Yes, the nation-state is very young. But the important thing is that it’s still very much alive.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve just about had it with the ubiquitous nature of QR codes here in Spain, and now a friend from New York is asking me to use a QR code to buy cookies for her small daughter’s Girl Scout program.

I’m not completely opposed to QR codes. I love them on Spanish bus stops where a code tells me exactly how soon the next bus will arrive at that particular stop. But they are an absolute bother in restaurants. The phone screen is small. I have to toggle it constantly to navigate the menu. It’s hard to track what price corresponds to which dish.

On an even more unrelated note, I detest the word “cookie” almost as much as the concept it denotes. The word sounds dry, scratchy, and unappetizing.

4 thoughts on “Unrelated

      1. “I love biscuit”

        But you’re American now, so it’s illegal for you to refer to cookies as… “biscuits” (cold shudder) a noble food, similar to but far superior to the British scone.

        Some years ago I was discussing how to translate biscuit (US version) into Polish (Poland doesn’t have any kind of quick bread and I doubt if Ukraine does either) with a colleague.
        The best my colleague could come up with (they had been in both the US and UK and knew both US biscuits and scones) was ‘krakers’ (singular).
        I felt very disappointed… and now I’m thinking I should try out some homemade biscuit recipes…


        1. The biscuit/cookie/cracker distinction is one of those things that indelibly stamps us as Americans, wherever we go 😉 Even more than soccer/football/futbol.

          Back when I was a nanny, my toddler-charge and I used to go visit with the lonely old Portuguesa lady in the apartment downstairs. She spoke no English, but was clearly a sweet person, over ninety, and very obviously enjoyed the company, so I was happy to sit and drink tea in her kitchen while the little tyke played with the basket of plastic fruits. She kept a shiny sleeve of tea biscuits handy for such occasions, and when she’d hear us coming down the stairs, she’d open her door and wait for us, biscuits in hand, and sort of wave them at us when we arrived, then deploy one of her scant stock of English words: “Cooookie?” It played out like a hilarious Hansel-and-Gretel mime. Good times. It’s a shame Americans don’t do tea the way everybody else seems to. It’s such a great excuse to visit with strangers.


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