Sunday, 5 August 2012

Geographically challenged

Geographically challenged
5 August 2012

Okay, so I’m the first to admit that I’m geographically challenged.  And what that actually means, when it’s not couched in that politically correct term, is that I seriously suck at Geography.  Hey, we all have less than stellar areas.  In fact, I have several of them and Geography is but merely one.  It’s not really all that debilitating, as my Grantie is awesome at Geography, and more than makes up for my lack of knowledge.  He can name the capital of countries I haven’t even heard of.  I could wake him up in the middle of the night and ask him what the capital of some obscure place, like Uzbekistan is, and he’d know.  Of course, he could just be having me on, as I wouldn’t really know the right answer from the wrong answer.  And when it comes to countries like Uzbekistan, he could just be stringing a whole bunch of consonants along, making up a whole new word, and I’d still be none the wiser.

But here’s the thing.  I grew up on a serious diet of Rock ‘n Roll.  We always had music in the house – covering a whole spectrum of tastes and styles.  And growing up, we all loved watching movies and TV together.  We would sit around the dinner table, quoting our favourite bits from movies and we’d all be literally falling around laughing.  To this day, when we all get together we still do this.  And the Cloete five are no different, so my education has not stopped.  Therefore, thanks to my keen powers of observation, I have picked up a few pointers along the way.

Paris – Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light
Liverpool – home of The Beatles
America – they like to French kiss there
Gaul – a little indomitable village, filled with Asterix and Obelix as well as a whole bunch of people whose names also end in an “ix” - they all like to imbibe freely of magic potion
Austria – the Von Trapp family come from there
Manhattan – this is where Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross and Joey all like to hang out together in a little coffee shop called Central Perk
London, New York, Paris, Munich – everyone talk about pop music – all credit to U2 for fitting a whole bunch of places into one song
Naboo – Luke Skywalker’s home town
Cabot Cove – poor Jessica Fletcher wrote about murder and solved many a mystery here – death seemed to follow her where ever she went
Germany – Beethoven comes from there
Seattle – Dr Frasier Crane works his psychiatric magic there over the air waves
Miami – the Golden Girls lived there
Hamburg – a place in Germany where The Beatles toured
Peru – Indiana Jones went there looking for the Ark of the Covenant
Los Angeles – The Hoff was a lifeguard there
Las Vegas – before The Hoff donned his orange board shorts, he fought crime here with his trusty steed, KITT
Belfast – if I were Simple Minds, I really wouldn’t be encouraging people to raise their children here
Beverly Hills – their zip code is 90210
Australia – Sandy from Grease originally came from there
Transylvania – it’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the ri-i-i-i-i-ght
Krypton – Superman comes from there
Southampton – a really sucky place to get on the greatest ship ever built to cruise the world – bad move
Narnia – a magical place where lions talk and witches live in wardrobes
Infinity and beyond – Buzz Lightyear goes there all the time
Japan – apparently you can be big there, but only at night
Barcelona – a place that Freddie Mercury liked to sing about
New York – apparently there once was an Englishman there called Sting
Harlem – the Rolling Stones did the shuffle there
Kokomo – must have been a hot surfing spot that the Beach Boys frequented
London – there is a big bridge there and evidently Fergie was quite concerned that it might fall down
Miami – maybe Will Smith and the lovely Jada Pinkett Smith holidayed there
Rio – my Grantie is the biggest Duran fan in the world
Scarborough Fair – I wonder if Simon and Garfunkel went on any rides – perhaps the big wheel?
Moscow – Michael Jackson met a stranger there
Las Vegas – Elvis said “Viva” there
Memphis – Marc Cohen likes to go for strolls there
Waterloo – couldn’t escape if you wanted to
Anchorage – a little spot in Alaska, if Michelle Shocked is to be believed
Babylon – curse you Boney M, curse you!!!
China – David Bowie met a little girl there
Funkytown – where you go down
Las Vegas – Sheryl Crow didn’t like it there, so she left
London – The Clash was calling it to the underground
Kintyre – Paul McCartney found his Wings there
Nutbush – they have city limits there
Madison County – one could be tempted to stray from the marital path there across a bridge
Arabia – Lawrence lived there
Beverly Hills – Eddie Murphy tried to join the Police Force there
Bangkok – you only have one night there
Casbah – The Clash rocked there as well
South Park – they only have animated characters there
Rwanda – not a good place for a Hotel if you ask me
Whoville – Horton lives there
Suffragette City – David Bowie must have visited there
Seattle – apparently insomnia is a problem there
Arizona – not a safe place to raise a kid
Kazakhstan – Borat comes from there
Caribbean – quite a dangerous place to hang out in, as they have a problem with pirates
Mount Crumpit – the Grinch lives there
Shanghai – they have Knights there
Deadwood – the scariest cowboy town ever
North Pole – Father Christmas comes from there
South Pole – Father Christmas also comes from there
Kwai – there’s a bridge on a river there
Anville – the Cat in the Hat went there to bother some kids on a cold winter’s day when the sun was not sunny
Parow - a guy called Jack with a really long hat comes from there - not to be confused with the Cat in the Hat above
Tokyo – you can go drifting there with your car
Mississippi – I think they have a problem with arson there
Italy – if you’re unemployed, it’s the place to go, because there’s lots of jobs there
London – they have American Werewolves there – sounds pretty scary to me
Tuscany – there’s lots to do there under the sun and you might even find a ladybird if you’re lucky
Hiroshima - on the 6th of August 1945 this was a really bad place to hang out in, unless you like mushroom clouds
Denver – there’s lots to do there when you’re dead
Vienna – Falco called there
America – they have loads of pies there
Vietnam – they have an awesome radio station there that bids you a ‘Good Morning’ every day
Alcatraz – you’d want to escape from there
Miami – a really awesome place to wear a jacket with jeans and ride on a boat
West End – the Pet Shop Boys went there because there are girls there, which is odd - I don’t think they even they like girls
Pearl Harbour – not really a safe place to hang out on the 7th of December 1941
Manhattan – apparently it’s quite hard to find good domestic help there
Hawaii – Magnum PI caught lots of baddies there, pity he had to put up with Higgins though
Los Angeles – awesome place for a law firm
Boston – another fantastic place to get legal representation
Russia – you can get love from there
Germany – Johann Sebastian Bach came from there
Australia – Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman went walk-about there
England – The Beatles liked to hang out there in a little road called Penny Lane
Kammakastig Land – my brother used to visit there a lot, but not so much now since he’s given up alcohol and other recreational activities
America – perhaps Pink Floyd were inmates at the Fletcher Memorial Home for incurable tyrants and kings
Canada – Celine Dion comes from there – shame, it’s not really their fault
Bruges – where hit men go to off each other
Alabama – there’s a sweet home there
Barrydale – The Blues Broers waged a battle there
America – Supertramp had breakfast there
Chatanooga – Glen Miller and his band did the Choo-Choo there
America – Green Day thinks that idiots live there
Africa – Koos Kombuis says that it’s spring in the Boland
New York New York – Frank Sinatra made us all say it twice
Africa – Johhny Clegg reckoned there were lots of scatterlings there
California – the Red Hot Chili Peppers found Dani there
California – apparently they also have a marvellous hotel there, or so say the Eagles, perhaps Dani was staying there at the time
Trenchtown – I’m taking Bob Marley’s world that it truly rocks there
Zion – Bob Marley also found an Iron Lion there
Argentina – Madonna cried bucket loads over this place
Hiroshimama – my brother, Albert Frost and his buddy Arno Carstens learnt about monstrous divorces there
Parow-Noord – according to Koos Kombuis people are really paranoid there
Texas – according to Stevie Ray Vaughn there’s a flood there – perhaps best avoided in the wet season
De Aar – The Blues Broers and their friend Chris Kreef crack a mean whip there
Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen singing a stirring song about roads
USA – Bruce Springsteen was born there, so I’m thinking he’ll probably know all about the traffic in Philadelphia
Greece – if you’re big and you’re fat, it’s the perfect place for a wedding
America – Jimi Hendrix did a Star Spangled Banner there
California – Marty McFly tried to go Back to the Future from there
London – Mary Poppins went there to sort out a bunch of bratty kids – luckily she had a brolly
Spain – they have their own language there called Spanglish
Sahara – a really awful place to be stranded in with a faulty aeroplane
Fantasia – an odd place filled with classical music and Disney characters
Jungle – probably in Africa – George lives there
Sarajevo – the guys from U2 met a girl there
Egypt – they have jewels in their Nile river
Chicago – The Blues Brothers had a sweet home there
La Grange – I’m thinking the guys from ZZ Top went there to find a barbershop, but they must’ve gotten lost along the way
California – The Mama’s and The Papa’s dreamt about it
Jungle – I’m wondering if Guns and Roses also found this jungle in Africa?
Folsom – Johnny Cash sang to a bunch of prisoners there
Africa – Toto found a place down there
Spain – apparently the rain there falls mainly on the plain

So, see, all was not in vain.  And who said that listening to music and watching TV is bad for you?  I was actively working on my education.  Just don’t ask me to point out any of these places on a map.  Okay, so perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit – England is that little town in America, in the State of New England.  Right?  And it’s shaped like a boot?


  1. I can remember the words of songs from when I was 7 years old but can't remember much of what was learnt in High School.

  2. And here I thought I was the only one that thought of Geography like you Helene. Well put together.

  3. Takes me back to so many movies and tunes from our past, H!
    A really fun take on Geography - you would have made an absolutely awesome teacher.