9 English Moments
The Accidental Tourist
Question 1: Bill Bryson says, “I am, in short, easily confused.” What examples has he given to justify this?
Answer: Bill Bryson cannot do a simple day to day activity without creating a mesh. He often forgets the way to lavatory. He finds it difficult to remember his hotel room number. He can forget almost everything which is required to carry out our routine activity. Most of us never ponder how effortlessly we carry out our routine activity. It is all wired up in our brains. But some people, like Bill Bryson find it difficult and almost impossible.
Question 2: What happens when the zip on his carry-on bag gives way?
Answer: His fingers get hurt by the zip. He is bleeding profusely. All belongings in his bag are flying across the floor of the waiting hall of the airport. He seems to be making a mockery of himself and of civilized way of behaving at a particular place.
Question 3: Why is his finger bleeding? What is his wife’s reaction?
Answer: His finger is hurt by getting stuck in the zip of his bag. His wife is astonished by the way he has created a mess all around himself.
Question 4: How does Bill Bryson end up in a “crash position” in the aircraft?
Answer: Bill Bryson leans down to tie his shoelaces. In the meantime the person on the seat ahead of him pushes back his seat. As a result he gets stuck in the kneel down position. Certain people have this strange affinity with always getting stuck in an awkward position.
Question 5: Why are his teeth and gums navy blue?
Answer: While pondering over his writing he was chewing on his pen. He was so careless that he did not notice the ink getting into his mouth. It took longer for him to impress the lady sitting next to him. For ink also it was enough time to show the bizarre effect in his mouth.
Question 6: Bill Bryson “ached to be suave”. Is he successful in his mission? List his ‘unsuave’ ways.
Answer: Certain unwritten rules dictate the way we should behave in public places. For example you should know proper manners while at dining table. It is considered uncivilized if you burp publicly. You should not make chomping noise while eating. The list is endless.
Bill Bryson always met with some sort of accidents while following these rules. He would always make chicken pieces fly after his fork’s stroke. If he would open the lid of some edible chances are he would splatter it all over his clothes.
Question 7: Why do you think Bill Bryson’s wife says to the children, “Take the lids off the food for Daddy”?
Answer: His wife knew his knack of creating misery for himself. As a precautionary measure she asked her children to do normal chores for their father.
Question 8: What is the significance of the title?
Answer: The main character here is prone to create small mishaps. Especially during tour this can lead to discomfort of fellow passengers. Think for a while, you are sitting on a window seat in the train enjoying the beautiful scenery outside. Then somebody sitting on the upper birth spills his favourite curry and spoils your new shirt and your mood too. Those sort of persons are better at their homes. The way he creates accidents justifies the title, “The Accidental Tourist”.