International Signs for the times

International Signs for the times

Catherine Lawrence says she still remembers the sign that greeted her at the air terminal in Bhutan. It read, 'Welcome. No admittance.' "I knew I had come to the right place," she says.

This collection of signs has been put together with the help of newspaper clippings from the Wall Street Journal, Paul Ames, and other travelers. There is an advertising sign on a cemetery not far from Catherine's home that reads: "We have sites to please all tastes."

Sign in a Rome drycleaners: "Ladies. Leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time."

Sign in a Paris hotel: "Please leave your values at the desk."

Sign in a Bangkok drycleaners: "Drop your trousers here for best results."

Sign in an Acapulco hotel: "The manager has personally passed all the water served here."

A Tokyo hotel advised guests; "It is forbidden to steal hotel towels, please." Then it politely added: "If you are not a person to do such thing, please not to read notice."

Another sign said: "Tokyo shops nylons costly but best in the long run."

Another Tokyo hotel sign read: "You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid."

At a German campsite, however, a sign warned: "It is strictly forbidden on our camp site that people of different sex for instance men and women, live together in one tent, unless they are married with each other for that purpose."

A Zurich hotel with similar worries posted: "Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose."

A sign in a Copenhagen airline office reassured: "We will take your bags and send them in all directions." (And they do!)

A sign in a Moscow hotel said guests are "Welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russians and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday." (Visit a your own risk)

A temple in Bangkok warned visiting tourists: "It is forbidden to enter a woman, even a foreigner, if dressed as a man."

In Paris, a boutique advertised, "Dresses for street walking."

A notice in a Norwegian cocktail lounge read: "Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar."

A Rome doctor's sign said he specialized in "women and other diseases", while a Swedish furrier offered coats "Made for ladies from their own skin."

A Prague tourist agency urged tourists: "Take one of our horse-driven city tours. We guarantee no miscarriages."

A tailor on the Greek island of Rhodes signed he couldn't guarantee to finish summer suits ordered by tourists, "Because in big rush, we will execute customers in strict rotation."

A sign on a zoo in Budapest showed tough times in Eastern Europe. "Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty."

A sign in a hotel in the same city where there were elevator problems read: "The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable."

A Swiss eatery advised: "Our wines leave you nothing to hope for."

A Hong Kong dentist advertised: "Teeth are extracted by the latest Methodists."

At a gynecologist's office: "Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

On a plumber's truck: "We repair what your husband fixed."

Door of a plastic surgeon's office: "We can help you pick your nose."

In a restaurant window: "Don't stand there and be hungry, come in and get fed up."