Monday, March 23, 2009

Where is Gambusia?

A lot of people...ok, only one person, a friend who is a geographer, asked me where Gambusia is. You'd think he would know being a geographer and all, but that is part of the mystery that is Gambusia. The mini-continent of Gambusia is located in the Indian Ocean:



It is the little green splat west of Australia and south of Sumatra and Bali. In spite of its location, few people know that it is there. You'd think it would be of great strategic value...but its not. And you'd think it has played an important part in shaping global events...but no, it never did. I will gladly get deeper into its history in a later post, but for now, I just wish to provide a short introduction.

If we examine the region closeup, we see that there is the main, mini-continent and several smaller islands.



Being marginally trained as a geologist, I will gladly go into the geologic processes that formed Gambusia, but its tax season and I have more pressing things to do. I am going to introduce the three nations that exist on Gambusia. They are:


The Sultanate of Northern Chalupistan

Also known as Northern Chalupistan, this nation occupies the northern two-thirds of the continent proper, plus the three islands to the east. It was originally settled by pirates in the 1500s, but became a unified sultanate by the early 17th century. It has the highest per capita income of the three countries thanks to tourism, ship building, and growing high-tech industrial sector. Politically, it is a constitutional monarchy. Islam is the dominant religion, but it has been always known to be extremely tolerant of other religions. Citizens have always been proud of their pirate past much the way Australians are proud of their past as a place to send convicts. Two years ago, as part of a tourism PR campaign, the country altered the spelling of its name from "Chalupastan" to "Chalupistan." There was also a move by the Ministry of Tourism to replace the crossed swords (representing their pirate heritage) with crossed palm trees, but this was voted down in a national referendum.


The Viceroy of Chalupastan

Also known as Southern Chalupastan, this nation occupies the southern part of the main continent. Southern Chalupastan was "discovered" by one of Magellan's ships that sailed off course on the way back to Spain. Although it was granted independence from Spain in 1924, it continued to have a viceroy as its head of state. Like its neighbor to the north, it has a constitutional monarchy as a form of government. Economically, it ranks second. The economy is largely agricultural. The main crop is the Bu-Bu berry, which is used in several manufacturing processes as well as eaten. Additionally, Southern Chalupastan produces some of the largest carrots in the world. Carrot lengths of over 3 meters have been recorded. Several international firms have recently established technology parks in some of the larger cities. Southern Chalupastani are a mixture of Spanish, Gambusian, and Chalupan heritage. Sadly, social status and wealth is based largely on ethnicity. Those of more pure Spanish ancestry tend to be higher up in society, and more economically well off.

The Federal Republic of Gambusia (FRG)

This is the smallest and youngest of the three countries. It occupies the western side of the continent. Prior to the coming of the pirates and the Europeans, the mini-continent was inhabited by the Gambusians and the mysterious Chalupans. Whereas the pirates and Spanish invaded the eastern lands, the western region was carved up first by the Dutch, then later the British and French. It remained three separate colonies until the three gained independence separately in the early 1960s and then united into single republic in 1965. Britain and France still have some influence, and maintains a military presence. They are the poorest of the three nations, with their economy based solely on agriculture and fishing. In the past few years, the FRG has been trying to cultivate an eco-tourism industry, but rebel activities in the eastern part of the country have hampered their efforts. Despite being less well-off compared to the other two countries, the people of the FRG are proud of their indigenous identity.

No comments:

Post a Comment