From our March issue: Readers share anecdotes about a language mix-up in Italy, being mistaken for Santa in the Dominican Republic, amusing encounters with a sheep, a monkey, and kangaroos, and more.
Turkey The best response we receive between March 1, 2009, and March 25, 2009, wins a private, escorted seven-night Highlights of Turkey tour, courtesy of Foreign Independent Tours, valid August 1, 2009, to May 31, 2010. Includes airfare, hotels, transportation within Turkey, tours, some meals, and an English-speaking guide. For more info: 800/248-3487 ext. 300, fittours.com.
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Trip Winner March's winner is Lisa Schaefer of Woodland Park, Colo. Her prize is a six-night trip to the Azores, courtesy of Azores Express. My family spent the day after Christmas at a beach in the Dominican Republic. A local family arrived, and on seeing my husband, their little boy became very excited. He walked over and shouted nervously, "Santa Claus!" When my husband let out a "Ho, ho, ho!" the little boy squealed with delight and jumped on his lap. His family called to the boy, "¡Santa Claus está de vacaciones!" It was a Christmas miracle disguised as a sunburned, overweight tourist.
No charge for the "luck"
In Cuzco, Peru, one often encounters Andean women, dressed in brightly colored traditional garb and holding a pet alpaca, llama, or sheep, who will pose for photos with tourists. One day my friends and I were stopped by two such locals who offered to take a picture with us in exchange for a couple of coins. I sat between the women, and one handed me the baby sheep she was carrying. Just as my friend was about to snap the picture, the animal peed all over my leg and arm! I handed the sheep back to its owner, and everyone laughed at my good luck. Jaime Fleres, Walnut Creek, Calif.
At large: A Singaporean clown in American shoes
My husband always made fun of my belief in the karma god until our six-hour bus ride through Malaysia. Before boarding, he exchanged a $20 traveler's check. He got on the bus looking smug and told me the bank cashier had mistakenly given him $100 instead of $20. I let him know I disagreed with his keeping the money. Once the trip started, we took off our shoes for comfort. In the middle of nowhere, the passenger behind us rang the bell and got off, which was odd as it was a nonstop bus. Later, when we were preparing to leave, we realized that my husband's shoes were gone—the man behind us had stolen them! It took my husband three days to find a pair of size 14 shoes in Singapore, and they cost him $80! He's now a firm believer in karma. Megan Buell, Auburn, Calif.
Wait—you stayed there?!
On a trip to Rhodes, Greece, my husband and I wanted to visit beaches away from the crowds. After driving miles on dirt roads, we found our perfect spot: a cove with golden sand and not a person in sight! We decided to have a "no tan lines" day. But as we were relaxing au naturel, we thought we heard thunder coming from the clear blue sky. Then we heard machine-gun fire. Consulting our guidebook, we realized we were in a military training area—an army unit was on maneuvers just over the rise. No wonder the place was deserted! But no one from the army bothered us, and we enjoyed a beautiful, if somewhat noisy, day at the beach. Tina and Jeff Welter, Taos, N.M.
This chick's got it good
While on vacation in Bali, we hiked to the Lempuyang temple. Along the way, we came across a monkey tied to a tree. It was holding a chick. At first glance, it looked like the chick was going to be dinner; however, we soon realized it was the content adoptee of a motherly monkey. Bill and Jennifer Gardner, Vancouver, Wash.
Hope they understand "fore"
I visited my boyfriend in Australia, and we drove the Great Ocean Road. I wanted to see kangaroos, koalas, and beautiful scenery. The route delivered all I had hoped—except kangaroos. After two days of searching, we were convinced we'd never find them in the wild. Just before our final destination, we stopped to get drinks at a golf course. And there on the greens were... hundreds of kangaroos! They didn't seem bothered much by us or the golfers playing around them. We had spent days looking through bushes and going to national parks, but all we had to do was have a soda by the ninth hole. Chandra Murphy, Waltham, Mass.
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