There are several countries I know of that have a slogan or tagline that was dreamed up by their tourism board to get people to visit but that have been appropriated by travelers and ex-pats when things in the country leave them shaking their heads.
My friends and family in the Philippines frequently use “It’s more fun in the Philippines” when posting photos of crazy traffic, or laws or describing their experiences at various government offices.
While in Malaysia for Gaelic football tournaments, there were many situations (especially at the KL airport budget terminal) that had us shaking our heads and saying, “Malaysia. Truly Asia.”
India has been using “Incredible India” for awhile now in its tourism ads but I have also heard it said very sarcastically by travellers who have found themselves in situations they couldn’t have imagined, “Incredible. India.”
It isn’t a tourist slogan but, while traveling through East and Southern Africa, as well as when I lived in Tanzania, people often said, “TIA” or “This is Africa” to those who were incredulous about how things worked (or didn’t). Wikipedia describes it this way, “In Africa, there’s a saying “TIA” meaning “This Is Africa” – term of endearment/explanation typically used when tourists from western countries visit Africa, or expats work in Africa, to shrug off power shut downs, old technology, slow pace of business, questionable business ethics and dealings etc.”
I decided today that Bolivia needs something. (Or maybe it has something I just haven’t learned yet.) It turns out it does have a tourism slogan, “Bolivia Awaits You”/”Bolivia te espera” but I don’t find it quite as catchy and adaptable to the crazy situations.
Here is what happened that got me thinking about this in the first place:
Today I had a message from our volunteer in Sopachuy. She went to the secondary school as arranged at 9:30 this morning to help with English classes. When she got there the teacher was AWOL so the principal asked her to sub until he came. There were 35 teenagers in the class and she said it was wild. The teacher showed up at the end of class when she was teaching them teen things like, “he is cute” and he was not amused. However five students came to her after and told her they were keen to learn so she told them to meet her at the library tomorrow after school.
P.S. While searching for Bolivia’s slogan, I came across this list of tourism slogans from 105 countries. I think the Russian one – “Pure Russia” – has potential as does Morocco’s – “the country that travels within you” (parasite anyone?).