Lost in Translation: Looking Forward to Cruising to Fluffy Chicken

Hong Kong sign Beware of bears with sharp elbows?--Photo by Wallace Immen

Ever been to Fluffy Chicken? How about Whiz-Fiber Module?

In my world travels, I’ve become used to running across signs in shops like Welcome Turist: We Spik Inglish. I’ve seen menus that promise “a gastronomic ordeal.

I get it that there are cultural differences when they ask for your name and “all known aliases” on an arrivals  form.

But I’d never seen anything like the bizarre choices on the official online form I needed to fill out for a visa to cruise to an Asian country that shall remain nameless.

It was instantly clear that the translation program the embassy installed had somehow eaten the codes for geography.

After filling out my name, most of the answers to other questions were on pull- down menus. And the only available choices were not only baffling, they were hilarious.

For date of birth– I had a choice: male, straight, first or second and right or left.

Occupation was by default other and religion was preset at religious sect.


Screen shot of visa application

A screen shot of the baffling visa application–Photo by Wallace Immen

The real fun came in  trying to pick nationalities from seemingly randomly generated lists of nations that had little relationship to places you’d find on a map..

To answer the question of citizenship, I assumed my correct pick from the list was Cana-da. But if I’d been an American I’d be hard pressed to figure out what to pick from the ludicrous pop-down list. The closest option seemed to be Armenian-evil-a,  although someone from Nevada might be tempted to pick Vegas neon-eu-e-la.

For a Russian, a possible, but dubious choice was Soviet-Lot-brute. But Rubble-billiard somehow seemed closer.

Few of the choices were straight forward, although Essence Costa Rica, Kiss Honduras, Maze Mexico, Model Monaco, Mon-numbing Montenegro and Who-Iceland were at least possible to guess. Some were potentially dual citizenships choices, like Slovenian Kenya or Antipas Goa and Uncle Barbuda.

My favorites were Fluffy Chicken and  Whiz-Fiber Module. They’re oh-so intriguingly exotic. Where might they be?

There were other places I’d also love to be able to check out, such as By your Side or Virtue. Baha-cool sounds like a wonderfully laid-back place as well. And by all means Buc-ki-na-Bucket Crowd would be on my bucket list

Some places to hail from sounded a bit more sinister, though. They included Islands-Sodom-Lot-butt, and U-dirty-calf-ki. And Mai-microphone would probably be a place to keep your thoughts to yourself.

Sign in Asian airport

Bathroom humor or just a garbled translation?

Somehow, I did seem to make choices that satisfied the embassy and I received my visa in time for my cruise.

The experience had me thinking about expanding my personal my bucket list. Sometime soon I hope to be sailing off to Fluffy Chicken, if only I could figure out where it is.

Sign in Hong Kong

Once they’ve landed on you, there’s no problem–Photo by Wallace Immen

About Wallace Immen

Wallace Immen is Executive Editor of The Cruisington Times, the Best in Cruising, Travel, Food and Fun. He's sailed on all of the world's seas to ports in over 100 countries and travelled on every continent. Contact: Website | Twitter | More Posts

2 Comments on Lost in Translation: Looking Forward to Cruising to Fluffy Chicken

  1. Linda Wright // July 29, 2017 at 1:37 pm // Reply

    That’s hilarious. Thank you for that giggle. Good luck with your new bucket list additions-I shall look forward to hearing about them.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.