What the heck are these people thinking?
Japanese tourists are famous for their lack of awareness of dangers overseas.
Even here in Hong Kong, they get ripped off quite a lot. The police dress female cops up as Japanese “office ladies” (they wear distinctive clothes) and get them to take cab rides in order to entrap unscrupulous taxi drivers.
In Bangkok, Manila and other places, Japanese visitors often get robbed. In big US/European cities they often wander around really bad parts of town. In Australia/New Zealand they rent cars and crash them, because they’ve never been out of 2nd gear before.
They said they’d been on the road for several months and hadn’t kept up with the news. OK, now how do you explain your complete lack of awareness of your surroundings? I mean, even if there wasn’t an active firefight going on, the place LOOKS like a war zone. Amazing.
You know, they’d have had to have “not kept up with the news” for a lot longer than several months not to know that the Middle East in general can be a dangerous place. They’d pretty much have had to not open a newspaper for the last 30 years not to realize that.
I wonder what “Twoflower” is in Japanese…
japanese are very unaware, no offense intended to any japanese here. when i was at notre dame 2 summers ago, there was to be no talking in there for the year? who’s chattering away? you guessed it. japanese.
but that is dumb. i’d get a clue after those armored vehicles!
No talking in the cathedral? How do the tour guides work, sign language?
My Serbian officemate says that his family almost blundered into a similar problem. They were traveling in Switzerland when the war broke out, but they were staying with people who weren’t keen on current events so they weren’t really following the news. They only realized that Something Big was going down when they drove up to the border checkpoint and found that the border was closed!
Not quite the same as wandering blissfully through a war zone, I suppose, but when you’re traveling in a foreign country, it’s easy to lose track.
Nice Pterry reference! It works becuase Twoflower is the quintessential clueless tourist AND because his home, the Agatean Empire on the Counterweight Continent is patterned after a synthesis of China and Japan.
The rest was pretty spot on but this is an UL.
Remember the Jim Jarmusch movie Mystery Train and the japanese couple featured in that flick.
However, seeing that they survived, after wandering clueless around a battle zone, I have to believe that God really does look after fools and madmen, at least on his home turf!
It would appear the WW II survivor found on a Pacific island has spawned.
I know you’re kidding but… it’s actually pretty interesting. A lot of times when tour guides have to work in places that are sensitive about noise (usually working churches) they use a radio communication system. Everyone on the tour gets a little earpiece, and the tour guide can pretty much whisper into their headset to give the tour. It’s quite amusing when you see the groups moving as a silent pack.
And now I’m wondering what it would be like to have Twoflower try and work out a Sharon/Arafat peace agreement…
“Oh, I’m sure it’s just a minor disagreement. These things are easy to fix once everyone involved just sat down and talked about it.”
SmackFu, I recently saw a Japanese group with the radio gadgets you describe and I was so surprised. I never imagined such a thing. Technology is indeed awesome.
But two kids strolling into a battle zone? I think you have to be pretty stupid to go around the world like that. At least they’ll have some story to tell their grandkids.
An awful lot of tourists crash their cars in New Zealand every year. When you are used to superhighways coming to a country where State Highway No 1 is one lane each way can be a bit of a shock. Also many rural roads can be steep and windy and if you are not used to it’s easy to go off the edge and over what can be a long drop.
The worst offenders are however tourist who are used to driving on the right hand side of the road. Many cars hired to tourist have a large arrow pointing to the left on the windscreen to remind the driver what side of the road they should be drivng on. Head on crashes, especially after dark, are quite common to the point of it being suggested that we change to driving on the right. Except this would cause even more chaos.