Interesting Emails from 2012

We recently had our annual, all-day, all-staff meeting. Each department made a report. Our Travel Center noted that they had replied to 20,532 traveler emails this year. They found a few of those questions, complaints, or comments entertaining and worth sharing. Here are our favorites:

Can you help me out? Can you get to Capri from Sorrento by land (bus or car) or must you take a boat?

About Rick’s language: The trouble is that something or someone doesn’t evoke, they evoke something. No one, hopefully, goes about evoking (null). It gives the impression that there’s not actually anything to be said but that, by God, it’s going to be said anyway. It does provide a transparent sheen of smarm as well as an air of feigned erudition, both of which may, I suspect, be more easily disregarded when drunk.

We loved the Christmas in Europe special that aired on PBS last night. Thank you!!!!! Also loved the torches Rick and family carried down the hill in the dark after cutting their tree and sledding home to their friends in Austria. Are these torches available in the USA?

Please shave! I’m not used to seeing Rick with a beard…and it’s gray!

I was looking for a new waist wallet and found the silk you use for your money belts very appealing. My waist is 23 inches, but saw that yours were starting at an unbelievable 36 inches and then expanded to 72 inches. Is this a joke???? My husband is a big guy, 6’4″ and his waist is only 35 inches. I know Americans have gotten bigger, but those that are this big can’t even fit in an airline seat. Please don’t forget those of us that are in good shape as this seems to be marketed to the obese whales that give our country such a bad name. Really, who has a 72 inch waist???? This includes nothing for us women and men that are not fat porkers. No woman should have a waist that big unless she is in late pregnancy. We are thinking of taking one of your Greece tour next year, but this gave me reason to be concerned. Please tell us that people are not going to be that fat so we can even consider it.

Usually, I get baked and watch your shows on TV. I enjoy every place you go too. But I have one question. Have you gone to Amsterdam and gotten stoned? Thanks for traveling everywhere and showing how awesome this world really is.
Sincerely, A satisfied viewer.
PS. I’m jealous of all the delicious food you eat.

I am a stylist, wondering if Rick has a personal stylist, who maintains his hair color? Looks very natural, well done…

Season I & II there was this guy drinking on a wooden bar with Rick (also in a train scene and he spoke very good English) explaining that there was 3 types of drunks… I was very taken with this guy (blushing!) and I was just wondering who he was or if at all possible if you could contact him and let him know that a viewer saw him and would really like to get to know him (via email of course) and if he were interested in doing so. I am aware that the program might be 10 years old but I have a feeling he is still as dashing now, or even more so : ). I have never done this before! But I just couldn’t take my eyes off of him…

I’ve watched your show for many years; but, I think it’s time to lose the over-the-shoulder bag. I don’t understand it and carrying a bag like that kills your arm and it is NOT COOL. It seems like nowadays you seem to just eat and look at churches. Kinda boring. And unhealthy.

What is the “dingle part” of Ireland as you described in your book of Europe?

Are there WWII sites in Germany? Or has Germany outlawed all of them?

As we are two gentlemen of the world I will make haste. You and I have no time for the banter of petty words. I desire to watch more episodes of your television special, Rick Steves Europe. It is my favorite program and I enjoy it immensely while reclining in my chamber with my womenfolk, snacking on grapes and drinking glistening wines from crystal goblets of the finest make detailed with ornate glass pictures of ancient kings of yore who only certain people remember even in their respective towns of birth. I support your work with Cannabis legalization and am a part of the fight myself :).

I traveled Europe in 1996. I seem to remember purchasing a rubber ear but can’t remember where I got it. The Van Gogh museum is the only thing I can come up with but that seems too tasteless. Any ideas?

On our last night in Venice we, myself age 70, daughter, son-in-law, & grandson 11 decided on a gondola ride. Our gondolier was Massimo. It was an early evening in June. The water was like a mirror in the small canal. We proceeded into the Grand Canal where Massimo had words with another gondolier who, apparently, had parked his gondola in correctly. Later, we were back in the peaceful smaller canal and the other gondolier, now with a motor boat came after us. I saw everything unfold and couldn’t believe that a motorboat was aiming right for us. He rammed our gondola, reversed, rammed us a second time. Massimo fell into the canal and was beaten with an oar as we were left drifting. The police decided to respond after 30 minutes. They had the audacity to call it an accident and didn’t even ask if anyone was hurt. Beware Rick…the gondola ride in Venice…

I put in my two weeks’ notice, sold my house and broke up with my girlfriend of 5 years to take the trip I’ve been waiting to take for 20 years. I’ve read your books over the years and I greatly appreciate your advice.

A nice older lady came into the Travel Center and asked, “Do you have any information on South Africa?”
The Travel Center said: “Oh we just cover Europe here.”
Lady: “Where is South Africa?” (in a very serious and sort of surprised voice)
Travel Center: “Africa.”
Lady: “Oh,” and then turned and walked back out the door.

A man walked into the Travel Center and asked, “Hello, I saw your “no pets” sign, but does that also mean hamsters? I have one running around in my car and wondered if I could bring it in?”