If you have a question, don’t give the answer

The scene: bustling street in scenic capital city of XYZ.

The players:

Mr. U.S. Tourist: hulking frame, large hat, billowing corporate logo polo shirt with sleeves drooping over elbows, huge camera bag, khaki shorts with too many pockets, sandals with too many straps.

Mrs. U.S. Tourist: prim, head to toe in Magellan’s finest, vest even though not on safari, capri pants.

XYZ local passerby: slicked hair, crisp shirt, fitted pants, glowing brown shoes.

As it unfolds:

RightMr. U.S. Tourist accosts XYZ local passerby, shoving an English guidebook in his face, alternately pointing authoritatively at the book and the street, “This is the way to the museum, RIGHT?”

XYZ local passerby taken aback, “Uh, yes,” with a feigned smile and walking off.

Mrs. U.S. Tourist rolls her eyes and follows Mr. U.S. Tourist as they head in the wrong direction.

Communication tip: when asking a question, especially where there are language barriers, make it a question that requires the recipient to comprehend and answer.  “Where is the museum?” without gesticulating, requires the recipient to understand ‘where’ and ‘museum,’ and hopefully give an accurate answer or say, “I don’t know.”

Here and there we will peek in on the adventures of Mr. and Mrs. U.S. Tourist as the amble the globe.

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  • Anonymous

    Yeay, first comment… :)Oh, come one. that's such a lame example. :-)If Mrs. US Tourist knows the answer because she did her homework with google prior to the trip of their lifetime, she should speak up. Also, Mr. US Tourist, while in those oh so comfortable cargo shorts, is usually in flash trainers and the XYZ locals are the ones in sandals. And if he's the type to wear the corporate golf shirt, he's not wearing sandals…

  • The Rapid Traveler

    Ok, harsh for the first comment, maybe Mr and Mrs will go back to central casting and come out with a new look.