Travel writing

The Very Best “English” T-Shirts

One of my favourite hobbies when abroad is noting the “English” / “Engrish” t-shirts my hosts wear. I can’t ignore them, and it can be awkward, staring at someone’s chest trying to work it out (often with this face):

obama-what-the-hell

Nonetheless, especially when travelling alone, it helps me keep a smile on my face as I explore.

Below I’ve collected some of the best odd t-shirt slogans I’ve seen: from Indonesia, India, Bolivia, and Peru. They’re a little bit sweary, and my very favourite of all time, at the bottom, is definitely NSFW.

The most common theme is inspirational:

  • “Whoever you are, be a good one” – Abraham Lincoln

  • Be a trueheart, not a follow

 

  • All the best things are wild and free

But we also get arrogant:
  • It is safe to assume I have mad skillz

 

  • I handle wild animals for a living. I am running try to keep up.

 

Political:
  • If I were the UK, I’d never let EU go

Indonesia. I wish I had seen this in a shop so I could have bought six.

  • BOLLOCKS TO THE EMPIRE

India. Considering it used to be part of the British empire, I thought it was surprisingly salient.

  • BEND OVER. HERE COMES YOUR STIMULUS PACKAGE.

Sigh.

Nonsensical:
  • U think free coffee is gr8?

India. Sure.

  • OH CHEESE

India — actually, I can think of lots of my friends who’d like this t-shirt.

  • I bite through the big wall, I sit there and sulk, you’re so pretty when you’re on you’re your

Indonesia. Matt and I actually stopped and stared at this in the street.

  • Hongouts Style Be your true self Quality! Fuck off!

Indonesia. Not as bad but up there?

  • Bearing / They hate me don’t they? / Good egg

India. Oh dear.

Unfortunate:
  • Fashion for girls

 

  • Girly appliqué t-shirts various designs to choose from

 

  • TEXT HERE

 

  • KURT COBAIN lines from Nirvana songs

 

And then sexual.
  • Never too young to love.

Disturbing.

  • Lost my hat — and my BIG COCK

South America. Okay.

  • I’m not a nut… but I can screw well.

India, on a serious looking middle-aged man.


This, after careful consideration, is my favourite innocent slogan of all time, seen in Leh, India:

I Have Intense Failings For You

And here is my favourite slogan of all time.

I Like Long Walks on the Beach ... After Anal.

It is one of my greatest regrets that I didn’t buy it.