No matter how much I travel, usually my first impression is formed by the lifetime of social conditioning I gained growing up in the US. This particularly applies to language. Words and phrases are used in different ways, and mean different things in different cultures. These differences vary from innocent and slightly funny, to obscene and absolutely hilarious. For example, a bum in America is a hobo or tramp, in Britain it’s your backside.
Signs are a great source for these cross-cultural funnies, and we have spotted a few on this trip.
I don’t know what this sign actually says, but after my time in Santorini, Greece, “No Parking” signs for donkeys has taken on a whole new meaning.
This street is in the Trastevere area of Rome. After reading a number of Patricia Cornwell novels, I’m surprised that her main character, Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, didn’t find a dead body on this street.
The next one is for you intellectuals. Some wise-acre graffiti artist in Florence, Italy created this one. With some help from Wikipedia, I discovered that Erasmus was a 16th Century Dutch scholar, priest, and humanist. What was not revealed in my research was that he was also an anarchist in cahoots with the tourists to take over Italy. Who knew?
Given this product’s name, and how it looks, I feel no explanation is necessary.
One of the things that I love about Europe is the wonderful bread that’s available. Whether in a charming patisserie, or just the corner market, you squeeze and sniff the unpackaged bread, and connect with it. This loaf was in a supermarket, and given the packaging and name, I wasn’t sure if they were trying to sell it or not.
This graffiti was on a wall in Ljubljana. The only time I ever heard this phrase was on a hilarious Saturday Night Live skit with Christopher Walken. Check out the video, and you will understand why it’s my absolute fave. What it was doing on a Slovenian wall, I have no idea.