Hilarious encounter with a local? Misunderstanding that became the number one joke you always tell your friends? Public embarrassment caused by not knowing local customs?
If you love to travel, I'm sure you have some funny stories to tell. So go ahead and share the craziest ones with other pandas!
While visiting Quito, Ecuador, my friends and I visited the botanical gardens (which I highly recommend). We were so fascinated by the beautiful orchids that we totally missed the closing time. When we returned to the entrance, we found the gates locked and nobody there. We had to climb the 10-foot gates to get out! Not bad for a couple of 60-year-olds.
Once I was visiting SF with my friend. We booked an airbnb room in a neighborhood that didn’t look too safe. After the first day exploring the city, we came back to the street where we stayed, opened the gates that led to the apartment, opened the door and only then we realised that it’s not our place at all. Knowing how big of a deal is trespassing in USA we literally shit our pants for breaking into somebody’s apartment. Funny thing is that the gates downstairs got locked so we were trapped in there. Soon an old lady showed up from the bedroom, started to yell something in spanish to us but finally let us out. We couldn’t stop laughing but it surely was a terrifying experience.
I practice archery and was looking for a bow at a sports store in London. Being a native Portuguese speaker, my question actually ended up sounding like "Hi, good evening, do you guys happen to have balls?". OK. We all know that split second when you realize what we've just said. I was so mortified when I saw their faces that I ran away. Literally ran away from the store.
Where I come from, garbage disposals do not exist (We compost, so they are not necessary). I did not even know garbage disposals existed when I travelled to America for school, so when I see this switch by the sink, I assume it's a light switch, and turn it on... Forks, knives and spoons go flying everywhere, and to this day my roommates will not let me forget it hahaha. Fortunately the garbage disposal survived, but I can't say the same for all the utensils :P
Twelve years ago, I and a co-worker were in Crawley, UK, for a training course. The first day we decided to take a walk around the hotel, we got lost, and thinking we had found the hotel, we ended up in a home during a birthday party. All revelers froze and stared at us astonished ... Well, we said cheerfully "Happy Birthday!" and ran away ...
My friend and I were visiting LA during the Christmas time and we decided to go to Disneyland. Disneyland was fun, but the actual fun started when we had to get back. Both of our phones had died because of the many selfies we took during the day. So long story short: got to the train station, met some nice homeless people, got kicked out of the train station, found a cop that let us use his phone and got a 150 dollar uber home. It wasn't fun then but now we laugh at how stupid we were.
A couple years ago, my family and I were on a plane going to Chicago. My brother and I had already sat down, and we were looking down the aisle for our parents. Suddenly, a lot of colorfully dressed people boarded the plane. One woman was wearing hot pink tights and pool floaties. A man was dressed from head to toe in green clothes. The strangest was a man who was wearing a tye-dye speedo and a crown, carrying a surfboard. To this day, that is the strangest thing I have ever seen on a plane.
I was in Athens and saw the changing of the guards at the "Grave of the Unknown Soldier." I posed for a picture and evidently it was in a restricted area, causing a guard in a Greek army uniform to yell at me to get away. The worst part: I didn't nice for 10 full seconds. When I finally realised what was going on, I ran away, face flushed.
When I was in Milan I visited that very small museum in the dome. I only started speaking Italian then and that guy on the counter told me something what I understood as "one hour". I thought maybe it is only still open for an hour but could not understand why he told me that. After starring puzzled at him several moments he pointed to a very huge sign close to me where was written in big letters in several languages: entrance 1 Euro.
Being Aussies and travelling in England, driving on the left was second nature, However we departed from England on the ferry in a Van and upon arrival in France proceeded to drive off the ferry and round a round-about. The local constabulary, observing that we had drive the wrong way around the round-about, flagged us down. Fully expecting a fine and a talking to, we were highly amused when the local Officer directed my father to drive around again, but this time in the correct direction.