Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Does Anyone Know where Luxembourg is???

So as we all know I work for a Mouse....and yesterday was no exception.
Yeah, So this guest comes to the World of Mouse and is from Luxembourg.
I was acting as the gopher yesterday...also called Runner. Where I run errands like shopping for new luggage, taking gift baskets to the guests rooms, helping them back into their room where they leave their room keys.....that kinda stuff. I get to sit in the back in the mail/message room with the girl in charge of this area. She sends me on my errands, to go check rooms for dead bodies or to lock out people who don't pay their Mouse bill!
In comes one of the Front Desk Cast Members, I'll call him Brock....cause that's his name, and says....."Does Anyone know where Luxembourg is?" I said ..... "its near Germany." So then I pop online to Google and low and behold....I'm RIGHT! So, I am basking in my profound knowledge of oddities like knowing where Luxembourg is and knowing there is also a country called Liechtenstein.....up by Poland and Russia.
So, Brock comes back to the mail/messages room and says...."How did you know there was a place called Luxembourg?" I couldn't really recall the exact moment that I remember learning there was such a place, but I'm sure it was in Highschool. Brock said he was mightily impressed that someone from America would know where an obscure place like Luxembourg is. I was kinda of realing from the shock that I even knew how to spell the word of the country....Then I began reflecting on why we lucky people in America, don't know or even want to know about other places in the world. I mean we have the resources of History classes in Highschool and college, the internet, books, magazines and The History and Discovery Channels on television to show us how these places look, so we don't actually have to GO to these places. But there are people from these places that come to America....and they are very pleased when we show that we know of their existance. We don't have to absorb their language, (which by the way people from Luxembourg speak German and French, because they are literally right between Germany and France with one border with Switzerland, and Belguim.) And we don't have to follow their religion. We can just know about them... So here are some things that I learned yesterday about Luxembourg: They have a Duchy that runs their country along with a parliment and it is the Richest country in Europe. The Grand Duchy abdicated his ruling seat in 2000, to his 53 year old son. They were absorbed for a time by the Nazi influence of Germany during WWII....(that's WORLD WAR II for those in Rio Linda). Luxembourg is a very small country it can be walked across in one day. But it is not the smallest country in the world. I think that belongs to either Vatican City or Andorra.
So, why are Americans berift of knowledge of other countries? Do we think we are the Only country that matters in the world? I have met people in Florida that live 10 miles from Disney World, who could not tell me which road to take to get there! I know people in America who do not know where our Capitol is located. Kinda makes you wonder if we are this way, how would we know if there are People from other Planets living among us, because they could say they were from Alpha Centari and we'd say...."oh, is that near France?" And we wouldn't KNOW.
I have over the course of my existence on this planet strived to learn about the countries and peoples from other cultures. I don't know why this is. I don't wish that I lived in those countries....well...maybe Australia or England, but that's because I could still actually communicate with them.
But I respect people from other cultures. I'm not saying I'm better because of this, but it is amazing how many people have commented to me on what I know. I knew a girl from Romania, who was impressed that I knew where Romania was located on the map, and I could tell her what countries bordered hers. She complimented me and said I was one of the FEW Americans that she'd ever met with knowledge of the world.
Working for the Mouse I have the opportunity to meet all sorts of people from every walk of life, every economic spectrum, and from many different countries. It helps them to feel welcome and special when I can converse with them about their country in an intelligent, respectful way. For instance....When people from England come to my desk, I love to use some of their slang words. They love it, and I ask them if they know where Giggleswick is. They more often than not don't, but they find it amazing or maybe even amusing that I would know first that there is a place called Giggleswick and where Giggleswick is located. And just so you know... It is in East Yorkshire England, near a small town called Settle, which is a place that most English know about...and Giggleswick is about 30 miles or so west of Manchester, England. It is amazing to them that I would know not only the name of the place, but that I would also know details about the place, but I've never been there!
I certainly don't know any other language besides English....some Spanish and even less French. But I like to hear other languages. But I think that only English should be spoken in public in America. But obviously if you are conversing with a close friend who is also from the same country as you and it is easier to communicate in your native tongue, you may do so, but please don't yell, thank you.
I am hoping that my respect and desire to know things about other countries and cultures will rub off a bit on to the Child. She has a fascination currently with Japan and China. She has a particular fondness for the food of China, for which I am grateful. And she has mentioned wanting to visit Japan so that she can see the Shinto Shrines that are very important to their culture. I am hoping that learning about their cultures she will be able to respect them and want to learn more, and that she will develop a hunger for learning about other cultures. She has learned about the Japanese art of brush painting through playing a video game called Okami.
It would be nice if the teachers in our schools could teach more about cultures and countries around the world. Rather than being babysitters of disruptive and disrespectful children. Who are the product of a disruptive and disrepectful home life. I am grateful for the history teachers that I have had and I am grateful that I was taught by my parents to be respectful of others. I am glad I have the desire to learn, still.
So, Where is Andorra?


Jessica G. said...

I didn't know Luxembourg was it's own country but I did know about Liechtenstein. And I agree that Americans seem to think they are the only ones that matter in the world. The world is a big complex place. I'd like to get to know it's geography a little better.

Jessica G. said...

Hey, did you notice I tagged you on my blog? You're gonna have to go back a few pages to find it...