It turns and moves but its inhabitants don’t. It turns and moves but its inhabitants don’t; the most relaxing location according to Le SwenMcEdiarazcamay [Le SwenMcEdiarazcamay] annual planetary exchange rankings
(This article was not written by Rahman; it was retrieved through secret communications with Le SwenMcEdiarazcamay; the only change is a translation from Guenfr to English with the help of a professor at York University fluent in both languages from the system of Alpha Proximi who assisted with Legal, Political, Sociological and Philosophical research under the guise of a human)
So, now that completing an intergalactic educational exchange is mandatory to obtain a position on the super space operator, students everywhere are searching for the best planet. Well, from the experience of many who’ve travelled to the system of Sol and been to Earth, Mars, and Pluto: Earth is the best; and we do have legal agreements (though they are secret) with some of their schools.
Seriously. The humans on Earth still plays sports on the ground (Martians play fly-ball) and they can only fly at Mach 6.8 (Plutonians fly at Mach 22), but Earth is the most recommended; it’s where you want to go.
Compared to us, they might still be a couple of centuries behind (using pens, keyboards and so-called “Smartphones” instead of their eyes), and still have “technical difficulties”; but humans have thought of something that’s never occurred to us and a concept Martians and Plutonians aren’t even close to: holidays.
There they are, rotation after rotation, working hard to advance their technology and society; then after 5-6 axial rotations (or days as the humans call them) everything comes to a halt. The planet doesn’t stop moving but humans have decided “For every week (a period of seven axial rotations) we’ll stop working and give ourselves a break.” They call them weekends; one day they work less and the second they don’t work at all; if you’re completing your exchange at a school you get both days off.
And all around the Earth, in every country (regions of land separated by artificial borders and different leadership), there are “holidays”, a full axial rotation that comes every solar cycle (or year) when no one is obliged to do anything productive. Usually they’re on a day after a weekend so they call the holidays “long weekends”
In the country of Congo, located in the continent (a land mass surrounded by large bodies of water) called Africa, humans observe a holiday called Parents’ Day. On that holiday, for a full day, in honour of their parents, the humans in the country called the Democratic Republic of Congo don’t work.
If you travel to another continent, one they call North America, there’s a country called Canada (known to its inhabitants as the Great White North because it’s a vast nation because the majority of which is perpetually covered with a solid white precipitation known as snow). There, they have a day in February the only month (a set of axial rotations) with 28 days instead of 30/31 when most of the country also honours parents; they call it “Family Day” because they want to honour the entire family. But of the highlights of the month is an observance, not a holiday, the day they watch how a rodent comes out of the ground believing it will predict whether the thaw for southern areas of the nation will come early or late during the year.
But 5 months after the day of watching the rodent, in July, they celebrate Canada Day. Across Canada all humans spend time with their family and friends and remember the time when their country became a nation on “Canada Day”. Other countries do this too.
But it seems as if they’re still evolving; one Canadian human said “There needs to be more!” The most common holiday on Earth, the one that unites all humans is the one they call “New Year’s Day”. Around the world, after every orbital rotation (after 12 months/365 axial rotations), for what humans call the first day of the new orbital year, they don’t do anything productive and just have fun; sometimes with family and friends, sometimes with people they don’t know.
Check out Earth when you get a chance. And start in the continent they call Europe; two of countries there, Austria and Portugal are tied for first for the most holidays in the world.
First published in MacMedia,, March 2014, Volume 19, Issue 6, page 20
Written from the perspective of an extraterrestrial to provide a humorous tone for the World/Globe themed Issue