Funniest Thing for June

Tell ITN about the funniest thing that ever happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. There are no restrictions on length. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.) The ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

This month’s winner is MARTY PEREZ of Stockton, California:

While coming into Copan, Honduras, on a recent “Route of the Maya” trip with Overseas Adventure Travel, I spotted an interesting old green truck, overgrown with weeds and resting in the yard of a farm home. I thought it would make an interesting picture, so the next day, with some free time to spend, a fellow photographer and I set out to capture that scene on film.

We searched in vain for some time for the elusive old green truck. When we saw some locals standing nearby, I asked in my limited Spanish, “¿Donde es una casa con un muy viego coche verde?” This roughly translates to “Where is a house with a very old green car?”

Everyone we asked would respond with “No lo se” (“I don’t know”). This was always accompanied with rather quizzical looks and sometimes with a vague direction to go out of town somewhere. We searched near and far in the outskirts of town, only to find the elusive green truck a mere block from our hotel.

When we told our guide about our search and our asking for directions to “un muy viego coche verde” and the strange responses we received, he broke into laughter. He explained that in Mexico coche does mean “car,” but in Honduras it means something else. We then understood what must have been going through the minds of the local folks, wondering why those crazy gringos were interested in finding “a very old green pig”!