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View Full Version : 5 icons for a country ...BUT


Susan P.
09-18-2007, 04:38 PM
I'd enjoy knowing what you folk consider to be the 5 top icons for a country BUT rather than make it your own country, how about choosing another nation and listing that way.

So, when I think about the US I think of red, white and blue, Mt Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, Silicon Valley and John Steinbeck.

If you consider Mexico or France or Italy or Aussie or New Zealand etc etc..what comes to mind?

Limey
09-18-2007, 05:57 PM
Are you seriously asking me what comes to mind when I think of Australia!!!!!

:rofl:

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 06:00 PM
Twit (baby bird in a nest!) :) Pick a country, any country. Spin a globe and have a go. I assume no-one here knows countries but their own at this point. :cool:

I'll do England and have two turns: Buck Palace, Royal Family, Conan Doyle, Shakespeare, Flag.

I'll pick a more obscure country for you Limey if you won't play in my sandpit. The Outer Realms of Bhutan!

Actually, I know an interesting fact about Bhutan.

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 06:01 PM
Give it your best shot re Australia. Garn..

Limey
09-18-2007, 06:08 PM
The resident of the gum tree said:-

"Actually, I know an interesting fact about Bhutan."

I'm sure it's not the only interesting fact you know either!

OK - I'm in ...

South Africa: Table Mountain, Namibian 'skeleton' coast, Rorke's Drift, Victoria Falls, night sky - Southern Cross.

Limey
09-18-2007, 06:23 PM
Everything that springs to mind about Australia starts with a 'C' -

Cricket (of course), Crocodile Dundee, Cangaroes, Coalas,

and cold, cold, beer.

Do tell, is it right that Aussies drink cold beer - doesn't anybody ask for a normal 'room temperature' pint?

Mariblue
09-18-2007, 06:44 PM
I'll give Australia a go:
The Sydney Opera House, the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, kookaburra's, and the Australian soap "Neighbors".
Ok, so I used to live in England back in the 90's and watched "Neighbors" back then. I love the accents.

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 06:44 PM
LOL We have a song "Football, meat pies, cangaroes and holden cars"

COLD is the way of the aussie my dear. We even refrigerate the glasses when we can and stubby holders are BIG icons here. Many well to do homes have a bar fridge just for beer.

It's not like our beer is served with ice forming on it or anything..that just gives you mouth and chest freeze (orrible) but no-one would willingly drink a room temp or warm beer here no. You put the beer in the fridge, wait a couple of hours and Bob's the proverbial. Sometimes home brew will be warmish but that's when you fridge the glasses and also use a holder.

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 06:46 PM
Ahh.. I laughed at the Neighbours reference in a way. I believe it was more popular in England at one point than it was here :) Of course many of the actors would go to England around Christmas and do the 'panto'. I watched Neighbours on and off but rarely watch tv now. I enjoy my BBC comedy DVD's.

Mariblue
09-18-2007, 06:50 PM
Ahh.. I laughed at the Neighbours reference in a way. I believe it was more popular in England at one point than it was here :)
I thought so. :teehee: I love BBC comedy too.
I'll do England, because I only lived there for 2 years. Stonehenge, Hampton Court, Jane Austen, Piccadilly Circus, Mr. Bean. There are many things I love about England, of course, but those were just a few random things I thought of.

beckyrhae
09-18-2007, 06:54 PM
I'll play...

Scotland:
KILTS!, Castles, accents, haggis, ancestry, history

iza
09-18-2007, 06:55 PM
We definitely drink our beer cold in Canada too, and I'm pretty sure it's the same in the States! :thumbsup:

Ok... I'm in San Antonio, Texas right now so let me try out the "Republic of Texas" :teehee:

The Alamo (my hotel is right next to it! :cheering:), Longhorn cows, Tejanos, the Rio Grande, and... margaritas :oops:

(I don't know much about Texas as you can see... :doh:)

beckyrhae
09-18-2007, 06:59 PM
We definitely drink our beer cold in Canada too, and I'm pretty sure it's the same in the States! :thumbsup:

Ok... I'm in San Antonio, Texas right now so let me try out the "Republic of Texas" :teehee:

The Alamo (my hotel is right next to it! :cheering:), Longhorn cows, Tejanos, the Rio Grande, and... margaritas :oops:

(I don't know much about Texas as you can see... :doh:)

Native Texan here... and if I was in San Antonio that would be my list too... except maybe add the RiverWalk. Ahhh 'ritas on the RiverWalk...

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 07:02 PM
Yee haaa..people in my sandpit!

mariblue and others..what I find interesting is what we probably relate to most because of media and what due to personal loves or experience. Obviously there are overlaps.

beckyrae..I LOVE the accents however if I see one more idiotic tourism show where someone attempts to lift a kilt to see what is underneath..I will scream. I agree that history is really outstanding. I would have put in Black Watch as that's the clan one of my grandmothers belonged to. Or, and maybe the Corrs but that wouldn't have come immediately. I am trying to think of the Scots show that had a policeofficer.hmm

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 07:03 PM
iza...Are tejanos a food? And what is the Alamo actually like as a tourist experience?

iza
09-18-2007, 07:03 PM
Native Texan here... and if I was in San Antonio that would be my list too... except maybe add the RiverWalk. Ahhh 'ritas on the RiverWalk...

:teehee: It's exactly what I had last night, becky! A good margarita by the fabulous Riverwalk. :happydance:

Edit: Susan, the Alamo is a construction that used to be for missionaries I think, but it's famous for the battle between Mexico and "Texians" (english-speaking Texans, Texas was owned by Mexico at the time). Buildings are still there, in downtown San Antonio. It's one of the major tourist attraction here.

And Tejanos are spanish-speaking Texans (but not of recent immigration).

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 07:06 PM
The 'secret' fact about Bhutan by the way is that in 1973 they brought out a round stamp that you could actually play on a player, even tho it was very small. You could hear their national anthem.

Stamps can be really interesting in terms of countries. Not sure of the nation now but one country brought out a stamp in the shape of a banana..celebrating one of their principle crops.

Australia brought out one of the first sets of native animal stamps (or THE first set) and also a set that resembled gems like opals.

Limey
09-18-2007, 07:13 PM
Hi Mariblue

Glad to know you liked living here - (and especially Mr Bean).

I lived in Massachusetts for a while and what mainly springs to mind are trees, trees, and more trees - seriously, Delicate Arch in Utah, Niagra Falls, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert - ok, I'll say something good about the trees - the colours in Autumn are spectactular.

Comedies - Jerry Seinfeld

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 07:21 PM
Are the colours in the painted desert really obvious?

Sometimes we have expectations that are dashed in the reality.

I asked about the Alamo for the same reason..you develop a notion and arrive and think..oh, four walls..right. :) I'm not putting it down but making the comment more broadly. If a place has good interpretive panels and so on, so that you can really learn about the history etc that's always a good thing.

Russia; Vodka, Men who can dance unbelievably while down on their haunches, Pushkin (easier to spell than Dov..Dov..oh well), Stalin, The Kremlin.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
09-18-2007, 07:23 PM
Don't forget, there's no basement at the alamo.

Brazil: the Rio, Carnival, rainforest, beaches, very tanned men.

Limey
09-18-2007, 07:28 PM
Painted Desert - I couldn't really do it justice trying to describe the colours - I can still see them as vividly now - one of those things that stay with you.

We were driving along a highway and stopped at the nearest pull-off point - got out of the car and just stood there, looking at those magical colours, like a wonderful masterpiece in a gallery.

Susan P.
09-18-2007, 07:31 PM
That would have been beautiful. Truly :) I was saying to someone before on a blog that stepping out to look at the night sky when you're in the country and away from city lights is a whole new breathtaking experience.

But I was just thinking of a country like Poland. Aside from letters like Zbys sounding Spish..I know nothing really about the country. Again, perhaps its a media thing. But I was looking at an atlas recently and there were a couple of countries I hadn't heard of. Perhaps more newly broken off and created nations but still.

Limey
09-19-2007, 03:08 AM
Michael Palin (Monty Python bunch) has just started a new TV series about eastern Europe. He's travelled the world, even did a series called 'Around the World in 80 days' but had not been to eastern Europe.

His first place was the former Yugoslavia - where Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia are getting back on their feet, after the war in the 1990s.

I'm sure Australia will get the new series soon.:thumbsup:

Chel
09-19-2007, 09:34 AM
I'll have a go!

Malta:
The Upper Barracca Gardens
Pastizzi
Lace Makers
Luzzu
Kinnie

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 09:54 AM
Wow Chel..now THAT is a country I wouldn't have expected..and the unexpected can be intriguing!

I know nothing about Malta aside from the large rock and the monkeys that apparently can be quite aggressive so interesting to know about lace making for example. However, aside from the gardens none of the other words connect for me. I COULD search for them of course but I've love to hear from you what they are and why you chose them.

figaro
09-19-2007, 09:59 AM
My husband is from The Netherlands and I have been there 3 times so I will do The Netherlands:

1. Tulips/flower bulbs
2. Bicycles-EVERYBODY is riding them there!
3. Amsterdam-beautiful city!
4. price of gas - "With a price of E 1.48 per liter (which is about E 5.6 per gallon, or almost USD 7 per gallon), the gas price in Holland surpasses the gas price in other European countries." (makes sense to ride a bike!) (http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/)
5. Just all around a beautiful country, I love the canals, seeing the swan in them, the windmills, and seeing how different the cities are but in a good way!

Mariblue
09-19-2007, 10:22 AM
Hi Mariblue

Glad to know you liked living here - (and especially Mr Bean).

I lived in Massachusetts for a while and what mainly springs to mind are trees, trees, and more trees - seriously, Delicate Arch in Utah, Niagra Falls, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert - ok, I'll say something good about the trees - the colours in Autumn are spectactular.

Comedies - Jerry Seinfeld

Ah yes, well, who can't like Mr. Bean?:teehee: My kids like to re-enact scenes from Mr. Bean sometimes when they are playing. We think he is hilarious. I have a fondness for British Comedy in General. It just seems to fit in with my sense of humor.

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 10:51 AM
figaro.. I would have to spend a while cross comparing to our prices but we are about $1.68 a litre at the moment I think. I would normally know but my son has been doing the petrol runs lately. All the other elements I related to immediately. Books from my childhood illustrated the windmills and the tulips and yes, I hear the pushbike culture is really significant - perhaps encouraged also by the relatively flat landscape?

What food is associated with the Netherlands as nothing comes to my mind. I can see the women in those sort of caps with the 'wings' on the side and clogs of course.

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 10:51 AM
mariblue..we could almost start another thread on British comedies. I have quite a collection of DVD's at this point and love some dearly.

msoebel
09-19-2007, 11:46 AM
Switzerland: The Alps, Chocolate, World Bank, Heidi (like the book and/or movie with Shirley Temple) and watches.

I miss "Britcoms". Our PBS doesn't play them anymore...I LOVED Red Dwarf and have asked for the DVDs for three Christmases now. Also liked Black Adder, the show with Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet, my dear!)...and of course, who doesn't love them some Monty Python?

Misty

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 11:51 AM
Oh..I SO remember my Heidi book..that really does take me back.... :) I loved that book. I also think of the neutrality Switzerland offered during WW2.

"Keeping up Appearances" is the name of the show with the 'Bucket woman' :)

msoebel
09-19-2007, 11:54 AM
I had it on the tip of my tongue! Keeping up appearances!

Neutrality of Switzerland was my number 6 (number 7 was St. Bernards with kegs of whiskey around their necks!:teehee:)

Misty

figaro
09-19-2007, 12:18 PM
figaro.. I would have to spend a while cross comparing to our prices but we are about $1.68 a litre at the moment I think. I would normally know but my son has been doing the petrol runs lately. All the other elements I related to immediately. Books from my childhood illustrated the windmills and the tulips and yes, I hear the pushbike culture is really significant - perhaps encouraged also by the relatively flat landscape?

What food is associated with the Netherlands as nothing comes to my mind. I can see the women in those sort of caps with the 'wings' on the side and clogs of course.The foods that come to my mind are "Kroket and frikandel: both are fried, roll-formed snacks containing (some kind of) meat. Available at any snackbar and not advisable for vegetarians"(kinda interesting and you can get a McKroket from McDonalds over there!), Patat: patat or 'french fries' may not be an exclusively Dutch food, but the thickness of the french fry itself and the fact that it is very often eaten with mayonaise ('patat met('patat with') is french fries with mayonaise) does make some foreigners stare. Even more extreme is a 'patatje oorlog' - literally meaning "french fries war" - indicating french fries with mayonaise and saté-sauce. ‘patat speciaal’ is french fries, mayonnaise, ketchup and raw onions. Patat in all its varieties can be obtained in any snackbar., Drop: a sweet (liquorice) that comes in a very large number of different forms and tastes, from salt and hard to soft and sweet. It is very popular among the entire Dutch population and is claimed to have something of an addictive-effect if eaten regularly in very large quantities.(not one of my favs but my husband loves them), Poffertjes: these resemble very small pancakes and are traditionally served warm with lots of powdered sugar sprinkled on top. You can make them at home if you have a special pan" (found at http://www.thehollandring.com/food.shtml) And then there are pannekoekens which are a thin, large hybrid of a crepe and pancake that can be topped with savory or sweet items.

And I can't forget my MIL's homemade tomato soup made with homegrown tomato's, a bone with marrow in it and small meatballs on the bottom! YUM!

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 12:26 PM
Thanks for that figaro. As I was reading I could see the origins (perhaps) of Afrikaans. I love chips (french fries) with different sauces and I wouldn't find it at all odd to see mayonnaise used as a type of dipping sauce. I found the McKroket fascinating! Interesting how pancake variations are found in many countries in one form or another.

Someone said yesterday to me that Australia and NZ don't really have a 'cuisine' as such; nothing internationally recognised. I think it fairly hard for relatively young countries to achieve that. We tend to have a lot of fusion cooking here with so many regional influences but good seafood and good steak is also part of what I guess is considered our fare. We do have wonderful native plants for eating but few restaurants would be noted for serving them as such in a specialist manner.

Jeremy
09-19-2007, 06:56 PM
How about two countries:

Israel-The Western wall, Masada, The Dome of the Rock,shwarma and felafel stands, the security fence.

Canada-Hockey, beer, CN tower, the expression "eh?" and the RCMP.

Jeremy
09-19-2007, 07:03 PM
Thanks for that figaro. As I was reading I could see the origins (perhaps) of Afrikaans. I love chips (french fries) with different sauces and I wouldn't find it at all odd to see mayonnaise used as a type of dipping sauce. I found the McKroket fascinating! Interesting how pancake variations are found in many countries in one form or another.

Someone said yesterday to me that Australia and NZ don't really have a 'cuisine' as such; nothing internationally recognised. I think it fairly hard for relatively young countries to achieve that. We tend to have a lot of fusion cooking here with so many regional influences but good seafood and good steak is also part of what I guess is considered our fare. We do have wonderful native plants for eating but few restaurants would be noted for serving them as such in a specialist manner.

?Vegamite :)

Mariblue
09-19-2007, 07:08 PM
Ahhh, Vegemite. That's interesting stuff.

Pudify
09-19-2007, 07:17 PM
Well, no ones done it yet, and as a Kiwi, I suppose I have to throw New Zealand in here some where lol, least we be forgotten .. AGAIN :P

1. Fish n Chips
2. Weetbix
3. Old farm utes
4. Red socks
5. Space, lots and lots of space. Just large areas or nothing, its veery nice!

(and no, I didnt say sheep, why? because I figured they were a given :P)

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 08:11 PM
Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for contribution. What does the Canadian acronym represent? I smiled at the 'eh'. I think NZ'ers tend to do that also..??

Masada and Dome of the Rock I didn't know either.

Susan P.
09-19-2007, 08:12 PM
Pudify.. Now your list is interesting as I always think of fish and chips having a British heritage..although here we would joke that you have fush and chups of course :)

Weet bix I would have claimed as one of ours and utes :)

The red socks were a surprise. Why are red socks associated with NZ??

It looks a beautiful country to me. The Marlborough region where the wineries are looks delightful.

iza
09-19-2007, 11:38 PM
What does the Canadian acronym represent? I smiled at the 'eh'. I think NZ'ers tend to do that also..??

The RCMP is the "Royal Canadian Mounted Police", our famous "mounties" (the federal police).

The "eh" is used by many Canadians, but not everywhere. And of course, only by English-speaking Canadians!! :teehee:

Hockey and beer, now that's something all Canadians, French or English, can agree on. :teehee:

Susan P.
09-20-2007, 01:53 AM
Ahh..the Indian Love Call as I remember one movie as a child. :)

Jeremy
09-20-2007, 11:08 AM
Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for contribution. What does the Canadian acronym represent? I smiled at the 'eh'. I think NZ'ers tend to do that also..??

Masada and Dome of the Rock I didn't know either.

Masada (http://www.biblepil.co.il/images/masada.jpg) is a high plateau above the Dead Sea where a group of Jews in the Bar Kochba rebellion took a last stand against the Romans and then committed mass suicide. Its a pretty grim story but its iconic of Israel in the sense that its something that seems present in every Israel's mind. When soldiers finish their training (and in Israel most citizens, men and women, must serve) they often climb Masada for their final ceremony.

The Dome of the Rock (http://www.sassontiram.com/images/Samples/sample2.jpg)is the big gold dome that you see in pictures of the Western (wailing) Wall in Jerusalem. The site is sacred to three faiths. It is the place where the Temple stood, and according to legend where the world was created and where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac.

Susan P.
09-20-2007, 11:17 AM
Thanks for that poignant explanation Jeremy. I find the notion of the people climbing Masada for their final ceremony a true circle of life symbolism.

I suspect touring with a guide would be the way to do Israel and the Middle East - to truly know the significance and the anecdotal elements provides the rich layers I think.

All very evocative.

Jeremy
09-20-2007, 11:27 AM
I think you're right. Touring with a guide is the best way. Guides in Israel have to pass an exam before they get to be guides. They are frequently fluent in a number of languages and are very knowledgable about their clients. One of the guides I came to know was studying Mormonism. Why, because his next group were Mormons.

Susan P.
09-20-2007, 11:40 AM
It might seem an odd comment but I was thinking the other day about geishas and the fact that the women learned to be wonderful conversationalists and companions with tremendous knowledge of various fields. I think that really wonderful that the guides must attain a level of expertise because they will truly make or break an experience.

KnittingNat
09-20-2007, 02:57 PM
I was thinking of Czech Republic - Charles bridge, Prazhsky Grad, Krusovice beer, bramborak (Czech potato pancake) and lots of new roads unknown to the maps :lol:.
And Jeremy - you are right, Masada is very special and breathtaking. Once it was allowed to climb it during the night and you could lay there on your back and watch zillions of stars above you and then watch the sunrise. Now it's not allowed though...

Susan P.
09-20-2007, 07:19 PM
It's interesting, and I suppose natural, that food tends to be an element we recognise. So, I knew of potato pancakes but nothing else at all you mentioned about the Czech republic. Goes to show how limited awareness can be of countries that were (??? was it?) behind the former Iron Curtain.

Susan P.
09-20-2007, 07:21 PM
Jeremy..Vegemite. I just had two slices of toast with it. Here is a funky little YT vid called Lady Vegemite. Wonderful to see creativity with such a simple product.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_HPvAhnG_w

Chel
09-21-2007, 02:35 PM
LOL I never heard of Malta having monkeys!!! Thats a new one for me.

Malta is comprised of 7 main islands and a few scattered rocks jutting out of the sea. The islands are Malta (the main and largest island), Comino (4-7 residents), Cominotto (unpopulated), Filfla (unpopulated), Manouel Island and the St. Pauls Islands.

About my items:
The Upper Barracca Gardens-ARE SOOOO PRETTY! See for yourself: http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/155.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/156.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/158.html

Pastizzi-are little ricotta cheese filled cakes-sooo good

Lace Makers-still make lace by hand. They sit there with a long fabric covered stuffed bat with the lace pinned to it and create the lace by hand.
Here are pictures:
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/2045.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/2043.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/2050.html

Luzzu-are the traditional fishing boats of Maltese fishermen. They are brightly painted to ward off evil (or so its told)
Pic here: http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/1585.html

Kinnie-is an an orange flavored drink native to Malta. Maltese Coca-Cola if you will. Check it out: http://www.kinnie.com/

I chose Malta because it has a history that fascinates me. Its hard learning the language, since there are few people in the US who speak the language.

I became intrigued by Malta because I met a guy who was from there. We have known each other 5 years. He is in the British Army but we manage to keep in touch. I have his moms Pastizzi recipe which I guard with my life. :) There are just so many amazing things about Malta.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh I forgot to mention the salt pans.
Water flows in from the Mediterranean sea and when it dries, sea salt crystals are left behind.
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/1087.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/1080.html


Anotehr interesting note: Robin Williams first movie role was as Popeye. That film was made in Malta. Malta has no real forestry, so they had to import trees from Canada to make the buildings. It wasn't filmed on a set, they made an actual village. It still exists and is nicknamed "Popeye Village" and is a tourist attraction on Malta.

http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/869.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/870.html
http://www.maltavista.net/en/list/photo/873.html

Susan P.
09-21-2007, 02:56 PM
Chel..firstly..my hand goes up for dunce of the week as I meant Gibraltar and NOT Malta :) I've heard people talk of the moneys there as being pests really. Sorry about that.

http://www.ippl.org/05-28-04-09.html

Fabulous information you've given and thanks for all the trouble with the links! I'll have a good look through.

I wonder why Popeye was filmed there to begin with?

Susan P.
09-21-2007, 02:57 PM
I am also SUCH a sucker for a good fountain with plants in it!

Susan P.
09-21-2007, 03:00 PM
That's a great tourism resource. Some of the houses almost look like they're leaning to me in that popeye village. Perhaps that was a deliberate cinematic effect. I've not seen the movie.

And the salt pans are rather mosaic like. Must be interesting at times when the light hits them as you'd probably get a sort of rainbow effect.

Chel
09-24-2007, 09:17 AM
I don't know why Malta was chosen for that movie. Especially when it must have been a pain to ship everything there. The buildings are crooked, made to look that way. There are even cracks painted on mailboxes and buildings to make them look worn. :)


The salt pans are sooo pretty IMO.

Malta has all these little crazy alleys and people drive INSANE on the roads. I can't wait to go there and actually see it!