“Welcome to Visit Elephant Dung Factory & Souvenir Shop,” reads one of the billboards on the cover of “Signspotting 4,” the latest in the series of books (Perigee; $10.95) where travel/humor writer Doug Lansky sifts through images sent him at www.signspotting.com by fans worldwide.
This particular billboard is in Thailand, but the submissions he receives come from all countries – humorous head-scratchers whose message is mangled or lost in translation, information signs that are both cryptic and ridiculous; other announcements that went awry from the start (like the legal services sign of Bickers & Bickers, Attorneys at Law).
The world, Lansky says, is full of such images – only a camera and a sense of humor is required of his contributors in the field. And that segues to his more earnest point: Real travelers shouldn’t be misdirected by what they’re expected to see and do. Your senses need to be engaged to truly make the most of the places you go.
John Bordsen, travel editor