Johnny Foreigner plays board games

Well, walking certainly helps the mind wander and explore its imagination. I don’t know how or why it came into my mind recently, but the subject was board games and how they are played in other countries.

Scrabble must have different letter tiles in different countries – a quick dash through the internet reveals that the two tiles worth the maximum 10 points in the Irish version are B and P and there is only one LL tile in the Welsh version. What about Cluedo? What is Polish for ‘Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the lead piping’? Actually, it’s ‘Pułkownik musztarda w konserwatorium z rur’ if you couldn’t guess. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Even a pack of cards – AKQJ are the ace and picture cards in English, but how confusing would it be if they were AKKK? Well, they are, in Turkish.

Monopoly – there is a third world country where the prices of houses, hotels and amenities rise each time you go round the board with rampant inflation and, on the throw of two successive double sixes, a zero is knocked off every bank note. Eventually everyone is bankrupt, unless the player can make use of the ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ cards that one can pick up at random in the Chance and Community Chest piles. Equivalent of a Get Out of Jail Free card as the son’s job is to escape over the border to a much more prosperous country and get a job in a fast food outlet, while the daughter can be sold off as a prostitute – both earning the family regular money so they can stay in the game. No “Parking Fine Pay £10” but “Daughter fails STD test, miss 2 turns”, or “Fix English Premier League match, receive 12 million of your local dollars”.

I really don’t know where I’m going with this. Diversity refresher course, I expect.


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