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Miscellaneous Forum

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 05, 2016
Miners' sauce  (3 Answers)

I realise that pronouncing words in a language other than one's own can be difficult.

Many years ago in Mysore (India), we ordered some cucumber sandwiches, and were served sandwiches with cucumber and a pink sauce. The waiter told us the sandwiches contained what sounded like 'miners' sauce'. At first, I had no idea what he was talking about. Then, I realised that he was trying to say 'mayonnaise'.

Have you come across any mispronounciations of 'common' words (in your language) that have baffled you on your travels?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 28, 2016
These little ear plugs allow you to understand foreign languages in real time  (8 Answers)

These would be amazing and I'd definitely invest in a pair or two for our travels.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 23, 2016
Euro 2016 - Last 16  (141 Answers)

Will Iceland beat England??
Geographically they are roughly the same size... though England does have one or two more players to choose from.
Who else will we see in the quarter finals?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 21, 2016
Playing cards inspired by another post.  (18 Answers)

A previous post triggered a questuon. Back home in Iceland there have been playing cards throughout my lifetime, that depict the main viking characters in our Icelandic Sagas. Some of them are serious axe-wielders, and one of them is a direct ancestor. Back in the day of childhood, all the kids knew who these characters were, and every home had and has a pack of these cards.

So my question is, - does any other country out there produce playing cards that depict their historic characters, in a similar fashion?

Take a look. My ancestor is the Jack or G of spades ( the red haired dude with no helmet. ) That is Grettir, our most famous outlaw in a country settled by viking outlaws. Many stories about his almost superhuman feats are sprinkled through the Sagas.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 21, 2016
Playing cards  (1 Answer)

I saw a deck of playing cards that contained images of the erotic frescoes of Pompeii. I did not buy them at the time but later thought that they would make a great gag gift for a friend but I have not been able to find them anywhere on-line. I figured that they had to be printed somewhere; but where? Any suggestions on how to find them?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 25, 2016
Profiling while travelling  (28 Answers)

Promoted by previous discussion about the newest Canada ETA and the hastle gettong one for USA or CAN.
I bet one time or another while traveling, you needed visa or just plainly been harressed by the preflight visa checkers ( USA flights) or any other airport rat who think is cool to flex its " muscle " and try to tell you he/she is the boss..
So my question is how you deal with that kind of profiling?
Oh recent trip to the States I have been profiled by this horrible woman at Dusseldorf airport, who thought she had the right and power not only to profile me but to try to make my trip misery, just for the hell of it.
And I trow a fit, which resulted of her being suspended. And got formal apology from the Airport.
So what is your story?!
Discuss! :D

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 19, 2016
payment not Possible  (4 Answers)

I have tried twice to pay for reservation done but both times, after having filled in all information, included card number and security number, I have a message saying that the transaction cannot be completed maybe for insufficient sold!!!
I have spoken wiht my Bank and have personnaly checked and this is not the problem.
I presume prices are incresing and Flight finder does not want to sell my tickets booked anymore!!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 10, 2016
The most Westerly point in Europe ?  (77 Answers)

I grew up thinking that Skellig Rock in Kerry was the most western point in Europe and next stop America. Then I discovered that Spain and Portugal had places that they claimed to be the most westerly point in Europe.

But at breakfast yesterday, moving the marmalade westwards towards Greenland, it was glaringly obvious that Iceland has to be the most westerly point in Europe.

But is Iceland in Europe ? It appears that opinions are divided, despite the 'facts' stating that it is. And what about Greenland ? Is it in Europe or North America ?

Back to the drawing board/aka my kitchen tablecloth.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 15, 2015
Annual bonuses  (9 Answers)

If you get a profit sharing bonus from your employer, what whould you spend it on...or would you just put it in the bank and let it grow? Many of you would probably use it to fund some travel (hint, hint)

The more than 3000 US employees of Lincoln Electric (world's largest supplier of welding equipment) last year each recieved a bonus of nearly $34,000. This company has never laid off workers in more than 80 years and has paid out its huge bonuses every year since 1934. This year they will probably share much the same or even more. In some years, the bonus exceeded the workers annual wages/salary by as much as 120%.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 26, 2015
Wax candles in hand luggage?  (9 Answers)

Hi, can I take wax candles(tealights) in my hand luggage? (Heathrow to Sri Lanka). I have a box of 200 and dont want to put them in check in bags as Im trying to save my weight allowance. I really dont want them taken off me going through security.

Many thanks in advance

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 18, 2015
Annoying Photo Obstacles  (20 Answers)

I think we've all been there more than once: You find you've got the perfect photo lined up that highlights the scene just as you want it, but someone decided to put a power pole right in the way.

Or, those pesky power lines themselves creep into the photo.

Or, a big truck goes by just as you snap the photo.

Now, PLEASE don't turn this into a political discussion. This is about obstacles to photos, not what those obstacles happen to have as their purpose.

Last week at this time I visited the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and thought I would try to get a good photo of the city of Port Angeles with the Olympic Mountains in the background. The best viewpoint for this, other than going into Canada, is Ediz Hook, which goes out into the water a bit. Whose idea was to put THAT THING there? (see photo of Port Angeles with Olympic Mountains below).

What sort of annoying or unusual obstacles have cropped up in your photos?

Sure, I got the photo but it certainly wasn't what I was planning to photograph that day. Have any of your photos proven to be nothing like what you were after but unique anyway due to the odd obstacle that happened to be there?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 11, 2015
Have you ever received a 'sailing' permit from the IRS?  (6 Answers)

I am studying international taxation (a great cure for insomnia), and I came across something I've never heard of: a 'sailing' or exit permit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS, the US federal taxing agency).

Apparently, if you live here in the US as a non-citizen and earn money that you have to pay tax on, when you go to return home (permanently), you have to get a 'sailing' or exit permit from the IRS, to show that you are current on all your taxes. As the course materials say:

"Before leaving the U.S., all aliens (resident and nonresident) must obtain a certificate of compliance, commonly referred to as a sailing permit or departure permit. Application is made by filing either Form 2063, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Statement, or Form 1040-C, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return, whichever applies, with the local IRS office between 14 and 30 days before the planned departure date. "

Has anyone ever done this? Have you ever even heard of this?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 25, 2015
Have you heard of the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program?  (9 Answers)

I just discovered this program by accident. It's run by the U.S. State Department and is intended for US citizens. You can register to receive travel warnings and alerts about non-US areas you are interested in, AND you can register your out-of-country trips so that the US embassy or consulate in or near the location you are visiting knows that you are there and in some cases will proactively contact you about local situations.


Has anyone signed up for this? What do you think about it?

Also, for all non-US VTers, do you have similar programs at home for your fellow citizens visiting wild and dangerous places like the US? ;-)


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 22, 2015
Buying March luggage in Holland - help please!  (3 Answers)

In UK I recently purchased a superb spinner case made by March in Netherlands but it is only available at one outlet (TK Maxx in UK) and they have no more!

I need to purchase a matching case and wonder if this make is stocked in any of your large stores in Amsterdam or elsewhere? If so perhaps I can get one shipped to UK

Thanks everyone in Holland


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 05, 2015
No small talk  (11 Answers)

There's a meme on Facebook from that says:

"I hate small talk.
I wanna talk about atoms, death, aliens, sex, magic,
intellect, the meaning of life, faraway galaxies, the lies
you've told, your flaws, your favorite scents, your
childhood, what keeps you up at night, your
insecurity and fears..."

Choose from the list (or add to it) and discuss!

I like the scent of jasmine. I once told a 20-something friend that her new hairstyle looked nice because I didn't know a kind way to say, "It makes you look like an old granny."

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 30, 2015
Can someone suggest an Irish immigration attorney?  (5 Answers)

I am trying to navigate the Irish citizenship hurdles and it appears I need the help of an attorney.
Can someone suggest an Irish immigration attorney?

Thank you,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 09, 2015
Mystery Location  (28 Answers)

Does anyone know what this beautiful place is? This is not a guessing game. I really don't know.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 06, 2015
How to travel from Ireland to UK without passport control?  (15 Answers)

How about my situation: I'm from East Europe, but have permanent residence permit in Latvia, which allows me to visit ANY Schengen country including Ireland (did it a few times, so I know it works). However UK is not part of the Schengen Zone, so I need a separate visa to go there. Because my sister is married to a Welshmen I visited UK quite often. There is no problem to get a UK visa (even for 5 or 10 years), but it literally costs hundreds of British pounds. (Just to compare 1 year multi entry visa to UK is more expensive, than 10 year multi entry visa to the USA). So is there a way for me to travel between Ireland to UK without breaking the law, but also without passport control so I wouldn't have to pay extra hundreds of pounds for another visa? Thank you for all your answers and shared experience. Details (from/to what airport or harbor) are appreciated.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 15, 2015
Funniest thing your GPS has ever told you to do.  (19 Answers)

I have been driving around for two weeks now, often having rude conversations with my GPS. It got me thinking of the funny things the former GPS told me to do.

This was the first time I had ever put in a GPS coordinate (and actually the last because of what happened).

It kept taking me on smaller and smaller roads until I was on a dirt track that looked hardly used at all. Then it said "Park the car and walk overland" - it is funny how you can be laughing and mad at the same time. I finally found my B&B just by driving around.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 06, 2015
Traditional Vietnamese Wedding  (8 Answers)

My wife and I are invited to a wedding of her friend. Both Bride & Groom are Vietnamese and are having a traditional wedding and reception. This is our first Vietnames wedding; we've been to Chinese, Korean and Indian weddings in the past.

Are there any rules to how guests should dress such as a particular color being inappropriate? As for gifts: my wife says money is traditional but I'm just checking to make sure.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 30, 2015
Is it true that Inuit men give visitors their wife/daughter for the night?  (7 Answers)

I heard that Inuits give visitors either their daughter of their wife for the night, and its considered disrespectful to refuse. Is there any truth to this?
If not, how did this rumor get started?

And please, I am being serious here, so let's be mature about it.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 24, 2015
What is the food you can't live without?....  (48 Answers)

I have been asked the same question over the weekend by some friends visiting and it got me thinking...
I originally come from Republic of Macedonia and altho half of my life I have lived abroad and expended on my food palet, I still get into extasy overdrive when I can find Ajvar.
Ajvar is spread/dip made of red roasted pimento papers, which we have them in abundance in Macedonia due to favourable climate.. So everybody eats it, and is staple on any Macedonian table.
So I am very happy when I can find Ajvar on my travels and buy some to take home.. Also I make it at home and I installed the love of this food stuff into my family...
So which food you can't live without and will go to lengths to get it??
Just curious, do share your stories please..

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 20, 2015 foreign currency glitch  (34 Answers)

A quick warning, especially to Americans, that currently has a serious glitch if you book hotels outside the US. You will be quoted in US$, but will be charged in local currency. In our case, we booked a hotel in what we thought (and the web page clearly stated) was a rate in US$ translated from Euro, but were charged in Euro at a 1:1 rate. For some reason, however, I suspect this glitch does not occur when booking in Yen. 

Anyway, I contacted the company, and got a coupon for my next non-refundable booking with them. Not ideal, but better than nothing, I suppose. So if you're using a meta-search engine (e.g., trivago), be aware the quote of may be actually in local currency, even though it says in yours.

Anyone else have similar experiences receiving a quote in the wrong currency?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 07, 2015
There is a mouse in my restaurant.  (43 Answers)

What would you do if you had a mouse running around under your floor in a restaurant?

I have one by my feet right now as I am eating my curry but I am not really bothered to say anything as they will most likely start chasing it with a brrom and maybe kill so there will be blood on the floor.
Thye can deal with it after I am gone.

What do you do when there is a mouse in a restaurant you eat in?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 13, 2014
How do you solve this Statistics problem?  (31 Answers)

Approximate the mean of the grouped data for all ages of the residents of a town?

Age Frequency

0-9 47
10-19 64
20-29 70
30-39 63
40-49 61
50-59 50
60-69 37
70-79 11
80-89 17

The answer is, The approximate mean of the age in 36.0 years.

But I don't know how to get it. I tried 4 different methods, and can't figure it out.
Frequency is how many times the number occurs, which wouldn't a problem if it was for one number, but IDK how many people were aged 1 and how many people were aged 5, ect. That's the part that's confusing me. How is the answer 36? I know how to get mean, but not for this problem. It's laid out really weird.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 07, 2014
Why are English people wearing red apples on their clothes?  (121 Answers)

Past few weeks on BBC News all the reporters have been wearing these red apples, and just now I saw Tony Blaire and some other politician wearing it. What is it?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 21, 2014
travel money  (73 Answers)

What's the best way to carry money nowadays when travelling, is it to carry cash in a concealed pouch, put money on a travel card, use a defined travel credit card or travellers cheques (if they still have them) and where is the best place to change money is it through somewhere like travelex or through one's bank?
Thanks in advance for any advice, as it's been a while since I travelled anywhere and the last time I did I had a wife who insisted she was the one who would be in charge of everything...she took the money and went in 2006 :-(

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 15, 2014
Passport name and E-ticket name (not boarding pass) different  (7 Answers)

Hello all!

A relative of mine booked my air tickets with only my First and Last name but I also have a Korean name attached to my name.

Eg. Passport: Jessie Kim Young Mi
E-ticket: Jessie Kim

I've read a couple of forums and they say that it isn't much of a problem as long as your first name and last name matches, the guy at the counter will print out your boarding pass. But I'm still pretty worried.


Btw, I hold a Singapore passport.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 07, 2014
new security measure - phones, laptops etc that can't be turned on will not get on flights to the US  (29 Answers)

have a look here

What are everyones thoughts????

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 23, 2014
Warning to Bank of America Customers  (11 Answers)

Those of you out there who use the Global ATM Alliance, beware. While the $5 ATM fee is waived when you use a partner bank's (e.g., Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Scotiabank) ATM, Bank of America is now charging a 3% "Foreign Transaction Fee" on your withdrawal, which dwarfs any savings you get from the fee waiver. Travelers might want to consider using another bank for overseas ATM withdrawals.

Too bad that B of A decided to ruin a nice travel service with this odious fee. Is anyone else aware of other banks with new "policies" designed to profiteer off overseas travel?

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