Stories — Society

The Hobo Code

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

The Hobo Code

Was it really such a big thing?

The hobo code is a system of symbols purportedly used by hobos to communicate information about resources and conditions at locations along their routes. The pictographic symbols were often scratched or painted on buildings or other structures in locations where hobos were known to congregate. The code was devised as an easy-to-understand, universal hobo language that helped fellow hobos keep one another safe. Nice.

While there may be little evidence to prove that the hobo code was actually widely used and not just a media concoction, we do know for certain that hobos left their marks. 

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Nieuwjaarsduik

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

Nieuwjaarsduik

New Year’s Dive

Nieuwjaarsduik (pronounced nyu-yars-dowk) literally translates to "New Year’s Dive". It is the annual Dutch tradition (since 1965) of running into the freezing winter waters of the North Sea to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

In more recent years the Nieuwjaarsduik has done some travelling. The most famous dive outside of The Netherlands happens at Bondi Beach.

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Pachinko

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

Pachinko

The gambling game that’s not gambling

Gambling for money is, for the most part, banned in Japan. But some sneaky punters found a way around the stringent laws in the form of pachinko: a very noisy, very colourful, and very addictive pinball-cross-pokies arcade game that’s wildly popular throughout Japan. As you will discover if you read the post, the work around is convoluted; but the system works. In 2021, the pachinko market amounted to a whopping 14.6 trillion Japanese Yen (approximately 157 billion AUD), representing almost 4% of the country’s GDP. 

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The Scorpion and The Frog

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

The Scorpion and The Frog

Are Your Behaviours Innately Ordained?

The Scorpion and the Frog is a fable about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stings the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would also drown. The frog agrees and begins to carry the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: "I am sorry, but I couldn't resist the urge. It's in my nature."

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The Hanky Code

Posted by Remo Giuffré on

The Hanky Code

Secret Shake of the Handkerchief

The hanky code is a system of colour-coded cloth handkerchiefs or bandanas for non-verbally communicating one's interests in sexual activities and fetishes. 

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