02 August 2007

Prize Conversations with Tourons

I have nothing against tourists. I've been one and without them this very wet small town south of the permafrost would not survive economically (which is probably true of much of AK) but sometimes you have these conversations that make you shake your head and wonder if their brains went on a different vacation.

* Standing on a balcony overlooking the ocean this fellow says to me "So, what's the elevation above sea level here?" I look over the balcony and say "Well, since the tide seems to be out I'd say about 4ft"

* I was pumping gas when this RV pulls up. This couple gets out and they look distinctively cold being dressed for some other climate than 60 degrees with rain & mosquitoes. The guy says to me "I thought it was warmer in Hawaii! Where's all the sunshine?". II thought the guy was joking but he wasn't. You know how on maps of the United States Hawaii & Alaska get pulled out and put in little windows in the Pacific? Well, come to find out that somehow this couple had managed to get all the way to Alaska while thinking that Alaska was merely the largest island off Hawaii. I think they need a new travel agent and a better map.

* "So how much does it cost to ship an iceberg?" Umm, well seeing as you live in the Carolinas can I just ship an empty box and tell you it evaporated?

* "When do the smoked salmon run?" Let's see....

* "I'm from the United States of America" (best said by drawing out and emphasizing the country name). Umm...guess what dude, you're still in the United States of America. Yeah, really.

* And then there is the woman who is living in a campground this summer. She comes into the coffee shop and tells us things like the mountains around us are invisible (I can agree on a foggy day), that she controls the weather (well, give us a break then!), and to complain that the AK Park Service hasn't installed plumbing in her tent yet (well, they haven't gotten around to that amenity in some of the houses either dear) all in an accent she claims is French but which sound suspiciously like attempted Irish. But this later one is loony enough to possibly be an actual local.


  1. How funny! You know, you could make a fortune on ebay shipping empty wet containers ;).

    So far, the funniest thing I've heard was "I didn't know the sun could be so hot" from badly burnt Brits.

  2. LMAO! During 3 years of giving tours at a National Historic Landmark, I met thousands of visitors from all over the world. I don't think I ever heard anything that rivals the comments you have here! Please post more from time to time.

  3. I think you should have said an enthusiastic, "Aloha!" to the map challenged folks.... You were probably much more informative and kind than that, though.

    Still, that is so very funny....
    and sad.

  4. That's rich. I don't know if it's any consolation, but I've met at least three of those tourist in the lower forty-eight states.

  5. viva summer tourism. viva americana.

  6. This post made me laugh so much! I remember an American tourist saying loudly in a shop in Banff 'oooooh look dear, they have the lottery here too!'

  7. Hi,

    Dropped by after seeing you at dj's. Loved the post.

    I sympathise with your predicament. I was on a tour of a cave once when, just having listened to the guide relating how the caves in the area had been discovered, one guy in the group piped up with the question, "So how many undiscovered caves are left here, then?"

    Tourists - who'd have them?

  8. That thump you heard was me falling off of my chair in a wicked fit of giggles...

    SO funny.

    I've met some of these fine folks.

    God bless them.

    They're the same ones who get out of their vehicles to take photos of bears, buffalo, elk and moose.

    Whoooooole different breed of people. They also believe that the stuffed jackalopes are real.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  9. All ~ I've tried to comment to all of you individually on this one at least three times & it always seems like it takes but then every time someone new comments I find it has dissapeared. Anywho, I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you :) Thanks for all the comments - I'll try to make this a re-occuring theme whilst material is available. It's good for a belly laugh.

  10. If you were on Cali/Oregon/Washington coast, you could add:

    "What time can we watch the sunrise over the ocean?"

    This post is a great laugh - thanks :)

  11. This is hilarious and inspired me to go a-Googling for a similar list I read once. Here are the All Time Dumbest Questions Asked
    by Banff Park Tourists

    Also, allegedly overheard in Scotland: "Is this the same sun we see in the States?"

  12. This is hilarious! I would have had a hard time not making a big deal about how shocked I was by their stupidity in the Hawaii one.


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