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"Schmolland" Travel Guide

Posted Nov 10 2008 12:00am

On Friday, I posted my take on the "travel" metaphor for parenting special needs children (warning - this post will probably make more sense if you've read that one). I promised to share some of the customs of our particular "Schmolland" (I really need a good name for it, huh?). So, here are a few:

In our native land, it is customary to run in circles around the living room after dinner / before bedtime. Actually, any time is a good time for running in circles here, but it's part of the established pre-bedtime routine.

The citizens here prefer to make limited eye contact while talking. They find the constant movement of facial expressions to be distracting, making it difficult to focus on what the person is saying. This particular trait causes some misunderstandings when dealing with people of other countries who place high importance on eye contact and mistakenly believe that not looking means not listening.

Much like popular culture influences the language and expressions in other lands, our country is heavily influenced by Thomas the Tank Engine, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Super Mario Bros, among others. The speech and behavior of certain citizens here will be much more readily understood if you are familar with those.

Some citizens prefer to kiss your hand rather than to be kissed on the cheek. Others view head-butting as a gesture of affection (thankfully that particular trend seems to be fading).

Hand flapping is a common gesture here, and it has with multiple meanings. Depending on the context, it can reflect excitement, agitation, or boredom. The more vigorous the flapping, the more intense the emotion behind it.

So, what are some of the native customs of your "Schmolland"?

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