Had heaps of funny incidences in our travels through the US, probably because we often ended up in out of the way places like Scotts Bluff, Nebraska and Lake City, Florida, where at times we really were considered "aliens".
On our first trip back in 2000 we were in the checkout queue, sorry, line, at K-mart in Lake City chatting to our friend who lives there. In the next line a little girl was tugging at her mother's hand, "Mommy! Mommy!", she kept on and on, "Mommy! Mommy!". Eventually her mother noticed her, "Whaaat Kiirrsstee?". Kirsty replied looking over at us, "Mommy, those people are talking funny." And the mother's response, "They sure are, Kristy, they sure are." Needless to say our friend was totally horrified and embarrassed, but we fell about laughing - I guess it had been a while since someone from over the horizon had last visited lil' ol' Lake City.
Another story is from two years later at LAX
and perhaps could be sub-titled "Beware the Cultural Invasion from Downunder". My wife had just flown PER
with Singapore Air and had to connect with a United flight to Denver so understandably she was a little tired and not thinking straight. In the UA
domestic terminal the check-in lines weren't well defined and it was somewhat chaotic. As she was trying to work out which line to stand in an American woman asked her if she was in the line for the Denver flight. My wife replied "I don't know, it's a total shamozle here." The other woman asked, "A whhaaat?" "Oh," my tired wife replied, "Er, it's total chaos, disorganised, a shamozle." "Ah", the American said, "I like that, yes it is a shamozle." Some time later as my wife was settling into her B777 seat for the flight to Denver the same American woman happened to walk down the aisle, struggling with her carry-on, and they saw each other. The American immediately smiled and said, "You know it's still a shamozle out there!" So if you ever hear someone in the USA say "shamozle" you know who to blame!
And hey, Sliverfox, you get pissed off being mistaken for an Australian, think how we feel being mistaken for a pom! Could just tolerate being called a New Zealander (at least that's in right hemisphere), shrugged at being mistaken for German (? what the ...?), but we definitely draw the line at English.