Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When traveling, always bring your good sense of humor . . .

In all the trips that I've taken so far I don't think that there is any one time that everything went perfectly as planned. In fact, sometimes these inperfect moments can be a bit embarrassing. One of the most important things that you should bring when traveling is your good sense of humor. Inspired by a couple of entries by blogging pals, Sandra and AnnieNC, I'll share a few more of my own embarrassing moments when traveling...

In 2005 while in Rome, a friend and I decided to visit the Trevi Fountain. Did you know that approximately 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day and that the coins are collected daily each night. The money is used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy. Did you also know that the fountain recieves a thorough cleaning on certain days of the month and when it does they completely drain the fountain?

Well, my friend and I didn't know and it was on one of these days that we decided to visit the fountain.

It was interesting at the beginning, but after about 30 minutes, my friend and I decided to kill some time by admiring the cleaning crew. My friend started teasing me, saying here comes Kathy's Amore. I told her shhhh, but she told me that she was whispering and no one could hear. She then asked how much longer it was going to take. A female voice on my right responded, "maybe only a few 20 minutes more". The Italian lady next to me had the biggest smile. I was so embarrassed and shot a look over to my friend who just shrugged her shoulders as in "oh well." We all started to laugh and the lady actually ended up being really nice. And when they finally turned on the water, it was very cool seeing the fountain fill up. Almost exciting even. Lesson learned: Don't assume that people aren't listening because they are and secondly sometimes what may seem bad at first can end up being great!

By the way, here is a photo of my amore! :)

Moment # 2 - In 2006, I was traveling from Salzburg to Munich. Before hopping on the train, I decided to use the little girls room. After giving the (male) attendant a few coins, he unlocked one of the stalls for me. One of the down sides of traveling solo is you have to carry your luggage every where you go and that includes the restrooms. I roll my luggage in with me which barely had enough room. When I was ready to leave, I open the stall door, I turn back to grab my luggage when I heard this click. The door re-locks! Are you kidding me!

As embarrassed as I was, I called out to the attendant. I said hello, sir, excuse me, help, are you there! I could not remember how to say help in Austrian. And guess where my translation phrase book was? You guessed it, deep at the bottom of my suitcase! I think I was in there for a good 10 minutes before the attendant finally heard me. He unlocked the door and started to laugh. I think he forgot that he still had his lit cigarette in his mouth. Ashes were flying all over the place because he couldn't stop laughing. I was laughing too! I grabbed my things, washed my hands and as I exited the door, the attendant was still laughing. You know, I had never been in a restroom stall that locked someone in like that. Anyway, as I exited I just had to snap a photo of the restroom! My lesson--never travel without my phrase book handy and also memorizing a few important phrases like excuse me and help!

Moment # 3
- Ronda, Spain. Here is a nice video that I shot of the Puente Nuevo on a very cold and wet evening. I braved the freezing cold weather to capture this scene.

After a few minutes of filming, I heard a pleasant "male" voice say hello in Spanish. I turned and it was this guy that I had seen in my hotel earlier at dinner and then again in the lobby before I came across the bridge. I kept snapping photos thinking I could wait him out. Keep in mind that I had mailed back all of my warm clothes in Seville so all I had was a short sleeve thin top and my wind breaker jacket. After a few minutes I came to the realization that I was not going to outlast him here, so I slowly moved towards the street. And then it came, "The pass." Normally I have no problems getting myself out of situations like this, but I think the freezing cold somehow impaired my thought process. I politely said, "No comprende Espanol!" As soon as the words left my lips I knew what a huge mistake it was for me to say that! And why? Because he was speaking to me in English! We both sort of looked at each other and started to laugh. He actually ended up being very cool and let me off the hook. The lesson here! Maybe honesty is the best policy! :)


  1. Oh Kathy, this is such a great read. I am chuckling here...they are all such great stories! Yes, a sense of humor is essential when traveling in places with different languages, for sure.

    Your "amore" is very very cute (right up there with Brody J.!). And I didn't know about draining of the Trevi Fountain so it's cool that you got to see that too.

    I got stuck in a bathroom in Venice this past December (I think the door had gotten warped from the acqua alta) and had to yell for help! Fortunately they heard me very quickly!

    And your Amore #2 in Spain. I remember when you blogged about shipping your winter clothes home but I didn't realize that it got cold after. So you were really giving him the cold shoulder, ha ha! I'm glad he ended up being a cool guy.

    Thanks so much for this very entertaining post - reading it was a great way to start the day!

  2. Great post, Kathy! I really enjoyed it!

  3. I enjoyed your stories! I also have a very funny bathroom story that I will share someday about being locked in the bathroom at my school. I have also done the same thing saying that I didn't speak or understand using the wrong language! Thanks for sharing your traveling blunders.

  4. Such a cool post, and so much fun to read. I like your amore in the cleaning crew. And I didn't know that they collect the money or clean the fountain, I guess they have to.
    And your bathroom story, a little scary, huh? I would have probably been screaming, and thinking OMG I am going to spend the rest of my life in the bathroom! Even though, the sanity in me would be telling, they'll find you sooner or later. But you did well, you even remembered to wash your hands and snapped a photo!
    And your last story, I wonder how often that happens when we are too focused to realize what is being said to us.
    You have a great sense of humor, Kathy. Thanks for sharing these.

  5. Hi Annie, glad you enjoyed the read. I had so many dork moments to choose from. :)

    Awe yes my "amore" is defintely right up there with BJ . . . It was actually very cool to see the Trevi fill up and I am really surprised that they collect so much each night and it's great to hear what they use some of the money for in Rome.

    Oh, you were so lucky to get help quickly in Venice. I'm not so sure where my guy was that he didn't hear me, maybe he left thinking a tourist like me would never lock myself in like that. I have a feeling my episode was the topic of conversation at the dinner table that night because he had such a great laugh. He made me laugh too because of the ashes flying all over the place. I'm so glad that I can spread good cheer where ever I go! LOL

    And Amore # 2 was very cool with my dork moment. The only place it was really cold after I left Seville was in Ronda. Granada, Cadiz and Malaga were all much warmer. But I adjust better to cold than heat, but it was just too cold for me to handle standing there for too long that night. Oh well it all worked out pretty nice.

    Thanks for you comments Annie, I still giggle everytime I think about how you got locked in that church with the wedding. :)

    Have a great day!

  6. Hi Nancyhol, glad you enjoyed the post. It was a lot of fun writing it and remembering all these moments! :)

    Have a great day Nancy!

  7. Hi Girasoli, thanks for your comments. Glad you liked the stories. Now, you have got to share your funny bathroom story too! :)

    It does get a little confusing sometimes with the language. I'm hoping to improve in this department for my next trip. I'm so lucky that when I do make mistake that the people are very gracious about it.

    Have a great day Girasoli!

  8. Hi Candi, thanks I'm glad you enjoyed the post! It was very interesting to learn about the money collection and it was very interesting morning watching the fountain get cleaned,:)

    Yes, the bathroom thing was interesting and funny. I can understand preventing one from going in, but not from going out. I called out to the guy but I'm thinking he may have been out of the room when this happened because he didn't come right away. And from his reaction, I'm guessing no one has ever locked themselves in before or at least while he was there.

    And about remembering to wash my hands and snap a photo, I can regroup myself pretty fast when dork moments happen to me, :)

    Girasoli said that it's happen to her too. Being on vacation and focusing on other things I bet this sort of thing happens maybe does happen often.

    Thanks for your comments Candi, have a great day!

  9. I am a little late getting to this post, but I definitely needed it today. Three great stories!


  10. Hi Kaydee, glad you liked the stories! :) It was so much fun remembering them. I'd type a few lines, giggle! I'd add my photo and type a few more lines, then giggle! . . . Let's just say it took me awhile to type this post! Ha ha!

    Thanks for your comments and have a great day.

  11. All your stories are very funny! I especially like the mullet on your Italian friend! :)

  12. Hi Chiocciola, glad you enjoyed my stories! I had to google Mullet, and you're right! :)


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.