Licked by the local language

By Stan C. Kimer
This item appears on page 31 of the June 2020 issue.
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This month’s winner is STAN C. KIMER of Raleigh, NC:

Several years ago, my brother-in-law and I took a one-week driving trip through southern Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy. One night was spent in Lugano, which is the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.

We went into a restaurant for dinner, and the menu was in Italian and German. My brother-in-law could speak some Spanish, and I could speak some French, but our server could not understand either of those languages nor English. Since neither of us understood German nor Italian, we could not figure out anything on the menu.

We did find something in Italian, “lingua,” and figured it was some kind of linguini. We pointed to it on the menu and asked what it was, but the server shrugged her shoulders. We ordered it anyway.

About 20 minutes later, we each got a plate with a huge cow’s tongue and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy! We took a few small bites but couldn’t stomach it, so we promptly left, went down the street to an ice cream parlor and ordered huge ice cream sundaes for our dinner.


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 STAN C. KIMER of Raleigh, NC:

Several years ago, my brother-in-law and I took a one-week driving trip through southern Germany, Switzerland and northern Italy. One night was spent in Lugano, which is the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.

We went into a restaurant for dinner, and the menu was in Italian and German. My brother-in-law could speak some Spanish, and I could speak some French, but our server could not understand either of those languages nor English. Since neither of us understood German nor Italian, we could not figure out anything on the menu.

We did find something in Italian, “lingua,” and figured it was some kind of linguini. We pointed to it on the menu and asked what it was, but the server shrugged her shoulders. We ordered it anyway.

About 20 minutes later, we each got a plate with a huge cow’s tongue and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy! We took a few small bites but couldn’t stomach it, so we promptly left, went down the street to an ice cream parlor and ordered huge ice cream sundaes for our dinner.


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.