I used to believe that for on this side of the world, three leaf clovers were common, and four leaf clovers were lucky. But on the OTHER side of the world it was the opposite. Lots of four leaf clovers and not so many lucky three leaf clovers. I used to dream about going to the "other side of the world" and picking enough four leaf clovers to last a lifetime, and bringing them back to this side of the world so they'd be lucky.
I used to believe that countries really had their names written across them and that when you reached a border there would be a red dotted line on the ground.
When I was 3-4 years old, my grandmother went on a trip to Scotland. We, as a family went to the airport to drop her off. We watched her sit down in the departures lounge, on the other side of the baggage check. I remember thnking to myself "Scotland" didn't look like a very fun place.
i believed that england was a medieval country without cars and telephones. the reason was that i watched the silver jubilee of queen elizabeth II. on the telly in 1977 and there were only horses and old uniforms. the announcer was also referring to queen elizabeth I. who had lived in the middle ages. logically, number one is mother of number two - how exactly elizabeth II. could ever manage to live from 14hundredsomething til this day i couldn't sort out but it was amazing to know that there was a medieval country still in existance.
i also thought that latin america had to do with ancient rome and people would walk around in togas, live in colosseum- and temple-like buildings and speak latin
When I was a little girl, I made a point of memorizing each country's flag so that if I was ever kidnapped and ended up in a strange place, I'd know where I was.
I used to believe that Florida was really heaven becuase we would fly through the clouds to get there and it was filled with many old people, including my grandparents.
At about age 7 I thought one could see the people running around on a map, if one looked hard enough.
I used to look at a map of the world and think that it was only half of the world, and that when I flipped over the map, the other half of the world should be there. I would demand "but where is the other half of the world?" and become very distressed that grownups apparently weren't alarmed that half of the world was missing, which made me think that they were being brainwashed and I was the only one who knew that some greater power was trying to hoodwink us, or else the other half of the world didn't show up on the map because it wasn't discovered yet. I swore to become an explorer and find the other half of the world when I grew up. And yup -- I love traveling the world, though I know all the major landmasses are where they are supposed to be.
I used to think I could go to a country like Australia, see what the winning lottery numbers were, then fly back to Ireland in time to play those numbers anf become a millionaire. It didn't help that my aunt encouraged this belief.
As a child, after I found out that "urine" is the "proper" word for pee, but before anyone had told me how to spell it, I was studying maps. I looked at maps of various places, including the great lakes region. When I first saw Lake Huron on a map, I thought h-u-r-o-n might be the way to spell that new word, urine, that I'd recently learned, so I really wondered about Lake Huron. I was well learned enough by then to think it extremely unlikely that there was literally a giant lake of pee there between Michigan and Ontario. But I thought the lake must have been named derogatorily by someone who perceived something inpure or unaesthetic about its waters. Even though this was a confusion on my part, it might have just given me a head start for later being aware of water pollution!
When I was a child, I used to believe that USA is a state of Poland, and someday we go there for a trip like we were doing this to Warsaw :)
When I was very young, probably six or seven, I thought the D.C. in Washington D.C. stood for "Decorated by Columbus".
I imagined Columbus running about ballet style flinging columns and buildings and painting the sky patriotic. Oddly, I never thought it was "Discovered by Columbus", probably because that wouldn't lead to such entertaining images. ;)
I used to think that The Great Wall of China was made out of porcelain.
When I was about 5, my family went to New Hampshire and saw the Old Man of the Mountain. My parents were pointing at it and asking me if I could see the old man. Well, here I was thinking there really was this old man up there and wondering why we were bothering him, staring at him like that!
Diana, Princess of Wales was a confusing title to a seven year old girl. Unaware that Wales was part of the UK, I thought she was princess of the big, underwater mammals. I wanted to be Princess of Dolphins. Still do, actually...
As a child I used to listen to radio programs. Often the host would indicate that contestants were chosen at 'random'. I spent hours looking through the atlas trying to find out where
'random' was located. I finally for some reason came to the conclusion that it was somewhere near Rochester.
When I was about six, my father introduced me to the map of the world. He pointed to my country (Sri Lanka) and said, 'see this country the size of a grain of rice, that is where we live'. For years after that I lived in mortal fear of waking up one day to find myself and everything around me engulfed in boiling water. I figured if our country is as small as a grain of rice, it's only a matter of time before somebody decided to cook it!
During college, my girlfriend at the time was driving me around her hometown in New Jersey. We came to a fenced area surrounding an AT&T building. There were telephone poles of varying heights stuck in the ground and they were covered with what appeared to be varying types of oil or other protectant. "That's where they grow telephone poles", she said. I burst out laughing, thinking she had made a very funny joke.
"Why are you laughing, " she said straightfaced.
Turns out her father told her this fib as a little girl - and to that day she still believed it!
I used to believe and argue with my neighbor friend that our house was positioned exactly in the centre of the world and that hers was just off. When I checked my "fact" with my dad he confirmed that I was right, which I was pleased about, but he added that any spot you pick is in the centre, it is just how you look at it and however big or small you make your centre. I just did not mention that last bit to my friend.
When I was little, my best friend went on a family vacation over the summer to Vegas. When she came back, she told me penguins walked down the streets and that they had little pools for them on the corner for them to eat and hang out. I firmly believed this and whenever someone mentioned they went to Vegas, I'd excitedly ask them if they saw the penguins too.