So yeah, I’ve been pretty lazy lately, I have lagged in sharing my interest and curiosity with all you wonderful people out there. Well guess what? I’m dragged myself back together to share with you some new (and old) bits of knowledge I’ve come across recently and to teach all of you some truths you may have never thought you would have wanted to know!
In no particular order of preference, first up is that most of the world is characterized by “war” and colonialism. This cleverly constructed map was compiled by searching the Wikipedia pages for most of the globe’s countries and utilizing the most written word in that country’s article to represent the country itself. What is the most interesting aspect of this interactive map is that the U.S. and most of Western Europe is represented by the word “War” and the Americas and African countries are represented by the name of the colonial powers that controlled that area at some time (such as British, French, and Spanish for the most part). Makes one realize how much our world is dominated by war and power.
Ok, you have to admit it: Vampires are in and looks like they will be for quite awhile. I am also part of this oh-so-fun following- how could you not be drawn in to the allure to the sexy vampire! I even took this obsession as far as jokingly calling my best friend from Romania a vampire since the moment I met him! (Honestly, if you knew him as well as I do, I’m sure you would agree with me that he is definitely one!) However, in the countries of the Balkans and southeastern Europe, where the popular vampire legend originated, the belief and fear of the vampires are still serious and existant. I came across this article interviewing an expert “vampire forensic anthropologist” on the truths and debunking of myths of the omniscent presence of the vampire in the rural cultures of southeast Europe. Though I knew the truths to some of these myths, the ethnographical explanations of the origins of others really blew me away!!!
As I have probably mentioned before, or if you didn’t notice in any of my previous posts, I am a Medieval history nut who’s love of the era was not burst following my college Intro to the Middle Ages course. In fact, despite all the in-your-face brutal truth, I found myself loving the era even more. Here are a few truths of the Middle Ages that might clear some common misconceptions about the Middle Ages!
With all the reality shows on TV these days, one probably has caught one of the Big Fat Gypsy shows. Question: do you know where Gypsies originated? Check this long yet interesting article discussing recent linguistic and genetic studies into Gypsy origins. Are the findings what you thought they would be?
The final story here is just fun/funny. The truth this one clears up is that I’m not the only one who gets a little unnerved with the public bathrooms in France. However, I do have to admit, I had a good time in Bordeaux when two friends and I had to utilize these interesting structures to change from our tourist-by-day to night-at-the-ballet outfits in under the 10 minute limit before the doors open on you! Good times, good times!
So I’m going to conclude this post on that note and a question: have any of you out there had crazy, almost or definitely embarrassing stories from your travels like this. Have your cultural misconceptions made your adventures into a good story? If so, please share in the comments! Until next time everyone!