Thursday, March 12, 2009

No, not the place from Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

The Island Nation of Nauru (1968 - Present)

Featuring: Phosphate. Then no phosphate. And Germans.

The Gist: Officially known as the Republic of Nauru, but more widely known as the world’s smallest island nation and also the only republican state in the world without an official capital. And by widely known I mean known to me, the population itself (I assume) and this random girl I know who became the official UN representative of Nauru because they asked her to intern for them at the offices in New York. Upon arrival she realised she was the only person there who knew it was even a country.

And then what happens?: She sat in at international conferences as the only, and therefore most senior, Nauruan (Naurish?) representative. And met Obama. In terms of history it’s generally been swapped between the Germans, then the British, and then it was a bit of a hot potato when Japan took it over during Word War II. At that time it had the highest income per capita in the world. Now, not so much, and if anyone has heard of it here it’s because that’s where Australia detains asylum seekers when it doesn’t know what to do with them. Like those guys who floated here in the beer cooler. They’re probably there now.

Go there: Cause you might as well if you get the chance. Between December 2005 and September 2006 it was inaccessible when the only national airline stopped operating. Also Nauruans are statistically considered among the most obese people in the world. Go look. Point.

Level of Crazy: 9. “Tourism is not a major contributor to the economy”. Shocking.

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