Sunday, 28 January 2018

Reasons to Tweet - a Continuing Series

The heading for this post is slightly misleading since my aim is to demonstrate what fun it is to be on Twitter, rather than what fun it is to Tweet, which I think is something that you should be very careful about doing very often, particularly late at night or after a drink or ten. My point is that, while Twitter is a much sneered at area of so-called social media, I think it is quite a good source of interesting information and quite a bit of harmless humour. Used with caution, it can be a great way of discovering interesting things, getting to know nice people and having a moderate amount of fun.

I have already included a few accounts of Twitter silliness on this blog - records of games played, in which participants thought up silly film names and so forth. Today though I want to write about an account that is very informative, (especially for someone who is geographically dyslexic, as I am), and simultaneously contains many amusing bits and pieces. It belongs to someone called Simon Kuestenmacher. He lives in Melbourne and on Twitter he calls himself @simongerman600. His account consists almost entirely of maps. Most of them are anywhere between moderately and extremely interesting. The example I'm going to talk about is at the trivial end of the spectrum I suppose, because I am a rather trivial kind of person. It is a map of the world that Simon tweeted recently, showing the tourism slogans each country uses to promote itself to potential visitors.

If you want to see the map itself, go to Twitter and search for @simongerman600. Below I have listed most of the slogans, with my own reactions in brackets beside them. They range from the totally inadequate and unimaginative, through many lame attempts at jokes to slogans that are unintentionally funny and onwards to those that are out-and-out mystifying:

Mexico: Live it to believe it (not necessarily positive)

El Salvador: the 45-minute country (????)

Ecuador: All you need is Ecuador  (unlikely, given I've lived this long without it)

Panama: Panama surprises (ambiguous)

Honduras: Everything is here (patently untrue)

Haiti: Experience it (not necessarily promising, I'd have thought)

Belize: A curious place (raises so many questions)

Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic has it all (See Ecuador and Honduras)

Bolivia: Bolivia awaits you (is it just me, or does that have a faintly threatening ring to it?)

Chile: All are welcome (well that's the migrant crisis solved)

Paraguay: You have to feel it (bossy and not necessarily positive

Argentina: Beats to your rhythm (as someone who entirely lacks rhythm, this is no recommendation)

Suriname: A colourful experience, exotic beyond words (rather verbose and the phrase "a colourful experience" sounds faintly euphemistic)

Venezuela: Venezuela is your destination (not exactly a sales pitch)

Brazil: Brasil - sensational (as is an electric shock)

Portugal: Europe's west coast (statement of the bleeding obvious)

Ireland: Jump into Ireland (is it possible to come by anything other than parachute?)

Switzerland: Get natural (so it's a nudist colony, is that what you are saying?)

Algeria: Tourism for everybody (Hmmm)

Gambia: The smiling coast of Africa (actually this is rather sweet)

Tunisia: I feel like Tunisia (it's a country, not a takeaway food chain)

Hungary: Think Hungary more than expected (come on, you lot are so clever, you can easily master English grammar, this means nothing and you know it)

Luxembourg: Live your unexpected Luxembourg (sadly I've been there and it turned out that what was unexpected was that it was a lot less picturesque and a lot duller than I'd imagined)

Netherlands: The original cool (but of course nothing that thinks itself cool ever is cool)

Italy: Made in Italy (there is a logical flaw there)

Slovenia: sLOVEnia (the Slovenians do love playing around with English and I suppose this is more successful than the Slovenian watch and clock company that calls itself SLOWatch)

Denmark: Happiest place on earth (they don't mention that it is also the country with the highest consumption of anti-depressant drugs, but there you go)

Belgium: the place to be (I don't know where to begin)

Austria: Arrive and revive (while it rhymes, it also makes a beautiful country sound like a motorway stopping station and a road safety campaign all rolled into one)

Slovakia: Travel in Slovakia - good idea (this is faultless although lacking entirely in sophistication)

Finland: I wish I was in Finland (who is speaking? Why do they wish they were there?)

Belarus: Hospitality beyond borders (once again, I sense menace, because I know enough about the regime there to suspect they might pursue me after I leave the country should I neglect to pay my bills or offend them in some other way)

Serbia: My Serbia (well fine, I won't come, I will leave you to possess it in peace, if that's how you feel about it)

Albania: Go your own way (once again, the fact that I have travelled quite a lot in Albania may be colouring my reaction, which rather tends to thinking that this is good advice since the roads are so lousy that you might just as well go cross-country)

Syria: Always beautiful (in current circumstances this is almost tragic)

Jordan: Yes, it's Jordan ( all right, keep your hair on, there's no need to snap at me, I'm not very good at reading a map and I thought it might be Lebanon)

Saudi Arabia: Experience to discover (again leaves so much to be read between the lines)

Tanzania: the land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti (possibly the most sensible slogan of the lot - explaining exactly what you will get)

India: Incredible (do you see what they're doing there - In/In?)

Kazakhstan: the land of wonders (if they have them, why not take a leaf out of Tanzania's book and tell us what they are)

Russia: Reveal your own Russia (that could have been written by one of those academics who encourages you to believe that anything is a text and all texts mean whatever you want them to mean)

China: China like never before (puzzling, plus leaves you wondering whether it is getting better or worse)

South Korea: Imagine your Korea (I can do that while staying at home, possibly more effectively than if I've got the reality right in front of me)

East Timor: Being first has its rewards (are they implying that no one has ever gone there as a tourist before and they'd like to use me as a guinea pig, but therefore it won't cost much?)

Japan: Endless discovery (does that sound tiring, or is it just me?)

Papua New Guinea: A million different journeys (does that sound even more tiring?)

New Zealand: 100 per cent pure (is this an exciting prospect?)

Australia: There's NOTHING like Australia (thank the lord, can we please go home now)

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