So my wife was in India for a couple of weeks. I don’t get to say that everyday. Iowa, sure. India… not so much. It was a business trip, so she worked most of the time but she did manage to slip away over the weekend to see some local sites. If you spend 18 hours or so on planes you want to see more than the inside of an office building and a hotel.
Now I will give her this, she might have visited some cool temples, museums, markets and a massive stone Buddha Dude plopped in the middle of a lake, but face it, its no Guinness Book world-record sized moldy mondo popcorn ball like the one we accidentally stumbled upon in Sac City during our drive to Iowa last month. Come to think of it, that miserable rainy drive to Iowa took about the same amount of time as her flight across the world to India.
My wife is pretty well traveled and was excited to check another country off her ‘visited’ list. My version of that list is quite a bit shorter. From afar if you compare the two, my list looks like a post-it note with a few things scribbled to pick up at the market on the way home from work while my wife’s looks like Santa’s primary children of the world naughty vs nice scroll.
I am not even sure about some of the places on my list. You see, I’m not really positive I’ve been to the Asian continent or not. I know that sounds odd, but there seems to be some debate about where exactly Guam is… besides the middle of nowhere.
I lived on the island for several months and it seems no continent wants to claim it. I mean, I found Guam pleasant enough, especially if you like cock fights, pan-fried fruit bats, flying palmetto bugs bigger than your fist, rotting teeth stained red by constantly chewing on betel/areca nuts and boonie stomping down to the moderately unsafe, polluted Tanguisson Beach. OK, cheap shot but Guam is kinda easy to make fun of. Even the name sounds like something stuck on the bottom of an old Cajun man’s shoe. Truthfully though, there is some beautiful stuff there but my real point is, continent-wise, where is the damn place.
Guam might be a U.S. territory but that just means its linked to North America by government. On the Island, like on Hawaii, they claim they are part of the Oceana Continent. Which I do not recall being on that list of seven that I learned about way, way back in school.
I do recall that the continents were formed by those big-ass shifty earth plates and… well… not much has changed in the last few dozen millennia. Although I could see some crazed conservatives from the east coast bombing the San Andreas fault in an effort to fulfill their dream of busting California off the side of North America to drift and join one of the other six more liberal big-taxed, higher-minimum waged, lower pollution tolerant continents.
But back to Guam. So if we are saying the whole Oceana thing is a bit of a technical continent cop-out (like how they say cucumbers and cauliflower are technically fruits but have you ever actually seen either in a fruit salad?) and that it has to be lumped into one of the the real 7 continents, shouldn’t it belong to Asia? I mean, no one argues that that Japan is part of Asia and its not that much longer a distance from Tokyo to Tamuning, the location of Guam’s airport, as it is from here in Dallas to the tiki themed pool-side bar my sister’s building in her Florida backyard.
To add to this confusion, I’ve also read that Guam is on the same continent as Australia / New Zealand, but that is a whole different hemisphere. Maybe I should ask my old friend Mickey. Years ago he was a geophysicist at Columbia University before he got tired of being broke and moved across the North American Teutonic Plate to Seattle to become a slightly less broke computer nerd.
Personally I know as much about Teutonic plates as I do about bone china (is it made from real bones?), but I do recall there was 15 of them big ole’ Earth plates and that the Pacific plate covers Hawaii, Guam and New Zealand. But that does not answer my continent questions and just confuses me more. I seem to know just enough to really muddle things up. I am obviously much better with Continental Breakfast then Continental Divides.
I need to do more research on all of this. I mean, if I cannot even definitively tell you if Russia is part of the Asia or Europe continent, how can I be expected to know if I have been to Asia?