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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    Giving You A Cold Reception

    | OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Tourists/Travel

    (I’m working in a 19th century mansion that has been turned into a museum. It’s late autumn and the house already gets very cold inside. I’m ringing up a couple for a tour.)

    Customer: “Aren’t they ever opening this house for Christmas again?”

    Me: “Well, it’s very difficult to hea—”

    Customer: “Yes, they said something about it being hard to heat. I wouldn’t think you’d need much heat just for a tour!”

    Me: “Oh, you might feel differently in December. But I also think the guides might revolt over being kept in a 50-degree house all day.”

    Customer: “You’re all just lazy!” *walks away*

    Extreme Jumping To Conclusions

    | The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (As an airline employee, you are eligible for staff travel. The airline I work for has the rule that you can only travel if there is a seat available at the gate. We are in Spain, and we already know that the flight is pretty full. We also know that the aircraft is a Boeing 747, and on such a short flight (a little over two hours) there is the minimum required crew on board, so there are multiple jump seats (flight attendant seats) empty. The colleagues decide to take us home on a jump seat. We are moved to different jump seats during the flight, because we are in the way in the pantry and in the aisles during the dinner and beverage service. The passengers see us walking through the aisle with our belongings several times.)

    Passenger: “Hey… what is going on? Are they moving you again?”

    Me: *joking* “Yeah, they have just found out they don’t have a seat for us after all, so they are now taking us to the back to give us a parachute…”

    Passenger: *shocked* “Oh, my God! Are you serious? That is terrible!”

    (We sit down in the back pantry and have a good laugh with the colleagues.)

    Me: “Did she think I was serious? If so, she is pretty gullible!”

    (After landing, we see the concerned passenger at baggage reclaim. She comes up to me, all cheerful and happy.)

    Passenger: “Oh, how wonderful! You made it to Amsterdam! They let you stay on board after all!”

    Trying To Encourage Independent Thought

    | Paradise Island, The Bahamas | Holidays, Tourists/Travel

    (I’m decorating our storefront for Independence Day, which is July 10th. In 1973 we gained independence from Britain, though we are still part of the British Commonwealth. The glass doors are decorated with American colours for July 4th and the whole front of the store is decorated with Bahamian colours for July 10th. An American tourist walks up with her husband.)

    Tourist: “Miss! You’ve got the date wrong, and why are you using those colours?”

    Me: “Oh, yes, ma’am. Bahamian Independence Day is the 10th. These are the colours of the Bahamian flag. I’ve decorated the front door with red, white, and blue for Americans like yourself!”

    Tourist: *looks puzzled for a moment* “But Independence Day is on the 4th…”

    Me: “Yes ma’am, in the US it is, but here it’s the 10th.”

    Tourist: “But it’s July…”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. A strange coincidence that they are both in July, isn’t it?”

    Tourist: *finally looking resolved* “No! This isn’t right; you should have the right date and colours like every other state, even if you’re on an island!”

    Me: “But we aren’t a state… We aren’t even part of your countr—”

    Tourist: “State, member, province, whatever, that is no excuse to act un-American! Darn islanders…” *she walks off as her husband glares at me over his shoulder*

    Broken Eastern Promises

    | Hay, AB, Canada | Extra Stupid, Geography, Tourists/Travel

    (There is a smaller highway that ends in the city, and another one that starts. I work at a gas station between the two so we get a lot of people driving through.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, but how do I get back on Highway #3?”

    Me: *gives directions*

    Customer: “No. I mean the other way. We just came from [City Two Hours Away].*

    Me: “No, that’s the only way. Highway #3 ends here. Did you want Highway #41?”

    Customer: “I don’t think so. I’m headed to [Destination].”

    (My dad has just walked in to pick me up from work.)

    Me: “And you said you came from [City Two Hours Away]?”

    Customer: “Yes. Why, what’s wrong?”

    (I’m speechless at this point, but my dad helps her, and the owner confirms what he says.)

    Dad: “You turned the wrong way. You have to head back; you just lost about seven hours driving time…”

    (What should have been two hours turned into more than seven hours driving and an overnight stay. Guess they didn’t know when the sun is setting BEHIND you, you aren’t traveling west…)

    The Currency Of Understanding

    , | Germany | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (The year is 2010. The euro has been introduced as a common currency throughout Europe in 2002. An elderly lady approaches me, picks some items, and wants to pay.)

    Me: “That is 28.50.”

    Elderly Lady: “Oh, so little? Are you sure?”

    (I notice her picking out some old Austrian schillings from her purse.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. ma’am. You can’t pay with those here; this is outdated currency.”

    Elderly Lady: “No, no! I have always paid with them!” *picks out some more* “Look, I have money!”

    Me: “Lady, I’m sure you have enough, but… I simply cannot accept Austrian schillings. We have the EURO.”

    Elderly Lady: “Yes, yes, I understand. You want deutschmarks? I don’t have any deutschmarks. Schillings, you take?”

    Me: *suddenly understanding* “Yes, ma’am. That would be… 280 schillings, please.”

    (I pack her things, she hands me 250 old Austrian schillings, but I go with it. She seems to have disappeared with her travel group, when a younger lady, also speaking Austrian dialect, turns up.)

    Younger Lady: “Hey, there. Did my grandmother bother you?”

    Me: “What grandmother? Do you mean…”

    Younger Lady: “Yeah, my granny. Did she try to pay with schillings?”

    Me: “In fact, she did. And I sold her something.”

    Younger Lady: “Well, you shouldn’t have sold her anything. What’s her bill?”

    Me: “28.50; but as I said, she already paid. I took her schillings. Maybe I can exchange them for something.”

    Younger Lady: “No! Give them back to me. She’ll be mad about not having them! How much did you say?”

    Me: “€28.50.”

    Younger Lady: *hands me over two 20 Euro bills* “Keep it, for goodness’ sake!”

    Me: “No way, ma’am. That’s far too much.”

    Younger Lady: “Well, then give me 10 back.”

    Me: “Fair enough; thank you.”

    (The rest of the day, I wondered why my supply of ‘free’ coffee and food worked so fine. Later on, I realized that the young lady had left some money at every booth near mine because I was so friendly to her grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, which I didn’t realize immediately. Thank you, ladies, you were amazing!)

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