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Vancouver, BC (Canada) attracts thousands of tourists every year, especially in the summer when the weather is beautifully mild, the mountains are snow free, and the ocean...is still cold. Being a port city means there are ample cruise ships, the most popular being a route to Alaska and back.
Alaska has been a destination for people from all around the world, and all those planning to take a cruise can even pick themes, including the ever-so-exciting Disney Cruise! The guests spend seven days at sea, as they leave Canadian waters and enter the northernmost part of USA.
"Wait, did you just say 'Leave, Canadian waters?'" I thought we were in America!"
Thus lies the problem. Say hello to the confused American.
It was a busy summer afternoon, line up at the desk as guests checked in to their rooms, dragging their large suitcases and uncooperative partners. Next up, an elderly couple, their ID's letting me know that they're from South Carolina, and their questions indicating that it was their first time outside said state. I asked the usual introductory questions - "What brings you to Vancouver?", "How was the flight?", etc. That's when I learned something very interesting:
Guests: The taxi driver was rude, he wouldn't take cash!
Me: That is odd...perhaps he didn't have change on hand? In any case he could have taken change from us. I apologize, that shouldn't have happened.
Guests: Perhaps, we did try to give him a hundred. Would you be able to break this for us in to 20s?
*Hands me US $100 bill..."
Me: I can certainly break this for you, however, I do not carry American dollars, and with our in-house exchange rate you will get 100 Canadian dollars back in change. Is that okay?
*Guests stares at me in confusion. Long awkward pause.*
Me: Is everything okay?
Guests: What do you mean by Canadian money? Why can't I use my US money?
Me (what I want to say): 'Cause you're in Canada....
Me (what I actually say): Most stores do not have American change, unfortunately. May I guide you to the closest currency exchange? Everyone will take credit card!
Guests: But why Canadian money? I have never heard of an American state taking Canadian money!
*I stare at guest in confusion. Slowly, it hits me.*
Me: Vancouver is in Canada...
Guest: But I'm going to Alaska!
Me: Yes, however, to get to Alaska you must go through Canada.
Guest: But I thought we were going to Vancouver, WA! I did not sign up for an international trip!
*I smile, hand them their keys, and bid them a good day.*
Stay tuned for more hotel funnies, bringing you true tales from the crazy hotel world!
Note: If this offended you - I am here to share my true experiences, and I'm very aware these stories do not represent an entire population. #notignorant