Tough question! Crapistan is so often either a state of mind, or like, porn, the sort of thing you recognize when you see, it can be hard to know for sure. But since we consider this blog to be the ultimate guide to Crapistan, we thought we'd outline some of the questions you should ask if you find yourself thinking, "wow, am I in Crapistan?"
- Do passengers applaud after the plane lands?
- Do passengers jump out of their seats just after the plane touches down (before the applause, even), grab their bags from the bins and run toward the front? (There is an inverse relationship between the likelihood passengers do this and the importance of the activities those passengers are rushing off the plane to get started doing.)
- Are most bags on the carousel swathed in high-tension plastic wrap or held together with packing string? (Again, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of plastic wrap used and the value of the bags' contents.)
- Can you see any signs, advertisements or instructions written in Cyrillic, even though you are in a country that does not use the Cyrillic alphabet? (But! It is axiomatic that if you are in a country that uses Cyrillic, you are in Crapistan. Don't even try to argue otherwise because you are wrong.)
- Are you struck by the talent of local (Chinese!) designers in the medium of Bedazzling?
- Pointy shoes. On men (that's sort of a gimme -- if you can't recognize this, you probably aren't ready for Crapistan). Shiny suits, too.
- Do you see more than ten people carrying rainbow-colored "Rave Girl" plastic shopping bags?
- Is Nescafe marketed as a superior alternative to coffee?
- Can you buy beer in sidewalk kiosks? In the morning?
- Do you fear for your safety? Crapistan is not particularly violent. The biggest danger is becoming collateral damage in a bar fight over prostitutes.
- Is the Duty Free shop cash-only?
It should be pointed out that just because a place is undeveloped or hovering in the gray area between third and second world, it is Crapistan. India and Pakistan, to name two examples, are not Crapistan. Crapistan implies a certain level of development in infrastructure that, out of neglect, war, kleptocratic governance, oligarchic greed or other factors, has been allowed to decline precipitously (former British colonies don't necessarily count). Also, Crapistan suggests the emergence of a vulgar middle class that has more money than sense, and accordingly, has refined and retained its tchoutcka (rube-ish) habits. For example, Crapistaniacs (new word! Credit must be given!) can afford air travel, but don't understand the protocols or the importance of real luggage.
Essay question: Baku is the Capital of Crapistan: Yes or no? Show your work!
Carpetblog management is well-aware that this is not an exhaustive assessment. The Carpetblog demographic knows Crapistan better than any readership of any blog on the entire internets. We look forward to reading your input in the comments. Also, if you can't figure out if you are currently in Crapistan, you can ask and we'll conduct the assessment and provide you with a written analysis. For free, even.
*Can you tell we were recently in Crapistan?