WANT TO LIVE FOREVER?
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?