My wife and I visited London with our young children (ages 7 and 5) . We went to Madame Tussaud’s and saw four wax musicians around a couch (The Beatles).
I asked my kids if they knew who the 4 were and my son blurted out, very loudly, “The Monkeys.” Everyone around us just cracked up.
Source: Paul from RickSteves.com
I was riding on a train to Paris I struck up conversation with the French family shareing the same compartment.
After an hour or so the father said “we like you your not like the rest of the Americans”. I responded, “I like you your not like the rest of the French” …to which he exploded “What do mean?!”
Submitted by Daniel S. Partel
I was reminded of something that happened to me in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The years were mid-1990, the country was just climbing out of the break up of the Soviet Union, and we were working there in international development. We were always on the look out for new places to eat.
When we came into a new restaurant and sat down, the waiter brought us 1 menu. There were 5 of us so we asked for 4 more menus. He looked at us, very confused, and said: “Why? There are all the same.”
Two Thunderbird MBA colleagues and I were invited to speak at a conference in Amman.
At the conclusion of the program, the host invited us out to dinner at a beautiful Lebanese restaurant. An extensive English language menu was brought out from which we were to make our food selections. As I thumbed through the pages, I noticed that the desserts preceded the entrees in the menu.
So I asked if it was traditional practice in Lebanon to eat the desserts before the main meal.
Of course everyone laughed, knowing perfectly well that Arabic is read from the opposite direction as English.
Submitted by Gina Frazier
In 1991, I in Asia (Bali), for the first time. I was completely unprepared for my introduction to the third world country.
A friend who had been to Bali before told me to avoid the taxis and go out and use the public bus. After some searching I found the
public bus and got on. The bus was filled with all locals, chickens, and me. It is fair to say I stood out.
I sparked a conversation with a local man who asked me where I was from. When told him I was from the United States. he chortled “Americaaaa”. He then asked if I was in Bali for “jiggyjig”?
I had no idea what he meant, and my blank expression led him to demonstrate a hand gesture that clearly identified what he meant. I was a bit startled, as you can imagine, and he took my silence as a yes, and said “ahhh.. you pay double because Americans have big banana!”
I thought to myself, ‘I’m really out of my element here in Bali… but at least I have that going for me!” It was a wonderful introduction to Asia.
Submitted by Philip E. Graham