Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Maps and Hips

I don't watch much news, but when something major goes on in the world, I tend to turn on a news program just to get a general idea of what's going on.

And it seems as if over the years, there are conflicts in countries I've never heard of.

When this happens, I do something I haven't normally done in the past: I locate the country on a map. And then I go read about it. This is especially nice on a rainy afternoon, just spending a couple of hours researching the country. I've been doing this for a few years now. I have more of an appreciation of history now.

This began indirectly after years of reading my big blog bruh Cheap Seats Terry's posts, and observing his love of history. And he writes about it so well. It made me want to just become more knowledgeable in general about world history. The news only tells you so much, you see. I want to know as much of the background as possible.

So... a couple of years ago, I noticed that my best friend LadyTee put some huge maps up on her walls. One was of the world, and another was of the united states. And they are huge, the size of twin beds.

This was funny to me at first. But after a number of visits, I'd stand up and get real close to them. I'd put my hands on my hips and ponder them.

And I noticed a few things:  For instance, look at this map of east Asia...
"I didn't know Mongolia was a country," I said. I turned around with my hands still on my hips. "I thought that was something out of the early or middle ages, way back long time ago. Back with Ghingis Khan and them dudes."

"Naw'll, it's still there, girl," she said.

That is odd. We NEVER hear of some mess jumping off in Mongolia. That is something that I will be looking up on a rainy day.

I continued perusing the map. Still standing there, my face some six inches from map.

I did NOT know Tasmania was off the coast of Austraila.
Why did I think Tasmania was in Africa? Maybe I am getting that mixed up with Tanzania.  I don't know.

This caused me to move over the the country of Africa. I was still standing there, with my hands on my hips considering the continent.
You know, I heard someone on a radio show say that we, as black folks, don't know much about Africa. That is because we were sent to school to learn to adore our oppressor. That's a bit harsh. Well, I thought it was.

But answer these questions:

How many countries are in Europe?  Can you name them?

Well... how many countries are in Africa?

I can name all the countries in Europe with relative ease.  I even speak a little french. And because of my chemistry background, I can read french really well, and I can understand it when spoken (There are chemistry papers in french, so I took french).

I thought there were some 10 countries in Africa. I named a few.

But there are actually 54 countries in Africa.

Here's the kicker... Can you name them???

And if you can, good for you.  And if you can't.... why is that?


That's just something to think about. I can't name all the countries of the continent from whence my slave ancestors were purchased.

I stood there with my hands on my hips taking it all in. There are countries in Africa that I can't even pronounce. Sigh.

Anyway, LadyTee and I go to Saturday night church. She called and asked if I would be there, because she had something for me. So when I arrived... she gave me a bag of maps similar to hers.
Man... you KNOW I was cheesing.

I will be standing in my own house with my hands on my hips studying my own maps.

How wonderful is that?


  1. That was so nice of her and very neat. Tony likes maps like that. The only time I look up stuff like that is when we watch The Miss Universe Pageant. It came on the other night and there is always some place that I didn't know was a country lol.

    1. Cowgirl Cre and I were talking the other day. The only way we really learn of the countries is when the athletes are walking into the stadium during the opening and closing ceremonies of the olympics, lol.

  2. Anonymous4:17:00 PM

    LadyTee sure does know you WELL!

    My oldest grandson is fascinated with maps. Always telling me stories about different countries and their histories, and what they produce, etc...

    The two of you would have a ball together doing your research.


  3. You are really, really, smart. Thank you for this post.


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