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home : opinion : columnists May 24, 2016

10/31/2012 1:03:00 PM
Rules are rules
Dear Editor,

I and my wife have recently visited the USA for our first time and we have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the people of America. We have been fortunate to spend a lot of our time in the north west of this country taking in Seattle, Portland and your lovely 'Bavarian' town Leavenworth where we stayed with friends.

Now we are accustomed in Australia to have a minimum legal drinking age of 18 years, whereas in many US states the age may be 21. That does not bother me as I am well past both those ages and in fact have just completed my 3rd 21st cycle.

On the last official night of 'Octoberfest', our host wanted to go into town to see how things were going and I accompanied him, our wives deciding to stay home. Then the fun started.

We decided to enter an alcohol serving establishment have one drink then go back home. Well folks the young non-Leavenworthian security guard asked for our id. I presented my NSW drivers licence, and was promptly informed that it could not be taken into account because I had no appropriate USA id. Yes folks, moi was refused entry into an alcoholic serving establishment because the young person at the door did not recognise my Australian driver's licence as appropriate id with which to enter an alcohol serving establishment. If he could read my licence, he could see my face. My host was flabbergasted. (People do not generally visit the local pub with their passport and their visa papers).

I actually had no inclination to order a drink until then. After this I needed a couple. Now if this was a young woman telling me I looked too young, well maybe, just maybe, I could have accepted that, but this was just unacceptable. My friend happened to be friends with the manager and she was outraged, went outside and pleaded with the 'young" security guard to change his mind. I assume she was paying his wages. After 5 minutes pleading, he relented and I was 'officially' allowed access to having a drink, which after this scenario were all on the house courtesy of the owner. Roll on Octoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington State.

We love Leavenworth, it is a great town with good people. Just be careful with overzealous security guards.


George Stamell

Sydney, Australia

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