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Textbook solutions of The Accidental Tourist
1 . Bill Bryson says, “ I am , in short , easily confused.” What examples has he given to justify this?
_ By the above quoted lines it can be understood that Bill Bryson gets easily confused and he never experienced a blissful and relaxing journey. The following examples can be considered as justification:- (a) He never found a lavatory easily in a cinema hall and after lots of struggles, he found himself standing nearby a self-locking door. (b) At the hotels too in which he checked in during his trips, he easily got confused with his room number and asked his room number several times a day.
2 . What happens when the zip of his carry-on bag gives away?
_ The zip on his carry-on bag jammed and from then his troubles began. The zip stuck badly and he tried his best to open the zip of the bag. On trying very hard, the zip gave away and all his belongings scattered all around. The newspapers, magazines, money, cuttings, tobacco, passport scattered over a large area. He was standing embarrassed in the airport.
3 . Why is his fingers bleeding? What is his wife’s reaction?
_ The author was crying for his tobacco. Suddenly, he noticed that he had a long and deep cut on his finger . He had this when he was trying hard to open the jammed zip of his carry-on bag. Blood was dripping from his fingers and he couldn’t understand what to do.
The author started panicking and his hair went on panic mode. His wife looked at him without any anger and with an expression of wonder she remarked “ I can’t believe you do this for a living.”
4 . How does Bill Bryson end up in a “Crash position” in the aircraft?
_ Bill Bryson was once traveling in an aeroplane. He bent over to tie up his shoelaces. At that moment, someone in the seat ahead of him threw his seat pack and the author found himself in a crash position. The man sitting beside him helped him to get free from that position.
5 . Why are his teeth and gums navy blue?
_ Once the author was writing about his thoughts while travelling in aeroplane. He was constantly sucking one end of his pen. While doing that he started up a conversation with an attractive, young lady and continued talking to her for 20 minutes. He did not notice the leakage in his pen and the ink had spread all over in his mouth, teeth , gums and they became navy blue in color. This incident was perhaps the most embarrassing and annoying one.
6 . Bill Bryson “ached to be suave.” Is he successful in his mission? List his ‘unsuave’ ways.
_ Bill Bryson always wanted to be charming , attractive, soft, gentle but every time he failed to do that. He was unsuccessful in his mission. The list of incidents are as follows:-
There was not a single time he got up from the dinner table and did not look like he had experienced a local event and got up in the car without leaving 14inches of his coat outside. He wore light colored trousers and at the end of the day he realized that he had sat several times on chewing gums , ice cream, cough syrups etc.
7 . Why do you think Bill Bryson’s wife says to the children, “ Take the lids off the food for Daddy?”
_ Bill Bryson’s wife was well aware of the travel experiences of her husband. She got habituated by seeing her husband’s awkward experiences. She did not want to experience another awkward moment so she said the children to take off the lids for him as she did not like the way her husband takes the lids off.
8 . What is the significance of the title?
_ According to me , the title of the story , “The Accidental Tourist” is quite significant. The reasons are , throughout out the story it is clear that Bill Bryson never experienced any trip without creating troubles or accidents. The various examples such as the incident of airport where his zip of the carry-on bag jammed or in the aeroplane where he ended up in a crash position gives the evidence that Bill Bryson was the accidental tourist in real sense.
Talk about it.
To get confused and behave in ‘unsuave’ ways like Bill Bryson is normal and human. Tell your class any similar situation that you found yourself in.
( Students Should share their own experiences).