customer: “But Ireland is part of the UK.”

Me: “No, only the north is.”

Customer: “But you all speak English.”

Me: “Yes, but we are still a different country. It’s listed under the Republic of Ireland in the drop down menu.”

Customer: “But that is part of the UK. People here are British right?”

Me: “No. In America you had a war of independence in 1775 right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “So did we, in 1921. If we’re British, so are you.”

Half-Brain

| Yosemite National Park, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

(A tourist walks up to me at the front desk.)

Tourist: “Is that Half Dome outside?”

Me: “Half Dome is one of the many mountain features outside if you face east.”

Tourist: “Which one is it?”

Me: “It is the one that is exactly half of a granite dome… to the east.”

Tourist: “How much concrete was used to make it?”

Me: “… Seriously?”

Tourist: *stares blankly at me*

Me: “I couldn’t tell you, but they decided to ditch the building project once they ran out of re-bar.”

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