Over the last few months, we’ve gathered a precious little list of the strangest queries and search terms that brought Internet users to our Kafkadesk website.
We’ve decided to share some of them with you: despite everything, they illustrate some people’s (more-or-less fundamental, granted) inquiries about Central Europe, its countries, its culture and its inhabitants – and we also hate leaving questions, as mind-boggling as some of them may sound, unanswered.
Note: all those search terms and questions are authentic. We only took the liberty to correct a few typos and misspellings.
1. “How most smart countries managed smartness?”
This one is quite a head-scratcher. Although we’re quite at a loss to explain how the smart nations actually handle their own staggering level of intelligence, what we do know is that indeed, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary are ranked as some of the smartest countries in the world. Next time you’re out with your Czech, Hungarian or Polish friends, we advise you ask them how they do it: who knows, they might let you in on their secret…
2. What are Hungarians like?
Well, that’s a pretty broad question, and hard to answer in a few lines. But we did gather a set of areas where Hungarians top the charts, for better or worse: they’re incredibly successful Olympic athletes who often use social media but sadly suffer from one of the highest rates of depression in Europe. They’re also very smart but pessimistic about growing old, great at crafting hot spicy sauces and producing freakishly long sausages but not the healthiest nation on earth nor very good at recycling stuff either. They’re also pretty impressive at breaking weird Guinness World Records. Hope this helps.
3. “Country closer to Poland”
That’s a tough one, and really depends where you are in Poland… But to give you elements of answer, Poland has common borders with seven countries: Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia (via the Kaliningrad enclave).
4. “Why are Polish better than Mexicans?”
To remain completely fair and stick to the highest standards of quality journalism and reporting (and also not to lose any of our Polish or Mexican followers), we respectfully decline to answer this question.
5. “Are Czech men better looking than Hungarian men?”
Same here, we’re afraid, we’ll leave this one to your own subjective appreciation based on your encounters with the Czech and Hungarian representatives of the male sex.
6. “Czech sex”, “Czech xxx”, “Czech s e x”, “Czech sex with alcohol drink”, etc.
We don’t mean to do any finger-pointing here, but many of you seem to associate the beautiful lands of Bohemia and Moravia with the physical act of love. Not our place to judge, but we should be honest: that’s not really our trade. Now, the main reason these search terms may have brought some of you on our website probably has something to do with our article about the top 10 movies shot in Prague and the Czech Republic: among them is Rob Cohen’s 2002 action thriller, starring Vin Diesel, and (in)conveniently called XxX… All roads lead to Rome, right? A slight(ly disturbing) variant of this search popped up on our screens a few weeks ago: “Do Czechs believe in sex with family?” Although Czechs are indeed much more progressive and liberal than their neighbors on a number of social issues, such as gay rights, ‘sex with family’ isn’t one of them: our answer to this last query would be a categorical and unwavering No.
7. “Why Czech doesn’t belong to EU?”
Because it does: although harbouring complex feelings towards Brussels, the Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union since 2004. But contrary to its Slovak neighbor for instance, it hasn’t adopted the euro, and still proudly uses its own currency, the Czech crowns.
8. “What’s a claim about Poland that can be argued against?”
Huh, hmm, huh, wait… what??? Ask Siri.
9. “Is there a Star of David symbol in the Superman symbol?”
Not really, no. Some people do indeed go to great lengths to prove the Jewish origins of the world’s most-famous superhero, and businesses even started selling the ‘Super Jew Sweatshirt“, where the original diamond-shaped symbol of Superman is replaced with a Star of David. What is entirely certain, on the other hand, in that the Star of David was first recognized as a symbol of the Jewish community in the city of Prague.
10. “Why were the Czech unhappy?”
That’s a pretty strong assumption: according to the U.N. World Happiness Report, the Czech Republic currently ranks as the 23rd happiest country on earth, the highest position among Central and Eastern European nations. But what really puzzled us in that search was the use of the past tense, “were”: the mysterious user seems to have been hinting to a specific time in history when Czechs might have been particularly unhappy. But to which period exactly, this remains an unsolved riddle for now…