Friday, December 28, 2007

Easy to Spot

One of the best things about traveling is people-watching. And, in Sydney (and all across Australia and New Zealand) it's been great. We like to make up stories about where people are from and what they're up to. It's fun!

We're learning that we Americans can be pretty easy to spot. There's something we've noticed that Seppos do that is a rare event down under: buying takeaway coffee.

Where we come from, if you walk down the sidewalk on a weekday without a paper cup from Starbucks or Peet's you are in the minority. But, here it's the reverse. People stop and sit and enjoy their flat white, long black or tea from a mug or a cup. It's very civilized (and much more enjoyable, so we've noticed). If you do spot a rare someone who's carrying a steaming paper cup, listen closely. (We have.) Chances are you'll here the kind of English that's spoken in Boston, Chicago, Texas or somewhere else in the US.

Today we had a late lunch at an outdoor cafe at Hyde Park. While we dined al fresco and enjoyed the beautiful, lazy afternoon, we saw a family of four huddled together on a park bench. The kids had bags from Hungry Jack's, and mom and dad had paper coffee cups.

We looked at each other and said, in unison: "Americans!"

The takeaway, we've learned, can be a dead give away.

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