Lampshade laughter

Tell ITN about the funniest thing that ever happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. There are no restrictions on length. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) The ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

This month’s winner is WILLIAM J. KLEIN of Larchmont, NY:

Some years ago my wife and I bought a lamp in Paris. Over the years the shade started to fall apart and needed to be replaced. We tried many stores in the New York area but could not find a suitably sized shade with the proper fitting.

Last September we were in Paris once again and went back to the department store from which the lamp came.

Neither of us knew what a lampshade is called in French, so we went to the information desk and asked the young lady in attendance where to find “a chapeau (hat) for a lampe (lamp).” When she was through laughing, she did send us to the right floor and department.