Sunday, April 23, 2006

Where in the World....

A few nights ago, Packrat and I had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. We go there sometimes because we get to drink copious amounts of iced tea. The non-alcoholic type. We learn a new thing everyday and that night, we learnt that it was salsa night at the HRC in Singapore. Unfortunately, the more coordinated between the two of us, refuses to step onto the dance floor where they're giving a free salsa lesson. So, I sit there and sulk with my famous pout and point to all the HRCs that we haven't been to. Including the one in Bogata.

Packrat is one of the smartest people I know but sometimes, his ignorance shows through, like when you ask him who the President of Singapore is or when you try to confirm that Bogota is the capital of Colombia. He thinks it's the capital of the District of Columbia. That's when I wonder at what he actually learnt in school. But then again, I learnt a lot about countries and capital cities by playing Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

I remember playing it on a DOS-system where the screen was green and the sound was a really bad MIDI file. I also remember having a notebook, where I had written down clues- the Crown Jewels were in London, Constantinople is now Turkey- so that I had a reference book as I played it. It was good. I learnt Buenos Aires had nothing to do with Buono Vista and Lima had nothing to do with beans. All good.

It's like learning world politics from watching Miss Universe and Miss World pageants. Why is there a Miss Belarus and Miss Serbia-Herzigovina now when there wasn't 20 years ago, apart from the fact that the immediate images one has of a such a Baltic beauty would be a walrus like girl with long incisors and flippers for hands. And the other? Just too much of a mouthful to say very quickly ten times over.

Whatever it is, it stuck and I am cleverer than Packrat when it comes to historical/geographical fact. Unfortunately, he beats me hands down with it comes to logic. I can never get my Ps and Qs right. I use that as justfication when I'm rude, snarky or snappish with him. Of course, that excuse doesn't roll with him and I just end up looking like a little fool.

At that point, I start up my DOS version of Carmen Sandiego and try and shame him into not being able to tell me where the Andes are. Of course, he wisely chooses not to be drawn in and I'm left playing the game on my own with all the tinny, MIDI music a girl could ever ask for.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 13:47

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