10 Embarrassing Moments Around the World

Alas! The world isn't big enough to hide from a humiliating moment!
  |  May 16, 2010
compiled by Tasha Arreza and Ina Lucila * illustration by Vergil Espinosa
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  1. Hair Scare
    My sister and I have the habit of critiquing and ridiculing people randomly. On a train from Berlin to Copenhagen, we noticed a pretty, young girl who seemed to be backpacking across Europe. She looked very foreign, so we weren't afraid to comment about her out loud. Since I was so grossed out by her unshaven armpits, I blurted  aloud, "Kadiri. Hindi man lang nag-shave! Nagsuot pa ng sleeveless!" My sister and I burst into giggles—only for the girl's curt remark to cut it short. Apparently, she was half-Pinay and understood everything we said! —Pamela, 13

  2. Raw Deal
    While stopping over in Switzerland, my curious self went out to venture for authentic Swiss fare. A quaint little resto that was overflowing with locals and genuine Swiss cuisine caught my eye so I stepped right in. When the waiter gave me the menu, I couldn't read anything because I accidentally left my glasses in my luggage! Trying to look like a sophisticated traveler, I pointed at the Today's Specials board. I figured that whatever must be written on it must be good. Moments later, the waiter arrived with my food, mumbled something in French, and put the plate down with a wink. Puzzled, I picked up my fork and looked down at my food: raw meat! And the mustard and vegetables didn't help disguise the taste! —Gina, 19

  3. Toilet Training
    On the plane headed for Bangkok, I felt the strong urge to use the bathroom. I rushed to the nearest cubicle, opened the door-and found someone sitting on the toilet in mid-dump! Apparently, she forgot to lock the door in her haste. I was so shocked by what I had seen and immediately apologized. She said, "It's okay. Just please close the door." I did-then rushed back to my seat right after doing so! The urge to go just suddenly vanished! —Jane, 15
  4. Bargain Booboo
    While in Singapore, I was on a mad shopping spree! I was about to hop into the taxi to get back to the hotel, when I saw this pretty pair of shoes sitting in a shop window. I was  surprised it was such a bargain! I immediately asked for a dozen shoe sizes to bring home as pasalubong for all my friends. As I was about to pay for them, I chanced upon the tiny price tag—Yikes! I had read it wrong! A pair was really worth a fortune! I mumbled a lame excuse about catching my plane to bail me out of this mess! —Rebecca, 15

  5. Postcards From The Edge
    I make it a point to buy postcards of the places I visit. On our way to the train station in Amsterdam, I separated from my tour group to buy a postcard. I entered the first shop I saw, picked up some cards and was about to pay for it, when I realized that I had mistakenly entered a porn shop! I was absolutely mortified-I just threw my money on the counter and rushed out the door! —Grace, 16

  6. Indecent Proposal
    My friends and I were in Australia for our big summer gimmick. On our way back to our decent hotel in Sydney's red light district, a bald middle-aged man suddenly stopped us and asked me,  "Are you wearing a g-string?" Stupefied, I shook my head. The old man just winked at me and walked on. To think my friend even felt bad that the guy didn't ask her instead! —Malou, 18

  7. Toys Are Ours
    My parents brought me and my brother to Toys ‘R Us in Hong Kong. There was a section where one could play with scooters, skateboards, and roller skates. I tried the skateboard and got the hang of it.  All of a sudden, I lost my control and smashed into a shelf full of toys! Some of the toys broke and my dad ended up paying for them. My parents got mad at my carelessness and punished me by not buying me anything. Boo hoo! —Bernie, 11

  8. Canal Castaway
    I was ecstatic to learn we were going to Venice for summer. We arrived there by nightfall and immediately, my sister and I rushed to ride a gondola because it seemed so romantic to do so! After haggling for a few minutes with the gondolier, my sister stepped into the gondola and took her seat. I followed...but fell into the canal water! Apparently, the water current suddenly moved the vessel away from the dock so my right leg missed the gondola. I spent the whole evening walking around Venice looking and smelling like a wet sock. Needless to say, I never got to meet any cute Italian boys that night! —May, 20

  9. Seasoned Guest
    It was our last night in Milan and my family decided to dine in this ritzy restaurant. When my dish arrived, I found  it to be too bland so I asked the waiter for salt and pepper. The waiter cocked his eyebrow and hurried away. A few moments after, I was surprised to see the chef hurrying out the kitchen door and marching towards our table. Causing a scene, he started yelling at me in Italian and pointing at my food! Everyone was looking at us while my dad, who's well versed in the Italian language and culture, talked to the chef. After apologizing profusely, my dad whispered in my ear saying, "It's a no-no to ask for salt and pepper-Italian chefs consider it an insult to their cooking!" Eek!!! —Erica, 14

  10. Runaway Train
    In Europe, my cousin ran out of cash from all the shopping we did. We couldn't buy subway tickets but assumed we could get away with it since no one really checked if you had a ticket or not. Once inside the train, a conductor started walking towards us, asking for our tickets. We didn't know what to say or do! Acting dumb, we just started talking to him in Tagalog, saying, "Anong sabi mo? Hindi kita maintindihan!" Frustrated, the conductor just left us alone. Good thing he didn't throw us out of the moving subway train! —Isa, 17
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