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PWB's Funny, Wacky and Awkward Moments in Travel

Tuesday, April 09, 2013Ryan Mach

A trip can be highly memorable in a lot of ways and for different reasons. Oftentimes, we all want to remember only the good things that happened in our journey - those moments that make us a proud and better traveler but too often we encounter situations that are uncomfortable, downright embarrassing or just plain awkward. We try to sweep them under the rug and rarely talk about them because we think they spoil our travel experience. The fact of the matter is, they don't. Quite the contrary really because they add flavor and enrich our travel experiences.

As a frequent traveler, I have my own share of funny, wacky and cringe-worthy moments.
CR Blooper
I can't remember where I was going that weekend but I recall feeling red in the face after realizing that instead of going inside the male restroom, I headed for the female comfort room. It's completely unintentional though and such an honest mistake was a result of my lack of sleep. It's been a usual habit of mine to go straight to the airport right after work (graveyard shift).

While waiting for boarding at NAIA Terminal 3, I felt an urge to make water (Okay, that sounds very"Game of Thrones", which coincidentally was the book I was reading that time) so I left my stuff and went to the john. The men's comfort room is located at the right, and I made a left turn, leading me to the CR that's off limits to boys. A rather bemused janitress who noticed my presence looked askance at me and told me, shocked, "Sir, CR po ng babae 'to."

It was a complete WTF moment for me. Good thing was there was no one there apart from the janitress, who luckily didn't get freaked out at the sight of a (stupid) male species trying to use the girl's washroom. I can't imagine how embarrassing the situation could have been if there were women inside!

Lost in Translation
Here in Manila, we normally say "Ma, sa tabi lang" or "Ma, para!" when we want to get off from the vehicle, or more specifically from the jeepney. In Cebu, passengers say "Gar lang" which is short for "Lugar lang." "Lugar lang" is a Cebuano term that literally means "stop right beside the road." Apparently, our friend who doesn't speak Cebuano didn't know that. I couldn't figure it out at first but after observing people alighting from the jeepney after saying "Gar lang", I surmised that it was the magic word for stopping.

We were on our way back to the hotel in Cebu aboard a jeepney when our friend tried to mimic what other passengers were saying. She muttered "Darlang" a few times and asked us who the heck "Darlang" was, and why was the jeepney stopping every time passengers would utter "Darlang." She was confused and amazed at the same time, oblivious to the fact that the driver would actually stop the vehicle every time she'd say "Darlang". She profusely apologized however after she realized what it meant.

Too Young to Play
As part of our Cebu city tour, we were taken by our driver-cum-tour guide to Cebu's famous Casino Hotel. We didn't have any intention to gamble; we just wanted us to see the place, which we found cool. The casino was located on the second floor of a handsome hotel. To get inside the game room, we had to pass through the gate manned by security guards.

Whereas my companions breezed through the security area, I was stopped by one of the guards. He found me too young to be going inside.

"Ilang taon ka na?" He asked me with a dead-serious expression on his face. My friends who heard the interrogation doubled up, clearly enjoying the show.

Normally, I would thank the person who mistakes me for being way younger than I actually am but that moment was an exception. "Kuya, nagtatrabaho na ako," I explained rather unnecessarily. I was eventually permitted to get inside but not after I was asked for my birth certificate!

Cracking Under Too Much Pressure 
We were doing jump-shots non-stop at Puting Buhangin in Quezon on a bright afternoon when we heard a loud ripping sound. One of our friends quit jumping because his shorts got ripped out from too much jumping! LOL. Instead of feeling sorry for him, we laughed at the sight of his torn shorts, which had a huge slice down the groin area. It didn't deter him from the jumping again though. What a trooper!

Sorry - No Corkage Fee
Our friend was worried about the possibility that the resort we were planning to spend the night in La Union had corkage fee so before heading there, she called up and asked about it. The receptionist apologized to her over the phone that they didn't have corkage. Yes, they were actually sorry that they do not charge for corkage! I bet they would apologize if I asked about mpk88 at musicians friend.

So Difficult
Right from the get-go, I noticed that the guide who toured us around Chinese Cemetery wasn't well conversed in English although he's able to explain and provide details of the place in a comprehensible manner. In fact, my Dutch companion who paid for the tour didn't have any complaints about him, and neither did I. Just a little observation. He would say "difficult" to refer to the poor. "The difficult can't afford the burial here." "This section is for the difficult." Hey, I didn't laugh at him or anything, ok?

Call Girls
I was walking along the busy pathway right beside the long beach in Boracay when I heard three loud women (call girls) clad in sexy attire (they're probably lady boys, not very sure) calling the attention of a lone foreigner guy walking ahead of us. He was their potential customer.

"Hi Joe. How are you? Wait for us, tang-ina mo."

I laughed at how the line was delivered. There's a crude musicality to it. It even rhymed!

Busted Phone
This one's not funny for me, but it is to my friends who heard about what happened to my pity phone on the beach at Magalawa Island in Zambales. As soon as we found a place to settle (an open nipa hut), I immediately dropped my staff and with a camera strapped around my neck, I hit the water, oblivious of the fact that I still had my phone (which wasn't water-proofed) inside my pocket. I only realized it after about 30 seconds of being submerged.

Catch It If You Can
Moments before our flight, it had been raining cats and dogs. Typhoon Gener was on its way outside the country but it was still lashing its strong winds over at the airport in Legazpi. Fortunately, the rain had abated when it was time for boarding although the strong wind still remained. The aircraft had just deplaned its passengers and was readying to accept Manila-bound travelers. Its crews were giving out umbrellas. One of those umbrellas was blown by the strong wind and a poor crew had to run after it.

It was a funny sight. Everyone's attention was at the umbrella, tumbling and playing hard to get. It wasn't until it traveled 100 meters from the airplane that the crew had finally caught it.

How about you, what are you most funny and awkward moments in travel?

PTB Blog Carnival
This post is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for April 2013 by LakbayDiva.
For previous PTB Blog Carnival topics, click here.

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