It's all the buzz!

By Tony Lee
This item appears on page 43 of the April 2019 issue.
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This month's winner is TONY LEE of San Francisco, California:

Traveling on the Silk Road in China in July 2018, I arrived at Jiayuguan. The westernmost gate of China's Great Wall is located outside of that city, and I hired a driver to take me to several sites along the wall. Unfortunately for me, the driver spoke no English, and I had only a minimal understanding of Mandarin, so we had to rely on using the translation apps on our phones.

Translating from English to simplified Chinese, my Google Translate app worked well most of the time, but my driver's app did not. The English was poor, and it gave me gibberish about 40% of the time.

On the way back to town, he showed me his phone, which displayed a question: "Would you like to see a mosquito shop?"

I had no idea what he meant. A store that sold bugs? Out of curiosity, I said, "Yes."

When we got there, it turned out to be an outdoor flea market.


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.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

This month's winner is TONY LEE of San Francisco, California:

Traveling on the Silk Road in China in July 2018, I arrived at Jiayuguan. The westernmost gate of China's Great Wall is located outside of that city, and I hired a driver to take me to several sites along the wall. Unfortunately for me, the driver spoke no English, and I had only a minimal understanding of Mandarin, so we had to rely on using the translation apps on our phones.

Translating from English to simplified Chinese, my Google Translate app worked well most of the time, but my driver's app did not. The English was poor, and it gave me gibberish about 40% of the time.

On the way back to town, he showed me his phone, which displayed a question: "Would you like to see a mosquito shop?"

I had no idea what he meant. A store that sold bugs? Out of curiosity, I said, "Yes."

When we got there, it turned out to be an outdoor flea market.


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.