This is the second of the vacation inspired posts. Yes, I know I’m really spreading them out, but I gotta conserve the blog fodder. All of a sudden I have lots of things to write about after a long-ish slump and I want to make sure I have stuff in reserve. You know, for the loyal fan.
Spouse and I have three games we like to play on vacation. This first one is “Gay or Eurotrash”. Now, before you go and get all shocked and PC on me, let me say that I am not the only one who likes to play this. There are entire websites devoted to this endeavor, so I’m not the only one so inclined, ok?
The object of this game is pretty obvious: you have to determine if the person in question (male) is Gay or Eurotrash. Some locales lend themselves better to this type of activity. And I figured that Carmel, with all of the art galleries and potential to celebrity stalk, would be a target rich environment. I would be wrong. At least the week we were there.
The next game we play is “Man/Mile Award”. This is where we check out the license plates of the cars around us to see who has driven the farthest to get there. Disney is an awesome place to do this. The Monterey area was not. I guess it’s not so much a “driving destination” as other places we have vacationed.
The last game we like to play is “Name that Language”. New York, DC, and Disney are fabulous places to play this game. And so were Monterey and Carmel.
Again, the object here is pretty obvious: try and guess the languages being spoken around you. First are the easy ones: Spanish, German, Italian, French. No challenge there. Then you get the next set: Russian, Greek, Portugese, Dutch.
After that, it starts to get interesting. You’ll hear something and realize that it’s just not something you’ve heard before. You can’t pick out any roots and it’s just different. Something like Hungarian or Flemish. Perhaps Polish. Was that Swedish? This is where other tactics come into play.
First, you take physical characteristics into consideration. Tall or short? Blonde or Dark? Angular face or round? Then I look at jewelery. Specifically, I’m looking for a cross. Southern and Eastern Europeans tend to wear them more than Northern Europeans. Yes, an over-generalization, but it does seem to be the case. And then I check which hand the wedding ring is on. It can help you narrow it a bit to region.
Last thing I check is the clothes. How are they dressed in relation to the weather? While in Carmel, I saw lots of Northern European types wearing shorts and shirtsleeves, while I, being used to a warmer climate, wore sweats a lot. So that can help you narrow the region as well.
And no. You can’t ask the person. That’s cheating. I think we heard Finnish when we were there. That’s a first. I narrowed that down because one of the kids was wearing socks with a flag on it and I realized (later) that is was the Finnish flag. Cool.
So, why do I like to play this game? Because I love recognizing the diversity. I love the fact that so many people from all over the world appreciate this country and what it has to offer. Sure, they may disagree with policies and positions, but that doesn’t stop them from coming. And as long as they are coming, there can be dialogue. And that makes everything possible.
Next up: So what was in that “little blue box”?