Be careful what you wish for!

This item appears on page 47 of the February 2017 issue.

Touring the Eastern European capitals, our group came to Moscow. The day was hot, and no matter how comfortably I dressed, sweat rained off me.

I could not wait to return to the hotel for a cold drink. I went to the dining room, where the waiters were preparing for lunch, and said, “Orange soda.” The waiter understood and brought me an orange soda, but it was warm!

Having learned that the Russian word for “ice” was yad, I pointed to my glass and said, “Yad. Yad.” 

The waiter viewed me with a stunned look and, astonishingly, refused. I went to another waiter and using body language to indicate my discomfort with the heat, pointed to my glass of orange soda and said, “Yad. Yad.” He looked at me as though I was a crazed person. 

I went to a third waiter, repeated the exercise and said forcefully, “Yad! Yad!” Got the same amazed look!

I was really in distress for a cold drink. I sought out the headwaiter and insisted that I get “yad” for my soda.

After first assuming that I was a madman, he then smilingly realized that I was mispronouncing the word. In English, he said, “You want led. Yad is poison!”


Tell us about the funniest thing that 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. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged. This month’s winner is NELSON BURACK of Melville, New York: