One Is Not Impressed

, | Friendly | September 4, 2015

(On a tour bus going north from Cairns, I sit near the driver who has a hands free microphone on to talk to passengers and gives information about the places we are passing. I am Irish and most passengers are British/Japanese.)

Driver: “Can anyone tell me what animal is featured on Australian currency?”

Me: *quietly to my Friend* “The Queen?”

Driver: *through the microphone* “No, [My Name], the Queen is not an animal!”

(The British passengers were not impressed with me!)

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Needlessly Lost In Translation

, | Friendly | July 7, 2015

(My friend and I are from Singapore on a holiday in UK. We are on a tour bus and the tour leader is getting everyone to introduce themselves. Note: We speak English as our first language, and Mandarin as our second. We have never learnt Malay and do not speak it.)

Tour Leader: “So, where are you from?”

Friend & Me: “Singapore.”

Tour Leader: “So, what language do you speak?”

Friend & Me: “English.”

Tour Leader: “I mean, what language do you speak there?”

Me: “English? Like the language I’m speaking now?”

Tour Leader: “No, no, what language do you speak there?”

Friend: “Well, we have four official languages. English, Malay—”

Tour Leader: “Yes! It’s not English! You speak Malay!”

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Making A Moat Point

| Right | January 21, 2014

(I am a tour guide at a medieval castle. The moat to this particular castle was filled by diverting a channel of the river that runs directly past. We’re standing beside a large model of how the entire area looked in 1754 AD.)

Tourist: “So, ma’am, how did they fill the moat?”

Me: “Well as you can see here, a channel was dug to divert the water into the man-made moat.”

Tourist: “So, how did they FILL the moat?”

Me: “Um… With water from the river, flowing into the ditch. The ground could get pretty waterlogged but that worked as extra defense in times of siege.”

Tourist: “Yes, but how did they get the water from the river INTO the moat?”

Me: “Er… They used a bucket chain?”

Tourist: “Ahh, I see. Thanks!”

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From Sea To Shining Sea

| Right | March 5, 2012

(I’m in the middle of sharing interesting facts about Seattle to a group of 20. Unfortunately, one tourist has been talking on the phone the entire time, making it hard for others to hear me.)

Me: “Now, back when the Space Needle was built, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River and it—”

Tourist: “Wait, which of these rivers is the Mississippi?”

Me: “Well, that’s the Puget sound to your right. The two other large bodies of water you can see are Lake Union and Lake Washington—”

Tourist: “So, where’s the river?”

Me: “You mean the Mississippi River?”

Customer: “Well, duh.”

Me: “I guess about 1600 miles east of here.”

Customer: “So, you can’t see it, then?”

Me: “Not from here, no.”

Customer: “Oh.”

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Little Nuggets Of Interest

, , , , , , | Right | December 21, 2010

(I am providing a tour through Ireland and explaining its history.)

Me: “…and then the Danish Vikings and the Norse Vikings got together and created the most fantastic thing in the world. Does anyone know what that is?”

Young Passenger: “Chicken nuggets!”

Me: “I was going to say red hair, but that answer just blows mine out of the water!”


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