Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

Two Interesting Facts about Samoa

There are precisely two entries under “21st Century” in the Wikipedia article about Samoa. One is about the country changing from driving on the right to the left in 2009. This goes against the trend somewhat, but it turns out that it’s easier and cheaper for them to import cars from (relatively) nearby Australia and Japan than from the Americas, so it made sense.

The other one is about today. Or rather, not today. Today… well, whatever the Cats server says over in Australia, I’m writing this on the 30th of December 2012, and I couldn’t have done that if I lived in Samoa. Today didn’t happen in Samoa.

The country straddles 180° longitude, and has up till now placed itself to the East of the International Date Line, on GMT-12. But, largely because of these same trade links with Oz and whatnot, it’s now on the West, GMT+12. So they skipped over the 30th of December. Perfectly simple, but the more I think about it the more my head hurts.

Trade, though: the two Interesting Things Samoa has done this century are both due to pressures of trade. I’ve categorized this under “Real Life” because that’s what trade is. All the other multifarious worries and panics of political types are nothing compared to where your stuff comes from and how much it costs. It’s a powerful thing that can erase entire days from the calendar.

Why they didn’t just wait until the 29th of February next year isn’t quite clear.

Update: Somehow I managed to turn commenting off. Fixed it.

6 Comments

  1. Angry Exile says:

    I feel sorry for anyone who had Friday off.

  2. Tim Newman says:

    At least everyone has forgotten the “You could fit the population of Western Samoa into Cardiff Arms Park…”

  3. RAB says:

    They are suffering from “Bejing symdrome” too.

    The BBC has inexplicably changed to pronounciation of the country from a crisp single syllable… Samoa, to a distinctly two syllable… SAAAmoa.

  4. NickM says:

    TIM,
    Surely you mean The Cardiff Millennium Stadium

  5. Tim Newman says:

    Nope, when Western Samoa beat us in 1991 it was still called Cardiff Arms Park. Although it wasn’t: it was called The National Stadium, and I believe Cardiff Arms Park was the pitch tacked somewhat oddly onto the side of the main stadium. But everyone used to call The National Stadium Cardiff Arms Park, a name I wish they had carried over to the new one.

  6. RAB says:

    Hear hear Tim, it should have been the Arms park.

    There is also another showpiece down the Bay, called the Millennium Centre, or the Armadillo as it is known locally.

    Stupid people could very well end up with tickets for Oliver, or the Welsh national Opera, rather than the Six Nations.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: