Author Topic: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*  (Read 21341 times)

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SamiHami

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2013, 03:56:35 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!

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half_dollars

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #46 on: July 25, 2013, 04:42:14 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.

Library Dragon

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2013, 06:32:01 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).  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).  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).  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. 

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Julian

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2013, 07:12:36 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!

Slartibartfast

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2013, 07:18:02 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

cwm

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #50 on: July 26, 2013, 01:37:17 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...

Shea

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2013, 01:50:03 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.


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faithlessone

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #52 on: July 26, 2013, 02:28:57 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

lilfox

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #53 on: July 26, 2013, 02:55:46 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.

jaxsue

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #54 on: July 26, 2013, 02:57:03 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

BeagleMommy

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2013, 03:30:40 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."

BeagleMommy

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2013, 03:36:37 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.

Snowy Owl

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2013, 05:50:46 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. 
And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.

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Julian

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2013, 07:23:53 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.

kherbert05

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Re: Weirdness while travelling *share your tales*
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2013, 07:37:17 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.
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