Funniest Thing

January, 2021 Issue

This month’s winner, JEFF GARRETT of Lauderhill, Florida, is a tour operator:

On my fall “5 ’Stans” tour in 2018, our group made a pit stop near lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan. At this stop there is a modern gas station, with a beautiful Western WC, and a modern supermarket, where our groups always stock up on “goodies.”

Even though there were ample bottles of drinking water in our Sprinter van for everyone, one couple on the tour, Jay and his wife, Kim, were always stocking up on bottled water on their own.

Well, Jay emerged from the market with a HUGE bottle of what he presumed was drinking water. When he asked our guide, Ramil, about the plastic bottle having a blue color, the guide read the Krygyz print.

Jay and his wife were the proud owners of a bottle of glass cleaner.

We told Jay that we would gladly put him to work cleaning the windows on our van.

 


 

Tell us about something humorous that happened to you while traveling outside 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.

 


December, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is DEB KALIKOW of Westford, Massachusetts:

I was on a tour of France when our group visited the Fragonard perfumery in Grasse. After being shown the entire interesting perfume-making process, from flowers to packaging, we ended up at the gift shop, of course.

I hadn’t used perfume in years, but, looking around and testing a few scents, I found one I liked. It smelled luscious, and I thought it would make a fine souvenir of France, so I bought a bottle.

Being newly remarried, I wasn’t yet sure of all my husband’s likes and dislikes, such as which perfume he might enjoy on me, and he hadn’t accompanied me on this trip. (He was still working; l was retired.)

After I finished in the shop, I went outside to wait for our tour bus to return and chatted with one of my tour mates. He and I had previously bonded over the fact that both he and my husband had been in the Marine Corps. As they say, once a Marine, always a Marine.

My friend noticed that I was caring a Fragonard bag and asked, “Did you buy something here?”

I replied, “Yes. I hope my husband likes it.”

He looked at me in wide-eyed shock and said, with great indignation, “He’s a Marine! He’ll NEVER wear perfume!”


Tell us about something humorous that happened to you while traveling outside 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.

 


November, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is JOHN HEBERLE of Rochester, New York:

Traveling with a group in China and being 6'6" tall, I often received looks from the locals, which was understandable.

One time, a group of locals approached, and one of them was almost the same height as I. We looked at each other and then, drawing closer, shook hands. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, our height did all the talking.

People began to snap pictures of the two of us. I said as a joke, “One dollar. One dollar. One dollar.” Several in our group gave me dollars, laughing about it.

I gave the dollars to my new Chinese friend, and our groups departed, both still talking about what they had seen.


 

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.

 


October, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is SHEILA MONK of Richland, Missouri:

I was in Guatemala on a field trip that a friend of mine, Ken, had arranged for his horticulture students. With two spaces left, he had offered one to his nephew and one to me.

After days of viewing nurseries featuring poinsettias and ferns and other green growing things, we were ready for a change of pace when we reached Lake Atitlán, an incredibly beautiful place in the always-springlike Guatemalan central highlands. Our leader had been promising us a treat.

While we settled into our stone cottages, Ken happily organized a cozy group of lakeside chaise lounges and invited us to join him after dark for a magnificent view of the August meteor showers. We arrived toting jackets and blankets — and a good supply of our innkeeper’s killer margaritas — and settled in for the show.

Chatting softly, we called each other’s attention to falling stars as we spotted them. Suddenly, a meteor with a huge fiery tale streaked across the sky. It seemed almost near enough to touch. We all gasped our astonishment!

The ensuing silence, as we stared in awe at the night sky, was abruptly broken by a huge snore from our leader. Relaxing for the first time in days, he had slept through the whole amazing thing!

Ten years later, he’s still mad at himself for missing the show.


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.

 


September, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is Col. DON EDMANDS, Jr., USAF (Ret), of Vonore, Tennessee:

During my Air Force career, I was sent to South Korea on an exercise. I was stationed at Osan Air Base near Seoul.

I wanted a pair of orange running shoes, so I went to the market in Seoul. Orange shoes turned out to be harder to find than I imagined. I finally ran across a pair in a small shop. The owner quoted me $30.

I went on down the street looking but didn’t find another orange pair, so I returned to the shop and said I wanted to buy the pair I had looked at. The shopkeeper now said, “$35.”

I said, “Wait a minute. It was $30 earlier.”

He replied, “You come back!”

I got a great laugh out of that one.


 

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.

 


August, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is LIZ (SARAH) FISCHER of Tarpon Springs, Florida:

In 2010 my husband and I did a 3-week self-drive trip through New Zealand. Armed with a good map and “Dora the Explorer,” as we affectionately called our first portable GPS, we set off to see this beautiful country. We didn’t realize that relying strictly on the GPS is not a good idea. You should also always refer to a good map.

Our first small incident with Dora was on the North Island. We were driving south from Rotorua to Wellington when suddenly we were directed to take a hard right turn. The road narrowed and we went through a farmer’s herd of cows.

As we continued down the road for a short distance, I saw where we were on the map. Dora was taking us to a very small coastal road. I’m sure the views were beautiful, but we weren’t sure the road would be paved, so back we went through the cows.

When the farmer saw us, he asked, “Where are you trying to go?” With his direction, we returned to the main road down to Wellington. We could just see him shaking his head. “Silly tourists!”

But our most memorable moment with Dora took place on the South Island. We were trying to get to Fiordland through very mountainous terrain. Steep rock walls were on both sides of the narrow road. The GPS signal was very weak and wavering.

Dora asked, “Are we in a tunnel?”

My husband replied, “No.”

Shortly, she asked, “Are we in a building?”

Again, “No.”

Then a question we couldn’t believe: “Is it still March 8, 2010?” We both burst out laughing!

We are now on Dora III and have driven through many mountainous areas, but we’ve never again been asked any such questions. To this day, we still laugh about our experiences with Dora in New Zealand.


 

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.

 


July, 2020 Issue

Leaving Prague on our first river cruise, the captain announced that we would soon be approaching a lock and our riverboat would be dropping down approximately 6 feet. 

We wondered why our cabin mate suddenly took off running. Catching up with her in the cabin, we asked what the rush was. 

She answered, “I have to close the sliding glass door to keep the water from coming into the cabin.”

We all just stood silent, looked at each other, then burst out laughing as we explained that both the boat and the water go down at the same time inside a lock.


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 PAM KELLY of San Diego, California:


June, 2020 Issue

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.


May, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is MALCOLM GAISSERT of Arnold, California:

In 2006, my wife and I biked around the Alps for two weeks, after which she flew home to work and I, having been laid off years earlier, continued biking and visiting with friends for a couple more months, having a great time.

On my bike were two panniers heavy with all my personal items. Each night over those three months of biking around Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, I had to lift the bike up into a friend’s house or within a hotel. Hoisting the bike became second nature to me.

When I finally flew home and had my wife all to myself, I wanted to give her a big kiss. She is 8 inches shorter than I, so I grabbed her under her ribs and lifted her up for a kiss…and almost put her head through the ceiling.


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.


April, 2020 Issue

This month’s winner is BRAD BOYLE of Neotsu, Oregon:

My friend visited while I was living in Taiwan. He wanted a pizza, and a restaurant nearby would deliver. He did not speak Mandarin, so my roommate ordered for him.

Soon there was a knock at the door. My friend answered it. The delivery man handed him a bill, which my friend paid. The man turned and disappeared down the stairs.

My friend yelled after him, “Where’s my pizza?!”

I thanked him for paying the gas bill.


 

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.