Been There or Not

8DD10808-A2AA-4659-B358-7464172A9527I used to think of myself as a man of the world — a well-traveled, fairly learned, and sophisticated man. But it’s just not true. Not by a long shot.

A friend of mine told me about an app for the iPhone (and I assume there’s an Android version as well) called “Been.” The app allows you to identify all of the countries across the globe you’ve ever been to. I thought that would be cool, so I downloaded the app from the Apple App Store.

I started tagging all of the countries I’ve traveled to. I even went so far as to tag all of the states in the United States I’ve been to.

The good news is that I’ve been to all 50 states in the U.S. And I’ve been to three countries (Canada, U.S., and Mexico) in North America.

But then my “man of the world” self-image got destroyed. I’ve been to just 12 countries in Europe and only one in Asia (Israel).

And I’ve never been to any of the countries of Central America, which “Been” considers to part of North America. Or to any countries in South America. Or Africa. Or Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific islands, etc). Sheesh!

I’ve never been south of the equator. And the furthest east I’ve ever been is western Russia.

The map below, from the “Been” app, shows in orange the countries of the world I’ve been to. The counties I have never been to are shown in gray.DA03A0BF-A799-4995-9577-90E946947DBBYes, I know. Very little orange and a whole lot of gray.

I’ve never had a bucket list, but I think I might start one. And at the top of that list will be to turn this map a whole lot more orange than it currently is.

Now all I have to do is win the lottery so that I can afford to fund the one and only item on my bucket list.

Share Your World — Apples or Oranges

SYW

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for Melanie’s Share Your World questions. So, here are my answers.

Do you prefer Apple (‘I’ products) or Android for your technology ‘fix’?

I have an iPhone. My wife, son, and daughter each have the Google Pixel 2 XL phone, which is an Android device. I love my iPhone and will likely stick with it, seeing no reason to switch. Of course, I also said that of my BlackBerry device about a decade ago.A02E92B9-B934-46F2-A8E6-25D3FF884464

What’s something on your personal bucket list?

My bucket list has one thing on it: the revival of the American democracy after Trump, one way or another, is no longer president.

What would you name your boat if you had one? The Unsinkable 3? The Please Don’t Sink? Your choice! Also, what would it look like? Do you want a motor yacht, a sailboat, or perhaps a dinghy?

A houseboat named “This, Too, Shall Pass.”

Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?

A8068BCB-A622-4BBB-AE75-10F0ECC6D810God.

What brought gratitude, a smile or laughter to your life this week?

After the events of this past week, there was not a goddam thing that brought gratitude, a smile, or laughter to my life. Sorry.

Friday Fictioneers — The Bucket List

img_1347When she first learned that she had terminal cancer, Francine told Henry that she wanted to see New York City before she died. Having lived all of her life in rural Nebraska, she longed to see what she had always called the giant skyscrapers. So he arranged for a trip to the Big Apple.

Henry looked up at the Empire State Building, his vision blurring over by tears. One year ago today, they were standing at this exact spot. Francine had been particularly taken by that iconic skyscraper.

A month later she was gone, except for his memories of her.

(100 words)


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Jill Wisoff.

They Love Me in India

Image result for India flag

Just for grins and giggles, I looked over my blog’s stats for July. As expected, most of my views, fully half, came from the United States, my country, ’tis of thee. However, the country where another 28% of my blog’s views last month originated was India. INDIA!

Huh? I did not expect that.

I wanted to see if this was an anomaly, so I checked my stats for August, which, admittedly, is only four days old. What I found was that, so far, 53% of my views came from my home country, but 26% were, again, from India.

Seriously?

I figured that, outside of the US, most of my views would be from other English speaking countries like the UK, Australia, or Canada. But no. In July, only 7.6% were from the UK, 4.4% from Australia, and less than 1% from Canada.

What the hell, Canada? I have more views from Russia than from Canada. (Shh. Don’t tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller.)

It’s pretty much the same so far in August, with 10.9% from the UK, 4.2% from Australia and, again, less than 1% from Canada. Seriously Canada?

If someone from India is reading this post, please help me understand why I have so many readers from India. I’ve never ever been to India and going there is not high on my personal bucket list. So why?

What about all of you? From which countries are you posts getting the most views? Take a look at your WordPress stats. You might be surprised.