Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Yes to Yurts and No to TSA

This past weekend my family and I went on a "world tour" via the Festival of Nations ( in St. Paul, Minnesota. This annual event could best be described as a three ring circus since the festival had three major components:

  1. Country specific food booths featuring cuisine from around the world
  2. The "bazaar" where you could purchase products from around the world including ethnic-specific products such as a "Parking for Germans Only" sign (my dad loves the one I gave him years ago!!) and where you could speak with natives of the countries represented.
  3. Live entertainment -- music and dance performances such as Irish step dancing which in a Catholic Irish town like St. Paul, Minnesota is always a favorite!!

One additional feature of the festival that I like to highlight is that for US$0.75 you could purchase a "passport" that you would get stamped at each country booth that you visited. So we purchased one for our four year old daughter so she could see the world. While we visited at least 20 country booths the one we had the most fun at was the Mongolia booth because they had a "yurt" (native home) set up that you could tour. Our daughter and I explored the yurt's interior (I want to buy one for a family cabin but then again I don't want to go through a divorce so I won't buy one............) for too long of a time since we had numerous countries to visit.

The best thing about this "travel" was that we did not have to strip down like prisoners for inspection by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) storm troopers - although someone from TSA will probably think having a booth at the Festival of Nations in 2009 would be a great "community outreach" idea!!

Consumers Without Borders,


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