Whoever said “you never use anything you learn in school in real life” likely died smoking a cigarette while pumping gas. School may not teach you everything, especially common sense — that has to come naturally and unfortunately some people don’t have it (those people usually win Darwin Awards) — but it will teach you basic geography.
Yet every year, an astounding number of morons prove that they skipped geography class in favor of setting their farts on fire. If you don’t know how many continents there are or where they are located, you are not qualified to travel anywhere beyond your city’s limit (or operate heavy machinery).
As of now there is no test to prove if a person is worthy of holding passport, but there should be… because we fear far too many tourists travel to the wrong city of the same name. Until someone in government gets their priorities straight and creates a test that measures people’s observational skills and geographic knowledge, here are 7 cities not to be confused with bigger, more famous cities…
Paris, Texas Should Not Be Confused With Paris, France
If you ever find yourself standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and it looks a lot smaller than you thought … say 70-feet instead of 1,063-feet … you’re probably in the wrong Paris. The cowboy hat on top of the tower should be a dead giveaway that you’re in the dusty desert town of Paris, Texas instead of Paris, France; but if it didn’t, there’s really no hope for you. That’s not to say there’s nothing to do in Paris, Texas: you can see a 12-foot tall statue of Jesus wearing cowboy boots or attend the annual Paris Hamfest for ham radio enthusiasts. We think, however, that the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the real Eiffel Tower are just a little bit better. Just a little.
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada Should Not Be Confused With Sydney, Australia
You expected 90-degree weather in January but wound up in snow. You hoped to see wallabies and kangaroos but came across beavers and deer. If you ever find yourself in this situation, kick yourself in the ass because you went to the wrong Sydney. The small city of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada may be known for having the largest fiddle in the world, but chances are you were looking forward to seeing the largest natural harbor in the world in Sydney, Australia. Even though 20,000 miles separates these two Sydney’s, dumb tourists continue to mix ‘em up again … and again … and again.
London, Ontario, Canada Should Not Be Confused With London, England
You’re standing on Blackfriars Bridge above the waters of the Thames River and you look up to see the London skyline. But instead of seeing the Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge, you see a few underwhelming corporate buildings lifting over the trees. That’s because you’re in London, Ontario, Canada instead of London, England. I can see where the confusion lies: both cities are named London, both cities have a Thames River, both cities have a Blackfrairs Bridge. But the fact that one city is in Europe while the other is on a completely different continent should pretty much dispel any confusion. In fact, these two cities are so unsimilar that the sister city to London, Ontario isn’t even London, England … it’s Nanjing freakin’ China.
Los Angeles, Chile Should Not Be Confused With Los Angeles, California
Poverty? Check. Crime? Check. Spanish-speaking people selling oranges on the street corner? Check. Alright, so far it’s looking like you actually DID end up in Los Angeles, California … except there are no fake boobs, spray-on tans and plumped lips. So where are you? Los Angeles, Chile, a city of 125,000 in the chilly and mountainous region of Patagonia. Instead of watching a football game between USC and UCLA, you’re stuck watching bare-footed kids play soccer in a dirt field. But, hey, at least it’s cheaper.
Brussels, Wisconsin Should Not Be Confused With Brussels, Belgium
In Brussels, Belgium, the most famous sight is a statue of a peeing boy. In Brussels, Wisconsin, the most famous sight is a peeing drunk. Both places are proud of their drinking heritage, but you won’t find opulent architecture or refined culture in Wisconsin… unless your idea of culture is beer pong. But it doesn’t matter which Brussels you’re in, you’re bound to hear people speaking both English and Dutch. That’s because Brussels, Wisconsin has the third-largest Belgian-American community in the U.S. In fact, four of the top five Belgian-American populations are in Wisconsin.
Cairo, Georgia Should Not Be Confused With Cairo, Egypt
Ah, Cairo… land of such popular festivals as Mule Day, the Antique Car Rally, and the Rattlesnake Roundup. Not the Cairo you were thinking of? Well, the Cairo with the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx and the Nile River is like 9,000 miles away. Right now, you’re in Cairo, Georgia, a little city with two big distinctions: it’s “Georgia’s Hospitality City” and the “Syrup City.” Cairo, Georgia takes so much pride in their syrup production that the Cairo High School athletic teams are called the “Syrupmakers” and the “Syrup Maids.” Last year, ESPN called the Syrupmakers the best mascot in the high school heritage category. But the locals should be even more proud of the fact that Jefferson Starship singer Mickey Thomas is from Cairo. Unfortunately, the city was built on syrup instead of rock and roll. (By the way, there’s also a Cairo in Ohio, which is near the town of Lima, not to be confused with Lima, Peru.)
Manila, Utah Should Not Be Confused With Manila, Philippines
If you mistake Manila, Utah for the capital of the Philippines, you’ve really gotta go out of your way to do it — the town is about as small as you can get: 0.8 square miles. Some people have houses bigger than that. The court house looks like someone’s house, for crying out loud. The only relation between the two cities is that Manila, Utah was named after Manila, Philippines in 1898 after the American victory at the Battle of Manila Bay. If you wind up in Manila, Utah for some reason I can’t fathom, you won’t be far from the comically-named Flaming Gorge.