Giving names to strangers

This is maybe a bit of a bad habit – but a fun one. When we travel we tend to give our fellow travellers names so we can easily identify them between ourselves. Let me give you an example – on our recent cruise one of the guests looked a lot like Rod Stewart and his wife was tall with blond air so they became Rod and Dusty (as in Dusty Springfield).

There was another couple we spotted on the first day “booking” their lounger on the sun deck. (I know we have all vented about these people who are as cheeky as this – sneaking out at 3 am to bag their place). They laid out their towels and then used these handy beach towel pegs to secure them in place.

Well naturally they became Mr and Mrs Peg. By the end of the voyage we got to speak to them and they were actually a very nice couple so we forgave them for hogging the lounger – amazing how much easier it is to forgive friends for transgressions – rather than forgiving a stranger.

Another lady on the cruise fascinated us. She had long grey hair with blue streaks and a tattoo on her face. She had the habit of wearing long gauzy dresses so her name became Miss Havisham (from Great Expectations).

Two gorgeous British girls who both looked like models were also on the cruise. They were extremely cool with the latest sunglasses, tiny waists and wore their hair in buns right on the very top of their heads. They became Pinky and Perky!

We have been doing this for years. I recall a holiday years and years ago in Mauritius when the kids were just toddlers. One of the men staying at the resort had a habit of squeezing his wife’s bum while they were standing at the omelette station (I know, I know…. this is getting weird). My Dad promptly named him The Proctologist.

“What’s a prokolowist Mom?” the kids kept asking while I cast disapproving glances at my Dad who just laughed his head off. And yes from that moment onward he was the Proctologist.

Now when I think of all this I wonder what name my fellow passengers had for me. Hmmm – I think I don’t want to go there.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. LOL – we have done that for years. This past summer we were in a restaurant and this mature couple (who must have been high) were gazing at each other, giggling and singing “she’ll be coming round the mountain” and other equally silly songs in the middle of a small restaurant! Their behaviour was so bizarre we were looking around for cameras thinking it was some sort candid camera show! We named them the Kumbaja’s (as per the song).


  2. Loved this Lesley! Brought back memories of waiting for “Billy Idol” to show up on the beach in Oahu when we travelled there with the family over the years. My brothers would usually be the first to spot him. There was also a fellow we nicknamed “Mound Man” …….. as he would work away with the sand making a mound to lean on/support him while on the beach. He was always in the same spot every day. Thanks so much for this post….. brings back great times/memories! (:


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