Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 04.08.04 | 8:43 PM ET
If you haven’t heard of the European nation of Molvania, birthplace of whooping cough, among other claims to fame, you’re not alone. The country doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, a recently published guidebook has all the visitor’s information you’ll need, including tips on understanding local customs.
The guidebook, “Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry,” is a spoof of travel guidebooks. It’s a brilliant idea. According to a story on BBC.com, co-author Tom Gleisner said the idea for the book was hatched while backpacking in Portugal. He raves about Molvania. “It’s a very beautiful country now that radiation levels have dropped to acceptable standards,” he reportedly told BBC TV.
The book’s Web site is terrific, offering all sorts of insight into the country’s history and culture, including this item: “Molvanian is a difficult language to speak, let alone master. There are four genders: male, female, neutral, and the collective noun for cheeses, which occupies a nominative sub-section of its very own.” The site’s front page features Bill Bryson’s enthusiastic blurb: “Brilliantly original and very, very funny. If you buy only one guidebook to Molvania this year, let it be this one.” You can’t argue with that.