Embarrassing travel tales

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Danielle Lesterwas hounded after being mistaken for Alicia Keys in London.Zareef Minty revealed more than he wanted to, getting familiar with Arab attire.Zamani Ngidi had a flight delayed after being sick in Thailand.
 Dad delays plane for sick son 

Zamani Ngidi was just a teenager when he had a bad experience overseas. He and his family were on holiday in Thailand when he got food poisoning just two days into his trip. Ngidi, now 25, was so excited at the prospect of being in an exotic location with the people he loved that he decided to make the trip one of his best. That was until he kissed a monkey and got food poisoning from eating a coconut. But that was not the worst part. Ngidi delayed a flight to Bangkok after he fell sick on the way to the airport. His family made several pit stops on the way to Phuket International Airport to accommodate their sick son. “It was the worst feeling, especially since there is so much to explore in Thailand. My dad had connections with the flight, so we were able to stall on the way to their airport. Luckily, people were understanding enough,” said Ngidi. 

Pilot embarrasses women

 A woman loves to be told she is beautiful, but on a flight to France Paballo Nkwe found that the pilot was just a bit too honest. “We were 20 minutes away from our destination when the pilot started speaking through the intercom. What he said startled me. “He said: ‘I see some of you ladies haven’t applied any make-up yet, so I’ll dim the lights for the next 15 minutes. Enjoy.” “It was a little rude but extremely funny at the same time. I think many of us were a bit embarrassed after that statement,” she said. 

Mistaken Keys 

Danielle Lester was in London three years ago when she was mistaken for singer Alicia Keys by three Chinese tourists. “While I was walking to a taxi with my Harrods sunglasses on, a group of three Chinese guys followed me, taking pictures and screaming in Chinese. “I got scared, hailed a cab and was driven to my hotel. Little did I know the men followed me to my hotel. When I got there, they started snapping away with their cameras. “I asked why they were taking pictures of me. They kept on screaming: “eys! Keys! Alicia!” They mistook me for Alicia Keys. “I just smiled, took a few pictures with them and signed a few autographs as Alicia Keys. I’m sure they had a good story to tell their loved ones back home,” she said. 

Undie malfunction 

Zareef Minty travels to Dubai often, but his last trip was one he will always remember. Minty, who likes to explore culture, decided to wear a kandura, typical of the United Arab Emirates. He went to the City Walk to show off, only to have his pride in his new attire punctured by laughs and giggles. “I couldn’t understand why until I looked down to see my little garment malfunction. I thought that I didn’t need to wear pants since the type of material would cover my legs. “Little did I know that out in the sunlight it was so thin the material showed my legs and underwear. It was embarrassing. I went back to the hotel and put shorts on underneath.” 

Language catch 

Travel writer Myrtle Ryan was pulled aside by customs officers in Madagascar who thought she was trying to smuggle currency. An airline pilot stood nearby, grinning. “Not only did I have to convince them this was not so, but I had to do it in my terrible French. I was later released. “Weeks later, we were flying out of the Comores and my mother and I found the tiny airport on one of the outer islands deserted. When we strolled out on to the runway, a plane rolled up, the pilot leaned out and called: “Are you the Ryans?” “It seemed they’d changed the departure time to an hour earlier and the locals knew, but not us. “Steps were wheeled up and we rushed into the plane, amid applause from all on board. “The captain came back to chat and I realised it was the same pilot who had observed the incident in Madagascar. ‘But you speak English. Why didn’t you help me?’ I asked angrily.” “He laughed and said in perfect English: ‘It was such fun listening to you, watching you become increasingly frustrated. “Maybe that will teach you to learn proper French.” 

Wheelchair prop 

Diana Lewis* has a friend who is afraid to fly for fear she gets her connecting flights wrong. To overcome this, she gets pushed on board by wheelchair “She worries she will get her connecting flights wrong, be confused by all the announcements and land up in Timbuktu. So she insists on wheelchair transport, even though she is not old. “This means a hostess wheels her from plane to plane. She is not the only one who uses the service. Many people have told me it’s the way to go.” * Diana Lewis is a pseudonym. 
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