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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    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?”

    Driving A Hard Bargain

    | Chennai, India | Hotels & Lodging, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I am standing in line at the travel desk of a very nice hotel in Chennai. Just ahead of me is a guest with an accent from somewhere in Britain, but I cannot place it. He is being very abusive toward the young man at the desk.)

    Guest: “I’m not paying your rates for a car. I’m going to hire an auto outside the hotel. You people are thieves”

    Desk Clerk: “Certainly, sir, but how may I help you?”

    Guest: “Write this address down. Write it down in Hindi. I’ll hand it to a driver. I’m not paying you.”

    Desk Clerk: “Yes, sir.”

    (I watch him write down the address from English to Hindi.)

    Me: “I must compliment you. He was very rude and you handled it well.”

    Desk Clerk: “Just doing my job, sir Thank you.”

    Me: “You did just what he asked…”

    Desk Clerk: *looks up smiling slightly*

    Me:“You wrote it down in Hindi. The local language is Tamil… and what are his chances of finding a literate ‘auto’ driver out there, anyway?”

    Desk Clerk: *smiling broadly* “You have been here before, sir!”

    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.”

    You’re Through To The Fee Line

    | Scottsdale, AZ, USA | Bizarre, Pets & Animals, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (I do quality assurance for a travel agency. My job is to monitor the calls to make sure that the agents are being honest with the members. One day, I’m listening to a member asking questions about booking a cruise. Most of them are pretty standard, and then I hear this:)

    Agent: “Now that I have your cruise all booked for you, do you have any other questions for me?”

    Member: “Just one, and it’s very important. Does my cat need a passport?”

    Agent: “Ummm…”

    Attraction Detraction

    | Germany | Crazy Requests, Hotels & Lodging, Tourists/Travel

    (Our hotel is located in a nature park. In November, there are not many tourists around, since the weather tends not to be very good for hiking in the forest – the prime reason for coming here. Many tourism related businesses close this time of year. We are open for one more week before closing ourselves. We have an attractive ‘stay three nights, pay two’ offer. I am talking to a guest at checkout)

    Guest: “We really enjoyed our stay, but we were disappointed that most of the tourist attractions in the area were closed.”

    Me: “Yeah. This is the last week for us, too, before we close.”

    Guest: “Had I known that everything was closed, I would not have come here. Why is your hotel open when everything else is closed?”

    Me: “We do not know why our customers are here. What if you needed to go to a funeral or were here on business and you could not book any hotel because they were all closed? And is the special offer perhaps an indication that it could be low season?”

    Guest: “You should not be open. Next year you HAVE to close the same date as the other businesses. It is not fair that you stay open longer, and tricking customers in coming to stay with you!”

    Me: *speechless*


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