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    First Class Has No Class

    | France | Bad Behavior, Top, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (A group of friends and I are just coming back from backpacking in southern France when our train breaks down. All passengers are advised to take another train; however, it is already full. As there is no more standing room in the second class, we head to the first class. We ask the ticket inspector if it is allowed. He says it’s fine. A group of businessmen in suits already seated in the first class seem to disagree and call the ticket inspector over.)

    Businessman: “Excuse me? Could you please check the tickets of those youngsters? They don’t look like they would have tickets to the first class.”

    Ticket Inspector: “They don’t indeed. However, second class is completely full.”

    Businessman: “I understand that. However, I am paying your train company several thousands a year and for that, I expect a certain level of service. I am from Switzerland and own a large company myself! Those people only paid for one second class ticket and probably got it from a sale!”

    Ticket Inspector: “Again, I apologise. They have paid for their ticket and they have a right to get to Paris, same as you.”

    Businessman: “I will be calling your company to let them know about this situation!”

    Ticket Inspector: “All right, then, sir. I will chase them out of this compartment. As there is no more space for standing, I will have to stop this train here. They will have to get off here and walk to the next town, and the train will be even more delayed. But at least you, the important businessman, will not have to be near those students. Is that what you want?”

    (The businessman gets silent. The people he is travelling with are visibly uncomfortable.)

    Ticket inspector: “If you wish to call and complain about me to the company, be my guest. Good bye, sir.”

    (On his way out of the first class, the ticket inspector smiles and wishes us a pleasant trip. I only wish I could have bought this man a drink!)

    Health Conscious Mosquitoes Source Their Food

    | Dominican Republic | Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Tourists/Travel

    (My wife and I are on vacation in a resort. We just had a ‘new arrivals’ meeting, and were told about possible malaria infection from mosquitoes. We both took the appropriate medication before traveling, but not everyone agrees that it is indeed necessary.)

    Tourist: “Taking that medication is not necessary you know. I should know, since I work for [our country's health regulation service]. Every person that has contracted malaria while on holiday here was from [a certain province]. Since we are from [another province] there are absolutely no risk!”

    (We laughed so hard we had to leave the room, and are still wondering how the mosquitoes manage to determine the province of origin of the tourist they are about to feast on…)

    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 28

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Hotels & Lodging, Money, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    (An American guest approaches me at my desk.)

    Me: “Morning, sir! What can I do for you?”

    Guest: “Hi there! I’m going to rent a car today to drive around the highlands. Could you just tell me how much gas costs here?”

    Me: “Gas? As in petroleum? Sure. Petrol here is about £1 a litre.”

    Guest: “How much is that in gallons though?”

    Me: “Well, as far as I know, there is slightly less than four litres in a gallon. So about £4 a gallon I suppose.”

    Guest: “Awesome, that’s $2 a gallon! That’s cheap!”

    Me: “Sir, the exchange rate is currently $2 to £1, so it is in fact equal to $8 a gallon.”

    Guest: “Pfft! I doubt that. The dollar is the strongest currency in the world!”

    Me: “Well, it’s the largest reserve currency, but I assure you the rates are as I described.”

    Guest: “You know, considering you work with tourists, you should probably know the exchange rate a little better, son! Don’t they teach you math in high school?!”

    Me: “They do, sir.”

    Guest: “Not well enough!”

    Related:
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 27
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 26
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 25

    Common Knowledge Has Deserted You

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, History, Tourists/Travel

    (We get a lot of people from different countries or other states who know nothing about Texas.)

    Tourist: “So is the Alamo like out in the desert or something?”

    Me: “Oh, have ya’ll not been downtown yet? It’s pretty much smack dab in the middle of the city.”

    Tourist: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “It’s not like in the movie. The city has grown around it,. It’s actually one of the more boring missions that’s pretty much completely covered by urban sprawl. I you want to see more traditional missions you should try San Jose or the other ones in the National Park areas.”

    (They’re silent for awhile while I guess they’re having trouble with the term ‘missions.’)

    Tourist: “Where’s your desert, anyway?”

    Me: “Um… Like, 400 miles west of here?”

    Tourist: “So, we’re not in Texas yet?”

    Making A Monumental Mistake

    | Washington, DC, USA | Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (The Washington Monument is currently under construction due to an earthquake in 2011. It’s covered from top to bottom in scaffolding as workers make repairs. The ticket booth where you would normally buy tickets to ride the elevator to the top is, obviously, closed. I am walking by one day, and I notice a woman with three children standing at the booth, carrying a lot of tourist merchandise, and looking around in a semi-panic. She sees a park maintenance employee, and waves him over.)

    Tourist: “Sir! Sir!”

    Employee: “Can I help you, ma’am?”

    Tourist: “I’m trying to buy tickets for the Washington Monument, but there’s no one here.”

    Employee: “Well, ma’am, the Monument is closed right now.”

    Tourist: “No, no. The ticket booth is closed, but I want to buy tickets.”

    Employee: “Sorry, I think you misunderstood. The monument is closed to the public for repairs. I don’t know when it will re-open, but it won’t be for a very long time.”

    Tourist: “I can see the booth is closed, and I resent your condescending tone!”

    Employee: “I meant no tone, ma’am. But the booth is closed because the Monument is closed.”

    Tourist: “I’ll make this easy on you. I… want to go… up… there!”

    (At this point, I have to step in and help this poor fellow who’s working outside in the heat and humidity and getting harassed by this crazy tourist and her now-crying children.)

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but maybe I can help here. The monument…” *I point at it* “…is closed and under construction. No one is allowed to go inside because it’s unsafe.”

    Tourist: “What are you talking about? I see people up there right now!”

    Me: “Those are construction workers.”

    Tourist: “I don’t care who they are. I just want to buy some tickets. We traveled a long way to get here and I promised my children they could go up there!”

    Me: “Well, maybe you should have checked before you got here.”

    (She pulls out an old, beaten-up tourist map from her purse and waves it in my face.)

    Tourist: “This said I could buy tickets!”

    Me: “Right. Well, this map is from 2005. See? It has a picture of President Bush on it.”

    Tourist: “Don’t you dare blame him! This is all Obama’s fault!”

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