Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: RebeccainGA on July 22, 2013, 10:48:09 AM

Title: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: RebeccainGA on July 22, 2013, 10:48:09 AM
We seem to be on the road every other weekend here lately! We see a lot of craziness, and downright weirdness, but this trip I noticed:

* trucker with pink panties hanging ON A HANGER from his visor, so they were easily visible from the side of the vehicle. He was older, long grey beard, and was pointedly staring at me as his truck passed ours in the mountains (yikes!)
* family with six kids, all dressed identically, eating while lined up along a long bench outside a rest area - all in order of size, from smallest to tallest. Mom and dad nowhere to be seen.
* signs for pecans at the next exit, a la Burma shave - wish I could remember the verse, but was laughing too hard!

What fun oddities have you seen?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: demarco on July 22, 2013, 11:26:27 AM
I'll share some oddities later but I have to say I am in the early stages of a tentative plan for a 4000+ mile solo road trip and the panty story is making me rethink.....
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Kari on July 22, 2013, 11:38:05 AM
Athens, Greece, 2001.

Packs of wilds dogs roamed the streets. Greece was in an economic downturn (which I believe is still continuing, from what I catch on the news) and the first thing to go in many households was the pets: Out into the streets they went. But lest a visitor be alarmed, these wild dogs LOVE tourists. Native Athenians would chase away the dogs when they saw them; tourists would saw "Awww" and give them food. So whenever my friends and I walked the streets of Greece by ourselves without our Grecian guide, the dogs would form a circle around us and walk with us, and bark ferociously at any native who approached. It was like having our own set of bodyguards.

The thing is, we were warned ahead of time not to feed the dogs, and we didn't. But these dogs could spot a tourist a mile away and stuck close, most likely in the hopes of getting a meal.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: kymom3 on July 22, 2013, 12:25:07 PM
Several years ago we were heading out to the beach and had just gotten onto the interstate, so very early in the trip.  An SUV passed us and when we glanced over, the couple had a parrot riding on the console between the front seats, and it appeared to be bobbing it's head in time to their radio.  We all cracked up and made (now) XH pass them so we could see the parrot again.  When we caught up with them, the woman in the front seat was cuddling it and it looked like it was snuggling.

XH, our three boys and I all joked that we could turn around and go home, we had alread seen the best thing ever.   ;D
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on July 22, 2013, 12:34:55 PM
I've got a few fun experiences.  Here's the first one.

We were going out early in the morning to get money from an ATM in Barcelona and saw the full Gryffindor Quidditch team walking down the street.

  These weren't little kids wearing Halloween costumes.  They were adults with very expensive-looking outfits.  Even the brooms looked like Nimbus 2000s. 

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: heartmug on July 22, 2013, 01:10:02 PM
I've got a few fun experiences.  Here's the first one.

We were going out early in the morning to get money from an ATM in Barcelona and saw the full Gryffindor Quidditch team walking down the street.

  These weren't little kids wearing Halloween costumes.  They were adults with very expensive-looking outfits.  Even the brooms looked like Nimbus 2000s.

Awesome!!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: snowdragon on July 22, 2013, 01:19:56 PM
I've got a few fun experiences.  Here's the first one.

We were going out early in the morning to get money from an ATM in Barcelona and saw the full Gryffindor Quidditch team walking down the street.

  These weren't little kids wearing Halloween costumes.  They were adults with very expensive-looking outfits.  Even the brooms looked like Nimbus 2000s.

There's even a world cup http://www.internationalquidditch.org/worldcup/
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: cwm on July 22, 2013, 04:27:55 PM
I was on a family road trip, 2000+ miles from home. Dad walked into a store and looked at this guy and laughed. Turns out they worked together about five yards apart from each other back home. And they hadn't spoken to each other about their upcoming vacations, they both just *happened* to be in a tiny town in Oregon at the same time.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Katana_Geldar on July 22, 2013, 05:01:29 PM
Not my story, but stillierd. One of my aunts was in Egypt years agoanNd saw a local standing not far from her near the pyramids and a puddle slowy forming beneath his feet.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on July 22, 2013, 05:15:56 PM
Story two.

We were on a cruise ship and the weather was a bit too rough for us to dock in Bermuda.  Our ship also received a message that a yacht was in distress near us and we were to offer assistance. 

It was a dramatic hour or two when the mast of the yacht broke off and hit the promenade deck but everyone on the yacht was successfully rescued.

Later, we learned that the skipper of the yacht and the captain of our ship lived within a mile or two of each other and were friendly acquaintances.     

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Library Dragon on July 22, 2013, 05:44:17 PM
DH's older brother and his wife joke that they never want to travel with us again because DH keeps getting whisked away. 

1.  We were in Pisa, Italy and ran into members of our church.  DH is chatting with them and suddenly the three of them are gone from view.  They had a family crises and needed to talk about it right then. 

2.  At Jones Beach, NY, we are sitting on beach and when a man stumbles out of the surf and collapses.  DH (nurse anesthetist) and SIL (RN) run over to see if he needs assistance.  The life guards rush over and there's a discussion over who's doing CPR.  DH states that he's Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certified.  The life guards hand him all their equipment.  They call in a helicopter and next thing we know DH and man are off to the hospital. 

3.  We were returning from Israel to Atlanta when there's an announcement asking if there is a doctor or nurse on board the plan.  DH was the only one to respond.  He spent the 14 hour flight monitoring a passenger's vitals.  Passenger had over done his medications and every time he stood up his blood pressure dropped and he passed out. 

The last was the most aggravating.  We had cashed in all our miles for business class seats and the captain thanked DH because they didn't have to make an emergency landing and dump $$$ worth of fuel.  DH only got a "Hey thanks" letter from Delta Airlines. IMO the least they could have done is reimburse 1/2 his miles. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: kherbert05 on July 22, 2013, 06:31:53 PM
Happened to neighbors in San Angelo.


They were traveling through a small town in Canada. They stop at a Tim Horton's and 3 Towhead/blued eyed kids run up and ask if they  know Aunt Gerry and Uncle Harvey. A man catches up with the kids and apologizes explaining his Sister and BIL live in San Angelo. The kids had seen San Angelo on the Licence Plate holder and were convinced the driver must know their Aunt and Uncle.


The town was Mom's hometown. The kids my 2nd youngest set of 1st cousins. The neighbors got a kick out of it.


I was in Scotland with my HS drill team. There was a rugby team about the same age from Vancouver. I'm talking to some of them in the lobby (Note I have a "fluid accent" and tend to unconsciously mimic those around me ). One of them asks if I'm from Canada, I say no but that Mom was from Montague, PEI. That I've spent a many summers on the East Coast, but I hope to go visit my Uncle Billy in Vancouver soon. The coach hears this, stares and asks "Billy Sullivan". I say yes. He goes you are Gerry's daughter. He introduces himself. His family owned the car repair/rental place next to Nanna's. He and his brothers raised 9 types of hell with my younger uncles growing up.


My Dad used to meet the coolest people golfing on vacation. He would go to the pro and offer to make up a foursome. If a group was short a person, or several singles showed up the pro would put them together in a foursome. From what I understand it is the norm at resorts like Brudenell Provincial Park. (GRowing up Sis and I thought Brudenell was the coolest Country Club - So so far out of the league of the state parks we knew back home. )
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on July 22, 2013, 06:58:40 PM
We seem to be on the road every other weekend here lately! We see a lot of craziness, and downright weirdness, but this trip I noticed:

* trucker with pink panties hanging ON A HANGER from his visor, so they were easily visible from the side of the vehicle. He was older, long grey beard, and was pointedly staring at me as his truck passed ours in the mountains (yikes!)
* family with six kids, all dressed identically, eating while lined up along a long bench outside a rest area - all in order of size, from smallest to tallest. Mom and dad nowhere to be seen.
* signs for pecans at the next exit, a la Burma shave - wish I could remember the verse, but was laughing too hard!

What fun oddities have you seen?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKqTTSGBK10
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: o_gal on July 23, 2013, 06:41:24 AM
In college, the Wind Symphony would do a road tour every Spring break. One year, we headed up into New England and our first stop was outside of Rochester, NY. After the evening's concert at the high school, my trip roommate Sylvia and I went home to our host family. We get our suitcases inside and the Mom is showing us around. Lots of memorabilia about Cornell U. on the walls - the Mom and Dad met while students there, and got married right after they graduated.

Sylvia then says that her Dad went to Cornell. Suddenly the Dad looks at her and aks again what her last name is and then what her Dad's name is. After she tells them, he gets this shocked look on his face - turns out the Dads were frat buddies and really good friends who had lost touch with each other over the years. He asks for her home phone number and calls her Dad up and the two of them spend the next hour on the phone catching up.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on July 23, 2013, 09:45:47 AM
Fun strangeness number three.

We were in the Western Caribbean heading toward the Panama Canal.  It was a blazingly hot day in January.  Then, out of nowhere, I started hearing bagpipes.

We had met a number of people from Scotland on the ship and they were a fun bunch, but Bagpipes?

At Dinner time, the whole ship was treated to a great show.  Led by five pipers, the Scots made a procession down the Grand Staircase wearing full dress.  The men were in velvet jackets and kilts or trews.  The women wore jewel toned velvet skirts and frilly white blouses with tartan shawls.  It was a grand sight. 

The Scots retreated to a private dining room where they celebrated Burn's Nacht.  They'd even brought their own haggis and we could hear, 'Ye chieftain o the puddin' race...'

The evening show in the theater paled by comparison. 





Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: ITSJUSTME on July 23, 2013, 10:21:14 AM
We visited Fort Henry in Kingston Ontario.  While overlooking the ramparts a group of older visitors came out, bringing sandwiches from the snack shop.  They sat close to us and discussed who wanted which sandwich - tuna, egg salad etc.  I cannot imitate them in writing but they sounded exactly like a Monty Python skit (especially the one where nine out of ten people cannot tell the difference between Whizzo butter and a dead crab).  DH and I had to get up and leave so we would not laugh and possibly offend them, but it was a moment we'll remember.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: pendragon1980 on July 23, 2013, 10:55:30 AM
Sitting in an little victorian lakeside tea room having lunch when about a half dozen movie-era Klingons in full gear walk in.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: artk2002 on July 23, 2013, 11:06:29 AM
A minor bit.  When I was in college and for several years afterwards I worked the scoreboard at our basketball arena. The summer after graduating, I took a trip to Walt Disney World. While at EPCOT, in the World Showcase I went into the British pub -- and ran into the arena announcer and his wife who were also on vacation.  "Of all the gin joints..."

While traveling in Wales, I was visiting a ruined castle (possibly Beaumaris, but I don't recall.) Since it was typically drizzly, I was wearing my rain coat and hat. The coat is a long, stockman's 'duster' in black and the hat looks a lot like a fedora. As I came around a corner out of a somewhat dark section I ran into some teenaged girls. They took one look at me, screamed "Darkman!!!" (http://www.imdb.com/media/rm711493632/tt0099365) and ran away.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: nutraxfornerves on July 23, 2013, 11:23:06 AM
Sitting in a van in Antananarivo, Madagascar, waiting for the guide to run an errand. Watching a guy on the sidewalk sewing feathers onto the wings of a live rooster. It was to make him more fearsome-looking for a cockfight.

Deep into the jungles of Ecuador, in an Indian village after an all-day canoe ride to get there. Hanging on a line was a towel with the name of the California hospital where I was born.

In Malaysian Borneo, spending the night in an Iban longhouse with a basket of human skulls hanging from the rafters.

Also in Malaysia (and this was many years ago) there was a crackdown on certain vehicle safety laws. There might be 4 or 5 people clinging to that motor scooter, but by George!, every one of them was wearing a helmet.

Buying a box of this detergent in Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia).
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Barf_soap.jpg/220px-Barf_soap.jpg)

It's made in Iran and the name is Farsi for "snow."
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Sebastienne on July 23, 2013, 11:48:59 AM
Strolling through a small city in Croatia a few years ago, we saw two Roman centurions walking down the street. We thought this was a little weird, so we started following them through the twisty, medieval streets. We lost them around a corner, congratulated ourselves on our awesome adventure, and stopped for some wine.

When we emerged from the wine bar and headed back to the city's Roman forum, though, there was a large crowd watching an entire procession of centurions (at least 50 of them), escorting some concubines and what had to be the Emperor into the square.  Then the Emperor started addressing the crowd--unfortunately, in Croatian, which we didn't even remotely understand.

We had absolutely no idea what was going on. Obviously, it was a play of some kind (or, I guess, we'd time-travelled somehow, along with the rest of the population of the city), but no one could explain it to us. If anyone here knows why there would be centurions and an emperor roaming around Zadar on a summer night, I'd love to hear.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: cwm on July 23, 2013, 12:28:32 PM
That reminds me. I was on a Youth Symphony trip to Italy. We were outside the Ufizzi in Florence and saw a few random guys wearing Renaissance-style clothes. Complete with big floofy hats with big floofy feathers. I got pictures of them, but never could figure out what they were doing.

Also, in Venice on the same trip, I saw what was likely to be the only car. Cars aren't allowed in Venice, but apparently someone had won one, it was on a barge parked outside a block of housing. It was definitely strange.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: fountainsoflettuce on July 23, 2013, 12:48:25 PM
Not directly related to me but...

Husband went to college with friends, Amber, Betty and Zoe.   All of us live in the East Coast.
Husband works with John (who is married to Gerty).  John and Gerty live in Amsterdam. 

Amber, Betty and Zoe travel to Easter Island for vacation.   Where they meet John and Gerty who are also vacationing at and near Easter Island.  They all start talking on the boat and discover they all know Husband.  Amber also discovers she went to high school with John's younger brother.   It is a small world at times.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: hermanne on July 23, 2013, 12:54:17 PM
...

Buying a box of this detergent in Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia).
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Barf_soap.jpg/220px-Barf_soap.jpg)

It's made in Iran and the name is Farsi for "snow."

:D
I wonder if they know what that looks like in English.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: nutraxfornerves on July 23, 2013, 01:08:14 PM
Quote
I wonder if they know what that looks like in English.
It's been on the market for a long time. I'm sure they are getting tired of hearing about it.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: unnalee on July 23, 2013, 01:34:50 PM
In our middle school the 8th grade always took a weekend camping trip to Mackinaw Island right before 8th grade "graduation."  Our ferry ride off the island was delayed waiting for the ambulance to bring a girl from another tour group who had been hit by a bike.  When they brought her on board, we sort of whispered amongst ourselves that we couldn't believe there was no adult with her.  Our chaperon found out that the EMS people couldn't find any of the chaperones with her group, and since she was hurt quite badly they didn't delay in transporting her.  Only two of her friends were with her.  We never found out what became of her.

Fast forward 4.5 years.  I decided to go to a HUGE university almost 1000 miles away from home.  I didn't know a soul.  I sucked up my courage and joined the ballroom dancing club on campus.  On the long walk home to my dorm, I started chatting with a guy who lived on the same floor as me.  Turned out he grew up about 100 miles from where I did.  In the course of getting to know each other, we discovered that we had competed against each other in academic competitions, had been good friends with the same girl (She moved out of my town and into his), and he had been on that same Mackinaw Island ferry!  He was one of the two friends who had accompanied the injured girl.  Turns out she ended up with a severe concussion, a broken arm and collar bone, and lost 2 teeth.

We're still close friends today.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Snowy Owl on July 23, 2013, 02:01:06 PM

One that amused me was the cinema I went to in Germany.  I was on my own in Frankfurt and felt like a diversion so I went to see a film.  Much to my intense amusement two men in wedding dresses walked in and sat down several rows in front of me.  When I say men in wedding dresses I don't mean to imply they were trying to look like women as both had moustaches and one had a goatee beard and they seemed to be making no attempt to pass as women, they were just wearing dresses.

I didn't work out what the purpose of the interesting attire was but it made the film more amusing. I kept thinking of the tv series "Little Britain" and the sketches with Florence and Emily. 




Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Morticia on July 23, 2013, 02:36:13 PM
Quote
I wonder if they know what that looks like in English.
It's been on the market for a long time. I'm sure they are getting tired of hearing about it.

It's funny, that's also my name for it. :)
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: JustEstelle on July 23, 2013, 03:37:23 PM
Back in 1964 my parents and I and my dad's maternal cousin, his wife, and their youngest daughter took a car trip to New Mexico to visit family and do some sight-seeing.  On the trip home, we were traveling a lonely FM road somewhere in eastern New Mexico or west Texas.  Miles between towns and passing cars were few and far between.  Dad's cousin was driving at this particular time (he and my dad shared driving duties on the trip), and we happened upon what appeared to be an accident with someone lying in the road and other people standing around, trying to wave us down.  Something about it just didn't look/seem right, so Cousin just sped on past.  As we got past them, the person lying in the road had gotten up and the group was milling around like they were trying to figure out how to get us to stop.  Cousin floored it then and we got away from there.

We all felt that those people were up to no good and things would have been very, very bad for us if we'd stopped and tried to render aid.

That's about the weirdest travel story I have. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: A.P. Wulfric on July 23, 2013, 05:53:46 PM
No matter where DH or I go, we will run into someone who is from the same town, or knows someone else who is. This might not seem like much, if we were from large metropolitan areas. No, I grew up in a small beach community in CT and he is from a suburban smallish town in northeastern Mass. 

Of course, my sister moved 3000 miles away and her best friend that she met out there lived and worked in the same small beach community that my parents moved too...long after she had married and moved out!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on July 23, 2013, 09:57:40 PM
This was just a few hours ago.

I was going through the US/Canada border near Buffalo, and because of some paperwork had to go in to immigration. Fortunately, not terribly busy, but just as I was about to go up, one of the agents brought six men up and let them go in front of me. I was  >:(.

They looked like ordinary working men, but as I watched them, I thought a couple of them were starting to look familiar. When I got out, a quick check of the iPhone showed that yes, Blue Rodeo was playing Buffalo tonight.

The thing was, I wasn't sure until I checked their tour schedule, so I was afraid if I waved and yelled "I have your Greatest Hits on my phone!" It wouldn't be them, and I'd look like an idiot.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Julian on July 23, 2013, 10:14:55 PM
Back in the mid 70's I was in the local girl guides.  We travelled by bus to Sydney (our group originated around 800km north of there) for some sort of jamboree type event.

One day we went into the city and we saw - Wombles!  Great Uncle Bulgaria, Orinoco and at least one other.

They were a long, long way from Wimbledon Common.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wombles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wombles)

My first day in Las Vegas I saw Marilyn and Elvis, met a showgirl and got a marriage proposal...  That was just the start of the 'weird'!  Good 'weird', most of it.   ;D

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 23, 2013, 11:09:47 PM
I went to France with a school trip when I was in high school.  My French teacher at the time was very young (just out of college) and had never actually been outside of Wisconsin except for a six-week stint in Quebec, so it didn't surprise me too much to discover that actual French people had trouble understanding her  :-\  She was constantly mistaken for a student.  (Didn't help that she's tiny and has kinda pixie-like features . . .)

Anyway, the highlight of the trip (for us) was when some guy in Paris decided she looked like a good person to sell drugs to.  He followed our group for three or four blocks yelling "Mar-i-JWA-nuh?  You want mar-i-JWA-nuh?" over and over.  I have no idea why he thought she specifically might be interested, but she had a terrible time getting him to go away.  It finally took the other teacher (who is considerably older and speaks much better French) yelling something long and interesting at him to get him to go away.  I kind of wish I had been able to understand what she said; it probably wasn't appropriate for young ears  :P
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: selkiewoman on July 24, 2013, 12:44:15 AM
In Bhopal I saw a cow sunning herself atop a 3-foot wall.  I still can't figure out how she got up there, I just hope she got back down ok.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Coralreef on July 24, 2013, 08:31:05 AM
Travelling with my sister in Gaspésie, we passed a tank truck with "hot molasses" written on the side.   ;D

In Japan, I was blessed by a Buddhist nun while sitting naked in a hot spring.

While vacationing through Ontario, we ran into our dental hygienist in three different cities. 

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: LeeLee88 on July 24, 2013, 08:58:12 AM
My husband and I were on a cross country road trip to Mexico, and we'd just passed through Tatum, NM when NIN's "Closer" came on the CD player, randomly.  I'm groovin' and reach into the backseat to get some water out of the cooler when I notice a car behind us.  We were on a really lonely stretch of road, so this is interesting to me.  I then notice that it isn't just a regular car, but a Trans Am. 

I would have just thought, "Sweet ride", except DH and I had recently watched the re-make of "Hitcher" with Sean Bean, and he drove that same car.  And he caught up to the kids he was trying to kill near Tatum, NM.  And the song playing in the movie at that time was NIN's "Closer".  I turned straight ahead and just stared out the window while the guy passed us, but I was tempted to see if it was Sean Bean.  I told my husband what kind of car it was, and reminded him about the movie, and we both started laughing and checking the sky for helicopters like what they had in the movie.  It was truly bizarre, but the sort of thing I've come to expect from that portion of the SW. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on July 24, 2013, 09:08:50 AM
I posted this several years ago but it fits here.

In 1971, I was on a package tour of the then Soviet Union.  We were in Yalta and the weather was lovely.  After Dinner, several of us decided to explore a park near the hotel.

We stumbled on a small outdoor theater.  There was no admission fee and there was a colorful folk ensemble on stage.  We quietly slipped into the first empty row and enjoyed the show. 

When the dancers left, the next act came on before we could decide what to do.  He was a stand-up comic.  We understood a little Russian but knew we could not follow a rapid-fire comedy routine. Still, it would be rude to leave during his act and the place was very pleasant so we stayed in our seats.  We were happy that we did.

In front of us was a group of Russian holiday makers.  One of the ladies found the comic very funny.  She also had one of those goofy, infectious laughs that makes everyone around here start laughing. 

That's exactly what happened to us.  We started laughing. 

The comic, sensing a receptive audience on our side of the little theater, started directing his schtick toward the lady who was now hooting and wiping the tears from her eyes. Her companions were also convulsed with laughter.  The sheer absurdity of the situation got us laughing even harder.

By the time the comic finished his routine, we were holding our sides and gasping.  He left the stage to great applause.   
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: rose red on July 24, 2013, 10:14:16 AM
In Hong Kong, a group dressed like a Renaissance masquerade party passed us.  It was weird, beautiful, and memorable.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: cwm on July 24, 2013, 10:28:52 AM
Same trip to Italy as I mentioned before, we were in a small town. I can't remember where exactly, but they didn't have a lot of tourists.

I was shopping with a group of about five teenagers. We found this AWESOME shirt in a jar. It had a cool little cartoon on it that one of the kids recognized because his dad liked them. He wanted this shirt, and it came in what looked like a flour cannister, with the little clippy-type latch on the top. (I apologize now for the description, but I can't word too good today...)

Anyway, the shop owner comes out and asks us a question in Italian. We look around. None of us speak Italian, and so far gesturing to what we want and paying has done us quite well when we don't share a language. Nothing but blank stares. So I step forward and ask tentatively if anyone in the shop speaks French, as I've taken about four years of it at this point and can fumble my way through a simple transaction.

Shopkeeper's eyes light up. He repeats the Italian word for French and holds up a finger indicating that we should wait and runs into the back to get his daughter. He goes rapid fire in Italian to her, she asks me something with such a thick Italian accent that I can't understand it. I ask her to slow down and repeat herself, but to no avail. She and her dad go back and forth for a bit in Italian, our group is starting to laugh at the situation at this point. Daughter pulls out some scratch paper and a pen and writes down a question in French before turning it to me.

I look at the guy who wants to buy the shirt and ask him, "Is that the right size and color?" He busts up laughing, so do the rest of us, and he nods vigorously. He buys the shirt, we thank the shopkeeper profusely, and we all walk out of the store laughing at how it took five minutes and two middlemen to figure out if the size and color of the shirt are right.

Also, in that same tiny town, I bought a few manga that I thought my friend had at home. She has them in Japanese and English. I added some Italian to her collection.

Minor story #3. Watching TV, which was hard enough in Italian, but then Monty Python came on late one night. Okay, that's great, it's an English show, I can understand it, I'll just ignore the Italian subtitles. Trying to keep up with them hurt my head anyway. But it's the German episode, so there's German being spoken, with Italian AND English subtitles. My brain was fried instantly. I changed the channel to something else I couldn't understand.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 24, 2013, 11:15:11 AM
Ooh, that reminds me!  During that same trip to France, there was a commercial on TV that had all of us doing double-takes.  IIRC, it was a family riding in a car, singing along to the radio (in English).  With some VERY dirty lyrics (stuff that wouldn't be able to be broadcast here).  And mom and dad and grandma are all happily singing along phonetically.  The commercial had a censored subtitle in French, and it was advertising some program for adults to learn English.

Which is all fine and good if you don't know what the lyrics to the song were, but they were very loud and very obvious.  Someone on the way home mentioned "I heard this weird commercial . . ." and everyone else in the group said "Oh, I heard that one too!  And nobody seemed to notice except for me!"
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Bijou on July 24, 2013, 03:45:59 PM
This was kind of scary.  Around 1975 We were returning to our home city one night, driving down an empty rural road.  Along the road we saw a man hailing for help.  We stopped and he hopped, uninvited, into the back seat of our car, said he had been camping with friends and wanted to go home (to a city in the general area we were going, about 200 miles away).  We were shocked, but we did drive him home.  He wanted to give us all the money he had on him (I remember it was $40) but we declined.  When we reached his house it was impressive, to say the least.   Really gorgeous.  It turned out he was part owner of a well known restaurant in the city. He told us to go to his restaurant and have dinner on him.  We never did, though. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Chip2 on July 24, 2013, 04:36:08 PM
My first night in Korea. I'm flipping throuh the TV channels in the hotel and come across a televised Go match. I raise an eyebrow, watch for a minute, and continue surfing. Two channels later was a televised Starcraft match.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Ohjustlovely on July 24, 2013, 06:26:21 PM
This probably belongs in “For Jaxsue’s Brother” ghost story thread, but it happened on a roadtrip.

I a teenager in July 1979, and I was sitting in the backseat of the family car, in a car trip from the West Coast from the East Coast.  We encountered a major slow-down in traffic on the interstate in a Southern state.  We were literally driving 10 mph, due to some construction and a detour through a tiny town.  The town was forlorn, not very populated, mostly closed stores along the route.

We came to a stop sign, and the detour had us to go right.  Across the street from the stop sign, I saw several old clapboard houses, in very bad condition, peeling paint, up on some kind of stilts (maybe they were moved due to the road being diverted?  Who knows.)  The houses looked like they were deserted.  Except for one.

On the porch was one old man in bib overalls sitting on a chair, and two children (ages 4-10) standing next to him on his right.  The children were unkempt, with their hair sticking straight up, and they were wearing some kind of frayed burlap bags.  They were just staring out, expressionless, on this very hot day.  I thought it was strange these people just sat/stood there, staring, no expression, no movement for the ten minutes or so it took to approach the stop sign.  As we stopped and before we turned I said, “Why are they looking at us?” 

My family: Who? What are you talking about?
Me: Those people (and I pointed).
My family:  Don't see anybody.
Me: Yeah, those right there!

By then we had already made our turn.  I craned my neck, and I still saw them, still staring straight ahead.   We decided it was so hot and at the first chance we were going to pull over to a refreshment stand.  Further up the road, the traffic gained momentum.  We stopped at a little hamburger and ice cream stand, very old-fashion and tiny.  There were a lot of cars and people there, and most of the picnic tables were filled.

There was a little room to sit at one table.  One young guy (handsome! and my age) was having a vehement discussion with his father.

Guy: Yes, I did see them!
Guy’s Dad: No, there weren’t!
Guy: You had to have seen them!
Guy’s Dad: No, I don’t know what you are talking about!
Guy’s Dad: Come on, why would I make this up?

This conversation was just like the one we had in the car.  So I asked the guy:
Me: Are you talking about those people at the old house back at the stop sign?
Guy: Yeah, what did you see?
Me:  One old man sitting … two kids dressed in burlap … staring …(etc.)
Guy:  Yeah!  Me too!
Guy’s Dad: You are both making things up! There wasn’t anybody!
Guy: Yes there were!  She saw them too!  It's weird.  Maybe they're ghosts!
Guy’s Dad:  There’s no such thing!
Guy:  Then what was it?

I didn’t hear the rest of their conversation, because my family called me away. 

I didn’t believe in ghosts, but I did see them!  And only this guy and I were the only ones.

Every time I think of it, I get the chills.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: amandaelizabeth on July 24, 2013, 07:11:49 PM
We were holidaying on a remote pacific island.  Sitting on the beach one day, a local and his friends joined us.  He had recently been to New Zealand and had bought a very flash radio.  He was showing us which services it could receive and tuned into a NZ station.  To our surprise it was my boss speaking and explaining he could not answer these questions as the person in charge of that department was on holiday!  Well so I was
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Amanita on July 25, 2013, 02:15:40 PM
Ooh, that reminds me!  During that same trip to France, there was a commercial on TV that had all of us doing double-takes.  IIRC, it was a family riding in a car, singing along to the radio (in English).  With some VERY dirty lyrics (stuff that wouldn't be able to be broadcast here).  And mom and dad and grandma are all happily singing along phonetically.  The commercial had a censored subtitle in French, and it was advertising some program for adults to learn English.

Which is all fine and good if you don't know what the lyrics to the song were, but they were very loud and very obvious.  Someone on the way home mentioned "I heard this weird commercial . . ." and everyone else in the group said "Oh, I heard that one too!  And nobody seemed to notice except for me!"

I remember that commercial being passed around at my computer animation school, years ago! Comedy gold!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Bijou on July 25, 2013, 02:54:25 PM
This probably belongs in “For Jaxsue’s Brother” ghost story thread, but it happened on a roadtrip.

I a teenager in July 1979, and I was sitting in the backseat of the family car, in a car trip from the West Coast from the East Coast.  We encountered a major slow-down in traffic on the interstate in a Southern state.  We were literally driving 10 mph, due to some construction and a detour through a tiny town.  The town was forlorn, not very populated, mostly closed stores along the route.

We came to a stop sign, and the detour had us to go right.  Across the street from the stop sign, I saw several old clapboard houses, in very bad condition, peeling paint, up on some kind of stilts (maybe they were moved due to the road being diverted?  Who knows.)  The houses looked like they were deserted.  Except for one.

On the porch was one old man in bib overalls sitting on a chair, and two children (ages 4-10) standing next to him on his right.  The children were unkempt, with their hair sticking straight up, and they were wearing some kind of frayed burlap bags.  They were just staring out, expressionless, on this very hot day.  I thought it was strange these people just sat/stood there, staring, no expression, no movement for the ten minutes or so it took to approach the stop sign.  As we stopped and before we turned I said, “Why are they looking at us?” 

My family: Who? What are you talking about?
Me: Those people (and I pointed).
My family:  Don't see anybody.
Me: Yeah, those right there!

By then we had already made our turn.  I craned my neck, and I still saw them, still staring straight ahead.   We decided it was so hot and at the first chance we were going to pull over to a refreshment stand.  Further up the road, the traffic gained momentum.  We stopped at a little hamburger and ice cream stand, very old-fashion and tiny.  There were a lot of cars and people there, and most of the picnic tables were filled.

There was a little room to sit at one table.  One young guy (handsome! and my age) was having a vehement discussion with his father.

Guy: Yes, I did see them!
Guy’s Dad: No, there weren’t!
Guy: You had to have seen them!
Guy’s Dad: No, I don’t know what you are talking about!
Guy’s Dad: Come on, why would I make this up?

This conversation was just like the one we had in the car.  So I asked the guy:
Me: Are you talking about those people at the old house back at the stop sign?
Guy: Yeah, what did you see?
Me:  One old man sitting … two kids dressed in burlap … staring …(etc.)
Guy:  Yeah!  Me too!
Guy’s Dad: You are both making things up! There wasn’t anybody!
Guy: Yes there were!  She saw them too!  It's weird.  Maybe they're ghosts!
Guy’s Dad:  There’s no such thing!
Guy:  Then what was it?

I didn’t hear the rest of their conversation, because my family called me away. 

I didn’t believe in ghosts, but I did see them!  And only this guy and I were the only ones.

Every time I think of it, I get the chills.
Have you ever checked the history of the place to see if this is a known vision seen by some people?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: SamiHami on July 25, 2013, 02:56:35 PM
While driving through the Canadian Rockies, having to stop and wait because an inconsiderate herd of wild buffalo decided to block the road. Cool and kinda scary all at once!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: half_dollars on July 25, 2013, 03:42:14 PM
A few years after the traveling. . .

When I was a junior in college, a friend was teaching us a song in Sunday School one day.  I started singing along.  He was very interested in finding out how I knew that song.  I could only remember learning it in the back of the bus on the way back from a service project I was doing in 7th grade at a youth conference.  I was with 2 or 3 friends and some guys taught us that song.

Well, it turned out that my college friend was the one who wrote the song when he was in junior high.  It also turned out that he was one of the guys who was on that bus and taught us the song.

I lived in PA in 7th grade.  He lived in OH.  The conference was in Arizona.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Library Dragon on July 25, 2013, 05:32:01 PM
In the late 70s when I was stationed in Germany the Army sponsored familiarization tours of Berlin.  All paid for by the Army. We took an Army night train through East Germany (the only time the train was allowed to travel), stayed in West Berlin, ate at the Army dining hall, etc.  We had to wear our uniforms for all official parts of the day.

1.  On our trip into E. Berlin we had stopped at a park with coffee stand.  As a non-coffee drinker I came prepared with my Pepsi.  I had just finished a can and was about to throw it away.  I was suddenly surrounded by school students on a field trip.  One boy kept pointing to my can.  In my bad German I tried to explain that it was empty.  He asked if he could have it, so I handed it over. 

I cannot even think of a 2013 equivalent that would thrill a 10 year old boy that much.  He's friends surrounded him and wanting to hold it, but he wasn't letting go. 

2.  I was stationed in Heidelberg and had a US Army Europe HQ patch on my uniform (http://hatnpatch.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5233 (http://hatnpatch.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5233)).  Every time I was in the dining hall I was getting glares from other soldiers.  Nobody from the tour group.  We were all having a good time. 

A few days later someone came up and asked how dare I wear my unit patch, I wasn't stationed in Berlin and didn't have any right to wear it (http://hatnpatch.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_1&products_id=223 (http://hatnpatch.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=19_1&products_id=223)).  I stumbled for a second shocked that someone would go up to a stranger and say that.  I explained that it was the USAEUR patch and it's what's worn in Heidelberg.  We went back and forth a with him calling me a liar and me trying not to cry because I was embarrassed and angry. 

One of the guys on the tour went over and asked rude guy to walk to the bulletin board with him.  There he showed him the USAEUR command chart (not this one, but the same concept http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USAREUR_Organization_Chart.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USAREUR_Organization_Chart.png)).  The rude guy huffed back to his table and never said another word to me. 

I never thought the worst experience on the trip would be from another soldier over something stupid. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Julian on July 25, 2013, 06:12:36 PM
While driving through the Canadian Rockies, having to stop and wait because an inconsiderate herd of wild buffalo decided to block the road. Cool and kinda scary all at once!

Two friends and I, on motorcycles, riding through the Snowy Mountains, heading towards Thredbo.  We'd swapped bikes, so none of us were riding our own (so unfamiliar bikes, not necessarily good in an emergency situation).

We came around a blind corner, only to see a herd of wild brumbies (horses) crossing the road in front of us.  Three bikes, three emergency stops, no drops or crashes.  Yay!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 25, 2013, 06:18:02 PM
Not my tale and I don't tell it as well as my mom does, but the Germany thing reminded me :)  When my mom was in high school, her family (my grandparents, mom, and uncle who was ~8 at the time) went to Europe for - I don't know what you call it, but it's when a pastor swaps churches with another pastor for a month or more.  Anyway, as part of this, they did some touring around, including East Germany.  Mom remembers it as being one of the scarier aspects of the trip, because of the intense security involved in getting into the country.

I should mention that my uncle has always been a huge nerd since before being a nerd was cool, and he looks (and has always looked) it.  At the time, he had giant glasses, buck teeth, and wispy white-blond hair that stuck up in all directions - about as stereotypically dorky as you could get at the time  :P

So they get to the wall and they hand over their passports and exchange some very, very limited German with the guards (who didn't speak English).  And the guard is staring intently at the passport, scowling at mom, staring at her passport, scowling at her again, etc.   Same with my grandparents.  And then he gets to my uncle's picture - giant glasses, buck teeth, anti-gravity hair.  And he looks at my uncle - dorky glasses, buck teeth, and crazy hair - and absolutely loses it.  He calls all the other guards over, and they're all looking back and forth from the passport picture to my uncle and laughing their heads off (in German).

They were waved through, but Grandma kept my uncle's passport picture in their scrapbook of the trip as a memento.  And yeah, his picture was hilarious  :P
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: cwm on July 26, 2013, 12:37:17 PM
This one is just a weird conincidence, but I had to share.

27 years ago, my sis was 18 months old. Mom and dad and half-sister and I went camping, Sis had to stay home because she was too young. We were headed for the capital city of the next state over, so we had to drive all the way across our state. The car died in a very small town a good solid hour before the state line, we were stuck there for days. I don't think we ever made it to the next state.

Yesterday, sis and her BF are heading to the same town. Sproglet is 18 months old, too young to go along. BF's car breaks down in a small town not quite an hour from the state border. Due to both towns' relative growth, the city they broke down in now is probably about the exact same size as the town we broke down in decades ago was.

Good news, it's a minor issue with his car, they've made appointments at a dealership in BigCity for when they get there and were only really put back a few hours. Everyone is fine. But it's kind of weird that this is on its way to family tradition...
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Shea on July 26, 2013, 12:50:03 PM
I was sitting in the zocalo in the center of Guanajuato, Mexico, enjoying a coffee, when the plaza was suddenly invaded by about 2 dozen guys wearing traditional central Mexican dress, each leading a donkey wildly decked out in garlands of bright fake flowers and draped with colorful tapestries. They paraded around the plaza for a bit, then went off down the main street, presumably to the next plaza to do it again. I had no idea what was going on, and when I asked a local woman, all she said was, "It's a burro parade!" Yes, yes it was.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: faithlessone on July 26, 2013, 01:28:57 PM
Not as cool as some of your stories, but the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me on holiday was in Russia. It was a school trip, and we (a group of about 30 thirteen/fourteen year olds) went to this "cultural" dance show in a small theatre. At least, that's what the teachers told us it was.

It started off fine, a few men and women doing some sort of country dancing, holding up flowers and whirling each other about. Then the men all removed their shirts. Then the women removed their dresses. And suddenly, there were about 20 men and women dancing completely naked on the stage.

The teachers made us hightail it out of there as soon as the interval started (about an hour later!), but the damage was already done. Ask any of those kids about that trip, their main memory isn't going to be of the Kremlin or the Winter Palace or any of the other fine, cultural things we saw - it's the butt-naked country dancers. ;D
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: lilfox on July 26, 2013, 01:55:46 PM
When I was a kid, my dad was stationed in Germany for a few years.  Between living in a small town (not on base) and our German classes in school, I was able to learn enough basic German to get by.

After that, we were transferred to Turkey.  On our first day in Ankara, we were driving around trying to locate the temporary housing facility in the city.  Eventually my dad ended up near a big imposing building with some armed guards in front of it, so he got out to ask them for directions.  Then he came back and got me - 11 yrs old - to translate since the only other language the guards spoke was German.  Fortunately the housing facility couldn't have been too far away because the guards knew where it was and we did manage to find it after that.  But I remember having a little trouble concentrating on what they said given the presence of Large Imposing Machine Guns strapped across their bodies.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: jaxsue on July 26, 2013, 01:57:03 PM
Fun strangeness number three.

We were in the Western Caribbean heading toward the Panama Canal.  It was a blazingly hot day in January.  Then, out of nowhere, I started hearing bagpipes.

We had met a number of people from Scotland on the ship and they were a fun bunch, but Bagpipes?

At Dinner time, the whole ship was treated to a great show.  Led by five pipers, the Scots made a procession down the Grand Staircase wearing full dress.  The men were in velvet jackets and kilts or trews.  The women wore jewel toned velvet skirts and frilly white blouses with tartan shawls.  It was a grand sight. 

The Scots retreated to a private dining room where they celebrated Burn's Nacht.  They'd even brought their own haggis and we could hear, 'Ye chieftain o the puddin' race...'

The evening show in the theater paled by comparison.

I've been to quite a few Burn's dinners (X was a piper). They're fun, although like you, I'd not expect to see all that in the Caribbean. At one dinner, one of the elderly ladies had had more than a few drams of whiskey. When it came time to sing, "God Save the Queen," she said loudly, "The Female Dog!"  :D
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: BeagleMommy on July 26, 2013, 02:30:40 PM
When I was still working in Washington DC we had some of our counterparts from South Korea travel over for training.  They were here for six weeks and we had to find entertainment for them on the weekends.  I lived in West Virginia and offered to set up a tour of the Harper's Ferry historical site.  They had an interpreter and the park ranger did a marvelous tour.

After the tour, I took them to the gift shops and one of them asked me to explain "abolishonist movement" to them.  Their interpreter didn't know the history.  As I launch into a simple American history lesson one of the gentleman cried out "Like Gone with the Wind!".  Yes, I agreed (I figured it was a good frame of reference).  His next sentence was...

"Scarlet O'Hara is not a good choice for a wife.  She would make a better mistress."

 :o  All I could think of to say was "Oh."
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: BeagleMommy on July 26, 2013, 02:36:37 PM
Just thought of another one!

DH (who was fiance at the time) and I took my mother on a bus trip to Atlantic City.  Mom ended up seated next to an elderly man named Steve.

Steve would.not.stop.talking.  Throughout the entire 2 hour bus ride he told Mom his life story, wrote down his address and phone number and gave it to her.  Gave her his daughter's address and phone number in Florida and his son's in California.  He asked to be invited to our wedding.  He told Mom "My wife loves when I go on these trips".  Gee, I wonder why?

On the trip home, Mom thought he might sleep.  Nope.  Kept on talking.  When she fell asleep he nudged her awake.  We had to change buses after an hour so one bus could go to our stop without waiting for the passengers to get off at a later stop.  I think Mom wanted to hug the new bus driver.

I kept thinking:  One day this man is going to give his personal information to the wrong person.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Snowy Owl on July 26, 2013, 04:50:46 PM
When I was still working in Washington DC we had some of our counterparts from South Korea travel over for training.  They were here for six weeks and we had to find entertainment for them on the weekends.  I lived in West Virginia and offered to set up a tour of the Harper's Ferry historical site.  They had an interpreter and the park ranger did a marvelous tour.

After the tour, I took them to the gift shops and one of them asked me to explain "abolishonist movement" to them.  Their interpreter didn't know the history.  As I launch into a simple American history lesson one of the gentleman cried out "Like Gone with the Wind!".  Yes, I agreed (I figured it was a good frame of reference).  His next sentence was...

"Scarlet O'Hara is not a good choice for a wife.  She would make a better mistress."

 :o  All I could think of to say was "Oh."

You know I think he might actually have a point.  She was certainly not very good at being a wife to any of the husbands and married most of them for unwise reasons.  Not sure whether she'd have been better as a mistress.  I think she'd probably have been one of those people better on her own but with a range of lovers. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Julian on July 26, 2013, 06:23:53 PM
The nekkid Russian dance reminded me of another odd one.

1973, London.  I was 11.  London at the time was a very interesting place for an Australian country-town pre-teen.

One day, the whole family stopped at a burger place somewhere in London - I think it was a Wimpy Burgers?  Anyway, I'd finished, and the younger siblings were still eating, so I went outside for a walk up the street. 

Near the restaurant was a men's wear shop.  There was a crowd of men around the front window, so I got curious, and worked my way through the crowd.  In the window was a very attractive young lady, wearing a pair of men's shorts and go-go boots - and nothing else.  She was dancing away happily in the window. 

I wonder what it did for the shop's sales that day.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: kherbert05 on July 26, 2013, 06:37:17 PM
When I was a junior in HS our dance team went to Greece. One night we were went to a folk dance and music night. There was this garden - we were met at the gate and given shot glass of a clear liquid. Not being an idiot I discretely "spilled" mine in the plants as we walked through. Some of my classmates drank the stuff - claiming they thought it was water.




Of course there was great drama. The chaperons complained to the very confused manager, who couldn't understand what the problem was since we were all over 18. (we were 15 - 18). The venue was supposed to be 18 and over - our less than honest tour guide had fudged about our age to get us in.


The funniest part was our principal and the drill team sponsor trying to get the group I walked in with to admit we drank the stuff. My parents had a stick in the mud obey the law to the letter reputation around the school. I also had a rule follower  reputation, so it was understandable that my reply shocked them. After the several it is ok to tell us you drank it, we just have to fill out the report. I looked at them and said something to the effect of I have a soft head. Less than 1/2 a glass of wine at our family Christmas party put me to sleep. If I drank a shot of ouzo, you would be pealing me off the floor. (Their jaws hit the floor). Me - You do know that parents can serve their own kids in Texas right?


The others said they had seen me smell it and pour it out so they smelled it realized what it was and poured it out.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: doodlemor on July 26, 2013, 07:05:35 PM
We had several  goofy experiences going to Canada with our Model A club years ago.  For background, Model A Fords were made after the Model T's, from late 1927 - 1932.  I think that the official model years were 1928 - 1931. 

When we didn't have our A Model "on the road" some friends invited us to ride in their vehicle with them to a club party across the border in Ontario.   They owned a roadster with a rumble seat in the back.  That means that there is seating for two inside the car, and a trunk - like lid lifts in the back to provide seating for 2 more passengers. 

On the way back home to the US the other wife and I decided that we would like to share the rumble seat, since it was a hot day.  We enjoyed the cool breeze, and when it began to rain we were happy to note that the rain didn't fall very much on us because of the way that the wind went over the top of the car as we sped down the highway.  We had read of this trait of rumble seats, but hadn't experienced it before. 

We stayed reasonably dry as the rain came down harder.........until we got to customs at the bridge to re-enter the US and had to stop.  It was a busy evening there, and we had to wait quite a while in stop and start traffic.  The other wife and I got thoroughly drenched.  That wasn't so bad on a hot day, but there were many people around us who were obviously laughing and sometimes pointing at the drenched people in the rumble seat.

The next year my husband and I drove our own Model A to the party in Canada.  We had barely gotten the thing restored and on the road, and were eager to show off our handiwork to our friends.  All seemed well until we got close to the border.  The car started making some sort of weird loud noises, but we thought that we would just keep going and get the engine adjusted when we got to the party.  As we went across the bridge into Canada the car took a serious turn for the worse, making terrible noises and intermittently losing power.  It took us awhile to get across the bridge, with the other traffic all passing us.

As we got off the bridge in Ontario in a residential district a man came running towards us across the traffic lanes, waving something in his hands and shouting at us.  When he got close enough we realized that he was shouting "I know what is wrong with your car, and I have the part to fix it."  The part is what he was waving in his hand. 

By golly, that kind man was correct in his diagnosis.  Apparently he was sitting on his porch enjoying the river when he heard our noisy, slow progress across the bridge.  He helped my DH put the part on the Model A, and it was fixed.  I think that we tried to pay him, but he refused the offer. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: doodlemor on July 26, 2013, 07:18:43 PM
Thought of another one.

When my children were young we took them to Niagara Falls one day to see the sights.  Niagara Falls is generally full of foreign tourists.  There was a large group of people near us who were speaking in another language.  When I was separated a bit from my family a man from the group came over to me and said, "Would you like to take your clothes off?"  I just looked at him and said "NO," and went to stand close by my husband.

A few minutes later when I was again separated from my family the same man came up to me again and blushingly said, "I'm sorry."  I said "That's OK," and went back beside my DH.

It wasn't until later that I realized that the people the man was with were probably pranking him, and told him what to say to me.  They probably told him that the English words meant something else entirely.  For him to apologize showed good character.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 26, 2013, 07:50:32 PM
I'm posting this story, mainly so I can get the updates.  :D

My roommate in university was from a small, northern town.  Her Dad was down to our neck of the woods for work and took her to dinner and a hockey game in the big city about an hour away.  They were waiting around outside the arena for the game to start so the scalper ticket prices would drop.  She saw all sorts of weird and wonderful people, including the guy who went by on a skateboard with a white rat perched on his shoulder.

She got back to the dorm that night and told me, 'Outdoor Girl, I saw two normal people the entire time we were waiting.  And I knew both of them!'  One of them was in her classes and the other came from her hometown.

I thought I was a hick but she was even more of a hick than me.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: AmethystAnne on July 26, 2013, 08:42:58 PM
In 1998, our family was travelling from our home in southcentral KY to my parents' home in NJ. DH was going to go with us, and was going to meet us at a truck stop in Mount Sterling, KY. He was taking vacation time from his job as a long-distance truck driver, and would be driving alone in his little red truck. I was driving our Plymouth Voyager van, with OldestDD, DGrandson, MiddleDD, DSon, and YoungestDD in the van with me.

We had met up with DH, and continued on our way. After awhile, YDD said "Brother, quit that!" "Mom! He's tickling me" I told him to leave her alone. He told me he didn't do anything. A little while passed, and another sister spoke up, "He's tickling me" I told him to stop, and he said that he hadn't done anything.

Another little while passed, and somebody said, "there's a snake in the car!" "There it goes!" <assorted screaming sounds>

I pulled over to the shoulder, and everyone piled quickly out of the vehicle, away from the traffic. They told me that it was a little green snake, and it went into the luggage section of the van. I popped open the lift gate and started to unload the suitcases, checking each one, and checked all around the interior of the vehicle.

No snake was seen. My personal theory was it jumped out for self-preservation.

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: bansidhe on July 27, 2013, 03:28:27 AM
I don't get out much, so my stories aren't very exotic. Actually, two of them aren't even mine. (I really don't get out much!)

One
When I was 11 or 12, my father decided to take his poor deprived desert-dwelling offspring to see some snow. We set off for Flagstaff in northern Arizona - roughly a three-hour drive. When we arrived there the main touristy spots were really crowded, so we piled back into the car to try to find a more solitary spot.

After much driving on back roads, we found what looked like the perfect place. We located a pulloff, parked the car, got out, and walked a few yards around the bend - where we ran smack into our neighbors who had found the exact same out-of-the-way spot on the same day.

Two
In 1990, shortly after I graduated from the University of Arizona, I took a trip to England, a bit of Wales, and Scotland - the first and so far only time I've been out of the US. The trip there was long and tiring: first the drive from Tucson to Phoenix, then a flight from Phoenix to Houston, then another flight from Houston to London. By the time I arrived in London I hadn't slept for over 24 hours but I was so excited to be someplace so new and foreign and far from home!

I collected my baggage at the airport and made my way to the train. Glancing across the tracks, the first thing I noticed was some guy wearing a University of Arizona T-shirt.  ::)

Three
A friend of mine who lived in Tucson went on a business trip to Philadelphia. She'd never been there before, nor did she know anyone who lived there. During a little free time she took a stroll around the city to do some sightseeing. Rounding a corner, she came face to face with her ex-husband, who had moved there on a whim a couple of years prior following their not-terribly-amicable divorce. She had no clue he'd relocated there.

Four
Some friends of a friend were on a road trip from Phoenix to Tucson and were driving at night. As they drove through Casa Grande, they hit a large piece of debris on the road (part of a car engine, if I remember correctly) that did serious damage to their vehicle. It was fortunate they weren't injured or killed and their car came just short of being totaled.

Several years later they were making the same trip, again at night. As they approached Casa Grande, the wife said to the husband, "Hey, remember what happened last time we were here?" And then *WHAM*. They hit a large piece of road debris that did serious damage to their vehicle.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: guihong on July 27, 2013, 07:13:42 PM
The officials at the Chinese school where I and eleven other teachers were teaching for a summer really tried to come up with entertainment and interesting outings in an otherwise fairly drab city.  The historical outings were most interesting to me (the city was the Manchu capitol and then the Japanese capitol of Manchukuo), but the most memorable evening had to be the TV tower nightclub.  We stood outside on a huge balcony that encircled the tower, taking in the sights of the city at night, including the huge KFC sign  ::).  Then we went into the club, where a horrifically out of tune band played a set.  Then a woman decked out in a Princess Diana-type wedding dress (it was huge on her thin frame) came out and sang while couples got up to dance.  The band and the singing lady alternated for two hours or so.  Unfortunately, we couldn't understand the songs, as they were in Chinese.

A little while into this, about a dozen men in shorts and undershirts came in, wound their way around our tables, and took up a booth.  Shorts and undershirts?

At the time, it was a long evening on a school night, but now it's one of my favorite memories.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: mbbored on July 28, 2013, 11:56:20 AM
The officials at the Chinese school where I and eleven other teachers were teaching for a summer really tried to come up with entertainment and interesting outings in an otherwise fairly drab city.  The historical outings were most interesting to me (the city was the Manchu capitol and then the Japanese capitol of Manchukuo), but the most memorable evening had to be the TV tower nightclub.  We stood outside on a huge balcony that encircled the tower, taking in the sights of the city at night, including the huge KFC sign  ::).  Then we went into the club, where a horrifically out of tune band played a set.  Then a woman decked out in a Princess Diana-type wedding dress (it was huge on her thin frame) came out and sang while couples got up to dance.  The band and the singing lady alternated for two hours or so.  Unfortunately, we couldn't understand the songs, as they were in Chinese.

A little while into this, about a dozen men in shorts and undershirts came in, wound their way around our tables, and took up a booth.  Shorts and undershirts?

At the time, it was a long evening on a school night, but now it's one of my favorite memories.

My first night in Shanghai, straight off a 15 hour flight, I was taken to this restaurant by my ex-pat friends that offered "great" entertainment. There was a woman in a belly dancing outfit with a 7 foot snake and a man with a little electronic keyboard playing Sinatra. After the keyboardist found out we were Americans he asked the whole restaurant to join him in singing a special song for us. It was Jingle Bells. (For the record, I was there in June, not December.)
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: nutraxfornerves on July 28, 2013, 01:00:47 PM
Quote
After the keyboardist found out we were Americans he asked the whole restaurant to join him in singing a special song for us. It was Jingle Bells. (For the record, I was there in June, not December.)
I traveled in China in the early 1980s, when individual travel was not allowed and Americans (or westerners in general) were a rarity outside of big cities. Many Chinese were familiar with two, and only two, English songs. The songs, not the meaning of the English. So, we would frequently be asked to sing either Jingle Bells or Do, A Deer.

One of my most vivid memories of my first trip involves teaching the Hokey Pokey to commune members in Chinese Mongolia.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on July 28, 2013, 03:56:35 PM
This is just crazy coincidence but it gave us a good laugh.

On a cruise, we received a cost-free upgrade to a nicer cabin. 

On sea-days, it's customary to offer sit-down lunches in the dining room on an open seating basis. One lunch, we shared a table with a lovely couple.  They mentioned that they had received an upgrade.  How nice.  so had we.

It turned out that our lunch companions had been upgraded to the cabin from which we had been upgraded.   

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Tashigi on July 28, 2013, 04:05:50 PM
Possibly can be cross-referenced with the Ghost Stories thread:
I was staying for part of the summer in a tiny New Zealand farm/boarding house. There was a rather... rustic central dining area, including a wood burning stove that provided most of the heat. So one night, a few friends and I were sitting around that tiny wood burning stove and swapping creepy stories from previous travels. Just as I finish mine, the radio, which had never been turned on and had formerly shown no indications of life, suddenly crackles to life. We look at each other, laugh nervously at the coincidence and look back to the fire.

Then, as one, we ran like heck out of there!


Also, does it count when YOU were in fact the weirdness on someone else's travels? Because I've been there.
I was at a major anime convention that is next to a sports arena. A game had just ended when a friend and I were walking back to our hotel. Some...somewhat tipsy sports fans stopped us, mostly in part because the two of us were dressed in early 18th century military costume. And of course, this ended up with pictures being taken.

Funnily enough, this is one of the only times I've been asked for pictures by tourists when at conventions.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: shadowfox79 on July 29, 2013, 06:27:28 AM
It wasn't until later that I realized that the people the man was with were probably pranking him, and told him what to say to me.  They probably told him that the English words meant something else entirely.  For him to apologize showed good character.

My dad used to travel a lot for work, and was the victim of this once in a bar in Germany.

He was sent up to the bar to ask for six pints of bitter. Not speaking any German himself, his workmates had told him to say "Willst du mit mir schlaffen, bitte?" (Will you sleep with me, please?) Since it had the word "bitte" in it, Dad didn't suspect a thing.

Fortunately, the barmaid had heard it all before - she looked over at his table, counted the number of people and served him six pints of bitter. His colleagues were rather disappointed.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on July 29, 2013, 07:27:35 AM
We also have a misunderstood German story. 

While in College, Mr. Thipu and his parents went skiing in a German-speaking part of Switzerland.  At a bar, Dad ordered a 'dry martini'. 

This was in the early 1970s when American cocktails weren't common.  He received three vermouths. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: doodlemor on July 29, 2013, 10:45:03 AM
It wasn't until later that I realized that the people the man was with were probably pranking him, and told him what to say to me.  They probably told him that the English words meant something else entirely.  For him to apologize showed good character.

My dad used to travel a lot for work, and was the victim of this once in a bar in Germany.

He was sent up to the bar to ask for six pints of bitter. Not speaking any German himself, his workmates had told him to say "Willst du mit mir schlaffen, bitte?" (Will you sleep with me, please?) Since it had the word "bitte" in it, Dad didn't suspect a thing.

Fortunately, the barmaid had heard it all before - she looked over at his table, counted the number of people and served him six pints of bitter. His colleagues were rather disappointed.

Your story made me chuckle, shadowfox.  I bet that the barmaid had heard worse things than that, too.  I once spoke to an American living in Germany who said that this kind of thing happens a lot.

The pranksters in my case were probably a bit disappointed, also, in that I just said "no" and walked away.  No doubt their English skills were all a bit deficient, since suggesting that I take my clothes off was all that they could think of to tell the victim to say to me.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: BeagleMommy on July 29, 2013, 01:39:02 PM
Another language barrier story.

A friend of mine was doing a language immersion program in Russia.  He and the group from the school were walking around Moscow looking for a restaurant.  Friend decides to ask the Russian police officer at the corner for directions.  As part of the program, they must speak Russian.  So, friend says "I do not speak Russian, but I am learning.  Do you know where Restaurant is?".  Policeman burst out into a fit of laughter.

Confused, friend asks what he said.  The policeman, who spoke English, said "What you really said was, 'I am not a Russian woman, but I am learning'."
Title: Re: Weirdness while traveling *share your tales*
Post by: Marisol on July 29, 2013, 03:27:06 PM
In coal country we drove up to an active coal mine and found a bunch of weathered dog houses with lazy dogs laying nearby and a very grimy looking old grisly barefoot man sitting with them.  I was told by the locals that he was the guard to the mine.  It was an odd juxtaposition to the steal gate and nice shiny buildings with the mine logo on them.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on July 29, 2013, 04:18:09 PM
Quote
After the keyboardist found out we were Americans he asked the whole restaurant to join him in singing a special song for us. It was Jingle Bells. (For the record, I was there in June, not December.)
I traveled in China in the early 1980s, when individual travel was not allowed and Americans (or westerners in general) were a rarity outside of big cities. Many Chinese were familiar with two, and only two, English songs. The songs, not the meaning of the English. So, we would frequently be asked to sing either Jingle Bells or Do, A Deer.

One of my most vivid memories of my first trip involves teaching the Hokey Pokey to commune members in Chinese Mongolia.

One of my more vivid memories of Scotland, was running into three youngsters, about 12, at a historical site. One had a drum, another had a tin flute, and were performing, for tips, the two songs they could play - "Scotland the Brave," and "Jingle Bells".

Our tour leader looked at them, and asked, "What's the third member of your group do?"

One of the urchins replied, with a lovely accent, "Ach, he's our manager."
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: kherbert05 on July 29, 2013, 05:10:23 PM
My Uncle Billy (Mom's 2nd youngest brother) took Sis, the 4 L kids, and I out for the day. We get to have fun - he gets to pick up girls.  ::) 


We stop at this country story type place that serves meals, and has a huge porch. The 6 of us were sitting on the edge of the porch with our sandwiches and cokes in real glass bottles, because you can't by soda in a can or plastic bottle on the Island.


Paula (red/green) Me (brown/brown) Stephen (towhead/blue) Ronnie (blond/blue) Sis (sunbleached blond/blue), Kate (blond/Blue) I'm also darker than the rest who are all fair sunburned then tan. Sunlamps/tanning was used as a treatment for my skin condition then so I have what my uncles call a deep water tan from being exposed year around.
 
This woman pulls up in a fancy car. She gets out and is dressed for downtown business district/court house Houston (during the day). Heels, power suit, fancy hair - not middle of nowhere on PEI. She makes a face at the red dust on the car. Then picks her way over to us. We are arguing about something  - probably if it is hot or not (frequent theme Texas Vs PEI ::) ). She looks us up and down. Now we had been to the beach, them climbing around red clay rock formations, then dragged through a graveyard were ancestors were buried while uncle told us about them/talked to them. We had washed our hands and faces - but probably looked pretty grimy.


Looking down her nose - she looks at me and says something in a language I don't understand. I'm 7 or 8, not really paying attention or thinking about her, and I'm a kid from Texas. - No habla Espanole (Spelling reflects my complete lack of Spanish). She flips out thinking I was being deliberately rude. Kate and Ronnie were on the French Track at school. They jump up and try to explain. All I get is Houston, Texas Houston, Texas (pronounced Like a native youston). The commotion was enough to get Billy and the girl he was trying to pick up out on to the porch. They got her calmed down and got her directions as to where she was going. I was told in future to just say I'm from youston, Texas.

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: wheeitsme on July 29, 2013, 05:38:27 PM
Easter Sunday in St. James Park, London.  I looked over, and in the distance we noticed the huge parade of people dressed like bunnies making their way down the Mall.  On roller blades.  We thought that was pretty odd.  Of course that was about 15 minutes before I exclaimed to my DH "Jesus Christ on Roller Skates!" DH:  "Huh?"  Me (pulling him out of the way): "You need to move over, he wants to get by you..."






Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: gmatoy on July 29, 2013, 06:46:58 PM
family with six kids, all dressed identically, eating while lined up along a long bench outside a rest area - all in order of size, from smallest to tallest. Mom and dad nowhere to be seen.

I didn't get past this! When we were young, my mother made our clothes and if we were going some place crowded, she had us dress in identical clothes so that she could say to the police officer, "See these children? The missing one is dressed exactly the same." It is one of my favorite stories to tell about my childhood. And, yes, there are 6 of us! (Where were you when you saw the children and how long ago was it?)
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Miss Tickle on July 29, 2013, 11:53:18 PM
When DH & I quit smoking, we saved the money and went to Mexico for three weeks. The Lonely Planet guide to Mexico was the guidebook that led us on an amazing adventure across Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

So, because of the guidebook, we ended up picking up hitchhikers for the first time ever.  They were a couple from Europe, living in Germany, on vacation in Mexico. She was German, and spoke German and Spanish. He was English and spoke German. We could talk to him, and him to her (my HS german got the gist) but not between. We're Canadian, so we speak English and French, so Spanish is close,  but not the same.

We knew when we left the ruins that they were following the same path, because the book specifically mentioned the risks of taking the tour buses, and getting left behind. When we saw the half-hearted thumbs out and the guide book we stopped and Matt approached our car. DH rolled down the window and he asked if we were heading back into town. We told them we had some touring left to do, but if they wanted to tag along...?

They were more than happy to have someone drive them to the last two stops on the tour, without charge, just because we were going that way. We saw Uxmal and Lol-Tun, and on the way back, in the evening later than we should be on the road, we were stopped by the Mexican Army (Federalias?) Four machine guns pointed at the car, we pull over. We roll down the windows and the girl in the backseat starts to butter these guys up.  In perfect Spanish she tells them where we were, where we're headed, the great trip we're having, the wonderful things we've seen, and how happy we are to be in such a beautiful country. I'm in awe. They step back from the car and wave us on. With their guns. I lean out the window and say "Feliz Navidad!", because it was Xmas eve. And I was so happy, and don't know when to shut up.

And the weirdest thing happened: These guys who were stern and serious one minute were happy smiles and handshakes the next. "Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad!".

So, we head back into town, a little freaked out by all the guns, (we saw more earlier) and ask the couple where we can drop them off. They are staying in a small hotel in the old town centre. We are too, would it be okay if we dropped them off where we need to park and they find their way from there? Perfect.

We park around the corner from our hotel. They follow us out. We walk to the hotel. They follow us. We're getting a little freaked out.  I notice she's getting a little freaked out too. They were on the 2nd floor. We were on the 3rd. Even though we continued to follow the guidebook, we never saw them again.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: heyyoume on July 30, 2013, 04:45:38 AM
My weird thing was just one massive coincidence.  I am from NZ but spent a couple of years in Asia before going to college in the states.  While on holiday in China I purchased a bracelet from a woman at a Chinese Shrine which had the characters on it for 100 years good luck.  Three years later in the north east US my roommate (who was from Eastern Europe) was getting ready for an interview with a prestigious company on the other side of the country - near San Francisco.   She had these earrings that she really wanted to wear and the bracelet matched them perfectly, so I gave it to her telling her it would bring her luck.  The interview was actually a series of meetings and she bombed the first one, and the second one - with a chinese woman - wasn't going that well either, so to break the ice she asked if the characters on the bracelet really meant what I had said they did.   Her interviewer did a double take as it was her Mum who made and sold these bracelets in China.  My friend got the job and she was positive it was the bracelet that brought her luck. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: RebeccainGA on July 30, 2013, 07:29:55 AM
family with six kids, all dressed identically, eating while lined up along a long bench outside a rest area - all in order of size, from smallest to tallest. Mom and dad nowhere to be seen.

I didn't get past this! When we were young, my mother made our clothes and if we were going some place crowded, she had us dress in identical clothes so that she could say to the police officer, "See these children? The missing one is dressed exactly the same." It is one of my favorite stories to tell about my childhood. And, yes, there are 6 of us! (Where were you when you saw the children and how long ago was it?)
We were on our way home from Chicago, and it was this year - unless  you are secretly about 14 (the age of the oldest of the kids, I'd guess) then I don't think it was your family. Maybe at some critical mass of kids (6? 5?) parents just have an instinct to start dressing them alike. LOL
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: gmatoy on July 30, 2013, 12:03:57 PM
family with six kids, all dressed identically, eating while lined up along a long bench outside a rest area - all in order of size, from smallest to tallest. Mom and dad nowhere to be seen.

I didn't get past this! When we were young, my mother made our clothes and if we were going some place crowded, she had us dress in identical clothes so that she could say to the police officer, "See these children? The missing one is dressed exactly the same." It is one of my favorite stories to tell about my childhood. And, yes, there are 6 of us! (Where were you when you saw the children and how long ago was it?)
We were on our way home from Chicago, and it was this year - unless  you are secretly about 14 (the age of the oldest of the kids, I'd guess) then I don't think it was your family. Maybe at some critical mass of kids (6? 5?) parents just have an instinct to start dressing them alike. LOL

No, not anywhere near that young!  ;)And in the Pacific NW back then, too.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Mikayla on July 30, 2013, 01:36:22 PM
I lived in Greece for a summer and we took a tour through the interior.  One night in  Kalambaka, as we were leaving for dinner, I saw a spider the size of a softball.  We didn't want to miss the bus, so we put a huge metal trashcan over it and added some tape.  We got back from dinner and the trashcan was empty....on its side...

Also, I was driving from Dallas back to DC a few years ago during Christmas break.  I decided to ditch the direct route (I-40 through TN) and wander through KY a little bit.  I ended up stopping at a motel way off the path - near Elizabethtown, but not in it.  As I was standing in line to check in, I realized the person in front of me was our financial officer at my DC facility.   Huh?!?!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on July 30, 2013, 03:25:54 PM
I think it was in Kentucky where I saw the billboard for the Japanese Spa and Truck Wash. I assume people in Kentucky *really* love their cars.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Shalamar on July 31, 2013, 10:54:28 AM
When my parents and I were driving through the States, we noticed a large brown mass clinging to the side of the motel we were staying in.   Thinking it was ivy, we went a little closer.  That's when we noticed that it was moving.   It was bats.   A LOT of bats.

Fortunately, we were all nature lovers and not scared of them!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Tea Drinker on July 31, 2013, 07:47:27 PM
Some years ago, a group of us--me, two other adults, and their 12-year-old--were sharing a room at a small sf convention at a hotel in the Adirondack State Park. The "room" was actually a reasonable-sized room, with two double beds, plus a smaller front room, sort of a screened porch, with a single bed.

The plan had been that the other two adults would take one double bed, I'd take the other, and the 12-year-old would sleep in the front room. Then we went to the hotel room, and saw a large number of ladybugs on the ceiling of the small room.

I said something like "Oh cool, ladybugs!" It turned out the 12-year-old didn't like them, or at least didn't like the idea of sleeping under them, so we quickly rearranged plans: he took the second double bed in the room with his parents, and I took the porch.

(Nothing ladybug-related happened: I left the insects alone, and they left me alone.)
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Kaesha on July 31, 2013, 11:27:55 PM
I think it was in Kentucky where I saw the billboard for the Japanese Spa and Truck Wash. I assume people in Kentucky *really* love their cars.

Another sign funny (though not travel related):

In Colorado Springs on N Academy Blvd, there is a mini mall whose signage says:

Elite Auto Glass
Just Brakes
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: demarco on August 01, 2013, 07:45:13 PM
Sometime in the eighties I was driving down I 29 in South Dakota and either two or three (I wish I could remember exactly how many) Deloreans passed me.

I was traveling in Australia in 2001.  I met a nice couple while I was staying at Cradle Mountain which is in Tasmania.  We had a couple of conversations.  I ran into the same couple three weeks later on a train that was going from Adelaide to Sydney.  Cradle Mountain is about 785 miles from Adelaide so I was pretty astonished by the coincidence but they didn't seem to be.  Maybe it's part of a regular Australian tourist loop or something....

 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: White Dragon on August 17, 2013, 03:48:43 AM
We are in the midst of a wonderful car tour through Scotland.
It's a three week trip, so we've had to do laundry among the way.
Usually this means socks etc done by hand, but yesterday we had quite a bit to do so we drove into town to the laundromat.

It was...interseting, as it was piled with clean and partially finished laundry. (Near as I can tell, travellers at the hostel toss their stuff in and take off for several hours.)

I brought a biik and settled in to do my wash.
Another traveller came in and it quickly became clear we did not have any languages in common, but fine, no problem.

He opened his backpack and took out his dirty clothes.
Fine.  :)
Then he took off his shirt and changed into a clean one.
Okay. A bit odd, but okay.  ???

I am loading my clothes into the dryer when I heard a belt opening.
I turn around and he is *taking off his pants*. :o :o

Fortunately, he had trunks on underneath and did Not change those! :P

But who does that???
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: katiescarlett on August 17, 2013, 01:09:46 PM
In 2000, and again in 2002, I traveled to Haiti.  On the first trip, we were driving through town, and I looked out the window to see a man with clothespins clipped all over his face.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Sara Crewe on August 17, 2013, 04:16:00 PM
We are in the midst of a wonderful car tour through Scotland.
It's a three week trip, so we've had to do laundry among the way.
Usually this means socks etc done by hand, but yesterday we had quite a bit to do so we drove into town to the laundromat.

It was...interseting, as it was piled with clean and partially finished laundry. (Near as I can tell, travellers at the hostel toss their stuff in and take off for several hours.)

I brought a biik and settled in to do my wash.
Another traveller came in and it quickly became clear we did not have any languages in common, but fine, no problem.

He opened his backpack and took out his dirty clothes.
Fine.  :)
Then he took off his shirt and changed into a clean one.
Okay. A bit odd, but okay.  ???

I am loading my clothes into the dryer when I heard a belt opening.
I turn around and he is *taking off his pants*. :o :o

Fortunately, he had trunks on underneath and did Not change those! :P

But who does that???

Someone who took the Nick Kamen advert far, far too seriously? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q56M5OZS1A8
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: marcel on August 17, 2013, 04:46:10 PM
We are in the midst of a wonderful car tour through Scotland.
It's a three week trip, so we've had to do laundry among the way.
Usually this means socks etc done by hand, but yesterday we had quite a bit to do so we drove into town to the laundromat.

It was...interseting, as it was piled with clean and partially finished laundry. (Near as I can tell, travellers at the hostel toss their stuff in and take off for several hours.)

I brought a biik and settled in to do my wash.
Another traveller came in and it quickly became clear we did not have any languages in common, but fine, no problem.

He opened his backpack and took out his dirty clothes.
Fine.  :)
Then he took off his shirt and changed into a clean one.
Okay. A bit odd, but okay.  ???

I am loading my clothes into the dryer when I heard a belt opening.
I turn around and he is *taking off his pants*. :o :o

Fortunately, he had trunks on underneath and did Not change those! :P

But who does that???
I now that some people travel with several changes of clothes, but for those who don't this is the way to do it.

Also, considering that he did not go naked, what is wrong with this?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: White Dragon on August 17, 2013, 04:56:53 PM
We are in the midst of a wonderful car tour through Scotland.
It's a three week trip, so we've had to do laundry among the way.
Usually this means socks etc done by hand, but yesterday we had quite a bit to do so we drove into town to the laundromat.

It was...intersecting, as it was piled with clean and partially finished laundry. (Near as I can tell, travellers at the hostel toss their stuff in and take off for several hours.)

I brought a book and settled in to do my wash.
Another traveller came in and it quickly became clear we did not have any languages in common, but fine, no problem.

He opened his backpack and took out his dirty clothes.
Fine.  :)
Then he took off his shirt and changed into a clean one.
Okay. A bit odd, but okay.  ???

I am loading my clothes into the dryer when I heard a belt opening.
I turn around and he is *taking off his pants*. :o :o

Fortunately, he had trunks on underneath and did Not change those! :P

But who does that???
I now that some people travel with several changes of clothes, but for those who don't this is the way to do it.

Also, considering that he did not go naked, what is wrong with this?

Well, the changing his shirt didn't make me uncomfortable - that's something you could see on a beach or elsewhere.
I was uncomfortable with a man starting to disrobe his trousers in a public place, in front of a woman he did not know.
I didn't feel threatened, but I was uncomfortable because I didn't know if he planned to remove everything.
I thought it unkind of him to put me in that situation. He did have other options than taking off his clothes in front of me.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: dawnfire on August 17, 2013, 07:28:09 PM
This one baffled me when it happened. I would have been 5 or 6 at the time and I was staying in Hong Kong after the death of my maternal grandfather. My mother is Chinese and my father is Australian. As a child I looked pretty Chinese (the black hair, Asian eyes and nose). We had caught a cab to go to Ocean Park (an aquatic park half way up a mountain). We've pulled up to entrance and gotten out. Sudden there was this guy talking in rapid fire Chinese to my mother, gesturing to my sister and me. It turns out he wanted a a photo of my sister and me! apparently he could tell we were mixed blood and thought we were cute (I'll admit was pretty cute as a kid <gee modest ain't I>   ;D   )
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: atirial on August 18, 2013, 12:52:53 PM
We are in the midst of a wonderful car tour through Scotland.
It's a three week trip, so we've had to do laundry among the way.
Usually this means socks etc done by hand, but yesterday we had quite a bit to do so we drove into town to the laundromat.

It was...interseting, as it was piled with clean and partially finished laundry. (Near as I can tell, travellers at the hostel toss their stuff in and take off for several hours.)

I brought a biik and settled in to do my wash.
Another traveller came in and it quickly became clear we did not have any languages in common, but fine, no problem.

He opened his backpack and took out his dirty clothes.
Fine.  :)
Then he took off his shirt and changed into a clean one.
Okay. A bit odd, but okay.  ???

I am loading my clothes into the dryer when I heard a belt opening.
I turn around and he is *taking off his pants*. :o :o

Fortunately, he had trunks on underneath and did Not change those! :P

But who does that???

Someone who took the Nick Kamen advert far, far too seriously? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q56M5OZS1A8
And who doesn't drink Carling Black Label (sorry - UK beer spoof (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCemJAd3KZA) of the Nick Kamen advert. NSFW).
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Winterlight on August 18, 2013, 03:12:27 PM
A friend of mine was visiting the east coast a few years ago and had come to my city unbeknownst to me. I  decided I needed more culture in my life, so had gone to a museum. While I'm wandering around, I look up and see her. We were both surprised, amused, pleased and ended up spending the afternoon together.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Elfmama on August 18, 2013, 11:17:03 PM
We are probably featured in some Italian family's weirdness tale...

Sometime between 1986 and 1989, we were standing outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, waiting for the Changing of the Guard.  DH, me, two little girls.  The gentleman standing next to DH turns to his traveling companion and asks "What time is it?" in Italian.  Companion shrugs.  DH answers, also in Italian.  The Italian gentleman is delighted to find someone who speaks his language and asks DH if he's Italian.  "No, signor.  Americano.  La bambina es Italiana." and he points to DD2. (And so she is -- dual citizenship.)  And he managed enough of our rudimentary Italian to convey that she was born in Brindisi.

So somewhere in Italy, there is a man who tells the story of the American family with the Italian daughter who just happened to be standing next to them at the gates of Buckingham Palace when he asked what time it was.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Library Dragon on August 18, 2013, 11:32:16 PM
Earlier this month DH and I were in Mexico City.

We were wandering around the Palace of Fine Arts and wishing we had an English language guide book to the museum.  Up steps a group of English language students who had an assignment to explain the paintings in English.  Yay.  We were happy to help.

Later at the Cathedral we were approached by another groups of students needing to do an interview in English.  Glad to help.  This is repeated a few times.

I think the teacher will be tired of seeing our faces in all the presentations.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 18, 2013, 11:47:39 PM
Library Dragon, that reminds me of an experience my grandfather had a few years back.  He was one of three boys, and all three of them went into different branches of the military over the course of WWII.  My grandpa was in the army (landed the day after D-Day in Normandy) and his twin older brothers were in the air force and the navy.  The last thing they ever got to do together (one brother died last year; Grandpa and his other brother are well into their 90s) was to visit the WWII memorial in Washington DC.  Point of note: Grandpa was a minister for many years.  He loves LOVES telling stories (or sermons) and having an audience.  His brothers didn't go into quite the same people-centered careers he did, but all three of them are great at spinning yarns.

Anyway, they went to the memorial and this was a really big deal because until then, Grandpa never talked about what happened during the war.  But a boy - obviously with a schoolgroup - came up and asked if he was a veteran, and he said yes, and the boy asked what he did during the war.  So Grandpa started talking, and telling stories like he loves to do, and his brothers chimed in with their versions of what happened - all three were in the European theater at once - and the way Grandpa tells it, the group of kids just started growing until the three of them were telling all their war stories to at least one class worth of interested fifth-graders plus their teachers.  It sounds like the teachers had intended for some sort of actual curriculum, but instead they let the kids sit and listen to these three old veterans for nearly an hour.  When they finished a bunch of the kids came up and gave them hugs and thanked them for their service and when he was telling us later, Grandpa just sounded so proud he could barely stand it.

That experience was what got Grandpa and his brothers to finally sit down and write about what had happened to them during the war years.  I knew the basic story - Grandpa's unit got to the beach the day after D-Day, he lost his pinky finger to some shrapnel, and the rest of his unit was killed a few days later while he was getting patched up.  But now we have a book the three brothers put together where each, in his own words, talked about his own experiences, even the difficult ones they never told anyone else about afterward.  Great-Uncle Jim died last year - I think if they hadn't run into that group of schoolkids, we would have never known what his war years were like.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Library Dragon on August 19, 2013, 12:38:20 AM
Wow! That is so great.  Those firsthand accounts are important.  History happens to real people.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: White Dragon on August 19, 2013, 02:17:35 AM
We're Canadian, so DH and I were taught French in school. We're not fluent, but we muddle through.

We're touring in Scotland and the French has come into play in small ways from time to time. (I've come to discover that being able to say Please, Thank you, Sorry, and Excuse me in several languages goes a long way!)

One evening, we had a nice French/English chat with a family at the guest house.
The next evening, the mom came to me for help in reading the menu.
She was ha king trouble with "roast haunch of Lochhabor venison."

Not high-school french vocabulary!
Her first question was was it meat or fish?
Okay I could answer that's it's meat.

Four legs or two?
Four.

We then ruled out it being beef, pork or mutton. But we did not know the word for deer. ???

The Italian speaking teenager across the room leapt up and pulled up Google translate on her iPhone.
She had to set it up, because none of us understood the Italian instructions, but we managed.

So there we were English-French-Italian, with Google translate and me making antler signs on my head.
Finally, the Dad exclaimed "Like on the Dalmore Whisky!" (The logo is a stag)

Success! Big grins all around.

(The next day, I realized I probably should have just said 'Bambi' and cleared it up right away.) ;D
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on August 19, 2013, 03:09:50 AM
Library Dragon, that reminds me of an experience my grandfather had a few years back.  He was one of three boys, and all three of them went into different branches of the military over the course of WWII.  My grandpa was in the army (landed the day after D-Day in Normandy) and his twin older brothers were in the air force and the navy.  The last thing they ever got to do together (one brother died last year; Grandpa and his other brother are well into their 90s) was to visit the WWII memorial in Washington DC.  Point of note: Grandpa was a minister for many years.  He loves LOVES telling stories (or sermons) and having an audience.  His brothers didn't go into quite the same people-centered careers he did, but all three of them are great at spinning yarns.

Anyway, they went to the memorial and this was a really big deal because until then, Grandpa never talked about what happened during the war.  But a boy - obviously with a schoolgroup - came up and asked if he was a veteran, and he said yes, and the boy asked what he did during the war.  So Grandpa started talking, and telling stories like he loves to do, and his brothers chimed in with their versions of what happened - all three were in the European theater at once - and the way Grandpa tells it, the group of kids just started growing until the three of them were telling all their war stories to at least one class worth of interested fifth-graders plus their teachers.  It sounds like the teachers had intended for some sort of actual curriculum, but instead they let the kids sit and listen to these three old veterans for nearly an hour.  When they finished a bunch of the kids came up and gave them hugs and thanked them for their service and when he was telling us later, Grandpa just sounded so proud he could barely stand it.

That experience was what got Grandpa and his brothers to finally sit down and write about what had happened to them during the war years.  I knew the basic story - Grandpa's unit got to the beach the day after D-Day, he lost his pinky finger to some shrapnel, and the rest of his unit was killed a few days later while he was getting patched up.  But now we have a book the three brothers put together where each, in his own words, talked about his own experiences, even the difficult ones they never told anyone else about afterward.  Great-Uncle Jim died last year - I think if they hadn't run into that group of schoolkids, we would have never known what his war years were like.

We used to have an older man (who we'll call Alan) that would perform odd jobs for us every once in a while.  He was a really nice man, and we always got on well (and I got the impression that it was unusual for a nineteen year old to pay him any attention.)  Well, one day we got on the subject of WWII for whatever reason, and Alan starts telling me about his experiences.  Turns out he was one of the people who climbed the scaffolding at Normandy.  He talked about that for nearly a half hour, and despite not being huge into history at that point, my brain told me "pay attention, this is IMPORTANT."

He never talked about it again, but that remains one of my fondest memories.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: IWish on August 19, 2013, 09:01:03 AM
Along the lines of "It's a Small World", I was vacationing in Florence, Italy several years ago. I live in the U.S. While in a museum I ran into an old professor of mine from graduate school who was also vacationing in Florence.

That same night I went to a cafe for dinner. Since I was by myself they seated me at a table for four where a man and his son were already eating. It turns out the man lived about 10 minutes from me back home. He was a runner who ran every Saturday morning at the same park where I also run on Saturday mornings. We estimated that we'd probably passed each other every Saturday for the last 15 years.

So, in a city halfway around the world from my home I ran into two people I "knew" from back home in a single day. Weird.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on August 19, 2013, 09:28:55 AM
We were sitting at a bar on a cruise and making small talk with a couple sitting next to us.  I'm not sure how the conversation got around to it but, it turned out that both the lady and her DH had gotten their Masters' degrees from the same small, upstate NY college where I had received my Bachelor's degree. 

In San Diego, we were taking a cab from our hotel to the airport.  The driver was chatty.  It turned out that he had worked for many years as a driver with the car service we prefer in our neighborhood.  We had a great conversation of the 'Is such-and-such still there?' variety.  He also got a very nice tip.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 19, 2013, 09:54:53 AM
A couple of years ago, I took my nephews to an amusement park about an hour south of me.  They live 3 hours north of me.  While we were at the amusement park that day, we ran into quite a number of their friends throughout the day.  So slightly unusual.

We left the park for home and ended up in a traffic jam on the highway.  Up beside us pulls a carload of these friends.  So the boys got to have a bit of a chat through the windows for a few minutes while we were stuck in traffic.  It was a little surreal.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Jocelyn on August 24, 2013, 12:00:35 PM
this is my parents' story, but it's too good not to be told.
My parents were on an Alaska cruise, and began talking to another passenger. Finding out they were from Kansas, she asked if they lived anywhere near Chanute. Why yes, it was about an hour away. She tells them that she has a friend who, since college, has had a practical joke going with his former roommate. It seems that one of the men had been using a crutch at the time of graduation, and he had left it behind, with a note instructing his roomie to take it back to the campus hospital and get the deposit for him. The roomie never got around to doing it, and returned the crutch awhile later, telling the man to return it himself. Roommate A then slipped the crutch back into Roommate B's car before he left, with the note re-attached.
For decades, they had passed the crutch back and forth. It showed up at the wedding of one of the men's daughters, was delivered to a hotel where one of them was staying... the 'rule' was that the crutch could not be mailed but it had to be delivered by either of the roommates or another person acting on their behalf.
When the ship docked, the lady took them to meet her friend, who had custody of the crutch.  My parents agreed to deliver it to the roommate, who had just moved to Chanute to take the job of president of the community college.
After my parents came back, we all started strategizing about how to deliver the crutch. I suggested that my parents contact the president and tell him they wanted to meet with him about a donation to his college. They went for it, dressed up like wealthy donors  ::) and arrived on campus to meet with him, carrying the crutch wrapped up in disguise. When they arrived, the president was speaking with a member of his faculty, and they were seated in his office. He came in, sat down, and asked what he could do for them. My mother bent down and unwrapped the crutch, as Dad said that they were there to make a donation. The president's eyes gleamed,  Mom slid the crutch over to Dad, and he whipped it up and smacked it down on the president's desk. The president screamed, 'IT'S THE CRUTCH!', leaped up and ran out the door to get the professor he'd been talking to, as he had just been telling the guy the story of the crutch, and there it was!
He took Mom and Dad to lunch, to get the whole story about how the crutch had gotten from Alaska to Kansas. He said he'd figured that he was safe for some time after making the move, because how would his friend find someone in Sitka, Alaska, who would carry the crutch to Chanute, Kansas!
My parents did make a donation of a more traditional type, as well.  ;D
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: rosegirl on August 27, 2013, 05:16:28 PM
Getting on the plane after a tropical vacation, thousands of miles from home, making idle conversation with the guy next to me. He askes where I'm from, I say what country I live in.
Him: Oh, me too! What area?
I tell him.
Him: I used to live near there, but I was born and raised at XXX
I say "oh, my cousin married a girl from that area.
He says "what's their names?"
I think " what are the chances, but tell him "A" and "B", but they've moved to "far away country" now".
He says "No way! They are some of our best friends! We've gone to visit them in "far away country".
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 27, 2013, 11:48:54 PM
This is weirdness probably both on my part and the other person's.

Parents and I drove down to Chicago (I forget exactly why now - I think we were visiting family) and since it was too late to drive back when we were done, we stayed over in a hotel for the night. Well, Mom and I couldn't get any sleep so we went out to the lobby to sit around for a while and talk, and a young businessman came up to the front desk to check out as we were trying not to doze off. I was being much less successful at this than Mom was, as I remember being very rudely jolted back to coherency by her nudging me and asking if I understood what the businessman (now on his phone) was saying.

Huh?

Turned out the man was speaking Japanese. :) So when he sat down to wait for the airport shuttle, I greeted him. Just about made his day, I don't think he expected a tiny, half-asleep white girl to speak his language!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Cutenoob on August 28, 2013, 01:17:00 AM
Dunno how strange this is, but here goes.

I was riding with someone from Tucson to San Diego, over the Chocolate Mountains (are they that name?). It was just after sunset, when he said "Need to make a detour. Gonna find snakes." I knew before hand he was a snake person, working on a project. But I didn't expect this.
So we found a small highway, 2 lane kind, and started driving up and down, at 30mph. It was deserted, so it was really ok for us. You looked down onto the pavement, and if you saw something moving around, you pull over, and get the pillowcase out.
We did find a snake! Parked on the shoulder, got snake right behind the head with pillowcase and finagled it into the thing. Snake went poop and started flinging it around (defense mechanism) inside the pillowcase. We put the pillowcase and snakey in the back of the truck and got back on the main freeway. Snake poop is very musky, and takes a few washes to get clean.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on August 28, 2013, 09:03:02 AM
I was once on a flight between Houston and New York. I was seated between George W. Bush's ex-SIL, and the ex-wife of a high profile person at Dell Computers.

What's worse than a 3 hour flight seated between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories? Being on a 3 hour between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories, and hearing that the plane will have to circle for an hour before landing.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on August 28, 2013, 09:28:19 AM
This is more cute than weird but it was unusual.

We were taking a deluxe tour of the ship while on a cruise.  Because this tour would be going into places that passengers normally don't see ( the laundry, food lockers in the galley and climbing a ladder up to the stacks) tour members were asked to wear long pants and sturdy shoes.  For all of us that meant jeans and sneakers. Pictures were taken of the group at every stop. 

The tour ended with cocktails and canapés with the Captain on the bridge.  While we were there, a Bride and Groom arrived.  Of course, we all offered a toast and a picture was taken of the beautifully dressed Bride and Groom surrounded by a dozen people wearing Tee shirts, jeans and sneakers.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on August 28, 2013, 09:30:11 AM
Did I ever mention being handed a human skull while sitting in a farmer's parlour in the Orkneys?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Morticia on August 28, 2013, 09:46:33 AM
Did I ever mention being handed a human skull while sitting in a farmer's parlour in the Orkneys?

You win.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: mrs_deb on August 28, 2013, 03:18:06 PM
Dunno how strange this is, but here goes.

Snake went poop and started flinging it around (defense mechanism) inside the pillowcase.

OK...I have to ask.  How does a snake fling poo?  They don't have hands.  I'm stumped :-).
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 28, 2013, 05:03:41 PM
Dunno how strange this is, but here goes.

Snake went poop and started flinging it around (defense mechanism) inside the pillowcase.

OK...I have to ask.  How does a snake fling poo?  They don't have hands.  I'm stumped :-).

With their tail. :) My sister owned snakes, one of which was a cranky bacon-fed knave who liked to fling poo.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Cutenoob on August 28, 2013, 09:42:29 PM
Dunno how strange this is, but here goes.

Snake went poop and started flinging it around (defense mechanism) inside the pillowcase.

OK...I have to ask.  How does a snake fling poo?  They don't have hands.  I'm stumped :-).

With their tail. :) My sister owned snakes, one of which was a cranky bacon-fed knave who liked to fling poo.
Yep. Snakey, while being held vertically, pooped a little bit and starting swinging around. Flinging swinging that stuff. I don't think any got on me, but it STANK. IIRC, snakes don't have urethas/ways to pee, so both urine and feces comes out as one.
Definitely a learning experience.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v336/mmasuo/All%20Vacations/Tuscon_Mex%20Vacation/th_liveplant.jpg) (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mmasuo/media/All%20Vacations/Tuscon_Mex%20Vacation/liveplant.jpg.html) Got to see that too!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on August 29, 2013, 01:39:12 PM
Did I ever mention being handed a human skull while sitting in a farmer's parlour in the Orkneys?

You win.

It wasn't a CIS-Orkney episode, it was a visit to the Tomb of the Eagles http://www.tomboftheeagles.co.uk/. Human skulls, five-thousand-year old buildings, and mysterious noises - definitely worth the visit.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: White Dragon on August 29, 2013, 02:03:00 PM
Did I ever mention being handed a human skull while sitting in a farmer's parlour in the Orkneys?

You win.

It wasn't a CIS-Orkney episode, it was a visit to the Tomb of the Eagles http://www.tomboftheeagles.co.uk/. Human skulls, five-thousand-year old buildings, and mysterious noises - definitely worth the visit.

We were just in that area a week ago!
But we didn't have time to get there and Maes Howe was all booked up.  :'(

Guess we'll just have to go back!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: AfleetAlex on August 29, 2013, 03:24:57 PM
When I was a kid I grew up in a small town but my parents thought traveling was very important. We had stopped at a McDonald's to eat at a picnic table one day when I was probably around 10 or so. We were somewhere in the Midwest of the US; I don't remember where.

While we're sitting there, this group of motorcyclists rides up and parks - all black leather and rumbling engines and what-have-you. My eyeballs are as big as saucers and I admit, I didn't see bikers too often in real life at that age so I didn't know what to expect. Should I be scared? (I probably stared.)

They'd been talking amongst themselves and a few broke off from the group and started to walk toward the restaurant. As they did, one turned back and said, "Was that 12 Happy Meals?" and one of the bikers still with the bikes said, "Yes!"

I was immediately unafraid of them and since then have come to really enjoy talking to motorcyclists about their travels. That story still makes me smile.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 29, 2013, 05:33:40 PM
During our vacation last September, we flew into Albuquerque and drove our rental car to a tiny town an hour outside Colorado Springs. Pretty smooth trip, except about an hour outside our destination, we were near a canyon driving in the dark. We were on the top, and there were cars, helicopters, emergency equipment and about 50 people trying to help the people inside two cars that had collided and plunged into the canyon. At night, with the bowl of the canyon like a giant reflector, it was surreal.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: RegionMom on August 29, 2013, 06:19:22 PM
In HS, choir tour of a few European countries to sing in airports and cathedrals-

one girl in our group had almost black hair and blue eyes, along with a beautiful pure soprano singing voice.

After a performance in one airport, a man came up and proposed marriage to this 16/17 year old girl.  "And do not worry, my first wife has okayed the marriage.  Also, I have a house in the states, in Ohio, so you could still be in your country when I visit my home there."  (We lived in a southern state)

She politely declined. 

Also on that trip, a couple of us were holding the special graded/judges' comments certificate, when a bird pooped directly on it.  Bleh.

Angie or Karen, if you are reading this, pm me!  I was the accompanist.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: scansons on August 29, 2013, 08:36:59 PM
Long move from the midwest to the east coast.  Large hairy husband along.   Brought cat.  Took cat out on leash to let her stretch at travel center.  Kept getting approached by truckers who genuinely wanted to pet and hold the cat. 

Cat may now like them better than me. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on August 30, 2013, 01:03:01 AM
Technically I wasn't traveling, but I'd just moved from a midwestern city to California.  There was a Mexican deli at the end of the block from my apartment.  First time there, when I placed my order, the clerk spoke back to me in absolutely perfect mimicry of my accent. I assumed he was making fun of me and informed him that I found it offensive.  He looked at me incredulously and stated that he wasn't mocking me, that was just the way he talked.

Turned out he was from my home town.

Until then, I hadn't realized I had an accent, but I sure recognized it when I heard it.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 30, 2013, 01:25:55 AM
I was once on a flight between Houston and New York. I was seated between George W. Bush's ex-SIL, and the ex-wife of a high profile person at Dell Computers.

What's worse than a 3 hour flight seated between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories? Being on a 3 hour between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories, and hearing that the plane will have to circle for an hour before landing.

Diety in heaven I hope you had a large bottle of alcohol
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: squeakers on August 30, 2013, 04:48:10 AM
(snipping)

While we're sitting there, this group of motorcyclists rides up and parks

They'd been talking amongst themselves and a few broke off from the group and started to walk toward the restaurant. As they did, one turned back and said, "Was that 12 Happy Meals?" and one of the bikers still with the bikes said, "Yes!"

Win sauce! Nothing like having a stereotype smashed in front of your eyes!

Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on August 30, 2013, 09:36:01 AM
I was once on a flight between Houston and New York. I was seated between George W. Bush's ex-SIL, and the ex-wife of a high profile person at Dell Computers.

What's worse than a 3 hour flight seated between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories? Being on a 3 hour between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories, and hearing that the plane will have to circle for an hour before landing.

Diety in heaven I hope you had a large bottle of alcohol

That was the trip where I spent a night in a hotel room with two total strangers, did a midnight tour of Ground Zero, and learned I could speak Danish. Probably the oddest of all my travels.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Tea Drinker on August 30, 2013, 03:10:10 PM
I was once on a flight between Houston and New York. I was seated between George W. Bush's ex-SIL, and the ex-wife of a high profile person at Dell Computers.

What's worse than a 3 hour flight seated between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories? Being on a 3 hour between two bitter ex-wives exchanging war stories, and hearing that the plane will have to circle for an hour before landing.

Diety in heaven I hope you had a large bottle of alcohol

That was the trip where I spent a night in a hotel room with two total strangers, did a midnight tour of Ground Zero, and learned I could speak Danish. Probably the oddest of all my travels.

Do you speak anything more closely related to Danish than English is?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on August 30, 2013, 04:09:04 PM
Well, I'd had two years of German. So when my seatmate asked, in Danish, what the flight number was, I translated it without realizing it and answered in English, only to have him reply in shock, "I didn't know you spoke Danish!" It was just a weird little episode in a trip of weirdness.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: faithlessone on August 30, 2013, 04:19:34 PM
Speaking of strange language knowledge, I once did a school exchange with Germany. I'd been learning German for about 4 years, but I wasn't particularly good at it. I do also occasionally talk in my sleep.

When I was staying with my exchange partner, I apparently had an entire conversation with her, in my sleep, in German. I didn't have any memory of it when I woke up, which really surprised her. She told me that she'd been really impressed with my improvement!!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: SheltieMom on August 30, 2013, 10:49:35 PM
My dad runs into people he knows everywhere. Just as an example, he once saw an uncle he had not seen in 30 years in a restaurant in Lubbock, TX. The uncle was travelling from his home in Montana to visit his daughter in Florida.

The best story happened a few weeks after my daughter was born in 1992. My mom had come out to help when I went back to work. My dad owned a gas station in a town 6 hours away from our home. On Friday afternoon, a couple they know stopped to get gas, and mentioned they were headed for my town to see their kids for the weekend. My dad jokingly said, "For 2 cents, I'd throw a bag in and go with you." They told him to go pack, so he did.
Several hours down the road, they stopped to eat. The husband went to the restroom, and my dad was sitting talking to the wife, when some friends from their church walked in. They kept giving my dad weird looks, until the husband came out of the restroom and sat down. It wasn't until Dad saw the look of relief on their faces, that he realized what they were thinking!
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: nutraxfornerves on August 31, 2013, 10:11:18 AM
Many years ago, my employer sent me to spend a day working with a prominent man in a small, isolated mountain town--the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. We were out & about visiting various places, and stopped for lunch at what was basically the only restaurant in town.

Mr. "Smith" was great guy with a wicked sense of humor. After we sat down, he pointed out to me all the covert glances we were getting. "They don't know who you are and are wondering if my wife knows I'm with a strange woman." Eventually, someone "just happened" to stop by our table to say hello. Mr. Smith chatted happily, deliberately not introducing me. (That was OK; I was enjoying the joke.)

After we walked out, Mr. Smith looked at his watch. "I'm going to ask my wife how long it was before she got the first phone call."

I found out later, it was about 15 minutes. (In this cell phone age, it probably would have been 15 seconds, photo included.) Mrs. Smith knew who I was and had fun disappointing the gossips.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Jocelyn on August 31, 2013, 04:14:31 PM
One of the young women in my dorm was a preacher's daughter. Her father changed parishes right after she left for school, so no one in his new parish saw her until Christmas break. Her father had a custom of taking each of his children out for dinner one night a month, and when she came home from college, he told her that since she was now a woman, they would go to a restaurant suitable for adults. They both dressed up suitably for their 'date' and were having a fine dinner when she noticed an elderly couple nearby was glaring at her. She didn't mention it to her father, but it so happened that the couple walked past their table as they were leaving, still frowning at her. Her father exclaimed, 'Oh, Rev. and Mrs. Smith! May I introduce my oldest daughter, who is home from college for Christmas break?' She said both the pastor and his wife blushed.
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: VorFemme on August 31, 2013, 04:28:15 PM
A friend of mine had her DD graduate college & get a job on the military base where Lt Col Dad worked and her mother was a member of the Officers' Spouses' Club (OSC) and ran the base thrift shop. 

Dad would meet DD for lunch at the Officers' Club once a week - but one day it turned out that Mom and some other members of the OSC finished a meeting and joined DD & Dad at their table for lunch....

There were a few red faces when people wandered over to talk to HER and were introduced to her DD - as apparently there had been a suspicion that Dad was meeting a young blonde for lunch and whatever.....nobody noticed until DD & Mom were at the same table that she was CLEARLY her mother's daughter!  Hair, eyes, build, etc. - although twenty-five years of living left Mom looking like a Mom and not a 23 year old college graduate with her first job......
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on August 31, 2013, 05:01:51 PM
Everyone who has ever visited Chicago knows that it's a spectacular place.  It has great food, great music, great architecture and tons of fun things to do.  However, on one visit, I was somewhat reluctant to leave the hotel lobby because people-watching was so much fun.

That weekend, our hotel was the scene of three major and diverse events.

Headquarters for the annual convention of the International gay Rodeo Association.
Auditions for the Chicago Bulls cheerleading squad.
Administrative center for the Chicago Triathlon.

All weekend, the lobby was bustling with Marlboro men and Barbie dolls.  On the day of the Triathlon, people with numbers painted on their arms and pushing bicycles were added to the mix. 

A sight like that is the sort of thing you can't make up. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 31, 2013, 05:27:15 PM
Everyone who has ever visited Chicago knows that it's a spectacular place.  It has great food, great music, great architecture and tons of fun things to do.  However, on one visit, I was somewhat reluctant to leave the hotel lobby because people-watching was so much fun.

That weekend, our hotel was the scene of three major and diverse events.

Headquarters for the annual convention of the International gay Rodeo Association.
Auditions for the Chicago Bulls cheerleading squad.
Administrative center for the Chicago Triathlon.

All weekend, the lobby was bustling with Marlboro men and Barbie dolls.  On the day of the Triathlon, people with numbers painted on their arms and pushing bicycles were added to the mix. 

A sight like that is the sort of thing you can't make up. 

This wasn't in the early 2000's was it? I moved to Chicago for college.  My very first friends happened to be gay.  My very first experience with drag queens was at a local bar during the IGRA convention when tons of visiting queens who were there for the convention took over the entertainment for the week.  I'm still friends with some of those queens today.

**I was soooooo not of age to drink**  ;)
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on September 03, 2013, 09:17:33 AM
PastryGoddess,

It probably was around that time.  Talking with some of the conventioneers in the hotel bar, we learned that Chicago is frequently the place for the convention.  That's probably because it has so much to offer and it's fairly easy for Canadian members to get there. 
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: AfleetAlex on September 03, 2013, 03:35:09 PM
(snipping)

While we're sitting there, this group of motorcyclists rides up and parks

They'd been talking amongst themselves and a few broke off from the group and started to walk toward the restaurant. As they did, one turned back and said, "Was that 12 Happy Meals?" and one of the bikers still with the bikes said, "Yes!"

Win sauce! Nothing like having a stereotype smashed in front of your eyes!

You're so right! It was a great learning experience for me as a kid. I only wish I had a photo of all the bikers eating their Happy Meals afterward.  ;D
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on September 04, 2013, 10:02:38 AM
The swimming lessons thread reminded me of this one.

Some years ago we were on vacation in Cozumel.  Our hotel had a nice beach with a dive and snorkel center.  It was a popular place because, for the making of an action- adventure movie, a small plane had been sunk to form an artificial reef.  As a result, snorkelers could get good views of fish and coral only a few strokes off-shore. 

One morning, I saw Mr. Thipu off on his dive boat and settled into a beach chair in the shade to read and people-watch.  A group of snorkelers came out of the dive shop.  It was obviously their first time because they were wearing their masks and fins as they made their way to the ladder. 

It was fun watching them try to get down the ladder with their fins on.  Finally, they made it in and
started to snorkel.  All of a sudden, one of the group pulled his head out of the water, tore off his mask and yelled' HOLY CARP!!! THERE'S FISH IN HERE!!!'

Isn't that why you decided to go snorkeling?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Twik on September 04, 2013, 10:35:50 AM
Well, maybe he was astonished by the carp wearing wings and halos.

... you know, the HOLY carp?
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: cwm on September 04, 2013, 12:57:50 PM
Well, maybe he was astonished by the carp wearing wings and halos.

... you know, the HOLY carp?

BOO!  ;D  ;D

(In the nicest way possible, I adore horrible jokes like that.)
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 04, 2013, 01:38:39 PM
Well, maybe he was astonished by the carp wearing wings and halos.

... you know, the HOLY carp?

that was sooo bad it was good
Title: Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
Post by: Thipu1 on September 04, 2013, 02:22:02 PM
Twik, please don't get me started.  ;D

What the novice snorkeler said was considerably more spicy than the word for which 'carp' is a euphemism.  Still, there can be fun connections between the holy and fish.

As I recall, the 'hali' in halibut is a reference to 'holy'.

I also recall a television ad from the time of 'Jaws' encouraging people tto 'GET EVEN! EAT FISH'.

It included an animated procession of monkfish.  As they slowly moved across the screen,
they solemnly intoned, 'Filet of Sole, oh filet of sole'.

You never know what you're going to find or where you're going to find it.