Show and Tell

This week I’m showing my map of the USA one of only three things adorning the walls in my room (the other two are White Sox and Kane County Cougar pennants I picked up on my last trip). I always struggle to remember how different the scale is on a map of this ginormous country than a map of the UK, so when my head is looking at a distance between two places and saying “hmm about a twenty minute drive” in reality I’d be on the road for oh about 3 and a half hours. It’s hard for me to wrap my Scottish head around. I put the map up a couple of years ago now when I was learning more and more about the different states but I, in all honesty, had no clue how they fit together. I mean I used to think New Jersey was north of New York. Seriously. It’s so much worse when you think that I was living there at the time! I also thought New Mexico actually was a country all of its own (as you can tell, geography is my real forte hahaha). Maybe someone out there can explain to me: why Washington D.C. is nowhere near Washington state, why Michigan City is actually in Indiana, come to think of it… how come Michigan is split in such an awkward way with that upper peninsula thing when all the other states lines seem somewhat logical… and another thing… why oh why do you guys say “Kansas” but Arkansas becomes “ar-ken-saw”?  Drives me nuts, despite the fact that as a Brit I can’t really lecture people about writing things one way and saying them another without a really bad pot kettle black situation. (EDIT – Gadget Guy here… hello? There’s no “F” in “Lieutenant” as an example).

So far I’ve only been able to stick three “been there done that” pins in my map:

New York



I’d give you my wish list too, but really there isn’t anywhere that’s NOT on my wish list.

I can’t when exactly this was… perhaps when Craig Ferguson was trying to get Honorary Citizenship from as many places as possible OR when I was watching your election map turning red and blue all over the place, but for a while I used to have a recurrent dream when I started my own campaign to get a pen friend in every state so that I could pick and poke all thier American brains with my sometimes stoopid often irritating questions of how come… why… what about… the country is just so fascinating to me.

Ali xX

P.S. Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is sharing.

8 thoughts on “Show and Tell

  1. All I can say about the naming and pronunciation issues is DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT…LOL.

    As for the scale of things, just remember that each of our states is about the size of a country over in Europe.

    BTW, I love that map.

  2. Washington, D.C. has to be on your wish list, right? The best not-quite-a-state in the United States (wrap your mind around that one–our capital isn’t a state and it isn’t in a state. It just is).

  3. Heh. My German husband makes fun of my appalling sense of European geography all the time, but I often retort that I bet it took him many years of living in this country before he was able to geographically place most of the states. And since I’ve never lived in Europe, how can I be expected to remember where all of the tiny countries are, countries that are smaller even than many US states are, especially as when I was last in school studying that sort of thing, many of those eastern European states didn’t even exist (or rather, existed as entities of the USSR…). I’m learning slowly, but I can still hold it over him that my birthplace, my home state, is larger even than his entire birth country, thus I cannot be expected to remember where Niedersachsen is in comparison to Bavaria, for example, any more than he can remember where Harris Co. is in comparison to Williamson Co.

    I wish you luck with figuring out our wacky geography here! (Oh, and my first overseas trip was to Scotland, and it totally captured my heart. Were I not married to a German who requires that most of our overseas travel be to his home country, I’d insist that we go there together soon… maybe someday…)

  4. Thanks for the chance to look at my country anew. There’s so much that doesn’t make sense, huh?!

    I hope Colorado is on your wish list. As much as I love to travel, I lurve, lurve, lurve my home state.

    Scotland is on my list.

  5. My job keeps me on the road constantly. As a consequence, I have visited 37 states and 9 countries. I like to discover new places, but I have being away from my family so much.

  6. I think it’s amazing that you’re doing this! I’m with you, though…there’s nowhere that’s NOT on my list of places I want to see. I travel a lot for work and it’s a great way to see many different states. Good luck to you!!


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