Friday, June 13, 2008

Short Rant: Where on earth is Mongolia?

Further to my post "Mongolia : The Greatest Conspiracy of Cartographers?", I now announce that the confusion over Mongolia's geographical location has reached a new low for me. I am at a point where I am seriously contemplating on carrying around a world map with me. Or have a T-shirt made with a print of the map of Asia. Or invent a way to zap geography knowledge into their brains instantly with the use of a Tazor.

So here's the source of my astonishment and exasperation: A Singaporean told me she thought Mongolia was a part of Tibet before she met me. Part of Tibet? Nothing is a part of Tibet. Even Tibet is no longer a part of Tibet! Of course, I do not think she is representative of the general geography knowledge here in Singapore. Well, I hope not. On a second thought, who knows. Sure, a lot of people can't point out Mongolia on a map, confusedly poring over the South Asia section in futile search. But given the press coverage Tibet has received over the years, one would think...

It almost made my ears bleed... There should be a word for that feeling of extreme helplessness where you don't know whether to cry or laugh or scream in horror or do all at the same time while crazy-dancing naked and drunken in the middle of the street. I should refer to the Meaning of Liff, perhaps the ingenious Douglas Adams had already invented a suitable word.