Monday, January 18, 2010

KFC, Happy Black People and False Advertising

KFC CorporationImage via Wikipedia

I haven't posted in a few weeks but it would come as no surprise that fried chicken would be enough for me to break my silence. Like most Black Americans I do love me some fried much so that sometimes it makes me want to dance! As you can guess I've had my share of questions and conversations about KFC and their "happy" fried chicken spot (here). Black Americans are wondering "what's wrong with Aussies" and Aussies are saying "stop being so damn sensitive". But, I'm not spending my 1st post of the New Year revisiting that debate. Please refer to my "Hey Hey Saturday" post here for my comments on race & Oz. Instead I want to address something much more important - KFC's use of false advertising and what I intend to do about it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

2009 Word of the Year: Unfriend

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

This weekend I had the pleasure of accompanying my sister in-law to Facebook's Aussie team Christmas party. It was good fun and also good to spend some time around some other Americans. We talked about some of the benefits of living here in Sydney as well as some of the challenges of living abroad. One common complaint is that we hardly ever get phone calls from folks back stateside. It's like pulling teeth to get someone to dial a few extra digits to make a call. Either that or doing the math to figure out the time change tends to short-circuit any ability to think straight with the most common excuse being "I keep thinking I'm going to call and it'll be 3:00 in the morning". My response is of course "Well since you've never ACTUALLY called, then a 3am call would be a big step forward in our relationship".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in Australia: Building a New Tradition

A Thanksgiving turkey that had been soaked for...Image via Wikipedia

This is the 2nd Thanksgiving holiday spent abroad for us since we relocated to Australia. For my money Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. It's not about buying presents or a religious holiday but rather it's about spending time with loved ones and giving thanks for the blessings we've received over the last year. Like many Americans I have very fond memories of Thanksgivings past. The challenge now is how do I pass on the traditions of this holiday that I love so much to my kids in this new country where it's not celebrated and and finding collard greens, pigs feet and chitlins (or chitterlings for the unacquainted) is next to impossible?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sydney, Soul Food & Secret Societies

Soul Food album coverImage via Wikipedia

Last night was the long awaited first meeting of the Blacks in Oz secret society. We chose a hidden location where none of the locals would think to look - the only soul food restaurant in town. Even though I'd only met one of the other founding members I was fairly confident that I'd be able to pick the group out from the other patrons at the restaurant. In my 15 months in Oz this was only the 2nd occasion I'd seen more than 3 Blacks together in one place at the same time - so I took a picture. It was a strong minded group comprised predominantly of African Americans plus one member of that even rarer species known as Black Canadians. As we sat down to converse and eat, a sense of anticipation, usually reserved for Tyler Perry openings (google it Oz) and Jay-Z comeback concerts, was palpable.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Melbourne Cup - Expats Perspective

The 1976 cup won by Van Der Hum.Image via Wikipedia

The Melbourne Cup, billed as "the race that stops a nation", could quite possibly be the best sporting event in all of Australia. It's similar to the Kentucky Derby with all of the money, pageantry and ceremony that goes with a huge horse race. The biggest difference seems to be that EVERYBODY here actually cares about it! The work day is done by noon and the bars are all holding race day events with everyone dressing up in their best regalia and placing bets on horses with sweet names like Shocking, Crime Scene and my favorite AlcoPop (named after a popular category of sweet pre-mixed alcohol drinks - think Mad Dog 20/20 gone respectable). The men wear dapper suits with striped ties. The women accessorize their classy Spring skirts with huge hats and headdress. The attire kind of reminds me of Sunday service at Baptist church without all the "Yes Lords" and hand fans.