Would anybody like to share their funny or interesting stories from their travels abroad?
October 27, 2015 3:54am CST
Here's one which happened to my friend. While at an event in Indonesia for work, Ashley who is from Malaysia was informed by the Indonesian ambassador that the families would be joining them later. Ashley then said, “Great! So the anak-anaks can join us”. Ashley speaks Malay fluently and anak-anak in Malay means children which was what she was referring to. However in Indonesian, anak-anak means slaves. The horrified ambassador looked at Ashley and said, “I didn’t know Malaysia had slaves!”
10 people like this
27 Oct 15
Haha really? I didn't know that's what anak-anak means in Indonesian! My husband knows Turkish but hasn't spoken the language for some time. So there was one time when we were staying at a hotel in Istanbul and wanted to request for an iron, but my husband confused the Turkish word for "iron" with the Turkish word for "spoon". The housekeeping staff later showed up in front of our door with a spoon. We laughed for hours after that. I think the hotel guy had a good laugh too.
5 people like this
27 Oct 15
Actually, I think the term your Malaysian friend used might have been budak-budak. Anak-anak means children and commonly used in Indonesia. Budak-budak is a common term meaning children in Malay, but any Indonesian would be shocked when they hear the word as it does mean slaves in Bahasa Indonesia.
4 people like this
• Preston, England
27 Oct 15
In Morocco in 1978 I went to lunch where we had a buffet that was self service on the far side of French Doors. We went through Ok, but coming back with a full tray of food I never noticed someone had closed the sliding door so I walked into the glass and knocked myself unconscious. The waiters were very apologetic when I came too and got my meal for me - then as I finished it they got the same again. I had to decline as no one could eat that much food.
3 people like this
28 Oct 15
This could be a problem, a language barrier. So everyone when comes to other places for work should know the language spoken there especially their usual or common dialects which may be in conflict with the other countries.
• South Africa
3 Nov 15
Great story! A not so funny thing happened when we took our daughters on a cruise in the Caribbean. After a 14 hr flight we landed at Miami and took a taxi to Fort Lauderdale to catch the ship. After 15 minutes into the ride my wife discovered her pouch with all her documents were missing! We turned round and went back to the airport where we searched frantically for the missing pouch in all the places we went to, but to no avail! This could ruin our holiday, I said while my wife cried. Just when we had given up we were told that it had been found by a worker in the rest room and handed in. That was a relief because we were told that a person without a passport is a person without a country!