Question of the day.

   What is a useless skill that you have? 

   My answer: 

   I can click with my big toes if I move them a certain way. I used to be more skilled at this when I was younger, but still can do it if I try hard enough. I can put my legs behind my head, which is apparently not something that most people can do although I think it’s weird because it’s not like I’m super sporty or anything, our Sofi is a lot more than myself and she cannot do this, and for some reason some people think it’s creepy and I sometimes do this and then rock in that position back and forth to make people freak out, ‘cause they think I’ll get stuck like that and won’t be able to get back to a normal position. 😀 

   When I was at the blind school, we would often get calendars in Braille at the beginning of a year. Usually here in Poland when you have a calendar it doesn’t just have dates in it but also names which celebrate their name days on a specific day, because like some other countries in Europe, we do name days. And that was the case with those Braille calendars too. I would often feel kind of intellectually understimulated at the boarding school, especially if I had nothing interesting to read because I would usually finish my library books quite quickly and often didn’t really feel like going to library several times a week. So to do something, and make it seem like I was doing something, I would often reread my current library book, or would read the name days in the calendar. The resulting side effect of that was such that I ended up memorising all those name days totally unintentionally, and a lot of people seemed quite impressed with that, especially my grandad, who values brains and I guess for him something like this must have been evidence that I must have them, even if it was totally passive and I didn’t really make any effort, nor did I had a particular desire, to memorise all that stuff. I’ve just generally always had a tendency to memorise a lot of useless stuff, which has often given people an impression that I know lots of things about lots of things, even if my knowledge about something is rather superficial. 😀 So he would often show off with me when we had some guests on family gatherings and stuff like that, asking me when those people’s name days are. I suppose this is quite a good example of an absolutely useless skill. Later on, I’ve learned to have a bit more respect for my brain and figured out I must be more mindful of what sort of things I let take up my brain storage, and so whenever someone would ask me when is so and so’s name day or whether I still remember that, I would say that I don’t, and eventually I indeed ended up forgetting most of it. 

   Hm, not sure what else, but some people would probably consider my Welsh a useless skill, because people are so often like “Why the flip would you even need Welsh?” And they’re totally right  that I don’t need it at all, I just want to learn it and speak it and understand it, but I most definitely do not need it, and it isn’t particularly useful here in Poland. But then thinking this way, perhaps we could say the same thing about my Swedish and Norwegian as well. English probably not so much, because I think it IS actually, objectively useful and would be for anyone, but I don’t really have to use Swedish or Norwegian, I don’t work with them, I don’t have to communicate in these languages. Well I do have pen pals with whom I communicate in these languages but it’s because of learning these languages that I wanted to find pen pals who speak them, not that I’m learning the languages to be able to communicate with my pen pals. 

   How about your useless skills? 🙂 


11 thoughts on “Question of the day.”

    1. I do at least remember KUDASAI and most of the polite forms of Japanese.

      [being well-mannered in a foreign tongue does put a person at ease at times! For example in Polish: proszę; dziękuję bardzo; and przeprzaszam – please; thank you {very much} and excuse me/I am sorry – the -AM is the first personal pronoun/conjugation – are things I made myself learn very early – if nothing else because they were the top 10 Lonely Planet phrases and if I could say / write / read / understand 10 things I would be so happy and NOT take 18 months to do it]…

      [ARIGATO for one – and in the early 2000s – -san and -chan and another honorific].

      also how to count to six, eight, and at a push, to 10.

      Also my Japanese number was shi because I was fourth in the class

      [and I think shi may be either bad luck or death – but I do not remember the other word for four].

      Our classes were at least 30 people – so it would have been good to call my classmates by their Japanese number [and the ones in the other senior classes – not to mention the younger students who got soo much further and farther than we had done].

      I also remember about “Please open the window” and “Please close the window”

      and when learning kanji and hiragana as a young thing – I learnt things like “so” like “soon to be a flower” and “ta” [there was a mnemonic for that!]

      And it was romanji too.

      But never ever could I draw the kanji in sequence [to be fair I don’t often draw the Roman alphabet in sequence/with the “correct letter formations” – or many of the other scripts I know – like Greek] or remember the pairs for hiragana.

      [Pairs: consonant+vowel combinations].

      [It may have helped me later on with hangul which came into my life from 2003-06].

      [though really in 1994 – about the same time as Japanese – because I read a World Book partwork known as PEOPLE AND PLACES].

      [the encyclopaedia text which turned me on to non-Roman scripts was the Funk and Wagnalls article about the ALPHABET – though that recovered ground I had “discovered” through Childcraft especially the furrows of Sumerian].

      I did know that many kanji were based on Chinese characters/ideograms, and they had those semantic units.

      [so if I had put them together Chinese-menu style].

      I did find myself reading Japanese forums for recreation and literature.

      And I did not get far learning in Duolingo when I tried in late 2020.

      And there are all those particles like “koko ni”.

      I had seen words like “suwatte” before – if not in LET’S GO NIHONGO – then in other and latter learning – was really good for Japanese for me in the mid-2000s after a younger friend did an exchange to that country.

      Japanese is really definite about older friends/mentors [eg Senpai] and younger friends/mentees/people you feel are kawaii for some reason.

      Also I somehow learnt about animals – eg: neko [the cat] especially of the beckoning variety.

      Sukiyaki and matcha tea continue to be highlights. And I came to love miso soup and SUSHI! And anything wrapped in seaweed.

      [I had been asked to give Culinary and more general Cultural tips preparing material for a Japan tour of April 2019. with the Mac’s Pages app this proved easier said than done with the format/template I had made.

      I can say too that my desktop publishing skills may fall somewhere on this useless/useful divide/dichotomy].

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow,all these sound like very interesting things to learn and fun little skills to have, it’s really cool that you had such opportunities and used them! 🙂
        I’m definitely with you on that it’s a good thing to know some polite words in a given language when you interact with people who speak it or are in a country where it’s widely used. Even if you don’t have any other vocabulary, being well-mannered can be still very helpful in communication.
        I also know some totally random words and bits from multiple languages that I’ve never really intended to learn, usually ones that I acquired totally passively. Oh yeah and my friend Jacek from Helsinki taught me how to count to 1000 in Finnish, even though I haven’t learnt to speak Finnish yet so beyond that I am only familiar with single words or small phrases.


  1. Hi:

    my skill was also about the holidays [eg Show Days and Bank Holidays – the Bank Holiday skill I was able to use in January]

    and the moon phases.

    I wondered if you had memorised the name days?

    Good point about having respect for your brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And then I realised I can click my big toe and my second toe.

    right at the top where the nails are – I think the knuckle moves first.

    Do you do this unconsciously or [more or less] consciously, Emilia?

    It seems I can only do it with my RIGHT toe – being strongly right-footed [except when kicking a football]

    and not with my left.

    And rocking to make people freak out…

    [whether in amusement or bemusement or frustration].

    That makes me think of my watery handstand skill which I absolutely cannot do on land – because of the weightbearing and making my legs fly. I think it may be my core and torso.

    I used to do it a lot in a swimming pool and my toes would point the sky like an upside down ballet.

    Certainly during the last fifteen years – not such a great thing to do…

    [and what about Sofi and gymnastics? So there’s this Internet family – two of the members are speculated to have Marfan or some other connective tissue genetic phenomenon].

    {One of the other members might have axiostable instability}.


  3. Oh my, you’re a toe-clicker! Righteous! 😀 And you can put your legs behind your head? Wow! 😀

    Similarly, I can pray behind my back in what’s known as the reverse prayer pose in yoga (and I’ve never studied yoga). If you put your palms together in prayer, I can do that behind my back! 😀 I can even do it with space between my hands, where I’m not using my hands to prop each other up. I’m just waiting for the day that skill will come in handy! 😀

    It’s always weird how many random things we have in common! What’s the word for this… I guess being flexible, but… oh! Like, double-jointed. Or something.

    Liked by 1 person

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