Berlin, England: Conversation starters


I get compliments on my bag all the time, which is funny because it’s crap. I mean, I like how it looks too—that’s why I bought it. But it was $25 from a street vendor in New York City, made of fake leather that is already falling apart at just a year old.

Its leather isn’t the only thing that’s cheaply made. As you can see from the photo, it’s a map of the world in nice earth tones and fancy calligraphy. It looks great from a distance! But then I’m sitting on a New York subway, admiring my new purchase, and I notice something…

Every single country is spelled wrong.

At first I think, cool! Every country must be in its native language…or something? Or, maybe it’s supposed to be old English? I look closer. The calligraphy is hard to read, but it seems to suggest “Palaka” is Poland. Well, I suppose that could be true. But, “Dalaka” for Germany?palaka.jpeg

“Tuikiye” for Turkey?


I get more suspicious when I see the Mediterranean is labeled “Madilseeanean,” and Algeria is “Algeica.”meditalgeca.jpeg

Again, I tell myself, maybe it’s old English. But then, the other shoe drops:


London is labeled as “Berlin.”

Well, that settles it. Somehow, for some reason, everything on this bag is wrong! Could they not get the rights for the world? Do you NEED to get rights for the world?

I don’t mind my terribly-spelled bag. After all, it’s still adorable, and it’s a great conversation piece. People love spending time poring over every misspelling, wondering if it’s this language or that until I point out Berlin, England (or the “United Hingdom,” according to the bag). Then they throw their hands in the air and laugh, deeming the bag a mystery.

I too wonder how and why this bag ended up this way. I can only imagine it’s a knock off of a designer bag, and misspelling/labeling countries somehow got around copyright. But whatever the reason, I don’t mind. It’s a small-talk I don’t mind having, since it doesn’t focus on me. It’s a fun game to play when I don’t have anything else to do. It’s a centerpiece of a love of all things ironic, the love of ridiculous things that are so bad they’re good.

It’s the little things like Berlin, England that make life wonderful. While it’s unlikely you have a bag like this, a piece of jewelry or a shirt with a story behind it are great conversation starters in a pinch! You get to share a story, get a few compliments, and get out of the spotlight as people try to top your story. Good luck:)

13 thoughts on “Berlin, England: Conversation starters

  1. Even with the misspellings I think it’s still a pretty cool bag! 😄


  2. fiftywordsdaily

    Is it half full or half empty – that’s the question….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahahahaha i was still dubious about the whole thing…. then the United Hingdom screamed at me, follow by the newly relocated Berlin!!!! Hahahahah none the less, you gotta love the bag!! :p i can imagine your face when you realize it was not old English! !!! Lol too funny

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahahaha “it’s funny because it’s crap”!!
    I like your bag too! :p


  5. The people who made that bag definitely did it on purpose. I think it was their sense of humour; you know, creating a “quirky” item. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my gosh this is hilarious. I actually have a very similar bag that I bought online from overseas and just like yours the quality is terrible. I also just now realized that the names on the map also make no sense. I kind of assumed it was an old world map or something. Like you said though, at least it’s cute from a distance. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is delightfully hilarious. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  8. They thought no one will notice the misspellings because the design of the bag is beautiful so it won’t really matter haha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. fiftywordsdaily

    I’m writing this from Dresden, just West of Birmingham…does your bag have a view on Brexit I wonder….

    Liked by 1 person


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