Signs of Life

A collection of some of the more interesting signs… some spanglish, some are inglespanol… some are just silly. Most of the jokes are lewd and tasteless, so if you’re used to the normal content of, then it shouldn’t be a problem

I have a silly sense of humour… our journey begins in Mexico city. Right on the Zocolo, there is a “Joyeria” named Liliana! Hahahaha! (Joyeria is actually Mexican for Jeweller)

The big bread company here is called “bimbo”, they sponsor lots of sporting teams, have huge trucks delivering their bread… always good for a giggle.

Olle Berggren’s Spanish dictionary. Over the whole 4 weeks of my Spanish course, this joke never stopped being funny. Olle had some fun of his own – he would frequently ask me to read some Swedish. Apparently, to Scandanavians, listening to foreigners try to read their language also never stops being funnny.

That’s a bit raunchy to have on the tables in the cafeteria in the Spanish school…

hehehe… this needs little explanation. Its actually a hardware store… but I like to think that one comes here to pick out a good ferret.

…the orange juice that gives you your b-b-b-boing!

This one was spotted by Nick in Oaxaca…

I never quite understood where the name came from. Long tubular and full of sea men I suppose…

Prior to his revolutionary antics, Che had a little-known dip into the vices of capitalism in the form of a Supermarket…


The painkillers that the doctor gave me for my dry cough in Mexico. The only instance during the whole trip that I actually got properly sick.

This one was above the door of a bus to Chichen Itza. I think a better translation would be “have you left something?”

This was just a little silly… I was very tempted to “ask and be pleased” but there were too many people around

This was in Cancun, near the bus station. Not sure whether this was deliberate or just very bad spanglish

“To the victims of the Maine who were sacrificed by voracious imperialism in its desire to gain control of the island of Cuba” a fine example of *modified* monuments in Cuba

The Museo de la Revolucion… it reminded me of reading the CPSU-version of history when I was studying the Russian revolution.

Me and Nick avoided the “Pain Omelet”

A sign giving information on the water coming out of the spring. Interestingly… there doesn’t seem to be any water… what a curious oversight

This was quite funny… no explanation required

…and during the bay of pigs assault, comandante Fidel Castro immediately moved to central australia to command his forces – wuss.

A leftover sign from when Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez was an internationally acclaimed fast-bowler

An interesting name for a supermarket… reminds me of the radio station, Coma FM, as parodied be Triple J in Australia

Ah… the US was a brilliant place for interesting signs. This made me wonder about all those non-drug-free school zones

…so THAT’S where babies come from!

What the…?

Someone at UC berkeley modified the “Geological Engineering Laboratory” to this… much more apt

The clothing store at Berkeley… I decided to pass on buying anything here because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

I could relate to this… I’m sure many of you can too.

wha…? Naturally, I just HAD to have a look

Sure enough… lots of interesting shirts… some subtle, some others… not so subtle

more maths jokes from UC Berkeley

This would be a lot less funny if we didn’t hear the Men At Work song “Down Under” almost everywhere that we went

Yes, it is true, the US is a nation of pun-sters.

Nick spotted this on the map of Stanford Campus, so I decided I would take a look at what this was. Just some residential halls…

The actual Harvard motto is “Veritas” which means “truth” in latin. Tha Harvard cycling team’s jersey modified it slightly. I guess they wanted to be in line with “pro” cycling teams in that nobody seems to know the truth when it comes to doping…

A sign near Massachussets Avenue, between Harvard and MIT…

The MIT bookshop

At a restaurant near MIT where Peter, Nick and I ate dinner… I had some… excited Chicken…

In a pub near MIT…

This was one that I took when I was all optimistic about the possibility of getting into Harvard. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I hear Columbia isn’t a bad institution though… and that Jeffrey Sachs fellow, no slouch either.

Really? well… what if I don’t want to die?

A sign that you don’t see every day at a museum. If I didn’t tell you that this was in a museum… well… we’ll just leave that one in your imaginations

An intersting jacket in the adidas store, near Harvard. I was very tempted to buy it… except that my name isn’t James Hunt.

I couldn’t believe it… I’d have to see it to believe it… alas, not enough time in New York.

A sign at a sports store in Princeton… made me think of my friend Andrew Kwok… or “Cool Kwok” abbreviated to CK… as we like to call him… he’s so hot right now…

Organic? Nitrogen tetroxide? wha…?

Self-storage is hugely popular in the US.

As is litigation. FYI… did you know that Australia is the world’s second most litigious society?

A mock protest by actors wearing costumes from the time of the tudors… it was actually a publicity stunt for the series “Tudors”

I’m a bit surprised these guys didn’t get sued…

I was wondering where to drop off my fed ex documents… then it hit me… almost.

In Quito Ecuador… my club… well… if I was a pimp.

What to do on the 20 hour bus ride from Lima to Cusco? Play bingo of course!

A sign at the desk of the south american explorer’s office in Cusco, where Nick obtained details for his volunteering

Fly tickets?

A sign to warn children of… well… use your imagination

Good thing for this sign… otherwise Nick and I wouldn’t have got ANY sleep

Lots of things to giggle about on this sign, take your pick…

I just can’t get a grip on these weird signs…

Ah ha! So all that necessary noise that I was making is ok then?

Nick’s hostel in Lima had this gem… take note, this could save your life.

Nick took this wonderful photo in Cusco… (Arco Iris is Spanish for Rainbow)

The tea brand around here is… interesting

It certainly puts your mind at ease that there are escape routes all along the railway line…

hahaha! …its the story of my life…

…and what a well-timed moment for Jose to wear this shirt… I must remember this.

The tea (which made up most of our breakfast on the 4th day of our hike).

Ahhh… continue… good thing for that sign. I was about to stop 100m short of Machu Picchu. That would’ve made me feel like an idiot.

…and I thought I’d given up mathematics for good!

Great cave? Well… if its that great, I’d better go…

I screeched to a halt in front of this eatery…

Nevermind the creepiness of me taking photos in the toilets… but I laughed out loud when I saw this above the urinal. Lucky there wasn’t anyone else around… if anyone turned around, things could have gotten quite awkward (and messy)

riiiight… I guess, at 4000m above sea level, one must take precautions

I’m hungry, how about some salted frish?

You’ll never guess who drew the kangaroo…

just in case this was your first time in a public toilet…

First of all… “road” is a rather loose definition of what we were driving on. Secondly… I was dissapointed when a booming voice didn’t chime in with “TIME EXTENSION” when we passed under the gate. Thirdly… the gate says “Aduana Nacional de Bolivia” which means Bolivian Customs… yeah, maximum border security… keeping the world safe for democracy

The drink that I got served on my 50-hour bus odyssey from Potosi, Bolivia to Asuncion, Paraguay

hehehe… giggle… smirk

Now… I’m sure this has a different meaning in Spanish than English… although I was staying suspiciously close to the red-light district in Asuncion.

A sign for hurdlers? or perhaps John Landy?

They spelt socceroos rong.

I thought this was some kind of fancy thermometer… then I had a closer look. It is actually a really quirky clock, in one of the nicest shopping malls in all of Sao Paulo

Portuguese isn’t all that different to Spanish… but the translation helps – Free Hugs!

Ok… I get the sex shop bit… but why “burning”?

This was a slightly unusual ad… I’m not sure if I’d want my hair to do that.

Forget Riemann integrals, forget Lebesgue integrals… this is the integral of the future – Lavanderia Integral! (this is a very groan-worthy maths joke… don’t worry if you don’t get it)

There are comfortable buses… then there are COMFORTABLE buses… with full-service

Odd sized? Does that refer to the sum or the product of the dimensions of your luggage?

Someone should have probably told these people that, to someone for whom English is a first language… this probably isn’t the best promotion one could ask for.

Well then… I’d better not drink it if it’s Bob’s

…and there are definitely no male toilets in THIS jet engine

oohhh… goody! Manga!

A happy little artisan shop in Montevideo, Uruguay

The quality of Argentine translations had been doing so well up to this point (this is the port at Buenos Aires… where I first set foot in Argentina… well, apart from Iguazu Falls)

There was a very international flavour to my fruit salad…

I KNEW it! I just knew that the nights went for longer in Buenos Aires

Oh my… maybe I’ll just have to hold it in.

Everywhere you go, if you mention that you are from Australia, many people respond with “muchos kanguros!”. Are there actually any outback steak houses in Australia?

an interesting sign to be found at the port in Costa Verde, near Rio

The captain of this boat is a restraining order waiting to happen

Antarctica eh? It wasn’t THAT cold… what were they thinking?

I’d never had the urge to purchase a winged insect before…

Spare batteries in the lighthouse at Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay…

An airport shuttle bus parked outside the French Embassy in Buenos Aires… I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have a chuckle at this one.

They spelt subtle wrong…

Is this why Argentina smells so nice?

The tourist maps always had these big red dots on them, but whenever I looked around, I could never find the red dots. The guy who steals them all must bring them here… to Ushuaia, appropriately at the end of the world…

This is an interesting use of the Perito Moreno Glacier for advertising… I wonder what Francisco Moreno would’ve thought about all this?

Crab in its own juice? That’s almost as wrong as “excited chicken”

There still seems to be some bitterness in Argentina over this whole Falkland Island thing

…what I’ve always wanted..

Down here, the box drinks are named after Italian strikers who make significant blunders at world cups…

If you need me to explain this to you… then you’ve probably missed most of the humour on this whole website.

…well, there goes the idea of shooting “The Weakest Link” on location on Lago Argentina

At first, I thought this said “Don’t Trolling”… oh well… I guess its still a little bit funny.

This one’s for all my ex’es…

wow… the Argentines are REALLY bitter about the whole Falkland Islands thing…

7up with some vitamins added… hmm…

When you’re popular, you’re popular… and when you’re not…

One of the cheapest drinks in the house… I wonder why

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