Australia’s funny. It’s sort of like living in a small town on a continent about the same size as the contiguous U.S.
What does this have to do with donuts, you might ask? Pull up a chair and I’m going to spin you a little yarn.
I was at the Sydney airport a couple of months ago, and like many people in Adelaide who have experienced the gastronomic delights of the Krispy Kreme donut, I popped by the Krispy Kreme kiosk to get a half-dozen glazed to take home with me since Adelaide is deprived of this bit of Americana. I know what you might be thinking: Ugly American buying crap American food in Australia. My answer to that: Until you’ve lived abroad, you won’t understand. Sometimes you just need a taste of home. But I digress.
So, there I am waiting to pay for my Krispy Kremes when I look around the terminal and see someone who appears to be Dr. Brendan Nelson and some of his staffers walking my way. Dr. Nelson is currently the leader of Australia’s Liberal Party (but not Liberal like left-wing liberal, they’re more conservative actually) which is the opposition party at the moment. The opposition party is the one that’s not in power, meaning that party’s leader is not the Prime Minister. If the Liberals were to come to power, Dr. Nelson would be Australia’s Prime Minister (although highly unlikely because he’s not real popular). Still, he’s one of the more powerful people in Australian government and was the Defense Minister when his party was in power until November of ’07. Enough of the civics lesson, but it is somewhat germane to the story.
So, here comes Dr. Nelson and I’m leaving Krispy Kreme and wind up walking RIGHT NEXT TO HIM. I hear him say to his handler, “… I’ve not had one but people say they’re pretty good.” And she says “They smell good.” I couldn’t help myself. I say to them, “Krispy Kreme’s are great. You should try one sometime.” And Dr. Nelson says, “You actually eat them for breakfast in America, don’t you?” To which I respond, “Of course, donuts are breakfast food.” (Australians seem to prefer savory foods for breakfast, like vegemite on toast). And off he walks into the Qantas Club.
Seriously. How often would a regular old American wind up walking next to Don Rumsfeld or Nancy Pelosi (that’s sort of what I equate him to) in the airport and start chatting them up about donuts? I was sort of kicking myself for not offering him one of my Krispy Kremes, but I only had six, and there’s no way I was going to just give one away to someone who may or may not appreciate them.
From now on, I’ll always buy a dozen Krispy Kremes, because you never know who you’re going to run into in Australia.