Why don’t we hear ads on subway lines? Either from the driver or automated. “The doors are now closing, be sure to pull your gucci handbags away from the doors.” “This stop is Piccadilly Circus. Why not grab a pint at Flescher’s pub?”
The language barrier is sometimes one of the hardest things to overcome when traveling. This is especially true if you are going to a region where you’ll experience many different languages and/or dialects. You can’t possibly learn each one. I have seen books before which are simply photographs of everyday things. The idea is that you point to something in it and can communicate that way. So if you want eggs for breakfast, you point to a photograph of eggs when you are ordering your meal.
But then there is the problem of how to prepare them, what side dishes you want, etc. So I figured it’d be a great idea to take a photo of every meal and build a small collection of foods you like. You can print out the pictures at an Internet café and carry them with you, or just show the person the picture on your camera.
It might even be possible to publish a book with local or regional foods, photos of the prepared dish, the name of it in the dialects of the areas where it is served, etc. You could probably have about a dozen that would cover 80-90 percent of the world. If anybody decides to do this, I’ll happily take some royalties or at least tag along for the research! You hear me, Anthony Bourdain?