Travelers' Tales From our October issue: a sticky encounter on a hike in Vietnam, an Obamamobile in Uganda, a language mix-up in France, and more. Budget Travel Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009, 12:00 AM Budget Travel LLC, 2016


Travelers' Tales

From our October issue: a sticky encounter on a hike in Vietnam, an Obamamobile in Uganda, a language mix-up in France, and more.

We'll take a side order of health care with that (Courtesy Ania Kujawska)

Next Prize:

Iceland The best response we receive between Oct. 1, 2009, and Nov. 1, 2009, wins a two-night trip to Iceland for two—with economy flights from an Icelandair gateway, hotel, transfers, and tours—courtesy of Icelandair, Icelandair Hotels, Flybus, Reykjavík Excursions, Ishestar Riding Tours, and Blue Lagoon. For more info: 800/223-5500,

How to enter: E-mail us at or mail us at True Stories, Budget Travel, 530 7th Ave., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10018. Full guidelines:

Trip Winner October's winner is Marilyn Ackerman of Grand Junction, Colo. She won a three-night trip for two to Tulum, Mexico, courtesy of the Blue Tulum Resort & Spa.

Purple is the new brown
My mother wanted to have her hair done during our three-week stay on Caye Caulker, Belize. One of the locals styled hair out of her home, so my mother went to her and asked to have her hair cut and dyed. They decided that my mother might look good with a little bit of a tint in her medium-brown hair. Instead she ended up with bright-purple hair! She had a good laugh about it, and her purple hair was a great conversation starter for the rest of the trip.

Eww. Just eww.
Two friends and I went on a hike in Vietnam. When Neetu noticed a worm on her finger that she couldn't get off, our guide, Nam, pulled it off and told us it was a leech. Then Blakely screamed. She had leeches all over! We made it to our village, where there was an outdoor shower; we stripped to our underwear, and Nam searched us. Then we ran half naked to the house where we were staying. When the family saw us, their mouths dropped at the sight of three half-naked women with blood running down their legs. Karen Basu, New York, N.Y.

This dog had its day
While on St. John, U.S.V.I., my friends invited another friend to join us on a boat trip. She had a dog that we never had met, and she asked if she could bring it. We said that wouldn't be a good idea, but as we pulled the dinghy to shore to pick her up, a dog jumped in. We didn't say anything but thought it was rude that she had disregarded our wishes. We had a great day sailing, and the dog was well behaved. At the end of the day as we were reboarding the dinghy—the dog jumped right in again—my friend asked, "Whose dog is that?" We laughed and said, "We thought it was yours!" The dog then scurried off the dinghy and disappeared. Annie Caswell, Burlington, Vt.

Might want to practice your French
During a recent cruise, our ship docked at Villefranche, and my friend and I decided to take the train into Nice. After several attempts at using the ticket machine with our rusty high school French, we managed to buy tickets. More passengers from the ship arrived at the station and experienced the same frustration with the machine, so we helped them through the process. Once we were on the train, we learned that we had helped about 25 people purchase children's tickets. Oops! Even worse, because we had been helping the others, we were the last to board, and the only seats left faced the bathroom. During the beautiful ride along the coast, all we could see was the bath­room door. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess. Carole Stacy, Okemos, Mich.

Va va voom!
When I was a 30-year-old bachelor, I did a solo road trip in British Columbia in search of adventure, excitement, and romance. By the final night, which I spent at a bar in Vancouver, I had found plenty of the first two but very little of the last. Crowded around the next table was a group of Germans—two middle-aged couples and a tiny lady in her late 70s. I motioned for them to take my extra chair, but instead they sat grandma down across from me. She talked to me in German, and I smiled and nodded. When I was ready to go, I bowed my head graciously toward my table guest. Her companions stood up and each gave me an unexpected hug, until it was grandma's turn. She grabbed me by the shirt, pulled me down close, and gave me a long kiss...not on the cheek. Adventure, excitement—and romance! Craig Ives, Los Angeles, Calif.

We'd cower too, you brute
I was at Disney World with my boyfriend and his parents, and during Extra Magic Hours one evening we decided to go straight for Pirates of the Caribbean. I was determined to be the first in line, and there were a lot of people coming up behind me. As we made our way to the entrance, out of the corner of my eye I saw something pointy coming towards me. I reacted on instinct...little did I know that it was merely one of the cast members dressed as a pirate! I didn't mean to push him so hard that he fell over. After the ride, the poor pirate cowered when he saw me coming. Katy Van Every, Alexandria, Va.

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