It just came in the mail today, so have only browsed, but came across a wonderful little paragraph in Julia Llewellyn Smith's Traveling on the Edge: Journeys in the Footsteps of Graham Greene:
It was difficult to get to know the Vietnamese. For a start there was the language barrier. Vietnamese is a tonal language. Take the word Ba. Pronounced alto it means three. Soprano it means grandfather. Bass—poisoned food, Mezzo-Soprano—any. Heaven knows what Victoria and I ended up asking for every time we ordered the local 333 beer.
For starters, there's a nice rhythm to this paragraph. The exemplary list of difficulties culminates in a joke which is not extended beyond what is necessary. Finally, what is conveyed is not only the fact and nature of Smith's troubles, but a nice kicker about her personality: she is the sort of traveler who not only goes for a beer, but the local beer. All told in just 58 words.