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Category: Tourists/Travel

It’s All Dutch To Me, Part 2

, | Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Money, Tourists/Travel

(I am traveling with a group from my American university for a conference, back when the Netherlands still used guilders as currency. At the time they were at about two to one dollar.)

Classmate: “Wow! Beer is so expensive here!”

Me: “Not really… they’re only three or four dollars each.”

Classmate: “But it says beer is $6!”

Me: “No, it’s 6 guilders. That’s the currency here. Remember when we changed our money?”

Classmate: “No. That must be in dollars.”

Me: “Why would it be in dollars? We’re in Amsterdam!”

Classmate: “But stuff was in dollars at the airport. And I don’t get why [American beer] is so expensive and the [Dutch beer] costs less.

Me: “Because they have to import the [American beer] from America.”

Classmate: “But it isn’t an import!”

Me: “We’re in AMSTERDAM now!”

(By now, the guy behind the bar is doing an increasingly bad job of hiding his laughter.)

Classmate: “Oh, my god. How will I order? I don’t speak… uh…”

Me: “—Dutch? I’ll do it. You go sit down.”

Me: *in English, to the bartender* “Two beers, please.”

(The bartender gets me the beers, but only charges me for one of them, and winks at me. I tip him well and go back to my classmate.)

Classmate: “Wow! I didn’t know you spoke the language!”

Me: “I’m a fast learner.”

Related:
It’s All Dutch To Me

Accentuating The Problem

, | Paris, France | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(My family is on vacation in Europe with a large tour group, consisting of about 40 people from Canada and the US. My sister and I are trying to order at a Parisian McDonald’s, while a middle-aged Texan woman from the same tour is waiting in the next queue over.)

Me: *in bad French* “Uh, could I have a… McChicken?”

Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what did you want?”

Me: *in French, more clearly* “Um, McChicken.”

Employee: *in French* “Ah! Of course. That’ll be [amount].”

Sister: *to me* “I think you were trying too hard to get the accent right. You sounded ridiculous.”

Me: “I didn’t think it sounded that bad… At least I tried.”

(While waiting for our food, we can’t help but overhear what’s going on in the next queue…)

Texan Customer: “Yeah, I’d like a combo number four–”

Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what?”

(The woman gives the flustered employee a death stare, then speaks loudly and slowly.)

Texan Customer: “COMBO. COOOOOMBO.”

(We left then, so I don’t know if the customer ever got her food. To this day, no one in my family ever says the word ‘combo’ without putting on an exaggerated drawl!)

Talking About A Whole Other Animal

| Trier, Germany | Funny Names, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(Trier is an ancient city with many Roman ruins. At the moment there is a traveling show in town showing lizards, snakes and amphibians. I’m on my way home.)

Tourist: “Excuse me. We are looking for the amphibian theater.”

Me: “The lizard show? It’s all the way on the other side of the city.”

Tourist: “No! The amphibian theater! The Roman gladiators!”

Me: “Oh! You mean the Amphitheater. Just 50 meters that way.”