Wow! Oh wow! December already!
If you’re a regular of the Cove, you can skip this paragraph… You know about my flagmania already. For the others, just a quick explanation of the “looking back on” posts I look forward to every month… As bloggers, most of us keep an eye on our stats to see how the traffic is going, and every “read”, “like” or new follower is appreciated. Along the months, I decided not to pay too much attention into those numbers, because the Cove is an irregular blog, and though some days things are going very well (on the Cove’s scale, of course…) some others would have been a little disappointing if I had given it too much importance. Instead, I like to check at every turn of the month, which countries have visited the Cove for the first time since it’s creation… And I write a post like this one, to thank and welcome those new flags to my collection! To sum it up, instead of wishing for a certain amount of readings, I hope to someday be able to say at least one person from every country in the world has read my words… I just think that’d be cool!
I just want to point out that I am not making fun of these countries… I just like looking for unique facts that make me smile, and are specific, making them special 🙂
So, for the month of November, here are the newcomers:
Albania, Armenia, Brunei, Chile, China, New Caledonia, Reunion, Slovakia and Taiwan! Nine new flags… I have to say, I’m pretty happy about November. So here are a few interesting facts for each of them… So we can all learn a little bit about my new visitors…
Albania was a nice surprise for me… For personal reasons, I was longing to pin this particular flag to my collection. I have written two fiction posts taking place in Albania, Bons baisers d’Albanie, and Le bouquet de marguerites
On a less personal note, Mother Theresa was originally from Albania (I sure didn’t know that).
It is one of the only 3 European countries where there is no McDonald’s restaurant.
In 1995, drivers in the Albanian city of Shkodra refused to pay a new traffic-light tax on the grounds that their city had no traffic lights. – Wise people, I would say 😉
Albanians nod their head up and down to mean ‘no’, and shake it from side to side for ‘yes’. – I think this is a much needed piece of information for anyone visiting the country!
Albania has never won a medal at the Olympics. – Everyone knows about my lack of interest for Olympics… Don’t worry Albania, there are much more important things in life!!
King Zog of Albania (ruled 1928-39) was the only national leader in modern times to return fire during an assassination attempt. – See what I meant? Now that is worth mentionning 😉
Chess is a compulsory subject in schools! All students have to take chess as a compulsory subject in school and there are even exams for it! – I like that. I think it would do many countries a lot of good to force children to sit still, and think.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 29th sultan of Brunei, owns five thousand cars, including around 20 Lamborghinis, 160 Porsches, 130 Rolls Royces, 360 Ferraris, 170 Jaguars, 180 BMWs, 360 Bentleys, and 530 Mercedes-Benzes. – Important word here… “Around”! Hey, how can you blame the guy, being a Sultan probably means having a lot of things more important than counting cars!
When Brunei first participated at the 1988 Olympic Games, its delegation was composed of a single official and no athletes. – Now that’s the spirit!
Penguins are found in Chile, in addition to Antarctica. With almost 12,000 breeding pairs in the country, ‘Humboldt Penguines’ can be seen on the north coast of Chile. – You just have to like countries that have penguins!
The world’s largest swimming pool is in Chile. It is 1000 yards long, 20 acres in area and 115 feet deep. This giant pool holds 66 million gallons of seawater. Remember: this was not a cheap pool to build. It took five years and one billion U.S. dollars; its annual maintenance cost is close to two million U.S. dollars. – Didn’t find anything Olympic about Chile, but hey! That is some pool!
The sunrise, in China, can be as late as 10 am. Because the country has joined its 5 times zones into a single one. – I had to pick this one, because I just have a love/hate thing for time zones… Don’t ask, it is a long and not so interesting story 😛
Almost a third of San Francisco’s air pollution comes from China – I knew the smog could be thick in some parts of California, but is it thick enough to be tagged “Made in China”?
1 out of every 3 socks was made in the district of Datang in Zhuji, China. It is known as “Sock Town”. – I wonder if that includes furry socks…
Although French is the main language, the people of New Caledonia (a little over 271 000 of them) also speak 33 dialects – Nooooo… They don’t all speak every 33 dialects… Come on!
New Caledonia is home for the Caledonian Crows. – I was about to joke about this, but I’ve seen documentaries about the incredibly ingenious animals.
I had to do a little more research about Reunion. It seems people are a bit shy about Reunion fun facts on The Internets. If you are from l’Ile de la Réunion, and know interesting facts people should learn about your land, please share them with us 🙂 I still was successful (I never quit! NEVER)
Reunion holds four world records related to rain…
Greatest 12-hour rainfall (Jan. 7-8, 1966): 45 inches
Greatest 24-hour rainfall (Jan. 7-8, 1966): 71.8 inches
Greatest 72-hour rainfall (Feb. 24-26, 2007): 154.72 inches
Greatest 96-hour rainfall (Feb. 24-26, 2007): 194.33 inches (That’s over 16 feet / 4.9 meters of rain!)
Since November 2014 all children, full-time students less than 26 years old, widowed or disabled pensioners under 62 and seniors 62 and older are eligible to travel by train for free using the national railways. It is available only for citizens or permanent residents of countries that are member states of the European Union. All you need is a quick registration at cash desks to obtain your personal customer card. Afterwards, you ask for a zero-fare ticket for a specific train and enjoy the ride. – Free public transportation? Yes, please… Ok, I wouldn’t qualify in any way, but I think that’s a very neat idea!
Every month, staff from the Slovak and Slovenian embassies meet to exchange wrongly adressed emails… – Now, I read this, but I HIGHLY doubt it. On the other hand, the world is such a crazy place, it just might be true. My advice, if it is, why not just press the “transfer” button in Outlook every time you get an email for the wrong country, instead of waiting for the end of the month? Just saying…
Last but not least!
Taiwan is the first democratic country in Asia. – Not funny? I agree… But I just had to high-five Taiwan for giving its people a voice! Democracy sometimes gives odd results (not pointing fingers, USA 😉 ) but I wouldn’t want my country to be run any other way…
In Taiwan, garbage trucks play a tune non-stop (I am guessing that it is to advise people it is coming) – This is cute, from a tourist’s point of view, but I feel for the garbage men who have to listen to that childish music all day long!
Welcome to all of you, new flags! You’ll be hanging in the Cove from now on… Yay!! 🙂