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    Have No Old Faithful In Humanity

    | West Yellowstone, MT, USA | Extra Stupid, Tourists/Travel

    (My family and I go to visit my aunt and uncle in West Yellowstone, Montana, which is about an hour north of Yellowstone National Park. There are painted bison statues around town that are been part of a contest. My mom and I stop at a tourist information center.)

    Mom: “Excuse me; do you have a map of where the buffalo are?”

    Employee: “Oh, they’re all over the park. You just have to drive around and keep an eye out for them.”

    Mom: “…No, the painted ones around town.”

    Employee: “Oh! Yes, I do have a map of those.”

    Mom: “Do people seriously ask you that?”

    Employee: “Yes. They also ask when Old Faithful is turned on and when the bears are let out.”

    Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms, Part 3

    | Torino, Italy | Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (As the city is hosting a big international event, we’ve been having a lot of people asking for information about venues, transports, and such. For guests’ convenience we set up two different lines, one for information in English and Spanish and one for information in French and German, as these are the four main languages our guests require. We used flags to represent languages, with a standard UK flag standing for English. A third colleague is standing by the door, answering questions in miscellaneous other languages and directing people to the lines. A couple walks in and addresses him in English.)

    Guest: “Excuse me, sir?”

    Coworker: “Yes, sir? How can I help you?”

    Guest: “We need information in American. Which one of these lines is the correct one?”

    (My coworker points to the English speaking line.)

    Guest: *pointing to the flag* “That’s an English flag. There’s no American flag here. Are you sure this is the correct line?”

    Coworker: *trying not to laugh* “Yes, sir. Yes, I’m quite sure it is.”

    (At this point the couple cuts the entire 20-something people line and simply walks up to me while I’m busy with another guest.)

    Guest: “Good morning, we would like to know if—”

    Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t just cut the line like that.”

    Guest: “But your colleague said this was the American speaking line.”

    Me: “It is sir, but as you can see there’s a lot of people waiting for information. You’ll have to wait like everybody else. I promise you it won’t be long.”

    Guest: “But… but… I’m AMERICAN!”

    Related:
    Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms, Part 2
    Speaking American Is A Country Diction In Terms

    Welsh Excuse Me

    | Wales, UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    Customer: “WHY ARE ALL YOUR TOWN NAMES STUPID? CAN’T YOU SPELL?!”

    Me: “Sir, please don’t shout. The town names around here are in Welsh, because you’re in Wales. I’m sorry if this offends you.”

    Customer: “It’s not just offensive. It’s f***ing stupid!”

    Me: “Sir, please don’t swear. The town names are part of our unique history. They tell us about our heritage.

    Customer: Well your heritage f***ing sucks.

    Me: Sir, can I actually help you with anything, or did you just come here to tell us that you don’t like Wales?

    Customer: You all need to be more English. *leaves*

    Coworker: Well… at least you didn’t need to ask him to leave!

    Tourists From The Land Of Irony

    | Wales, UK | Crazy Requests, Tourists/Travel

    (Wales is currently enjoying a heat wave; temperatures in our popular beach resort have averaged about 28°C (about 82°F) for nearly a fortnight and the town and beach are completely packed out with holidaymakers and day-trippers.)

    Customer: “Hi, I’d like to complain.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that; what’s the problem?”

    Customer: “There’s too many tourists.”

    Me: “Oh, well you can blame Mr. Sunshine for that; it’s been packed to capacity here since the schools broke up for summer. Everyone wants a splash in the sea!”

    Customer: “Yeah, I know. I mean, that’s why we came. We drove down for the day from [Major Midland City]. We just didn’t think it would be busy.”

    Me: “You didn’t think the first Saturday of the school holidays that is also the hottest day of the year so far for Wales would cause [Town] to become busy?”

    Customer: “Well… no.”

    Me: “I’m sorry you aren’t happy but there isn’t a lot I can do from here.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s not fair. I’ve spent £40 filling my car with petrol and had to sit in queues of traffic. I want an empty beach!”

    Me: “Well, there’s quieter beaches than [Town]. Since you have a car maybe you could drive to [Nearby Beach] or [Other Nearby Beach]. Those are accessed over sand dunes so a lot of people don’t go there.”

    Customer: “So now you’re telling me I’ve wasted £3.50 on an all-day parking ticket?”

    Me: “Well, if you want to stay in [Town] then you can. If you want to go to a quieter beach and come back to [Town] for food then your ticket will still be valid.”

    Customer: “Hrrmph. I suppose so. I wish you wouldn’t let tourists here though. It spoils it.”

    In A Muddle Over The Mobble

    | Wales | Extra Stupid, Funny Names, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (Most of our visitors are from England, and although we’re familiar with the ‘tourist’ pronunciations of a lot of town names, sometimes they manage to pronounce something so crazy that we have to ask them to spell it, which for us, usually spells trouble…)

    Customer: *a smartly-dressed older lady* “Hi. I want to get to Mobblegarnith.”

    Me: “Mobblegarnith? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of it. Did you perhaps mean [Town Name In Cheshire]? It’s a good two-and-a-half hours from here.”

    Customer: “It must be near here; I think we passed a sign for it on our way in.”

    Me: “Well, the nearest town to here that begins with ‘M’ is [Town Name].”

    Customer: “No. Not there.”

    Me: “Well, how about [another nearby town name that begins with ‘M’]?”

    Customer: “No. Not there either.”

    Me: “What about [town that doesn’t begin with ‘M’ but roughly rhymes with the ‘garnith’ part]?”

    Customer: “No, no, NO, stupid! It’s not there. It’s Mobblegarnith!” *slowly and louder* “MOBBLE. GARNITH!”

    Me: “I’m ever so sorry, but could you spell it for me? Or perhaps tell me a name of another town you passed by where you saw the signs?”

    Customer: “Oh for crying out loud. M. A. C. H. Y—”

    Me: “Oh! You mean Machynlleth?! That’s a good hour from us, and it’s back the way you came from [Their Hometown].”

    Customer: “Yes, finally! Mobblegarnith. I don’t get why you Welsh people have to pronounce it differently just to wind us English up. It’s CLEARLY Mobblegarnith.”

    Me: “I assure you it’s not deliberate. The Welsh alphabet is just a tiny bit bigger than the English one. We actually have 28 letters versus your 26, so we have to combine some of the letters in the alphabet to finish making up our alphabet. The pronunciations are all right once you get used to them, though.”

    Customer: “Don’t lecture me, young lady! Your alphabet is nothing more than silly lies; if you’d been properly educated you’d know how to pronounce all these places. Now, could you please, very kindly, if it is not too much trouble, tell me how to get to Mobblegarnith?”

    Me: “Right, okay. I can print you some map directions if you like?”

    Customer: *sarcastically* “Thank you, you are most kind.”

    Me: *prints maps and hands them to customer* “Here you go! Road directions to Machynlleth. Since you had such trouble getting here, I’ll waive the printing fee.”

    Customer: “For goodness’ sakes, girl, say it PROPERLY.”

    Me: *dying a bit inside* “I hope you have a safe journey to Mobblegarnith.”

    Customer: *gives a satisfied nod, and turns on her heels to leave*

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