Funny Signs (and Odd Ones Too) from Around the World

When I travel, whether at home or abroad, I tend to take photos of funny signs, odd signs, graffiti, stickers and anything else I find interesting. For this “whatever Wednesday” I thought I’d share a few of them.

To start let’s look at a few odd signs from here in Newfoundland.

I took this first one on Fogo Island, which you may have heard of. An inn is located there that attracts well-earning clientele from all over. This particular sign was outside someone’s house and, as you can see, pointed the way to the iceberg ice on offer.


Photo of a sign bearing the message "Iceberg Ice" with an arrow.


I see this next one whenever we visit my mother-in-law’s hometown and it has always struck me as funny. When can you go two directions and end up south? Whenever you’re in Old Perlican.


Photo of a highway sign with two indications for south (in different directions) and one for north


Anyone who has bought fries (or chips if you prefer) from the chip truck in Rocky Harbour has seen this one. Not all that original but it sticks out to you as soon as you see it.


Sticker on a food truck window of Johnny Cash with the text "Cash only please!"


Moving on from my homeland we go to our neighbour, Nova Scotia, Halifax in particular. We were walking down the street and passed this bus shelter. A vandalized, anti-vandalism sign has a certain irony to it. And it’s creative too.


An anti-vandalism sticker on a bus shelter that has been vandalized


This next one is also in Halifax. I don’t know who or what Eric is but he’s coming. Is Eric the giraffe thing? And there’s some odd Spanish thing going on with that punctuation. I don’t try to figure ’em out, I only take the pictures.


Photo of a temporary wooden wall with graffiti of a giraffe (?) and the text "Eric Is Coming!"


A big jump here to Bangkok, Thailand. This was underneath a pedestrian overpass. The concrete the message is written on is one of the supports for the walkway. In the bottom of the photo, you can see a vendor selling orange juice, though if I recall it was more like Tang than juice.


Photo of a support for a pedestrian walkway in Bangkok with graffiti that states "Chis H. is a bad mofo. Big Respect!"


The rest of the images are from New Zealand and I can’t recall the situation with all of them — it was five years ago now. But I’ll give context as much as I can.

This first one was stuck to the wall of a building in Auckland. I especially liked the little cartoon guy and the fact that someone annotated the sticker in ballpoint pen. Both sides of the debate are alive and well in that city.


Photo of a sticker on a wall in Auckland, NZ. The sticker has a little cartoon monster holding a sign that says "Religion Divides!" and beneath that text someone has written in "Faith Unites"


There’s nothing funny about a falling rocks sign but there was something about this one that made me want to snap it. Maybe it was the awful luck of that guy, that he’d be walking underneath when that huge anvil of a rock happened to crack off like that.


Photo of a diamond shaped falling rocks sign on a beach in New Zealand.


If I recall this next one was in Raglan, a surfing town in the North Island. I was mystified by the fish skeleton. I mean, sure, the surfer and board are clear enough — surfing that way. But, dead fish the other way? Maybe a Kiwi can fill me in.


Photo of a sign on a surf beach in NZ. One panel has the skeleton of a fish. The other has a surfer holding a board.


Again, nothing too hilarious or odd about this next one. But, for some reason, someone has scratched out “hands” from the sign. I’m not sure what word was scratched out from the Maori translation at the bottom. This was in a washroom in Picton, where the ferry from the North to the South Island docks.


Photo of a sign to remind people to wash their hands, from a bathroom in Picton, NZ. Someone has obliterated the word "hands" from the sign.


While I didn’t go bungy jumping I was on a bus tour that stopped at A. J. Hackett Bungy near’s Queen’s Town. This image was on the door to the women’s washroom there. A nice change up from the usual icon.


Photo of the sign from the door of a women's washroom at a bungy business in Queen's Town, NZ. It shows the usual female icon bungee jumping.


We spent quite a bit of a time in Napier, where I took this next photo. While on a walk up Bluff Hill we passed a house that had this unique mailbox. It’s an old iMac case, or two repurposed quite well.


Photo of a mailbox in Napier, NZ made from an old iMac case


Back to Auckland, Mission Bay if I recall. Outside a gelato place was this sign trying the direct approach to selling.


Photo of a sign outside a gelato store that states "Be nice to your kids... buy them ice cream"


I really like this next one. This rather quick and rough sketch of an ad was posted on a wall in a hostel we were staying at. The person must have been in a hurry to make the sign and figured it would get the job done. With all those extras perhaps they didn’t need to put in much effort to sell it.


Photo of a piece of paper from a hostel in New Zealand. It is advertising a car that is for sale. The drawing is very rudimentary and the text very haphazard.


And the best for last. It’s a good example of the Kiwi humour. They don’t take themselves too seriously; I don’t know about you but I could always do a bit better in that regard. Anyway, it made me laugh out loud when I first saw it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little around the world signage tour.


Photo of a chalk board sign inside a pub in New Zealand. Written on it is "Children left unsupervised with be taught how to swear..."