Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Scratch My Map, I'll Scratch Yours

     Before we left California to fly to the far East, we were showered with two lovely gifts from my mother-in-law.  The first was a travel guide to China, which we fully intend to use in the coming years.  The second was a complete life-changer.............a scratch-off world map poster!!  That's right, feast your eyes on this beast:

     It's basically a laminated world map (Mercator projection if I rightly recollect from geography) with a thin gold foil over all of the land masses.  Since I don't play the lottery too often, I can easily get my fix by visiting a new country and whipping out a nickel on that bad boy!  This is the view of our current progress, which doesn't look too impressive since Europe is so daggum small (relatively speaking).  I guess you could say we've got a lot of potential here (um, hello?  Antarctica?).  
Here's a close-up of our former home and the damage we did over three years:

It sure seemed like a lot more than that at the time.  Hell if we would've touched down in Moscow just once I would still be scratching away in Siberia, but it would've looked a lot more impressive.  I mean, I nearly developed carpal tunnel working on Canada and the USA.  

And here we are in Southeast Asia, with only a dab of green to show for it.  Luckily we have some time and aspirations to jump all over the place down here.

    So I highly recommend this as the perfect gift for you world travelers.  You can look for it on Amazon or at  The only thing better would be if the map were actually a SCRATCH-N-SNIFF world map where each country gives off a distinct odor.  I'd imagine sniffin' a Guiness in Ireland; pretzels or sausages in Germany; vodka in Poland; chorizo in Spain; maple syrup in Canada; cheeseburgers in the USA (except for the dirty south, which would smell like barbecue); tacos in Mexico; mint tea in Morocco (or camels); snow cones in Antarctica; curry in Thailand; and chicken feet in Hong Kong.  
     If you've got other ideas for the scratch-n-sniff map I'm all ears.  From now on, any post on a new place that we travel will include the corresponding location on the scratch-off map.

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