Countries Visited

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Myanmar Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fasso Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria
Map Legend: 28%, 75 of 263 Territories

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Obsessions of the World

We have decided to introduce a new regular feature about the obsessions of different countries. For each country we visit, we will choose one thing, at our sole discretion, that we consider the country to be obsessed with. We will try to explain where needed. We may, at times, repeat. Here we go:

Trinidad & Tobago: Fried Chicken. We estimate that 65% of all the food consumed in Trinidad is fried chicken. They have KFC, Popeyes, Chester Fried, and Church's from America. They have Royal Castle as a local chain. They have numerous other local places.

Venezuela: Cosmetics. In a city of 300,000, we couldn't find a single place to buy food. Yet, a cosmetics store was on every corner. This explains why they have so many Miss Worlds--lots of make-up and no food.

Brazil: Shoes. Shoes everywhere. Any kind of shoes you want. Want to buy some shoes with your lunch? Not a problem. Shoes while you wait for the bus? Sure. Imelda Marcos had nothing on Brazilians.

Guyana: Taxis. One taxi driver explained how hard it is to become a taxi driver there: you have to have a normal license for 3 years and then you have to pay slightly more to register your car. Apparently, everyone gets this and then can act as a taxi. We averaged about 5 requests per minute to take a taxi.

Suriname: Supermarkets. Here's an imaginary conversation between an American and a Surinamese who don't know anything about the other's country:
A: You are from a poor country. You would be amazed at how many supermarkets we have in America!
S: How many are there?
A: It seems like we must have one on every corner!
S: Haha. That's absurd. How could all the people possible live with just one supermarket per block?
We passed through villages where we are certain the supermarket to person ratio was 1:1. I have no idea how they can all stay in business. We're happy to be able to buy food, though.

We'll post more as we venture to new countries.

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