How One Tourist Confused Bangor For San Francisco
Living in the 2020s, we have instant access to more information, often right through our phones, than at any other time in the history of mankind. We can call up pictures and videos of nearly any place in the world. We can even use Google Street View to virtually “drive” to places hundreds or thousands of miles away.
That was not the case in the 1970s.
That fact could explain how a German brewery worker ended up confusing San Francisco and Bangor.
According to the Toasters Youtube channel, in 1977 Erwin Kreuz was on his way to a vacation in San Francisco, California, when he ended up in Bangor, Maine, instead.
After seeing a commercial about San Francisco on TV, he decided he needed to visit. In October of 1977, he hopped a plane to the City By The Bay. The plane, which went West, made a refueling stop in Bangor. When the plane landed, passengers were told to exit the plane to go through customs and to stretch their legs. Due to the fact that he was still groggy from sleeping, and a translation issue, Kreuz thought he had reached his destination.
Having only seen San Francisco in pictures, and a short TV commercial, he was sure he was in the right place. Bangor, just like San Francisco, had hills, water, and buildings. The one thing he couldn’t quite figure out was why he could not seem to find the well-known San Francisco landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
He finally found out where he was when a cab driver who he attempted to hire to drive him to “downtown San Francisco” explained that was about three thousand miles away.
His limited understanding of English caused a pile of problems for him. After meeting a couple who owned a restaurant in Bangor and happened to speak German, this started looking up for Kreuz. For a time, he even became a local celebrity. He even received three marriage proposals.
The following video tells Kreuz’ entire story
Could this happen today? With all the information we have available on our phones, it seems unlikely.
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