Visiting Old Country: Little Sign Humor

indiaWhile visiting countries all over the world, signs are  always a source mild humor. Was recently visiting family in Kolkata (aka Calcutta), India. Having left the old country many years ago it is always interesting to observe signs of change blowing through the city and the country, some good and some not so good. There are always interesting sights that draw my attention. I am not good at carrying a camera with me at all times to catch all of these. This time I ran into a few curious signs. Of course the source of this sign humor lies in the idea of what we in the west consider the kosher way to spell or phrase things, and other things they remind us of.

dscf2807Sign for a car rental place. I guess the spelling  on the signage probably originates from the way the word Rent is sometimes pronounced because of the particular Bengali dialect the sign painter may be used to. Or may be it is a case of the letter A pronounced as in ‘rate’.

dscf29184No it is not the sign to the frat house from John Belushi’s movie! Apparently it is a sign for a now defunct animal drug testing facility in a local hospital. I hope it is indeed defunct. Otherwise, I would feel sorry for the plight unfortunate street animals, of which there are plenty in the city, that are being sacrificed at the altar of human welfare.

01192009026aBathroom signs are always a source of fun and sometimes intentionally so, not withstanding the fact that the message being conveyed can be quite sincere! In the past we have had situation here at our office where individuals forget their responsibity towards proper bathroom etiquette causing significant angst among their colleagues. So when I saw this sign in a western style bathroom in Bangalore it obviously caught my attention. The suggestions make a lot of sense if one is familiar with the bathrooms of India. “No squatting on toilet seats”!


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