Tuesday 13 July 2010

Flagging it

In a report about the final of the World Cup (and I can hardly believe I'm making my second sports-related post in two days) the comment was made that "Few countries in Europe, except Germany, have such an instinctive mistrust of patriotism". It's a reference to Spain being a 'nation of nations', with Catalonia and the Basque region eager for independence; right now everyone is united in support of La Roja, but the Spanish flag is usually more of a red rag to many of its official citizens.

It reminded me of my last night in Alice Springs recently, which we spent at the locally famous Overlanders Steakhouse, a friendly and jolly place with a huge range of different steaks including, of course, kangaroo, camel, crocodile and emu, but also, for the more than usually peckish, The Ringer's Reward: a 2kg rump steak. The menu is a work in progress - we ate with Krafty, the owner, who was immediately interested when I showed him a photo I'd taken earlier of a butcher's display of Vegemite and cheese sausages. Since a highlight of each evening is the mass singing of 'Waltzing Matilda' and 'Click Go the Shears' (choruses printed on the back of the menu) complete with wobble boards, Krafty is clearly keen to inject as much local culture as possible into his dining experience.
Anyway, one of the things they do there is when diners are welcomed in, is to ask where they come from - and then their national flag is popped on their table. It's a little bit of fun, and also gives Krafty, at a glance, an accurate measure of his restaurant's demographic.

But it was interesting, and a little sad, to hear him say that there are only two nationalities who frequently prefer not to have their country of origin made public: Germany, and the USA. For much the same reason, I would guess.

Not that that was a consideration bothering the party of Kontiki youngsters, mostly American, who whooped it up during the Overlander's other regular event: the branding, with a white-hot iron, of the restaurant's logo on the back pockets of their jeans.


the queen said...

Oh, Germans have it easy. Their ill-advised war was 70 years ago.

TravelSkite said...

Yeah. And they were never the good guys to begin with.

Best Travel Deals said...

To each his own, right? :)

Your blog is great, would you like to come and party with us at the World Wide Travel Blog Party, don't forget to invite more of your blogger friends along. Definitely the more the merrier! See you there and Kudos to you! :)


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