Thin Lizzy

Australians are very eager to discuss their history as an independent country as I could realize every time I spoke to a local, but they’re still part and parcel good subjects of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s in the little things in which you notice this, such as the road signs that look exactly as in good ol’ England, the habit of serving afternoon tea in cafes (including the compulsory cucumber sandwiches) or Lizzy’s counterfeit on their $5 note (what? She didn’t rate the $100 bill???)

Still, food here is far more exciting than in the old motherland. The Aussies have mixed good things from many of their immigrant communities into their traditional food and made it into something unique and very edible. Chicken Cesar salad here comes with Satay, Pizzas have curry sauce and their kangooroo steak ala mode is quite delicious. Also, it’s nice to have English language menus again.

Ordering food in Japan was more of an adventure: Either you had to find a restaurant that had menus with pictures or plasticized copies of their dishes in a window, so you could drag the waiter outside and point to the dish of your choice, or then you had to use the “point and shoot” method in the pricier places that didn’t come with the visual aids for non-Japanese: You point onto a random item on the menu and then shoot yourself if something turns up you don’t like … I had to sometimes revert to that second method and was confronted with an interesting variety of dishes I would have never ordered had I been able to read their language: Eel rice, quails eggs and something brown I really don’t know what it was, but it tasted quite ok after that trepidatious first bite … But hey, everyday you should try to do something that scares you, an old business saying goes. Well, I certainly took care of that …

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