True Stories: Rated R
Readers' anecdotes prove once again that travel is stranger, funnier, and sometimes bawdier than fiction.
Warning: Some of these photos were too outrageous for the magazine. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Way beyond "behind the scenes"
I went on a cycling tour to Italy with several four couples and another solo traveler. A couple from Denver shared my sense of humor. We chuckled together about, among other things, my tendency to be overly organized, even to the point of taking pictures of my bathrooms! I do like to take photos during trips to remind myself of the places I've stayed. I couldn't wait to get home so I could share my photos with the tour group and my friends. The Denver couple noticed that one bathroom picture had added features in the mirror! Once again, they laughed so hard they cried! Christine Gabrielle, Standish, Maine
Hurts just looking at it
My husband and I spent the final day of our honeymoon in Bonaire at Washington Slagbaai National Park. Before heading out on the trail, we made a quick stop at the visitors center to use the restrooms. As we approached the two doorways, I failed to see anything that would distinguish the men's room from the women's—at least until I got close enough to look at the men's room sign in all its glory. Diane Knoepke, Oak Park, Ill.
Thanks for the clarification
In the Grenadines, my wife and I had a water taxi drop us off at a deserted island. We were enjoying our solitude when we saw a fisherman waving to us from his boat while holding a huge lobster. Seconds later he waded toward us, keeping the lobster out of the water. When he came ashore we realized that he had no clothes on. He tried to sell us the lobster—and even offered to cook it on the beach—but we graciously declined as we would've been too distracted by the scenery. Fortunately, he let my wife take a picture. (I'm the one in the hat.) Trent Jones, Safety Harbor, Fla.
Pray he doesn't work hard
My friend Stephen and I ran into a fellow on a Key West sidewalk holding a sign that said will work for pants. He said that for a few bucks we could take a photo with him. To add a little flavor to our photo, we dropped our pants. As we pulled up our pants, and the second photo was being shot, the photographer gasped. We got a whole lot more than we bargained for. Charlie Baxley, Fairhope, Ala.
Or he'd been a very naughty boy
My sister and I drove around Croatia to celebrate her 30th birthday. We ate cuttlefish risotto, drank delicious wine, and enjoyed the coast's beauty. Our greatest adventure, however, happened on the island of Hvar. While my sister concentrated on driving, I looked ahead and saw two plump, pink buttocks—and a turquoise thong. It was too good to be true. He had obviously forgotten to rub sunblock on his bum. Julie Liu, Chicago, Ill.
Warning: Lift that little black sticker at your own risk!
I was traveling around the Thai islands with my girlfriend when, on the island of Ko Samui, she begged me to go on an elephant-riding tour. I agreed, and one of the side trips included a visit to a monkey farm. My girlfriend is absolutely bananas about monkeys and was ecstatic when she learned that we could take pictures with one on our shoulders. After I took a few pictures of the unenthusiastic monkey on my girlfriend, it was my turn. She and our guide burst into laughter: The monkey was pleasuring himself inches from my head! Jesse Golland, Isle of Palms, S.C.
Dude totally needs a helmet
I had to go San Francisco for business, so I decided to fly in a few days early to see the sights. As I was leaving my hotel, I noticed a crowd of people gathering for a parade, so I stayed to watch—and saw way more than I'd bargained for! Danette Oien, Shoreview, Minn.
You know the old saying: red thighs at night, sailor's delight
My husband and I were enjoying an elegant alfresco dinner in Nassau, Bahamas, when I asked one of the other patrons to snap a photo of us with the sunset in the background. The picture came out fantastic, although on closer inspection I noticed that my bright red underwear was peeking through! I suppose I would've been better off wearing undies that matched my dress.... Caroline Tetschner, Mundelein, Ill.
With about 80 elephants grazing just in front of him, my husband had plenty to smile about while exploring the Pinnewala elephant orphanage near Kegalle, Sri Lanka. He had no clue, however, what was going on just over his shoulder. Frances Durrant, Keaau, Hawaii
On my trip to Katmandu, Nepal, I observed a religious celebration outside the Pashupati Temple. This picture wasn't supposed to be taken but somehow I managed to get the shot. The man is lifting a sizeable sack of rocks, chained to his penis, approximately five inches above the ground—truly an amazing feat. Govina Acharya, Aberdeen, N.J.