Have you ever heard of “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”?
Any idea what it is? Well, it is actually…
the name of a place in Wales (refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llanfairpwllgwyngyll)
Quoting from wikipedia, it is apparently one of the longest officially recognized place name in the world! The name literally means “St Mary’s Church (Llanfair) in the hollow (pwll) of the white hazel (gwyngyll) near (goger) the rapid whirlpool (y chwyrndrobwll) and the church of St Tysilio (llantysilio) by the red cave ([a]g ogo goch).”
It contains 51 Welsh alphabets, and being curious of how it is pronounced, I clicked on the pronunciation button on wikipedia, and my windows media player popped out and started playing the word. It takes slightly less than 5 seconds to pronounce the name fluently! lol. It must really suck for the people there to make a self-introduction and telling people where they come from.
Talking about places with weird names, I’m sure there are many other places in the world that are named ridiculously, and apart from be irritated by the complexity of the name and having troubles trying to tell people where you are going when you are lost, there could be some good points about having ridiculous (or interesting) names. It provides an impetus for enthusiastic travellers to visit these places just for the sake of saying “I have been to XXXXXX”, and pausing to observe the reactions of their listeners.
A friend of mine just flew to the city of Ljubljana in Slovenia on an Easy Jet flight just for the sake of its not-very-pronunceable-in-English name. We all have different motivations for travelling- most people travel to visit world-famous tourist sites and heritage sites; some travel to learn the history and background of a certain country or culture; some travel to enjoy the authenticity of its cuisines; some travel to escape from the hustle and bustle of their stressful lives; and the list goes on and on. I travel to experience first-hand how people of a certain tongue communicate, such that it gives me a reference on how a language is utilized as a communication tool and so that I can imitate and get better at the language. My friend often does things on impulse, and perhaps the first impression of a place, such as the name of it, would kick him off the chair, make him pack his bag and leave the house.
As I eagerly wait for the dates to be crossed out one by one, till the start of my next vacation, I am starting to fill my head with different ideas of where to head off next, though probably not to a place whose name I can’t read.
Scanning through my to-do list, I wish could rearrange the items from a priority list to something more random, like alphabetical order or something, so that I can give myself the excuse to escape the most important things to do now.