GQ (Australia) - - INSIDE GQ -


An adult, with a full li­cense, can set their own speed limit when driv­ing on the open sec­tions of ze au­to­bahn, mak­ing the de­ci­sion based on ex­pe­ri­ence, how they’re feel­ing that day and whether they’re in a 2CV or an R8. In Aus­tralia, on an equiv­a­lent di­vided four-lane free­way, there’s a fiercely enforced 110km/h speed limit – when it’s not a blan­ket 80km/h zone for in­ter­minable road­works, that is.


Of­fi­cially known as the Free Repub­lic of Liber­land, this is, in fact, not recog­nised as a real coun­try. To hell with that – this patch of land on the banks of the Danube, wedged be­tween Ser­bia and Croa­tia, of­fers no real gov­ern­ment, vol­un­tary tax­a­tion, and the abil­ity to do any­thing, legally, so long as you don’t harm an­other ‘cit­i­zen’. First pro­claimed in April 2015 by Czech politi­cian and lib­er­tar­ian ac­tivist Vit Jedlička, Liber­land’s main ex­port is its na­tional beer, which is 14 per cent al­co­hol.


A man would have to be mad to ride a push­bike through most In­dian cities – or the coun­try­side for that mat­ter – but if he did, the de­ci­sion about whether or not to sport a hel­met is, fig­u­ra­tively and lit­er­ally, on his head. Be­cause he’s an adult. The same blan­ket free­dom across all ages ex­ists in Poland, the UK, France and Is­rael.


OK, we’re point­ing out Cal­i­for­nia, among many other states, where al­co­hol (beer, wine, spir­its, what­ever) can be pur­chased in most su­per­mar­kets un­til 2am – if they’re open, and if you’re at least 21. Yes, we’re aware Aldi sells wine in NSW, but it’s Aldi. And by that we mean award-win­ning vino. Se­ri­ously.


Still smok­ing? Well, in this neigh­bour­ing land, you can light up any­where, as long as you’re not in a hos­pi­tal, school, play­ground or place of worship. What’s more, em­ploy­ers have to pro­vide des­ig­nated smok­ing ar­eas. They even have ci­garette ad­ver­tis­ing. Crazy. Else­where, cer­tain New York bars still per­mit smok­ing – via the ‘cigar bar’ loop­hole – and it’s open slather in many Ve­gas es­tab­lish­ments.


Yes, this vast coun­try’s pop­u­lace largely kow­tows to an over­reach­ing gov­ern­ment with a fairly rocky hu­man rights record, but kids here can still do hand­stands at school. Cartwheels even. So that lev­els ev­ery­thing out. Right?


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