Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spanning the Globe

I’m not really sure how it all happened, but it’s been quite an international week. Yesterday I told you about South Africa’s own Soweto Gospel Choir, a passionate ensemble that kicked off the Bermuda Festival of Performing Arts with versions of classic folk and reggae tunes plus traditional African hymns. (Thanks to the anonymous commenter who indeed appreciated the Rasta rhythms here in Bermuda. Mark your calendar anonymous, because I hear the choir is considering a gig in Salsipuedes). Continuing to span the globe, on Sunday I attended a Burns supper, basically a celebration of the life and poetry of Scottish poet Robert Burns. What does this entail actually? Plenty of tartan, lots of single malt scotch and a whopper of a meal including Scottish faves such as tatties and neeps—better known as mashed potatoes and rutabaga—roast lamb and everyone’s favorite, haggis, a traditional dish made with sheep’s heart, liver and lung, minced with oatmeal, onions and spices then cooked in a casing of sheep’s intestines. Trust me, it’s much better than it sounds. Dare I say tasty, even? No, you can’t get it in the States but according to this report in the New York Daily News haggis will soon be available at a grocery store near you. Be happy America. Be very very happy. Moving along, yesterday I took part in a celebration of Australia Day. What? You’ve never heard of Australia Day? Here’s a thirty-second history lesson: On January 26, 1788 the first European settlers, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney. Sadly, though quite to the point, January 26 is also known as Invasion Day by indigenous Australians. Nevertheless it’s a national day of celebration, much like Independence Day in the U.S. or Bastille Day in France. So to toast our compatriots Down Under, I shared a meal with Aussy friends at 64 Degrees, a brand new restaurant at Port Royal Golf Course, which proudly boasts the best Australian chef in all of Bermuda. Troy, if you’re reading, thanks again for those seven spice pork chops with adobo and apple chutney. You’re doing your country proud. And so my brief tour of the world ends there, no doubt with more to come on an island chock full of interesting people. Bermuda, I couldn't have done it without you.

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