How to tell if you're Venedic...
If you are Venedic...
- You are the priviledged citizen of the most beautiful country in the world, which has everything: mountains, plains, rivers, lakes, a sea shore...
- You believe firmly in justice, freedom of speech, public assembly, and democracy. Your country has the oldest democracy in the World, and this surely makes you better than others.
- You feel deeply insulted about the fact that very few foreigners actually consider the RTC the centre of the universe.
- You think the RTC is essentially an extension of your own Veneda.
- You generally like the exorbitant, and you are highly sensitive to symbolism.
- You are not a republican, but neither do you support the idea of a hereditary monarchy. You don't understand why other countries haven't implemented an elective monarchy yet, and you believe it is only a matter of time before they finally will.
- If you are a man, you probably know how soccer is played, even though you always call it "plica piedała", or "football" in an international context, but a lost match won't spoil your day. You are vaguely familiar with basketball and volleyball as well, but you don't know the details and don't want to know them. You know American football and baseball only by their names. You are proud when your countryman wins a medal at the World Games. If you are a woman, you don't care about sports at all.
- How many weeks of vacation you have depends on your employer, on the social layer you're in, and on the region where you live. If you are among the luckier ones, two or three months is normal. Otherwise you should count yourself fortunate with two or three weeks.
- You think very little of fastfood, pizzas and the like. Foreign stuff, most likely. Instead, you have "Mak", which is a cool place to go on Sunday, coming back from the cinema. It's not thát cheap at all!
- You don't kill your own food, unless you live in the country. You don't have a dirt floor. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs. You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, horses, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food. Rabbits, hares, deer, and bears are, though, as well as all kinds of birds.
If you died tonight...
- ... you are likely not to wake up next morning. If you unexpectedly do, the country will instantly split up in three camps: one that believes you are a saint, a second that discards you as a fraud, and a third that wants to install a commission to investigate the matter first before jumping to conclusions.
- You are very likely to have a strong belief in God, and you are also pretty sure God believes in you. You're not sure if He also believes in your neighbour, though.
- You don't like talking about religion to strangers. Religion has always something to do with family, not with community. Asking people whether or not they believe in God is not done, and you hate it when other people do.
- If you believe in God, which you do, you will also believe that God has a mission for you, and probably also for your country.
- Even though religion plays an important role in your life, it's mostly a matter between God and you. Priest are merely intermediaries, and you won't take anything they say for granted.
- The holiest things are for you: God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary; your mother; your wife (or husband); your country.
- You probably have a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom. You do your laundry in a machine, and if you don't have one, you do it in somebody else's. If you are rich, you may hire someone to do your laundry manually.
- A bathroom may not have a bathtub in it, but it certainly has a toilet. You call it "ubikaceń", sometimes "kibel". Sometimes the toilet is in a separate room. Your dacza will probably have its toilet out the back door, in the garden.
- If your bathroom dóes have a bathtub, you will rather use it as a shower anyway.
- You expect, as a matter of course, that your home phone will work. Malfunctioning is usually due to bad operators. You are not surprised if a public phone doesn't work - in fact, they rarely do.
- Getting a phone connection at home is not easy and takes a very long time, so many people buy mobile phones, even though they are expensive, huge and heavy.
- You answer the phone with "Uszkiełtu?", which means "I'm listening". You probably have an answering machine, and leave lengthy messages at other people's answering machines.
- You don't trust technology that does not belong to you. On the other hand, you are proud to be the owner of technology that does, and you will always boast to possess the most modern, ingenious, state-of-the-art stuff available.
- The train system isn't very good. They rarely go on time, and cars go much faster. Trains are cheap, though. If you are rich, you are likely to own your own private airship.
- It seems natural to you that the telephone system, railroads, airlines, power companies and the like are privately run. In general, if it any of them works inefficiently: if it is privately owned you think it should become state business as soon as possible, and if it is state-owned, you think quick privatisation would do the trick.
Mąd sień politykór?
- You have an opinion about everything, and won't let any facts stand between you and your opinion.
- You find a parliament with many political parties natural. There are many small parties which form short-lived alliances, and they rarely exist longer than ten years without changing their names. It usually takes at least six parties to form a government.
- You understand the truth of the saying "Komód dwu Wenedzi sie okętrą, dzie wiecze noską sie trze partie" ("When two Veneds meet, immediately three parties are born").
- Despite the fact that you have the right to vote for four or five different parliaments, and issue more than one vote in each election, you still feel underrepresented. You are likely to create your own party to fix that.
- You don't understand why the RTC and Veneda have separate Sejms, because it's essentially the same thing anyway.
- You are extremely disillusioned with all politicians. You find the parliamentary system inefficient and comic, but you still can hardly imagine another fair way to run a country.
- You will never say anything bad about the King, although initially you will probably disagree with the choice made by the Senate.
- There's nothing wrong with socialism, although it's definitely a lower-class thing. Definitely not your thing. Social-democracy is just socialism in disguise. Communism is ten times worse than other types of socialism.
- You are a patriot, and you feel a strong connection with romantic nationalism. However, you loathe SNOR-styled nationalism.
- You don't believe the press, unless they write in a critical fashion about politics. You'd much rather believe something you see on TV.
- People are either "black" or "white". There are no other races. Not that it matters much, since there are only very few non-whites in your country; as long as they speak Venedic, they are okay.
- You believe fourty years of imposed neutrality for the RTC was A Bad Thing, because it kept the Veneds from fulfilling their historical destiny: turning the world into a better place.
The world would have been a better place, if...
- You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together. But even then there will always be a conspiracy to spoil it.
- The court system is inefficient and congested. You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court, but it would be no good, so you prefer out-of-court settlements.
- You'd respect someone who speaks French, Italian, or English -- but you very likely don't yourself speak them well enough to communicate with a monolingual foreigner. Of course you speak Venedic, and you will probably know, or at least understand, German, Saxon and Lithuanian as well. Knowing Russian can come in handy, but you probably won't admit to it openly. If you are among the better educated, you can read Riksmål as well.
- On the other hand, you really appreciate it when a foreigner speak Wenedyk, or at least tries to.
- You think a tax level of 50% is scandalously high. Politicians will squander any money you give them, so there should be no taxes at all. On the other hand, you will readily accept any social benefit handouts you can get.
- School is free through high school. Universities and colleges are expensive, especially for extramural students. Students finance their studies either by finding sponsors (usually among the rich nobility) or by loaning money from the state.
- College is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long. Most people, for some reason, do a six-year Master course, even though they don't need it.
Everyone knows that...
- Mustard comes in jars. Shaving cream comes in cans or tubes. Milk comes in cows, goats or donkeys, and is usually put into glass bottles first. If you are a city dweller, it can also come in plastic bags or cardboard boxes.
- Dates are in 04.02.1949 format (and you know you should know that date, even if you're not quite sure what it is.)
- If you are a doctor, or otherwise extremely clever, you will probably write dates in 4 II 1949 format instead.
- The decimal point is - of course - a comma. Thousands are indicated by dots or spaces.
- A bilion is a milion times a milion. Thousand times a milion is a miliard.
Us against the World
- The Second Great War was the most horrible and poignant period in Venedic history. It proved once again what you already knew before: that the Germans and the Russians are after you, that they are evil, and that they can't be trusted. It was a time when the country collapsed but still most people did what was right. You are likely to have lost family members in the fighting, and you are extraordinarily proud of them. You feel a deep respect for war heroes, and still place an expensive bouquet of flowers on one of the numerous war monuments every now and then.
- It's a sad thing that the RTC doesn't have any colonies but Gambia. This is probably due to a world conspiracy. Let's hope that Florida will change that situation for the better!
- You expect marriages to be made for love, not arranged by third parties. Marrying below your own status is still frowned upon in some conservative circles. You can get married either by going to the church or to the local registrar's office. You have a best man and a maid or matron of honor at the wedding-- a friend or a sibling. And, naturally, a man gets only one wife at a time.
- If a girl isn't married at 25, there's obviously something wrong with her. If a man isn't married at 25, he is either homosexual or a priest or both.
- If a man has sex with another man, he's a homosexual. There will be some ostracism and derision, but its legal and most people don't mind.
- You use the informal ty only with persons you know well, which usually means that you can address them by their first name. You use first names only with friends and family. At work it depends on age difference: you will never use first name when talking to someone much older than you.
- You proud of the fact that your nation is about the only in the world where a man still kisses a woman's hand, no matter how good or bad they know each other.
- If you're a woman, you don't go to the beach topless. Nudist beaches exist, but only very weird people go there. Definitely not you.
- A hotel room has a private bath. An extremely cheap hotel has a bathroom in the corridor.
Opiału sie Żowan
- Foreign films are subtitled, not dubbed. Sometimes, subtitling can be bi- or even trilingual: Wenedyk/Ukrainian in Galicia, Wenedyk/Saxon in Przemarz, Wenedyk/German and sometimes Wenedyk/German/Prussian in Prusi. Dubbing is for cartoons and other children's stuff.
- Bribes are necessary in doing business and in dealing with the government. Few people know how to give a bribe, though, and even less people would admit to it. In general small gifts, a friendly chat, and sometimes small services will help a lot.
- If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you would not question his ability to govern. Surprisingly, the same applies to most misdemeanors, including alcoholism, bribery and fraud. In the eyes of some, this even makes politicians "more human".
- Just about any store will take your credit card in big cities. Elsewhere only a big store will.
- A company can fire just about anybody it wants at a few weeks notice. Many people will not have a work-contract, but a service-sale contract, which can be cancelled at will.
- You like your bacon crisp-smoked or raw. You eat it on bread.
- The biggest meal of the day is in between 2 and 3 pm. You eat it first thing after coming home from work. If you work longer, you will comes home to have it around this time, or have it in a restaurant or a mieżyca.
- Beer or jekwiała? You probably like both. If you can't choose, which is not at all an unusual thing in Veneda, you may as well mix them. Wine, on the other hand, is considered posh.
- Labour Day, or Dzej Łoworze, is May 1st. Not your thing, unless you are a proletarz.
Contributions to World Civilisation
- What world civilisation? Is there any true civilisation outside the RTC?
- You are familiar with all kinds of foreign stuff on your TV, mostly from the Federated Kingdoms, the NAL-SLC, the Scandinavian Realm and the Holy Roman Empire. Sometimes something French, Italian or Russian is added to the mix. Obviously, most local productions are better.
- You have seen the Flintstones, Przewija Sezamina, Snæhvite, Ill Peleirin, Janać Janik, Babyloń V, Space Voyage 2245, Opiekła Maja, Facz łu suł, Urzy Wenedzi, Pro bonu i mału, and of course the Nowtacie. Your favourite radio show is Mąd par siemlura.
- Your favourite movies are about wars and uprisings.
- Musical history can be subdivided into three periods: Chopin, before Chopin, and after Chopin.
- You know the canon of popular music from the Federated Kingdoms and the NAL, including Fuzió, Jass and Qvelbe, as well as various local stuff. Bands you recognise include ABBA and NoMoreEagleZ. Nowadays, nobody listens to Venedic folk, but many people like Irish, Scandinavian or even Russian folk.
- You count on at least appropriate medical treatment. Doctors are competent, and they mean well, but they are underpaid. If you want quick and proper treatment, in all likeliness you will have to pay them off. You know you're not going to die of cholera or other Third World diseases. You expect very strong measures to be taken to save very ill babies, but not for people in their eighties. You think dying at 65 would be a tragedy, but what is generally considered more important than age is how much one has accomplished during his life.
We need more mountains round this country
- You are used to using two different standards for measuring things, which is extra confusing because both standards often use the same names. Foreigners often don't understand how you can manage, and neither do you. Yet you can...
- You went through the history of the RTC thoroughly, and can tell the details about any important landmark. You also know the basics of European history. You are not supposed to know anything about American, Asian or African history. You are interested in Russian history as far as it concerned Russian involvement in European affair, but you don't consider Russia part of Europe.
- You are not surprised if military people get involved in politics, as long as it is done on an individual level. In fact, it is essentially the same thing anyway. You dislike juntas. You may not be able to name the head of the General Staff, but you will know name of the Minister of National Defense.
- Your country is the continuous target of conspiring, power-hungry foreign nations. In the Good Old Days, it was your country that used to conquer them, albeit only for reasons of self-defense. If you are male, you like talking about this with friends, sometimes.
- You are likely to serve, or to have served, in someone's private army.
- You are very sensitive for the heroism of a lost battle. No matter the outcome, if the cause you faught for was just, that at least makes you the moral winner.
- You're used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy. You like to compare prices and products, and will rather buy a good product than a cheap one.
- You are not a farmer. If you were born in the country, and you are under twenty, you do everything not to be one.
- Comics basically come in two forms: newspaper comics and hardbound books. Most popular are Tyntyn and Asterix, less popular are comics from the NAL. Homegrown comics exist, but aren't very good. Generally, comics are for children, and sometimes for collectors.
- The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly politicians, authors and celebrities of all sorts. There will be a lot of shows about ordinary people who went through a tragedy, found true love after a long search, etc. Quite popular are also stories from Veneds living abroad, or foreigners with some kind of connection to the RTC.
- You drive on the right side of the road. You stop at red lights, even if there's nobody around, although you think that's silly. You tend disregard yellow lights, and give some extra gas instead. If you're a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them. You know that no car will ever stop before a zebra, though, unless the driver is trying to flirt with you.
- The police are armed, but not with submachine guns. They can only shoot at criminals after warning them repeatedly, and shooting into the air. You probably own some kind of weapon as well, which you will probably use only when called to service.
- There's parts of the city you definitely want to avoid at night.
Helvetians probably don't like us either
- You think you are a truly "Roman" nation. Your nation is a direct descendant of the Great Roman Empire, and therefore is the centre of the world. Other nations, like the Italians, the French, the Kemrese and the Romanians, are descendents of the Roman Empire too, but have lost most of its values, but not your nation. Yet, you feel a stronger kinship with them than with the Germans or the Slavs.
- You think of the Holy Roman Empire as a boring and potentially dangerous country where everybody hates the RTC. You know the names of perhaps five or six of its member states. As a rule, Germans are evil.
- You think of Russia as a horrible country where everybody hates the RTC. Russians are evil too, but primarily because they don't know any better.
- You have mixed feelings about Lithuanians: you can't live with them and you can't live without them. You understand that your country has little chance for survival without Lithuania being part of it, but you dislike their strange habits, especially their paganism. You know Lithuanian, but will never speak it unless in Lithuania. If you like Lithuanians, it's probably because they are "closer to nature". The same thing, to an even higher degree, goes for the Latvians.
- Ukrainians are Russians in disguise. You can't trust them. If you are older than 40 or live in Galicia, you probably think they are all scum. If you are younger than 40, you are likely to believe that an independent Ukraine is a Good Thing that the RTC needs to maintain close relations with - even though most of its inhabitants are scum.
- You don't know a thing about Belarussians, unless you have one living next door. Probably disguised Russians as well.
- Bohemians are "nice Germans", as far as any such thing is possible at all.
- Slevans are okay, but since they are essentially Veneds you don't understand why they want to have their own state so badly.
- Kashubians are just Veneds who speak the wrong language.
- Silesians are arrogant pricks who think they are better because they mix Wenedyk with Italian.
- Hungarians, Estonians, Scandinavians, Batavians and English are okay. Nassians are okay too, be it a little weird. Chinese and Japanese – no opinion. Kanawiki – where's that?
- The nationality people most often make jokes about is the Russians (big, ugly and stupid) and the Germans (egoistic, stiff and avaricious). Sometimes also about Lithuanians (old-fashioned, primitive).
- You know that Americans tell jokes about the Veneds, which is unfair, since you have nothing against them. In general, you can laugh about jokes about your own nation, though, so it's not that bad after all.
We never get what we deserve!
- You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Warsina.
- You wouldn't expect both inflation and unemployment to be very high (say, over 15%) at the same time.
- You care VERY much about what family someone comes from.
- The normal thing, when a couple dies, is for their estate to be divided equally between their children.
- The Roman-Catholic Church is very powerful. Bishops still have a seat in the Sejm, and it's not uncommon for a politician to campaign with a priest on his side. The church regularly voices opinions about political matters and gives advices in elections. You probably think the church is too powerful and blame that to there being too many farmers, which you aren't.
- Taxis are generally operated by politicians who fell out of grace, or intellectuals who enjoy the conversation with many people and still like to have time to read books. Most often, they are middle-aged men who know the city well.
- You think that the Welfare State is a necessary part of a civilized society, although people should primarily earn their own living. In all likeliness, you believe that the state is not giving enough money too you and too much money to other people.
- You think of opera and ballet as rather elite entertainments. It's likely you don't see that many plays, either. You will have to see one or two while at school. You would much rather go to concerts, to a museum, or to the cinema.
- Christmas is in the winter. You spend it with your family and put up a tree. Presents are given at December 24th and opened at December 25th.
- You'd be hard pressed to name the leaders of all the nations of Europe. Why would you want to know that, anyway? You will know most capitals, though.
- There sure are a lot of lawyers. You see them if you get divorced, or if you are involved in a dispute over an inheritance.
Space and time
- You consider the Volkswagen Beetle to be a medium car. Cars in the RTC can be extremely small (of the "Kabinenroller" type), medium-sized, or extremely big and luxurious.
- If a woman is plumper than the average, it doesn't improve her looks.
- If you have an appointment, you'll mutter an excuse if you're five minutes late, and apologize profusely if it's anything more than fifteen minutes. An hour late is positively inexcusable; no one will wait for you.
- If you're talking to someone, you get uncomfortable if they approach closer than about three piedzie wenedcze, but this will drop to two piedzie (or even less) if it's at work.
- You enjoy bargaining, especially about houses, cars, and antiques. Haggling is largely a matter of finding the hidden point that's the buyer's minimum. You are usually too shy to try it.
- Once you're past college, you very rarely simply show up at someone's place. People have to invite each other over - especially if a meal is involved.
- When you negotiate, you are polite, of course, but it's only good business to 'play hardball'. You don't say what you mean, you pretend not to know many things, but you surely never lie. You know the other side does the same thing, and they know you know. Many people are tired of it, so they start talking normally. You say "let's talk like people" then.
- If you have a business appointment or interview with someone, you expect to have that person to yourself, and the business shouldn't take more than an hour or so. But you will usually have to make another appointment.
(Partly adapted from Paweł Stachura's How to tell if you're Polish)