Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In which Edna magically becomes a travel agent.

Another riveting edition of College Misery Theater
The present. A classroom, after the course session has ended. Students gather belongings and file out the door as Globetrotter Gus sidles up to the front desk. 

Gus: I have a question for you. Will you be in your office tomorrow?

Edna: I'm here now. What's the problem?

Gus: I want to ask you some questions about traveling in [your home country]. I'm planning a trip there during semester break.

Edna: [Dubious.] Where, exactly?

Gus: Eight different cities. I don't remember which ones.

Edna: [Even more dubious.] ...OK. Sounds like fun, but what do you need from me?

Gus: You know, travel information. Hotels, how to get from city to city, what to do. I've never been there before, so I wanted to ask you some questions.

Edna: [Incredulous.] Unless you're along the major train lines, you will probably need to travel by plane. [X and Y] are cheap domestic airlines you can look into.  

Gus: OK, but what should I do? How do I do this?

Edna: Like you would here. Buy a ticket online. Get to the airport somehow and fly to another airport. Find hotels from travel sites. 

Gus: But what kind of stuff is there to do?

Edna: Anything I could tell you, you can also get from a guidebook. Unless you're visiting [Flyover Hometown], there's not much I can offer in terms of advice. Consider finding a real travel agent. [Mumbles good day and shuffles off.]

Gus: [Blinks quizzically and packs things to leave.] 



  1. I hate umbrella questions: "I don't get this!"

    Me: "Was there a specific problem you were working on?"

    *Snowflake storms off in hissy-fit and then later coments about "unhelpfullness" on evaluation.

  2. I have found that many of my foreign students do not fully comprehend just how large the Western English-speaking hemisphere is compared to Eastern hemisphere countries. Mine also, at first, tend to not fully grasp how poor intercity and intracity mass transit is when compared to other countries.

    Speaking as an American, if Gus wants to meet up with other travelers, then there are hostels in the major cities, although not many Americans will be there.

    Who knows Edna? Perhaps if the academic gig doesn't work out, you have found your next calling!

    1. I never know how to broach this possibility until they make it obvious that their sense of scale is off. Saying "it's a long way across the continent" seems pretty condescending. So I hate to do it unless they really are planning to do it on a bicycle. (In 9 days. 'To have time to see the sights'.)

    2. Hir plan to visit 8 cities in what would be an official break of roughly two weeks sounded completely bonkers to me. I still can't figure out what this kid wanted from me besides an hour or more of my precious Internet time in the office.

      Maybelle, your hostel suggestion is a good one, but this kid has money. I suspect there's no way that's the route he's thinking.

  3. What do they think the internet is for? Seriously? What?

  4. This just shows that they do not want to think in any aspect of their life, even the parts that are supposed to be fun adventures. Life should just "happen" to them or they should try to get someone else to do the thinking.

  5. PS: I "stole" your title b/c I liked it so much (well, the "in which" part, at least...)