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I live in a cold country, and each year I travel to one of my four favorite summer destinations: Valencia, Tel Aviv, Sydney or Porto.

I have a habit of visiting my grandmother when I return (same day or the day after) and when I meet her she would say, without knowing where I've been, "How was X?" (X being one of the four cities I mentioned).

She would often guess wrong, but I've noticed something strange. She has almost 100% success when it comes to Valencia. When I've been there she would always say "How was Valencia?" and she'd never say it when I've been someplace else. The rest of the time, seems like she's just guessing.

When I asked her how she knows, she only replies "because I'm perceptive, and you're irresponsible".

Can you help me figure out how she does it?

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    $\begingroup$ @Saeïdryl what? $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 5 '18 at 13:52
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    $\begingroup$ what's was the answer? ;) $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 5 '18 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Sydney will be in winter so that will be the only trip you returned from not tanned $\endgroup$ – Saeïdryl Apr 5 '18 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ In that case, it would be the only trip you make during the winter. $\endgroup$ – PL457 Apr 5 '18 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ Needs a "longitudinal thinking" tag. $\endgroup$ – Frambot Apr 7 '18 at 5:27

11 Answers 11

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Your grandmother knows you've been in Valencia because

you come back with a stronger tan (or sunburn) on the right side of your face.

This is because...

When you vacation, you like to tan on the beach all day (or surf, or swim).

and

When tanning, you like to face the ocean (or, when surfing/swimming all day, you spend most of your time facing towards the ocean, b/c more time is spent swimming outwards than inwards because of the surf).

and

Valencia and Sydney have beaches with the ocean to the east; Porto and Tel-Aviv have beaches with the ocean to the west.

and

Sydney is the south hemisphere, so the sun is in the north; the others are all in the north hemisphere, so the sun is in the south.

and

In Valencia, you get a tan on the right side of your face (facing east, sun south); but in the others, you get a tan on the left side of your face (Porto + Tel Aviv: facing west, sun south; Sydney: facing east, sun north)

You are irresponsible because...

you don't use sunscreen (you don't have the habit, because your "cold country" doesn't get much sun)

Your grandmother is perceptive because...

She notices the difference in tans, and figures out all of the above.

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    $\begingroup$ Good job! I was sure I would need to add more clues :) $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 6 '18 at 6:36
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    $\begingroup$ Clever - I'd noticed the East/West thing, but hadn't taken North/South into account so discarded that as a potential answer. :( $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Apr 6 '18 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ There are lots of assumptions here. Maybe sunbathes at a hotel pool and not the ocean. $\endgroup$ – mathreadler Apr 8 '18 at 8:33
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I believe you live in...

Russia, specifically the eastern past of Russia.

And when you visit Valencia...

you are actually visiting Valencia, Venezuela, as opposed to Valencia, Spain. Traveling from here back to Eastern Russia will likely lead to you crossing the International Date Line from East to West (which wouldn't happen for the other vacation spots), thereby causing you to add a day.

Your grandmother thinks you're irresponsible because...

you always forget this, and show up a day later than you said you would (i.e. the day you left). You said you visit her on the "same day or the day after", and every time it's the day after she assumes you came from Valencia and forgot again.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting theory, albeit not very plausible :) I was referring to Valencia, Spain $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 5 '18 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ Pity. I liked this answer :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Apr 5 '18 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ I was studying up on different Valencias around the world as well. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Apr 6 '18 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yes crossing date lines can be irresponsible. Maybe it was a hidden date word joke. $\endgroup$ – mathreadler Apr 8 '18 at 8:42
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My guess is that

You live in Norway or Sweden, which are both cold countries in the same timezone as Valencia.

Your grandmother would know because

She noticed your watch is always displaying the wrong time when you return from one of the other destinations since you always forget to resynchronize (hence the "irresponsible", you could be late for work the next day!)
However, when you come back from Valencia, you didn't have to change the time so it's the same as in your country.

Also, this assumes

That your grandmother doesn't really know the timelag of the other destinations, or she would be able to deduce them as well by comparing the shift in the hours.

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    $\begingroup$ Good try! But my grandma is very sharp and would easily be able to tell the other countries apart by the time shift. Also, who wears a watch these days? :) $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 5 '18 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Dotan Grandma is apparently not smart enough to notice that you vacation during the summer for one destination and during the winter for the other three. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Weirich Apr 6 '18 at 13:57
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She knows you went to Valencia because

contrary to Israel, Australia and, in a lesser measure, Portugal, Spain is very liberal regarding cannabis cultivation and use, and your eyes indicate without doubt that you have been smoking (irresponsibly) all day long during your holidays.

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she knows you've been to Valencia because

you visit wearing the new silk clothes you bought because Valencia is famous for its silk exchange.

you are irresponsible because

it is very expensive and does not keep you warm in your home country

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    $\begingroup$ Give me some credit, if I this was it I would know $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 5 '18 at 21:30
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she knows

you have a girlfriend in Valencia

and when you go other places

you actually spend time outdoors and get a tan

but in Valencia

you spend all of your 'irresponsible' time in the bedroom, hence coming back without a tan.

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  • $\begingroup$ What's so irresponsible about that? My grandma is quite liberal in those things $\endgroup$ – Dotan Apr 5 '18 at 17:30
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When you return from Valencia you always bring back

oranges

This is irresponsible because

you are not supposed to bring fruit back from another country

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If your grandmother says Valencia each time you come back from holidays, then each time you go to Valencia she will make the correct guess.

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    $\begingroup$ I like this answer. OP didn't say that his grandma mixes up her guesses, just that when they go to Tel Aviv, Sydney, or Port she guesses wrong, which makes sense if she guessed Valencia. $\endgroup$ – BruceWayne Apr 5 '18 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ Although OP does say “she’d never say it when I’ve been somewhere else” $\endgroup$ – anything Apr 5 '18 at 17:24
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Because

your clothes smell like fireworks from the Fallas Festival that occurs every afternoon

and

you are irresponsible because you haven't washed your clothes which smell like the fireworks from the same festival.

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Your grandmother knows you've been to Valencia because you still have the Magic Mountain stamp on your hand.

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I have an idea how you’re irresponsible. I don’t know anything about these cities. But if my guess turns out to be right, I’ll learn something about their climates.

You have a new umbrella. You’re irresponsible because you forget to pack your umbrella, so you have to buy a new one when it rains in Valencia. (The other cities don’t get much rain.)

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