Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Your World Report

There's an article on MSNBC today with the teaser "Kyrgyz man accused of trying to sell plutonium."

He's from Kyrgyzstan, in case you're wondering.

I really try to keep up with world events, but I had no idea Kyrgyzstan even existed.

The best reason to bemoan the fall of the Soviet Union is the damn country names. Don't even get me started on Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and now Kyrgyzstan.

The former Soviet Republic--now consisting of eight hundred countries named Stan.

When I was twelve, 'Kyrgyzstan' was the word you put on the Scrabble board when you were down a hundred points and only had crappy tiles left. I'm just not ready for this. Back in my day, the most exotic country name was 'Kamchatka,' forever immortalized by Risk boards everywhere. Now there's Slskdj and Ydksia and Zslakcia. I just made those three names by pounding on the keyboard at random, but at least two of them are breakaway republics, I'm sure.

I'm trying. I can remember Kazakhstan, at least, by using a mnemonic--'Carjackistan.'

That doesn't actually help me remember 'Kazakhstan,' specifically. It just helps me remember that there is a breakaway country of the former Soviet republic whose name vaguely sounds like 'Carjackistan.'

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