After nearly a decade of living and traveling abroad there have been some funny moments. These are three of my memorable moments where humor was required.
While driving with friends from Germany to Poland I encountered one of my scariest travel moments…I was locked in a bathroom stall and couldn’t get out. The stall was one of those old fashioned types where the door went nearly to the floor… so, crawling out was IMPOSSIBLE. The height was such that even standing on the stool didn’t allow me to climb over. Add in the fact that I’m claustrophobic and it was a scary situation. Thankfully I was with a friend and she was able to go out and pantomime the fact that I needed help. (We were in a mom and pop cafe/gas station where no one spoke English.)
Someone came in after a few minutes and tried to open the door without success. Meanwhile my friend kept up encouraging conversation to keep me from coming unglued. Another ten minutes passed and someone came back with a hammer. They proceeded to spend several minutes hammering the door open. Suffice it to say for several years to come I didn’t go in a bathroom stall without first checking the lock.
On a solo trip to Spain I endured my worst driving experience ever. Being a fairly adventurous person I like to rent a car and drive in foreign countries. My experiences have ranged from relaxed to funny, to frustrating and beyond. Nerja, Spain falls under BEYOND! While visiting the Costa Del Sol region I decided I wanted to explore the historic city center of Nerja. I made the mistake of driving. The old town was built in 1487, consider for a moment the transportation used centuries ago. The streets within the historic center (unbeknownst to me) become more and more narrow as you drive closer to the center. In addition to this there are many one way streets. Once I realized what was happening there was little recourse. I was trapped in a maze of streets that were narrowing.
Paul and Jill Flickr
There were two moments that POP in my mind; they are moments I will recall vividly for the rest of my life. The first was well into this nightmare driving experience when I encountered a street where I had literally only inches on each side of my vehicle. After sweating my way past a row of white washed front doors, and turning on to a slightly wider street I thought I was home free. I had no such luck.
My next moment of comedy came when the one way street I turned on to narrowed; a cafe owner had to physically move a table for me to pass by. At that point my nerves were stretched to the breaking point. I stopped the car yards later and got out to assess the situation. As I walked the next block, scouting the area I looked back at the car and seriously considered calling Europe Car. Please, just pick up my car, I thought. It was a big learning curve. Fortunately after talking to a local as I walked I found the best place to turn and head out of the narrow historic district. I spent the rest of the afternoon drinking a bottle of wine.
I could write hundreds of funny posts on my experiences living in Germany. This one is particularly memorable. Shortly after I moved to Germany, (four weeks or so in) I went to dinner with new friends. Between us we knew only a few phrases of German and could only read key words on the menu. In addition the waitress spoke almost no English.
I ordered a fish dish, thinking I was ordering grilled or fried fish. When my dinner arrived I’d ordered Aspic. According to Wikipedia, ” Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé.” I was nauseous, I couldn’t take more than a bite. I ordered a new meal; safely choosing the same meal one of my friends had ordered.
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A map of Berlin showing Zehlendorf, the district I worked in and first lived in when I moved to Berlin.
Have you experienced memorable moments of humor while traveling? Share them with me.