Would Be Totally Destroyed In The Roman Forum

, , , , , | Right | July 30, 2020

I’m doing guided tours in the historical centre of Rome, leading a tour group out of the Imperial Fora and bringing them to the Colosseum. [Tourist #1] from the group approaches me.

Tourist #1: *In English* “By the way, I was wondering, did the Romans ever ask to fix up the ruins?”

Me: “Not really, no, most of Rome’s citizens think they’re better that way.”

Tourist #1: “I mean, I suppose so, but isn’t there a representative body around to protect their interests?”

Me: *Confused* “What do you mean, exactly? The city of Rome has a lot of mayorships in it, but there’s not really one standing one above the other.”

Tourist #1: “So, I guess that you just kind of keep Romans in reservations like First Nations, then? Because that’s what it looks like.”

Me: “First Nations?”

Tourist #2: “[Tourist #1], cut it out, the Romans don’t exist anymore; they can’t be represented in the city body.”

Tourist #1: “Ah, I suppose they all died in the Holocaust, [My Name]? Because I’ve read that ‘Romas’ died in it…”

I bit my tongue and ignored the question, getting to the explanation of the Colosseum. [Tourist #2] did try to offer me a pastry as an apology, but I declined.

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They Talk Too Much

, , , , | Right | May 22, 2020

My wife has a tour company, and we often have military reunions — mostly WWII guys — come to town with multiple buses, which require us to have multiple guides. I’m standing at the second coach. 

Customer: “Are you our guide?”

Me: “I’m one of them, yes. Do you have a question?”

Customer: “Yes. Are you going to be our guide?”

Me: “I am if you are on this coach.”

Customer: “Good. I’m just making sure I’m not on the coach with the same guide from yesterday.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. That was the city tour, yes? What didn’t you like about it?”

Customer: “She talked the whole time we were on the bus.”

I ignore the irony of wanting a silent tour guide.

Me: “Okay, do you remember her name?”

Customer: “No, but she’s standing next to the other bus; that’s why I want to make sure that woman isn’t our guide.”

Me: “Oh, you mean my wife? Yes, she’ll be on the first coach. I’ve got this one.”

The customer muttered something under his breath, got on the bus, and sat in the back and talked to his friends during the entire tour. I still have no idea why someone would take a city tour but not want to hear any information about the city!

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A Buildup Of Spice

, , , , , | Working | April 17, 2019

(I’m on a bus tour of Eastern Canada, and so far I’ve had no reason to complain about the tour or the guide. One evening, our guide takes our party to the revolving restaurant in the CN Tower for dinner and eats with us. Note that I have Asperger’s, which means that repeated small stresses accumulate into really big ones.)

Me: *between mouthfuls* “Hmm. It’s very spicy.”

(I’m just making a comment here. I’m enjoying the spicy food, as well as the view. However, the guide seems to take this as a complaint for some reason.)

Guide: “Oh, it’s all right. I can get you something else—“

Me: “No, that’s all right. I just—“

Guide: “No, really, let me—“

(I’m starting to get really annoyed at this point, since all I want to do is eat the rest of my meal and I don’t need her constant interruptions.)

Me: “I’m not complaining!”

Guide: “No, seriously, it won’t take me a moment to—“

(By now I’ve really had enough.)

Me: “WILL YOU LEAVE ME ALONE? I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE FOOD! I LIKE THE FOOD! I’M STILL EATING IT, SEE? JUST LEAVE ME ALONE AND LET ME FINISH MY MEAL IN PEACE!”

(I felt guilty about yelling, especially in front of the others, but at least it shut her up and I was allowed to finish eating. I have resolved never to comment on my food in public again in case somebody takes it the wrong way.)

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Bridging The Facts

, , , , , | Learning | December 6, 2018

(Our school is taking a trip to New York City, and the teacher in charge has hired a local tour guide to come onto our bus to tell some facts about landmarks. While talking about the Brooklyn Bridge, the guide brings up the architect, John Roebling.)

Guide: “Now, does anyone by chance happen to know where John Roebling is from?”

Literally Everyone On The Bus: “Saxonburg, Pennsylvania!”

Guide: “No, that’s not right. Hmm… I can’t remember, either. Oh, well. Moving on.”

Teacher: “No, they are right and you are wrong. He is from Saxonburg, and that is a fact. Our school is in Saxonburg; our park is named ‘Roebling Park’ after him, and they even have a model of the Brooklyn Bridge in it. If there is one thing we know, it’s where he’s from.”

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No One Insults Quite Like The French, Part 2

, , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2018

(I am a Canadian on a tour of a plantation house in Louisiana. There is a man on the tour who keeps interrupting the guide with questions that are actually designed to show off his knowledge. The guide just gets a rousing story going and the man cuts him off, ruining the pace and throwing off the guide. Four rooms in, and this interrupter will not stop. Even his wife is uncomfortable with his actions.)

Guide: *low, under his breath, in French* “Oh, my God. Shut up.”

(I gasp, and he looks at me with an expression that says he’s even more shocked than I am.)

Guide: “Oh. Oh! You’re Canadian!’

(He knows this because he asked where everyone was from at the beginning of the tour.)

Me: *in French* “Don’t worry. It’s fine.”

(No one else knew what was going on for this tiny exchange, so we continued — the interrupter still showing off as best he could — but there was some French thrown in for me after some of the halting stories were done.)

Related:
No One Insults Quite Like The French

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