Funniest Thing for August '10

This item appears on page 53 of the August 2010 issue.

Tell ITN about the funniest thing that ever happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. 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 GEORGE N. GIANOPULOS of Fresno, CA:

A couple of years ago, my wife and I and two of her female cousins were traveling around Greece. I had rented some sort of car — small, cheap and ugly — to drive around the areas of the Gulf of Corinth and the Peloponnesus.

While on the west coast, south of Patras, we decided to take the ferry to the island of Zakynthos. We waited in line behind a substantial line of cars all heading for the island.

The ferryboat arrived and expelled its incoming load and then the awaiting cars began moving forward. Alas, just as our turn came, the lower deck area had become full. Our car was shunted over to a long, narrow, very steep ramp leading to an upper parking area on the ship.

An attendant impatiently motioned me up the ramp. I put my machine into lower gear, stepped on the gas and up we went… but not quite to the top. The little car didn’t have sufficient power to move my load up there.

Little by little, coasting backward, I eased the car down to the dock where this impatient guy was scowling at me, arms askew, obviously angry over my stalling the loading process and about to ask, “What the hell’s going on?” (in Greek, of course).

Before he could say a word, I said (in Greek), “It’s the women!”

The guy collapsed with laughter along with his buddies. I expelled my load of females; they walked aboard. That little car and I then zipped right up to the upper deck and our ferry soon sailed off.