Have you ever done something stupid in a foreign country? My idiocy led me to toss a pair of scissors on my suitcase nonchalantly, and Israel did not like it. However, they were friendly about discarding them and explaining what a moron I was. Here are some other dumb international traveling moments.
1. Raw Plantain
“I want to eat that big banana!” One man explained that he was in Sierra Leone and unfamiliar with African cuisine. He wanted fruit and found some on the streets from Lungi to Freetown.
He loaded the ferry and started peeling the banana, which proved more challenging than anticipated. “I got some weird looks, but nobody said something to me. So I took the first bite, and it tasted like putting a spoon of starch in my mouth, it was disgusting, and I spit it out.”
The traveler confessed many Sierra Leoneans were laughing loudly and shouting, “This crazy white man’s eating raw plantains!” Finally, they expressed having a long boat ride with his spectators and how he couldn’t hide his shame. “Anyway learned my lesson, and I love prepared plantain now.”
2. Squatty Potty
Copious amounts of alcohol and traveling don’t pair well in many of these stories. For example, one traveler got wasted in a bar in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. They didn’t have Western toilets, and he slipped while attempting to use the squat potty. He suggested having a bruise “the size of a basketball” on their thigh and bum for weeks.
3. Closed Subway
On his first international trip, one American went to Paris and spent all night partying. He and his friend were waiting for a train to their hotel at the metro.
It was late, and announcements were made on the loudspeaker, but they didn’t understand French. They watched people leave but paid no mind. Finally, they decided to cab it back to the hotel. However, the metro gate was locked from the outside, and they could not exit.
They sat around the station completely alone for another hour, figuring it would be daybreak soon and someone would come let them out. Eventually, they heard some noise behind a service door, so they knocked.
“Two maintenance men opened the door, shook their heads, and took us through a back hallway to an exit. We felt like the idiots we were.”
Oof. This traveler confessed as a teenager participating in a school exchange, they traveled to Beijing, China, with 1g of hashish! They elaborated on dogs at the airport. However, they were focused on other luggage, and the teen immediately grabbed their bags and got out of there.
After admitting, “Just thinking about the degree of stupidity of such an action gives me heavy anxiety,” others agreed they had anxiety just reading his story.
5. Drove off of a Bridge
Imagine driving off of a bridge in Mozambique, East Africa. That’s what this traveler did. Only it’s much worse. He didn’t realize there was no road there. It was washed out. So he spent the next two days walking through the bush to get the car rescued without his satellite phone or company.
6. The Fruit of the Monstera
In Madeira, Portugal, one traveler attempted to eat the fruit of the Monstera and got spines all over her tongue and fingers. Unripe fruit contains raphides, little sharp crystals that hurt your mouth.
7. Beer and Lighter
Oh boy. This American and his best friend went through nine countries on a European backpacking trip. He was collecting beers from each nation along the way. However, security informed him they could not come along when trying to take a plane from Vienna to Amsterdam.
She gave him the option to drink them or toss them. He opened one with a lighter, which they also shook their head over and confiscated. He only drank one beer because his friend was giving him the evil eye.
8. Presidential Palace
One man confessed to being drunk seriously, the alcohol not working out for many of these folks. He explained it was 2:00 am in Lithuania, and he decided to urinate on a building without realizing it was on the Presidential Palace. As a result, he was arrested for public urination.
9. Communication Mishap
Haha, this one is hilarious. A traveler explained he speaks English, German, and Spanish and can read Latin. He was on a train in Spain when someone with broken Spanish began asking for help. He couldn’t understand him.
“So I ask, ‘Sprechen sie deutsch?’ They look at me with a blank stare. I ask, ‘Voca Latin.’ Blank stare. I turn to my friend, ‘I wonder what they speak.’ They reply, ‘I speak English.’ I completely forgot that was an option.”
10. Smack That Monkey
Finally, a traveler in Bali was in Monkey Forest in Bali. A monkey climbed up her leg and attempted to open the zipper on her crossbody purse. Without thinking, she smacked at the monkey’s paw. She expressed, “It was shocked, I was shocked, and when it screamed at me, I took off running!”
This thread inspired this post.