A Bob Djurdjevic Column, July 1990A July 1990 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle carried an interesting collection of commercial signs which an international traveler may get to see in foreign countries. The countries in which these signs were reportedly displayed ranged from Japan to Romania, from Bangkok to Copenhagen, from Mexico to Yugoslavia... But, they all had one thing in common. They were obviously written by persons to whom English is a not a native language. Except, of course, if some of them were outright inventions by clever English-language writers -- a possibility for which the Chronicle also allows. The Chronicle said it had traced the origin of these expressions to an Air France memo, but otherwise said it could not guarantee their authenticity. Nor can I. But, we can guarantee you a laugh or two, especially if you have traveled internationally...
So, there you have it -- the "vignette of vignettes" -- by this traveler's standards anyway...
For American ladies, I hope you will a good sense not to drop your trousers when traveling overseas. And to remember to have all of your fits at home, before going abroad. And to avoid the "specialists in women and other diseases," except in Rome, of course.
For American men, unfortunately, I don't have that much to offer by way of exciting, new advice. "Don't steal towels, since you will be forced to read the notis not to do it," I suppose is one. I also thought that, "don't enter a woman if dressed as a man," could be a useful tip, especially in the Middle East.
But there are some things which are the same world over. As that Danish sign said at an airline office: "We take your bags and send them in all directions." And sometimes, they even arrive in one piece at the checked location.
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