The Sleeping Dragon Can Stop To Give Directions

, , , , | Hopeless | October 13, 2018

(My brother and I are around 20 years old, and we go on a holiday in China together. Due to our parents’ concern about our lack of language skills, we book a guided tour, but on our very first evening in Beijing, we have time to explore the city by ourselves. We take a tram to the city center and have a nice evening, and everything goes well until we get back to the station near our hotel. Then, we get lost. Keep in mind that it is already around 10:30 pm when this all happens. The station is quite large and has several exits on different streets, and even though we have a map, we can’t figure out in which direction our hotel is. Luckily, we spot a police station on the other side of the street and go there to ask for directions.)

Me: “Excuse me, we got lost. This—” *points on map* “—is our hotel. Which direction is it?”

(The two policemen shrug and answer something in Chinese. I figure they don’t speak English, so I try to explain our problem through gestures and with some more pointing. They study the map for some time, talk among themselves and ask us some things, to which I always have to answer, “Sorry, I don’t understand.” This goes on for some minutes, and then one of the policemen goes outside. The other one shows us to some seats and offers us cookies. Then, the policeman outside starts shouting something. At least twenty passers-by from the — not very crowded — street start gathering around him and he leads them inside. A young man starts talking to me in English.)

Young Man #1: “Hey! How can we help you?”

Me: “Hi! We need to get to our hotel, but we got lost!”

Young Man #1: “Which hotel is it? Do you have an address?”

Me: *taking out the map again* “It’s right here—” *points* “—and this is the tram station out there—” *points* “—but we can’t read the street signs and don’t know which direction it is.”

(The young man starts talking to the group in Chinese again. Some people leave.)

Young Man #2: “Don’t worry; we’ll figure this out. We’re trying to find the best solution to get you to your hotel.”

(After some more minutes:)

Young Man #1: “So, this guy—” *he points at an elderly Chinese man with a hat* “—knows the way, but it’s a bit complicated from here. We don’t want you to get lost again, so he’ll walk you there. He can’t speak English; just follow him. Have a good time in China!”

(With that, the rest of the crowd dissipated, everyone smiling and waving at us, except for the man with the hat. He gestured at us to follow him, which we did. What followed was an at least fifteen-minute walk through Beijing, until we could see our hotel at the next crossroads. The man pointed at it and waved at us. We waved, too, took some bows, and thanked him in English. He smiled and started leaving. To this day, I am still amazed by how many people went out of their way to help some lost tourists and the kindness they showed us. Now, whenever I travel abroad, I make sure to at least be able to say “thank you” in the respective country’s language.)

 

Not The Milk Of Human Kindness

, , , , | Right | October 11, 2018

I am cabin crew (steward) for a UK based airline, and overall, things don’t really bother me that much. I do believe that people can’t be the personalities they display during the flights, as often common sense is not applied.

Naturally you get the same reply ‘what do you have’ when you’re asking them what they’d like to drink. I don’t mention the whole contents of the bar anymore, knowing that another 50 passengers are going to ask me the same question, always ending up asking for a soda or a glass of water in the end, so now I just reply what they usually have around this time of day.

One occasion still stands clear though, and I’m still as baffled as the day it happened. I was working in first class and a female passenger, around my own age, asked me for a coffee with cream. Nothing unusual, except for the fact that we don’t carry cream and only have plain milk, and so I replied that unfortunately, it had to be milk. Her reply to me was, “why don’t you go into the toilet and make me some cream.”

I was gobsmacked, didn’t know what to reply, felt like saying that with her face on my retina it was not going to be possible, but reconsidered and just walked off.

Obviously she thought that she was being funny but it was the most outrageous and disgusting comment I have ever witnessed. Clearly money can’t buy manners.

His Listening Ability Is So Dinky

, , , , | Right | October 9, 2018

(I volunteer at a heritage Narrow Gauge railway in Wales, with tracks on a 1-foot, 11-inch gauge versus the standard gauge of 4 feet and 8.5 inches.)

American Tourist: “Wow! Your trains are so dinky!”

Me: *laughs* “Thanks!”

American Tourist: “You know, our trains in the US are way bigger than these little things. Oh, and we don’t use steam as much anymore!”

Me: “Oh, well, we don’t here in the UK, either. This is a preserved railway.”

American Tourist: “How do y’all cope long distance?”

Me: “Oh, this isn’t our public transport system; originally this hauled freight.”

American Tourist: *wanders away muttering incredulously to himself* “So dinky… d***…”

Euro No No

, , , , , | Right | October 1, 2018

(I am on vacation in Santorini, Greece with a few friends, exploring the town. There is a vendor selling noise-makers and other cute children’s toys on a mat in the square outside a church. An American woman is with her small child, who is playing with the toys, and the following exchange occurs.)

Customer: “I guess we’ll take one of these bouncy balls. How much?”

Vendor: “Three.”

Customer: *hands the man an American $10 bill* “Here you go.”

Vendor: “I can’t take this.”

Customer: “Why not? You said it was three dollars.”

Vendor: “No, euros.”

Customer: “What?! Why didn’t you say so? I don’t have any euros. Just take this. You can even keep the change.”

Vendor: “This is not America; I don’t take American money.”

Customer: “Okay, here’s a card.”

Vendor: “No, euros only.”

(This goes on for a bit, the woman getting angrier. The vendor eventually shakes his head in a final “no,” and she storms off towards us.)

Customer: “Could you believe him?! I can’t believe he wouldn’t take my money.”

Me: “Well, we are… you know… in Greece…”

A Lot Of Passengers Come In Already Spoilt

, , , | Right | September 10, 2018

Passenger: *putting his bags into the X-ray machine* “Oh, I have pies in these…”

Me: “Is something wrong, sir?”

Passenger: “It’s just, won’t they get spoilt?”

Colleague: *sitting at the X-ray monitor* “Well, you don’t get spoilt when you receive an X-ray, do you?”

Page 1/1212345...Last
Next »