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Mangled English from a Round World

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In an Amsterdam hotel:

GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE, OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.           
           
On the menu of a Swiss Restaurant:           
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.         
 
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In a Tokyo Bar:          
SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.      
 
Hotel, Yugoslavia:     
THE FLATTENING OF UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE, IS THE JOB OF THE CHAMBERMAID.      
 
Hotel, Japan: 
YOU ARE INVITED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.       
 
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In the lobby of a Moscow Hotel, across from a Russian Orthodox Monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY, WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY, EXCEPT THURSDAY.          
 
A sign posted in Germany’s Black Forest:  
IT IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE, THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT, UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.
 
Hotel, Zurich: 
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.           
 
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Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand:            
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?          
 
Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:   
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.  (Just Like British Airways!)      
 
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A Laundry in Rome:  
LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND THEN SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME. 
 
And finally the all time classic:
Seen in an Abu Dhabi Souk shop window: 
IF THE FRONT IS CLOSED, PLEASE ENTER THROUGH MY BACKSIDE…

Real Meaning of Christmas

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The Real Meaning of Christmas

By Canon Mark Collinson, Christ Church Amsterdam

2014 has been marked by the centenary anniversary of the start of the Great War in 1914. Remembrance Sunday is always significant for Brits, not least because of the seriousness with which Queen Elizabeth II takes the ceremony at the Cenotaph in London.

Ceremonies in the Netherlands and across Europe have taken place remembering the lives of those who died not just in the First World War, but in all wars since then. Apparently, despite the scientific progress of humanity, the twentieth century saw more people die in wars and internal conflict than any previous century. Even if this was a smaller proportion of the world’s population than in previous centuries, it gives little cause for comfort.

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to be part of the MH17 National Commemoration in the RAI. I met some of the British and local relatives of the 298 innocent victims. They were victims of someone else’s war – as is so often the case of civilians caught in the crossfire. It was moving to hear about how they realised that their loved ones were on that flight, and what it meant to face the loss of a son or daughter, a sister or brother. I give credit to John Cameron-Webb, the British Consul, and his team, for their excellent organisation in getting the relatives of the British victims to that event.

There is so much tragedy in the world – so much bad news that hits the headlines.  It’s not so often that the peacemakers get remembered and celebrated. Where is the good news this Christmas?

You may have heard of the story of the Christmas truce on the first Christmas Day of the First World War. It had been agreed to have a day off from fighting, and when one soldier kicked out a football in to no-man’s land, it resulted in a kick around between the two sides. (It is reported the Germans won 3-2).

Christmas is traditionally a time when we remember peace and goodwill. A time to stop fighting, and make peace, and find some stillness in your heart. This is because the real meaning of Christmas is found in connecting with Jesus Christ. Christians claim that he was the son of God, born as a completely normal human being, but who has as much God in him as you could possibly pack into a person. People who met him were healed, set free from the past experiences that had wounded them, and everyone wanted to invite him to their parties. Jesus was a peacemaker, who also made the ultimate sacrifice – that of giving his own life so that others can live.

It’s a bit of a mystery how Jesus’ life, death and resurrection still reverberate with people today. Christmas is the time when we remember his birth, by pitching up to church and singing a few carols. I encourage you to connect with any of the various English-speaking services happening this Christmas.

Click here to read the complete story from the Zine magazine.

In The ZINE

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SNACKABLE PDFs from this Month’s ZINE

In a hurry? Crave more digestible, snackable articles from the ZINE? Got the attention span of a small carrot? Good news. We taken the Britsoc hammer and broken this month’s ZINE into bite-sized chunks?  Or “Chunking” as we hipsters at the ZINE call it.

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Interview of the month: Amsterdam’s United States Consul John Wilcock

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If you thought only US citizens could work for the US Foreign Service, think again. John Wilcock is is not only Amsterdam’s United States Consul, he is also British. After attending Reading University, where he met his American wife, Karen, he went for the summer to the United States and fell in love with the country, where “Boundless optimism and opportunity, where hard work and ability is valued and rewarded.” 

Read his fascinating interview in this month’s ZINE, the digital expat magazine from the British Society of Amsterdam.

Or download and read the PDF (2.4mb)

Interview with Amsterdam Artist Miles Phillips

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It’s not often words fail him, but in attempting to describe the mystery of Miles’ paintings he arrived in a world Beyond Words. So like any good writer, Dave Thomas got out of the way and let the paintings, and Miles, speak for themselves.

 

Read the full story in the ZINE, the monthly digital expat magazine: 

Or download the full article as a PDF (4.6mb)