When travelling, it’s almost inevitable that unexpected things will happen along the way. Surprises, after all, are part of the journey, and the best you can do is laugh it off.
Baby Boomers have a pretty good sense of humour in that way – here are some stories from travellers over 60 to prove it.
“My friend and I were on holiday in Bali back in the mid 1980s and we had been, rightly or wrongly, advised to take a bottle of Cottees red cordial with us to ward off Bali belly. We met a couple at our hotel and the lady’s husband was struck down with the dreaded Bali belly and confined to his room. We proceeded to give her the Cottees with instructions on how good it was. It must have worked – he reappeared the next day and was fine for the rest of the stay. We only found out on their last day that he was an eminent surgeon from the UK who was about to receive an Order of the British Empire from the Queen upon his return to London! I think we might have hesitated to offer the Cottees if we’d known!”
“We were on our honeymoon travelling from Ireland to Spain. When going through customs the officer got so excited he kept insisting he knew my husband was famous but we kept going ‘no, no’. Then the officer pointed to his passport to the stripped jersey he had on in the photo and called all the other officers over. They kept saying over and over, ‘What team you play for? What team you play for?’ We kept telling them no but they said they wouldn’t let us through until we told them. Everyone was looking at this stage, so I said he plays for Dublin and they all shook his hand and wished him luck. They were so happy they met a famous footballer!”
“Travelling in our fitted-out coaster, we were parked in a coastal area with a couple of other vans near us. Sitting inside having breakfast with our heavily tinted windows, a female from one of the other vans went to the sand dunes beside us and proceeded to dig a hole and have a morning constitution. We were embarrassed seeing her, but not as much as she would have been had she realised we were watching!”
“My friend pressed the emergency button instead of the ‘flush’ on a bullet train in China a couple of months ago. Alarms went off, an attendant came running, and my friend had no idea what the commotion was all about. The alarm was reset and then we (our tour group) all fell about laughing.”
“We were walking down Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and a man rushed past, thrust a can of olive oil at us, saying, ‘Wanna buy some oil?’ When we said no thanks, he just kept on hurrying by.”
“I stacked it and got run over by my own Segway in Athens. No harm was done but there were lots of shocked faces from all the onlookers. Was the best excursion ever though – would do it again in a heartbeat.”
“We lost two people from our tour group in Rome and our guide told the bus driver to drive us around while he looked for them. We asked the bus driver to tell us about what we were seeing and in broken English he said, ‘I don’t know anything’, so we all shouted ‘Make it up’. Round and round we went while he made up these wonderful stories. We finally found the lost ones and drove back to the hotel. The guide said get off the bus and we all yelled ‘No! Let’s go ’round again!’”
“My son and I were walking in Italy when my sandals broke, so I was walking barefoot to a shoe shop. A lady stopped my son and in broken English asked why didn’t I have shoes on.”
“We went to a winery in Italy. The winery owner was enjoying our company and brought out a few extra bottles of red. Our tour guide did a little too much tasting and was a bit giggly on the trip back to the hotel, so we took over her microphone and had a big sing-along on the trip home. It was a great finish to a wonderful day.”
Comments have been slightly edited for accuracy and style purposes.13