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The Accidental Tourist Short Questions and Answers
Q.1. What does Bill Bryson tell us about his habit of getting confused?
Ans. Bill Bryson says that he gets easily confused at the things which the other people enjoy performing them. He says that he can’t remember the things for long. He forgets them again and again. He gives an example that when he is staying at some hotel he has to come to the reception counter two or three times to ask the number of his room.
Q.2. What happened at London Airport when the author was going to England on a long journey with family?
Ans. When the author was going to England on a long journey, he got in a troublesome situation at the London Airport. He had put his visiting card in the carry-on bag. When he tried to open it, it would not open because its zip got jammed. When he pulled it hard, it broke and all the contents of the bag disgorged on the ground.
Q.3. Narrate briefly the incident of spilling a soft drink on to a co-passenger in a plane by the author.
Ans. During one of his air flights, the author spilt the soft drink on to the lap of a sweet lady sitting beside him. The flight attendant came and cleaned her up. The attendant brought him a replacement drink and he knocked it into the woman again. The lady looked at him with the stupefied expression.
Q.4. What two reasons does Bill Bryson give for the absence of air miles cards with the hint?
Ans. He says that he is a frequent flyer. He must fly one lac miles a year. But he does not have more air miles cards. It is so because he forgets to ask for the air miles when he buys a ticket. And sometimes the clerk at the air-station makes an excuse of non-availability of the air miles cards.
Q5. What is the ‘most outstanding thing’ that the writer, Bill Bryson, thinks he is not good at? What does this reveal about Bryon’s traits?
Ans: The writer, Bill Bryson, thinks that the ‘most outstanding thing’ he is not good at is living in the real world. This reveals that he is so lost in his own thoughts that he fails to conduct himself like a normal person and ends up causing accidents.
Q6. Bill Bryson says, “I am, in short, easily confused”. What examples has he given to justify this? (Textual)
Ans: Bill Bryson supports his tendency to get confused easily by giving examples like his failure to look for a lavatory in a cinema. Instead, he ends up standing in the alley on the wrong side of a self-locking door. Another example is about his returning to hotel desks two or three times a day and enquiring about his room number.
Q7. Which two things did Bryson remember at the Logan Airport in Boston?
Ans: At the Logan Airport in Boston, Bryson remembered that he had recently joined the British Airways’ frequent flyer programme. He also remembered that he had put the card in the carry-on bag that was hanging around his neck.
Q8. What started the trouble for Bryson at the Logan Airport in Boston?
Ans: The jammed zip of Bryson’s carry-on bag started trouble for him at the Logan Airport in Boston. He tried to open it using force and as a result, it gave way abruptly. Hundreds of items in the bag spilt over and created a mess.
Q9. What happened when Bryson pulled hard at the zip on his bag?
What happens when the zip on Bryson’s carry-on bag gives way? (Textual)
Ans: Bryson’s side of the bag opened abruptly and its contents got scattered all over when he pulled hard at its zip. Newspaper cuttings, loose papers, tobacco tin, magazines, passport, English money, film – everything inside the bag spread over an area about the size of a tennis court.
Q10. How did the contents of Bryson’s bag spill away at the Logan Airport? What was his reaction to it?
Ans: Hundreds of contents in Bryson’s bag spilt away when the side of the bag opened up abruptly. The coins tinkled as they bounced noisily. The lid of the tobacco tin came off and the tobacco got ejected when the lidless tin rolled. Bryson was dumbstruck to see his belongings rolling away.
Q11. “My tobacco!” I cried in honour. Why does Bryson say so?
Ans: Bryson says so because tobacco was many times costlier in England, especially after the recently passed budget. He was horrified at his monetary loss when he saw the tobacco getting ejected from the lidless tin.
Q12. Why is Bryson’s finger bleeding? What is his wife’s reaction? (Textual)
Ans: Bryson’s finger is bleeding because he has gashed it on the zip of his carry-on bag while attempting to open it. His wife’s reaction is of plain wonder, devoid of any anger or exasperation. She couldn’t believe he did such clumsy things.
Q13. ‘Why did Bryson’s hair go into panic mode?
Ans: Bryson’s hair went into panic mode because he was confused and unable to help himself in controlling the situation that resulted after he ripped open his carry-on bag. All the contents of his bag were on the floor and his finger was bleeding.
Q14. How does Bill Bryson end up in a ‘crash position’ in the aircraft? (Textual)
Ans: Once on an aeroplane, Bryson had leaned over to tie a shoelace. At this time the person in the seat ahead of him threw back his seat into full recline, pinning Bryson helplessly in a crash position.
Q15. How did Bryson drench his lady co-passenger twice?
Ans: Once, Bryson accidentally knocked off a soft drink onto the lap of a sweet little lady, a nun, sitting beside him. The flight attendant cleaned her up and brought a replacement drink for Bryson. The accidental tourist as Bryson was, he knocked it off again thus drenching his co-passenger twice.
Q16. What was the worst experience of Bryson while on a flight?
Why are Bryson’s teeth and gums navy blue? (Textual)
Ans: Bryson’s worst experience while on a flight was when his teeth and gums turned navy blue. This happened because the end of the pen on which he had been sucking thoughtfully, had leaked. The worst part was that he discovered this only after twenty minutes of conversation with an attractive lady in the seat next to him.
Q17. Bill Bryson “ached to be suave”. Is he successful in his mission?
List his ‘unsuave’ ways. (Textual)
Ans: Bill Bryson was a person prone to accidents. Whenever he tried to be suave, he would cause yet another accident. His unsuave ways included littering food at the dinning-table, getting his coal trapped while closing the car door, and smudging his light-coloured trousers.
Q18. Why do you think Bill Bryson’s wife says to the children, “Take the lids off the food for daddy”? (Textual)
Ans: Responding humorously to her husband’s accidental tendencies, Bryson’s wife tells her children to take the lids off the food for their daddy. She knew from experience that Bill was likely to topple the food and create a mess if he would be allowed to unpack it himself.
Q19. What measures did the writer adopt when he travelled alone?
Ans: The writer, Bill Bryson, would not drink or lean over to tie his shoelaces and never put a pen near his mouth when he travelled alone. He would just sit very quietly and control his hands from accidentally spilling over things.
Q20. Why could Bryson not get his frequent flyer miles?
Ans: Bryson could not get his frequent flyer miles because either he forgot to produce the card when required or forgot to ask for air miles when he checked in. Besides, the airline failed to record his account because his name on the card and ticket did not match.
Q21. Why was Bryson refused air miles when on a flight to Australia?
Ans: Bryson was refused air miles when on a flight to Australia because his card was in the name W. Bryson while the ticket was for B. Bryson. This mismatch in names made his claim to air miles invalid.
Q22. Why does Bryson not feel bad about flying to Bali first class?
Ans: Bryson does not feel bad about flying to Bali first class because he had decided, as a precaution, not to eat anything when flying alone. The flight to Bali was a long distance and he knew he could never go that long without eating.
Q23. Why does Bryson find it difficult to do even the most routine things?
Ans: Bill Bryson is a careless and unorganised person. He is also clumsy in his manners and hence finds it difficult to do even the most routine things. Besides, he does not take these shortcomings seriously. He laughs at himself and does not even try to correct his mistakes.
Q24. Bill Bryson says, “I am, in short, easily confused.” What examples has he given to justify this?
Ans. Bill Bryson never had a pleasant journey. He got easily confused. Citing examples, he said that he could not easily find lavatory in a cinema hall and finally found himself standing nearby a self-locking door. At the hotels too, he asked his room number many a time in a day.
Q25. How does Bill Bryson end up in a “Crash position” in the aircraft?
Ans. Once while he was travelling in an aeroplane, he leaned over to tie up his shoelaces. As soon as he leaned over for this purpose, someone in the seat ahead of him threw his seat back. Thus, the author ended up in a “crash position”.
Q26. Why is Bill Bryson’s finger bleeding? What is his wife’s reaction?
Ans. The author tried to open his carry bag to find out his discount card. The zip got jammed. He tried to open it and got a long deep cut in his finger. It started bleeding. His wife looked at him with an expression of wonder. She remarked, “I can’t believe you do this for a living”.
Q27. Why do Bill Bryson’s teeth and gums look navy blue?
Ans. Bill Bryson was writing some important thoughts in a notebook. In between, he was sucking on the end of his pen. He fell into conversation with an attractive lady. He amused the lady for more than twenty minutes. He did not realise that his pen had leaked. When he retired to the lavatory, he found his teeth and gums navy blue.
Q28. Why did Bill Bryson return to the hotel desk frequently?
Ans. The author was a confused person. He used to forget things. While staying in a hotel, he used to forget his room number. He had to return to the hotel desk frequently to ask what his room number was.
Q29. Why did the author, Bill Bryson, cry “My finger! My finger'”?
Ans. While opening the bag, the zip got jammed. He tried to open it forcefully. His finger got a sharp cut and started bleeding. When he saw blood oozing out of the finger, he started crying “my finger! my finger!”.
Q30. What were the things that rained out of Bill Bryson’s bag at the airport?
Ans. When the author tried to open his bag, the zip got jammed. He pulled it harder. It broke and the bag opened abruptly. It had newspaper cuttings, a tin of pipe tobacco, magazines, passport, money, films, etc. which rained down from the bag.
Q31. Bill Bryson “ached to be suave”. Is he successful in his mission? List his `unsuave’ ways.
Ans. It is quite clear that Bill Bryson ached to be suave. He is not successful in his mission. He got himself in a car and closed the door leaving 14 inches of coat outside, wore light-coloured trousers without discovering at the end of the day that he had at various times sat on chewing gum, ice cream, cough syrup and motor oil.
Q32. Why do you think Bill Bryson’s wife says to the children, “Take the lids off the food for Daddy”?
Ans. Bill Bryson’s wife was aware of the travelling habits of her husband. To avoid any awkward situation, she says, “Take the lids off the food for Daddy” as she did not like her husband to take the lid off the food in his particular style.
Q33. What is the significance of the title, “The Accidental Tourist”?
Ans. The title is quite significant. After going through the whole story, it becomes quite vivid that Bill Bryson is the accidental tourist. There are various such examples which prove the appropriateness of the title. The title itself suggests the various strange and accidental experiences of the author while travelling.
Q34. What happens when the zip on Bill Bryson’s carry-on bag gives way?
Ans. The author was going on a weeklong trip to England, with his family by air. When they were checking in at Logan Airport in Boston, the author tried to open his bag forcefully. The side of the bag flew open and all his important items fell out in the open. Newspaper cuttings, tobacco packet, passport, money, etc. rained out over an area about the size of a tennis court.
Q35. Why does the author, Bill Bryson, not eat or drink while travelling alone?
Ans. The author always does mischief while eating or drinking on a flight. He had faced many awkward and embarrassing situations while on the flight. So now he does not eat or drink while travelling alone.
Q36. What was the narrator’s dream? Why did he not achieve it?
Ans. The narrator always wanted to be the frequent flyer miles. But he was very forgetful and careless. He had issued a card indicating distance but never found his card in time. This act of him frustrated him many times. So, he was not successful to use the frequent flyer miles.
Q37. What happened to the narrator when he was going to Australia?
Ans. The narrator was a very forgetful and careless person. Once he planned to fly one lakh miles a year. But he could gather only 212 air miles. Besides, on the way to Australia, he failed to use his card. He was issued his card in the name of W. Bryson when his ticket was issued in the name of B. Bryson. So, he failed to use his card again.
Q38. What was the author’s worst experience on a plane flight?
Ans. He was sucking on the end of his pen while writing important thoughts. He was involved in talking with an attractive lady and could not notice the leakage in the pen. It became his worst experience when he found his teeth, chin, tongue and gums navy blue.