Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facts I Have Learned From Strangers, part I

Fact: Esperanto was invented in a town in Poland that is primarily known for something else: Bialystok, home of the bialy.

Fact-sharer: Postal worker Alex, a middle-aged fellow who advised me on the risks of sharing eye shadow with my sorority sisters. (Really, I was selling off my leftovers from my Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes to gothy teenagers via eBay, but you're not supposed to ship liquids, and certainly not to people you don't know.) He believes that Yiddish would be a better global language than Esperanto, and said that in the meantime we should all just "speak jazz."

Fact-checked: True, as per Wikipedia. Bialystock is also home to Boris Kaufman, cinematographer for On the Waterfront, and a handful of Soviet diplomats.

Fact-charm: High, especially because I can't remember how we started talking about either Bialystok or Esperanto. Plus, it will likely come in handy, because if I'm already talking about Esperanto with someone, it's probably a dorky enough conversation for me to introduce factoids about Poland.

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