Crazy English menus...WTF – oops...Visit Britain (& PEI & Florida)...Deal of Day
I really don't mean to make fun of people’s English. Lord knows I don’t speak French worth a damn. Or Chinese at all. So I'm sorry about this. But I still have to laugh when I read funny English translations on menus in foreign countries.
In Beijing last year I found a place advertising “Special tufei hog foot,” which I hadn’t tried in years. Another was “Tasted Chicken Wings.” I never figured out who had tasted them, but I sure as heck didn’t.
When I was in Athens for the 2004 Olympics, a lovely taverna I used to go to offered braised lamp. It wasn’t bad if you remembered not to chew the wires.
Anyway, I get versions of bad translations on the Internet now and then from friends or family. The Daily Telegraph in the UK (www.telegraph.co.uk) had a great collection the other day. Here are some of my favourites:
- chicken of your mother
- braised fresh Dave (Letterman, I presume)
- chops of sucking lamb to the iron
- beef barely soup (hey, I had that in the Star cafeteria last week)
- the palace explodes the diced chicken
- big breasts (you oughta see the lineups)
- cool pee with strawberry milk
- minority park surprise (Michael Ignatieff's a big fan)
- grilled paving stone
- from the grandfather immature meat and a roasted sausage and a fish and rich variety the our work.
OMG - A WISCONSIN MIXUP
Hadn’t noticed this in the papers in Canada, but it seems the Wisconsin Tourism Federation had to change their name when someone – gee, really? – pointed out to to them that the acronym WTF had a certain meaning in this Internet/instant messaging era. Amazing nobody thought of it a couple years ago, but Wisconsin folks are amazingly polite and well-mannered and a bit naive, I think, and it probably never occurred to them. Still, they recently swapped the name to be the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND ON SALE
Tourism PEI is offering an additional 20 per cent off already reduced off-season rates for hotels, cottages, B&B's and inns for stays until Oct. 15. Go to www.tourismpei.com for more information.
Visit Britain Chairman Christopher Rodrigues dropped by the Star last week to fill me in on what's happening. Food, of course, was a topic of discussion, as everyone seems to be raving about the improvements in British cuisine in the last decade or so.
"I was recently at a dinner at our embassy in Paris with a French travel writer," he said. "When it was over, he said, 'You’ll never find food this good in Paris.'"
I hadn't thought of it, but Rodrigues said the rise of gastro pubs in Britain is in part due to drinking and driving laws and smoking bans.
“People can’t smoke and drink all night in a pub, they had to find something” to bring in customers, he said, and it sounds plausible.
Rodrigues said he's continuing to stress the values in Britain these days.
“Because of the recession, you can book a four or five-star hotel and get five nights for the price of four or four for the price of three; things like that.”
With the pound still hovering down around 1.70 to the Canadian dollar, there are remarkable days. I went to London last November and found a decent hotel near
Hyde Park for $70, which is astonishing. Throw in free museums and do your fancy dining at lunch and London is suddenly quite reasonable.
"It's been 25 years since we had this kind of price point," Rodrigues said.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT…FLORIDA
Had a coffee later on Friday with St. Petersburg/Clearwater’s Mary Haban. Folks in one of our favourite corners of the world are outing a new Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach and Spa, due to open mid-December. The new Salvador Dali museum in St. Pete's is slated to open in 2011and will dwarf the current model.
AND DON'T FORGET HAITI
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was in Haiti last week urging Americans _ and I’m assuming he’d be happy to have Canadians go – to visit the country and give the fledgling tourism industry a boost.
He took a VIP trip to a mountain palace and a nearby beach where they’re building a cruise ship pier, AP reported. Not quite hanging with the people, but his intentions are good. I did a magazine review a while back and talked about a writer who spoke glowingly of Haiti.
JIM'S DEAL OF THE DAY
A stay at a Four Seasons is reward enough – but the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is throwing in a $100 (
CHATEAU FRONTENAC BECKONS
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is celebrating its $116th birthday with a special anniversary offer of $116 per night. The deal is valid for stays between October 25 to December 17. Go to www.fairmont.com/frontenac or call 1-877-692-3861.
The deal is based on double occupancy and covers the Fairmont room category. Rooms are based on availability and must be booked seven days in advance. Full deposits are required and the offer isn't valid in conjunction with any other discounts or for groups.