Postcard from Capstania

Viciousbutfair, Going Postal
The Place No One Ever Leaves in Capstania

The recent bid for the FIFA World Cup by the little known People’s Republic of Capstania-Fullstrengthia has thrust this small but secretive country firmly into the spotlight. You can see their application Dear Hello FIFA elsewhere on this site.

We asked their foreign minister, or as he is known, Minister for Things not in Capstania, for some background about his homeland.

What is the government of Capstania?

The government is always the Most Excellent President Viciousia, he is the father of all our country, also this is waiting to DNA tests but these have been lost, at the moment.

He became Most Excellent President after an almost bloodless people’s revolution. This is always celebrated by every single citizen on the day we call The Day of the Hammer and Many Sticks.

The capital city is named for him Viciousia as is also the river which often runs into our capital.

Are visitors safe to visit Capstania?

Most visitors could be safe, all people in Capstania are often safe. Only those who read books and can count are sometimes not so safe.

Tell us about the capital city of Viciousia

Every single street in Viciousia is now named The Street of the Most Excellent President Viciousia.

This is good for all visitors because when they ask for direction to The Street of the Most Excellent President Viciousia, we say you are already in it! This is a small joke we often have in Capstania, there are many other small jokes like this.

Sometimes the new street name is not so good for the man who delivers a letter but the letter gets passed around and usually finds a home somewhere.

It sounds very rustic, I have friends in Primrose Hill who might like to visit. Is there electricity and running water?

A hill of primroses, I have not heard of such a thing but we do have a hill in Capstania so they will feel mostly at home.

In one street, The Street of the Most Excellent President Viciousia there is the electric. It is 110 volt but sometimes a little more and often quite a lot less.

In the season of the heavy rains, water is everywhere in Capstania, this we call the season for water storage in jars and bottles. At other times there is not so much water.

Tell your friends to visit but please no books or counting, Most Excellent President Viciousia is very strict about this.

Viciousbutfair, Going Postal
This lucky pair not only find rain water during the water storage season but also a fresh dead oxens!

What other attractions are there to visit in the capital city?

There are many fields and also there is a building called The Place That No One Ever Leaves. Parts of this building can be visited with supervisors but not the basements and some other rooms as they are not safe for anyone.

Be careful when you visit though because you may never leave! Another small joke we have in Capstania.

There is also the annual festival of Beating the Boy with a Stick, this is based on a very old story told in Capstania. A 12 year old boy is asked by the farmer to minds the oxens in the field so that they do not fall down and die.

Because the boy is reading a counting book he does not mind the oxens and one falls dead. The farmer is very angry and chases the boy with a stick and then beats him.

Now each year a 12 year old boy is chosen and then chased through the town by a man dressed as an angry farmer. The people gather around and sing, “You did not look after the oxens and the angry farmer will chase you then beat you with a stick.”

It is very funny for everyone, except the 12 year old boy, and it teaches the young people also the dangers of reading and counting.

What is the currency in Capstania and is it easy to exchange money?

The currency is the Botszcz, there are many Botszcz to the pound or even more for the dollar but this can change every minute.

It is only permitted that pounds, or even better, dollars are exchanged by the friend of Most Excellent President Viciousia. This is our Finance Minister, Count Zbigniew and he will exchange currency by appointment night and day.  Often we say, night and day, he is the one, another small joke we have in our country.

Count Zbigniew has the final say on the rate of currency but he is nearly always fair.

Viciousbutfair, Going Postal
An assistant to Count Zbigniew prepares a currency exchange in Botszcz for a visitor

Does Capstania use metric or imperial measurement?

There are many ways of measure in Capstania. For rain water we have a small glass and then a big glass. Two small glass make one big glass. For very big we have the measure, Uncle Vanya’s bottle, this is very big and four times the big glass, it is not often used in these days. The original bottle is now in the People’s Museum in Viciousia but we have some other bottles too which we still can use.

For distance measure we use the shoe, one shoe, two shoe and so on. This is another small joke we have in Capstania, what is a man with two shoe, very lucky! Often we laugh at this.

Now, for example, if you ask how far away is The Place No One Ever Leaves you may be told it is more than three hundred shoe away. In this way you will know how much more you have to travel.

If you think in only a small shoe then just add a bit on, it is a most efficient way of measure and you will very soon learn.

If you look for something that is very far away, people will say it is a lot of shoe, you will then know it is very far away.

What is the traditional meal in Capstania and what drink do you have with this?

Traditional meal is called Rzygustki, it is stew of dead oxens with special secret leaves and sticks cooked in a large pot. There are always many dead oxens in the fields but not often so easy to find the fresh one.

Each day people from the town or village go out in the first light to look for such fresh dead oxens and there is joy if they bring one home as it means they can all eat on this day.

They drink with this Pleszczecka, a strong brew special to Capstania.

This is made from fermented tree root and often even the small glass is too much!

Viciousbutfair, Going Postal
A typical rustic house in Capstania. The Pleszczecka brewing room, with the traditional open roof is on the right

It all sounds very interesting Minister, finally what souvenirs could visitors bring home?

There are, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, roadside sellers who sell from a handcart such souvenirs. These are carvings made from hoof of dead oxens. This souvenirs we call bardzotaniy, this means very cheap in Capstanian.

There is carvings of our Most Excellent President Viciousia and also one of the angry farmer with a stick.

A small state tax must also be paid with this for Count Zbigniew’s offices and other administrations.

It all sounds very interesting, I wish you every success in your effort to bring the World Cup to Capstania, I am sure I shall visit one day.

Indeed you must come but visit for more than one day and you must visit always. Most Excellent President Viciousia is also Minister for All Sports Outside and has made many efforts for this Cup of the World.

When you arrive we promise you a hot welcome and be certain to bring many dollars.

Even as we talk, Count Zbigniew is printing many more Botszcz and looks forward with meetings to you. Capstania is open for the business. For this Cup of the World, crossed finger.

© Viciousbutfair 2018

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