The Ubiquity of Bob Marley

the-ubiquity-of-bob-marleyI was reading a short story recently wherein the protagonist asked his most widely travelled friend about the commonalities between countries – essentially, what was the same everywhere.

The answer was, ‘The ubiquity of sparrows.’

This is a startlingly true observation. There are sparrows everywhere. The only country where I didn’t see a lot of sparrows was Vietnam (birds are a delicacy there) but I swear I saw one or two flapping for their lives.

This got me thinking; what else is universal?

1. Bob Marley and The Wailers It doesn’t matter which backpackers’ you’re in, there is one thing you will always find: no woman no crying or, alternatively, standing up for her rights.

2. Beer – I have yet to visit a country that doesn’t have a national brew; a beer that is cheap, plentiful and revered by the locals as the best in the world. They tell you this as they offer you a can of overpriced Foster’s Lager.

3. Coffee – It might not look or taste like any coffee you’ve ever had but that’s what the locals are calling it. When you’re jetlagged, it’ll do.

4. Coca Cola – This leads me to believe that the Coca Cola Company really does rule the world.

5. McDonalds – … in partnership with these guys.

6. Handwoven, embroidered or crocheted tablecloths – Don’t believe me? Come over and look in my linen press. There is something uniquely appealing about a huge swatch of fabric that has taken some remarkably dextrous woman two painstaking days to weave. I become hypnotised when I watch women making beautiful things because of my crafty (see: About Emma) past.

7. Insane driving – I caveat this point by stating up front that there are a lot of places I haven’t been and yet everywhere I have been to – from New Zealand to Thailand – seems to have absolutely bat-sh*t crazy driving that is a natural antidote to microsleeps.

What have you noticed is everywhere? Sunburnt British backpackers? 7 Elevens? I would love to hear your thoughts…

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One Response to “The Ubiquity of Bob Marley”
  1. Steve says:

    And adding to the beer comment – For every national beer of a country, the number one tourist item everyone is selling at the markets and flogging on the streets is the beer themed t-shirts, and man do I have a million which have never seen the light of day!

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