Getting a haircut in Bangkok may be cheap, but you really do get what you pay for. I figured I should get some hair chopped off before I head home — it's a bargain here, plus I never get round to it when I'm in Sydney. I asked the lady: "number one on the sides, and nice and short on top — but don't shave the top." And what does she do? She says: "OK, no ploblem" — and then proceeds to brandish her shaver, and... vrooomp! There goes my hair. All but completely shaved off. "You say number one on side and short on top", she explained (this was just before I strangled her to death with a hair-dryer cord, you understand). "So I do number two on top." Arrgghhh! Hence, when you see me back in Sydney and I look like a gawdaym US Marine, you'll appreciate why and how this came to be. Next time, I think I'll get my hair cut by someone who speaks just a little more English.
Anyone who's ever visited Bangkok will recognise this ever-present, oh-so-classic sentence. It's the call of the city's extremely numerous tuk-tuk drivers, who endeavour to solicit a few baht from whoever wanders their way, and who seem to have a deep-rooted belief that it is nobody's God-given right to actually walk anywhere — everyone should be getting a lift, and they should be the ones providing said lifts. Tuk-tuks also seem to genuinely believe that they know better than you "where you go": as far as they're concerned, any and every male farang, at any time of the day, has a desperate desire to be driven to see "pretty ladies" and to get "nice massage"; and as such, it is to such venues that they will endlessly offer you a ride. In Khao San Road, the tuk-tuks are at their thickest, and a swarm of flies does a worse job of buzzing and hovering — after the first few offers, they become little more than an annoying buzz in your ears.
It's always nice to find a tour agency in a non-English-speaking country, that advertises having services available in English. But when the advertisement for this service is written in dubiously-grammatised English, it does make you just a little apprehensive of the quality of said service. Here's a photo of the sign for a tour agency here in Potosí — the sign reads: "the guide speak English". Is that so? Well, if he does, then I hope it's better than yours! :P
The people of Peru are famous for many things, but a strong command of the English language is not one of them. While visiting the ruins of Ollantaytambo this afternoon, I discovered that Japan is not the only country where you can find Engrish: the badly-spelled-badly-meant movement is alive and strong here in Peru as well. Check out these hilarious little additions to the world's ever-growing Engrish collection.