Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Best Signs in Africa

Shortly before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese Olympic Committee launched a major initiative to “eradicate all poor English signs” in the capital city.  For instance, Racist Park was renamed the Park of Ethnic Minorities.  There were a host of other less offensive signs such as “The Slippery are Very Crafty” (slippery when wet), “No entry during peacetime” (emergency exit) and my favorite, “Please don’t touch yourself, let us” (i.e. please don’t touch, ask an employee for assistance).

In Africa I’ve seen my fair share of funny signs.  Some of them tend to have a hidden meaning, while others are straightforward.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The funny thing about this sign was that there was a crosswalk adjacent to the sign.  I’m not sure if the warthogs had been trained to stop, wait for traffic to pause, and then cross in the crosswalk.  Or maybe the warthogs knew to wait for the children to hold their hooves while they crossed together:
I’ve seen giraffes cross this stretch of road frequently.  However, I’ve NEVER seen them cross the road anywhere within a one mile radius of this sign.  Really, by the time someone sees this sign they have probably had to stop for giraffes at least half a dozen times:
This is probably one of my favorites.  This refers to orphan elephants, not humans.  Hence, why sticking your hands in their mouths could be so detrimental.  This was a sign at the elephant orphanage I visited in Kenya:

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