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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    Moving Pictures From A Moving Story

    | Washington, DC, USA | History, Spouses & Partners, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I am visiting the Holocaust Museum. I am in a room full of framed pictures and digital displays, with picture slideshows of the war crime trials. There are some teenagers sitting around playing on their phones. An old couple are looking at the slideshows.)

    Old Woman: “How do you get the pictures to stop moving?”

    (She tries touching the screen.)

    Old Man: “Here, let me try.”

    (They both assume it is a touch-screen, and are pressing hard against it.The teenagers see this, and start laughing to each other.)

    Teenager: “Look at these senile old people!”

    (They begin filming the old couple, who are still trying to get the slideshow to stop. A tour guide has heard the noise, and comes over to see what is wrong.)

    Guide: “Can I help you?”

    Old Woman: “Yes, what button do we need to press to get the picture to stop?”

    Guide: “You can’t stop them; it’s a looping slideshow. I think it’s only for two minutes, so you can just wait for it to repeat.”

    Old Woman: “But those pictures change so fast!”

    Guide: “Is there a reason you need to see all these pictures?”

    Old Man: “Yes, I’m looking for the pictures of the bench.”

    Guide: “Oh, well there are several photos just over here from the trials. Here’s one.”

    (He directs them to the opposite wall to several pictures hidden among a few dozen others.)

    Old Woman: “There you are!”

    (She grows very excited, and points to the picture as though she had spotted something she had been looking for.)

    Old Man: “Yep, got my American Flag pin on.”

    (The old man reaches into his coat pocket, and shows the tour guide the pin. The teenagers have shut up by this point, and stopped filming. The tour guide then leads the old couple around the corner to show them more pictures of the trials. I walk up afterwards, and look at the picture. Seated at the bench were the Nazi war criminals that had caused so much death and destruction. Behind them are a line of American soldier guards. While most of the men have no medals or pins on, I spot the one soldier wearing an American flag pin over his heart. Don’t judge a book by its cover. That same man who had difficulty with a foreign device was entrusted to stand watch over some of the worst men of the twentieth century.)

    Fruit Loopy

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    Me: “Alright ma’am, I’ve entered all your requests in the reservation. Have a great day!”

    Caller: “Wait, I’m not finished! I want a fruit basket in my room to be there when I arrive. And there better not be any grapes! They’re nasty! They’re dirty and full of germs! I only want fruit with skins I can peel off!”

    Me: *being a fellow germophobe* “I definitely understand that. Bananas and oranges.”

    Caller: “If I find any skinless fruit, I will immediately throw the entire fruit basket out of the window into the ocean! Do you hear me?”

    Me: “Ah, well then we have to move you to a room with a balcony, because the window in your stateroom doesn’t open. The upgrade would cost $2,100.00, is that okay?”

    Caller: *long pause* “No, I will just carry it upstairs to the deck and do it from there.”

    Me: “Alright, sounds great. Anything else I can help you with?”

    Caller: “No thanks dear, have a good day.” *click*

    Konnichi-woah

    | Whitehorse, YT, Canada | Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I work in a tourist souvenir shop. On this day, we receive much-needed maple products, including maple candy, syrup and the like. I am busy labelling the new stock as my coworker receives the stock.)

    Me: “Well, I know there will be Japanese tourists in today.”

    Coworker: “…Huh?”

    Me: “Last time we got our maple shipment in, we sold half of it before it was all completely in the system. They just seem to know when we have it. The Japanese tourists just have a sense for it. We’ll be busy tonight.”

    Coworker: “Oh, really?”

    Me: “Yep, just you wait…”

    (An hour later, two Japanese tourists come into the store and take a look around as we are busy working. When they are finished, both come up to the counter with baskets of maple syrup bottles. Once I’m finished helping both of them, I turn to my coworker.)

    Me: “Well what have you got to say to that?”

    Coworker: *not believing me* “No comment.”

    (About twenty minutes later, I hear the door open, but it doesn’t shut immediately. Curious, I look up in the direction of the door.)

    Me: “Oh, look, they brought friends!”

    Coworker: *looks up and at the front* “Holy crap!”

    (A group of about nine Japanese tourists walk in, all immediately heading for our ‘maple’ section of the store. Due to the small size of the store, it is a lot of people to have in at once. We help them as best we can. Despite there being a huge language barrier, I recognize some words and we are able to help each one of them as they patiently wait their turn in line. Once they are all finished and things are once again quiet, I turn once again to my coworker.)

    Me: “So, you believe me now?”

    Shogun The Way To Go Home, Part 2

    | Tokyo, Japan | Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Language & Words, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I grew up in Japan and am bilingual, even though I am Australian by birth. I am showing some Australian friends around Tokyo.)

    American customer: *to the station attendant, in English* “Hey, I need to get to Akihabara station. How do I do that?”

    Station attendant: *in Japanese* “Sorry, I do not speak English. Could you point it out?”

    (As the station attendant speaks, he has a big map of the subway system and his gestures make it VERY obvious what he wants the customer to do.)

    American customer: *in English* “Are you deaf?! I need to get to Akihabara station!”

    Station attendant: *in Japanese, while gesturing at the map emphatically* “I don’t know English, sorry. Please point where you are going.”

    American customer: *in English* “Stupid Asians. Just tell me how to get there!”

    (I intervene at this point, as I feel sorry for the poor station worker.)

    Me: *in Japanese* “He wants to get to Akihabara station. I know the way; I’ll explain it to him.”

    (I explain, in English, how to get to the station, and tell him the station attendant was trying but he doesn’t speak English.)

    American customer: *to me, in English* “These stupid Japs should learn English. Why couldn’t he tell me that?”

    Me: “When Asians visit your country, you expect them to speak English, right? So it’s only fair when you come here you try to use their language. Plus, he was trying to help you if you had just pointed it out on the map.”

    American customer: “Everyone should know English!”

    (He storms off without apologizing, or thanking me or the station worker.)

    Station attendant: *to me, in Japanese* “Thank you so much for helping. I didn’t know what to do.”

    Me: “Don’t worry about it. He was just being rude. I feel like I should be apologizing for his behaviour on behalf of all foreigners.”

    Station attendant: “Oh, don’t worry, we get much worse. Then there are people like you who help convince me you’re not all bad. Thanks again!”

    Related:
    Shogun The Way To Go Home

    Not Suitable For Spanish Fly

    | New York, NY, USA | Language & Words, Liars & Scammers, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (Two customers, one male, one female, with notable Spanish accents approach. While I’m Caucasian, I’m quite fluent in Spanish.)

    Male Customer: “Yes, we’d like to return this coffee maker. It doesn’t work.”

    Me: “Certainly. May I see your receipt?”

    (The male customer looks slightly taken aback.)

    Male Customer: “Oh, uh, we threw that away.”

    Me: “Ah, well I’m sorry but the only thing we can do then is give you a store credit.”

    Male Customer: “Oh, that’s fine. We’ll find something else.”

    Me: “Superb. Just let me check inside and we’ll take care of this.”

    (I proceed to open the box.)

    Male Customer: “Que? What are you doing?”

    Me: “I have to check the product, sir. It’ll only take a moment.”

    (The male customer looks increasingly taken aback, and I quickly find out why. While the coffee maker is a model we carry, it has a different brand name printed on it, and the plug is visibly a three prong European version, as opposed to the two prong U.S. version.)

    Me: “Sir, are you sure you purchased this in this store?”

    Male Customer: “Yes, certain!”

    Me: “I’m afraid I’m going to have to get my manager. Just a moment.”

    (I page the manager on duty, explain what’s happening and then show him the coffee maker.)

    Manager: “Sir, I’m sorry but we’re not going to be able to credit you for this. You can’t possibly have purchased this here because this is the international version of the machine. We only sell the U.S. version.”

    Male Customer: *sputters, then hangs his head* “Sorry, I must have made a mistake.”

    (He takes the box back and turns to leave, whereupon the female customer whacks him upside the head.)

    Female Customer: *in Spanish* “Oh, no! ‘Americans are all idiots!’ ‘They won’t check if it’s the right item!’ ‘They don’t know about international voltage!’ You are a f***ing disgrace, you know that!? No way is that going back in my luggage for the flight home!”


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