Did You Know...? Fun Facts from Around the World

Amy Rees
July 5, 2009

It's always fun to daydream about living in a faraway land. What would you do, what would it feel like, what would you be wearing/eating/doing?

After they've had the world opened to them, perhaps your little ones wonder too. What are favorite toys there? When do children go to school? What are the favorite sports or activities there, and what are their holidays? 

Whether you are just giving some detail to daydreams or actually setting off on a real adventure, start with the details, the nitty gritty. 

If you woke up today in one of these places, here's how you would say hello:

Honolulu, Hawaii: Aloha

Istanbul, Turkey: Merhaba

Nairobi, Kenya: Jambo

Dehli, India: Namaste

Siena, Italy: Buongiorno 

(And of course, you should learn to say goodbye, too, assuming that at some point, you'll daydream yourself home. Perhaps you'll have an easy, double-duty greeting like Aloha or Shalom or Ciao.  Or perhaps you'll have to learn a new one -- look at this list for options and you're sure to learn something, even in the variations of English!)

And, what, pray tell, did you eat for breakfast on this fine day wherever you are?

In Japan, you probably had some rice, miso soup, a little broiled fish or omelet, some seaweed, and some pickled vegetables.

In Morocco, you sipped some sweet mint tea and a small glass of home-squeezed orange juice and nibbled on some wheat bread with butter or argan or olive oil and jam and honey.

On the island of Jamaica, you might have had the classic saltfish and ackee, but we trust you had a local in the kitchen, because ackee (which is a fruit) is poisonous if not prepared properly.

On a Saturday in England, you might have gone all out and had the self-referential "traditional English breakfast" -- a "fry up" of bacon, eggs, potatoes, toast, black pudding, grilled tomatoes and baked beans. Oh, and maybe kippers, too!

Even in the old U.S. of A., you would have had a very different breakfast depending on where you woke up. Did you have a true bagel in New York City (or maybe a diner-style egg and cheese on a roll)? Some huckleberry pancakes in Spokane? Grits in Chapel Hill? 

And what kind of weather does the day hold for you?

In Perth, Australia, you're looking at about 65 degrees and sunny -- which is not bad, considering it's the dead of winter in July!

In Krakow, Poland, it will be a steamy 83 degrees and thunderstorms.

In Accra, Ghana, the forecast calls for 82 degrees with some sun and some clouds.

In Jerusalem, you're headed into full sunshine and 86 degrees.

Looks like a beautiful day where you've landed, so go outside and play!

From the Parents

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