Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 04:59 | SYDNEY
Friday 08 Oct 2021 | 04:59 | SYDNEY

Meet me in St Louis


Sam Roggeveen


3 April 2011 05:24

On second thought, don't, since I'm leaving tomorrow. But definitely pay St Louis a visit if you can, because on (very) short acquaintance, it seems a wonderful town. The famous Gateway Arch is only the most prominent of its architectural riches.

One cultural note from last night's hockey game between the local St Louis Blues and a team from Calgary: the overwhelmingly local spectators sang the Canadian national anthem with some gusto. True, the words were flashed up on screens (apologies for the poor photo), but the fans were clearly familiar with the tune, and sang with sincerity and even affection.

In many ways the US-Canada relationship can be compared to that between Australia and New Zealand. But even among Australian rugby fans, how many could hum New Zealand's anthem'

What of Oz sightings in St Louis, you ask' Well, today I saw something so familiar to Australians that it barely merits our attention, yet it clearly flummoxes American drivers: the roundabout. I stood at this roundabout for no more than three minutes, and I saw a couple of motorists completely failing to give way, and about half a dozen negotiate it with such caution that it completely broke the flow of traffic.

Now, roundabouts are not strictly an Australian invention, but we have made them our own: I once read that Australia has more roundabouts than the entire US (a stat that's too good to check). I'm certain American drivers hate the damn things, since they are so unfamiliar, but once the number of roundabouts reaches a threshold, they'll never look back.

Regarding an earlier Oz sighting: I heard 'no worries' often enough in Washington to make me believe it is ubiquitous there. But so far, no sign of it in the mid-West. I wonder if it has reached Phoenix, Arizona, my next stop.