Since I was raised and educated in Europe, my knowledge of world history and geography is far superior to that of even the most educated American. As a benevolent holiday gesture, however, I am willing to share my superior knowledge, to help my fellow Americans better understand the world outside the U.S. and A. (This information should be particularly helpful to college kids looking for an edge in their upcoming World History and Geography exams.)
- Canadians live in subterranean dwellings because of the ice dragons that roam the surface of Canadia in the long winters.
- Italians are born with a 200-word vocabulary of sign language. In Italy, speed limits from the Roman Empire are still in effect (3 leagues per hour for horse-drawn chariots, 2 leagues per hour for ox carts.)
- The Russian language was invented as a prank by two Finnish schoolboys in 1759. Before they got their own language, Russians communicated by pointing, and throwing vodka bottles.
- Scots have six stomachs. This is a genetic mutation to enable Scottish people to deal with Scottish food.
- There’s no word in the German language for "fluffy", but seventy-two synonyms for "invade".
- Belgium doesn’t actually exist. It’s a place from Dutch fairytales, and the Europeans use it to perpetuate the world’s longest ongoing practical joke.
- People in The Netherlands traditionally celebrate Christmas by gathering around a festively decorated wheel of cheese, and smoking hashish out of lacquered wooden pipes.
- Swedes don’t own winter jackets despite their country’s arctic climate. This is because of the alcohol content of their blood, which acts as antifreeze.
- Every English person alive has met HRH The Queen. Also, because of their stubborn insistence on driving on the wrong side of the road, the Earth’s spin rate is slowed there to the point that English hours have 62 minutes. (This is true for all countries with left-side traffic.)
- Austrians speak a peculiar dialect of German that lacks gender modifiers and adverbs. They also celebrate Opposite Day every fifth of the month, where Austrians say the opposite of what they mean. This has caused hilarious air traffic control mishaps involving pilots unfamiliar with Andersrum Tag.
- Finnish people are legally limited to uttering a thousand words per year. In Finland, it’s customary to express affection by cutting the other person with a knife. Russians are considered game animals in most of Finland.
- In Poland, the national sport is polo. (This is where the sport derives its name.) The original Polish version is played on yaks, and uses halberds instead of mallets. Poland is also home to 86% of the world’s polar bears (again, hence the name). The polar bears on display in the Arctic are currently on loan from the Warsaw Zoo.
- “Australia” is actually a giant theme park run by New Zealand, and staffed with New Zealander college kids in costumes. Income from tourists visiting “Australia” accounts for 93% of the New Zealand GDP.
- Dachshunds originated in feudal Japan, where they were used as mounts for the city guards in the notoriously narrow streets of ancient Edo.
- The ethnic makeup of Romania is as follows: 45% vampires, 13% werewolves, 21% Undead/Other, 12% peasants, 10% gypsies (as per the 2005 census.)
- Every Swiss citizen is required to keep a crossbow and fifty bolts in his home. Because of the mountainous nature of their country, most Swiss commute to work via specially trained griffons.
- Irish poetry is traditionally written on peat moss, with metabolized stout beer.
There you go: first-rate facts about the world, kept from you by the inadequate American schools. Now go forth and use this new knowledge to wow your professors and impress your foreign friends!