Facts about Utania - 44
Utani are very new to the idea of soft drinks, but these should be readily available in the major centres, including some imported brands. (That is, at the time of publication, for it is also known that the Belson Corporation is increasingly moving into the soft drink market, which may undercut a lot of imported brands, which are already too expensive for most Utanians - Û5 or Û6 a 375ml can.)
Traditional Utani drinks include tea, fruit juices, fruit juices blended with milk, and, of course, water. Imported from Westermarc hundreds of years ago is Laasi, watered down and often fruit-flavoured yoghurt drinks, which is very popular in Utania now, and known as "Usi". Milk ("Uyu" pron. Oo-you) is also heavily consumed in Utania, and various flavoured (fruit juices blended in) varieties can be found, primarily peach, pear and banana flavours.
Utanians have their own brand of firewaters, "Rom", essentially rum, produced from the large sugar cane fields in the latter days of the Savaj Empire. A form of whiskey has also been produced in the past two hundred years which is mostly known by its Ingallish name, or the most common brand name "Toku Mul" (A "Toku" is a large non-flying bird of the wheat plain regions of the country; "Mul" is water).
But, by far the most traditional alcoholic drink is various traditional beers produced or wines. The most popular brand is "Tokamur", and few lagers are produced in Utania. Wine has been with Utani for similar millenia, and is mostly white wines, the most popular brand being Waitaki Estate, or Kandaho, a blend from B'yantusu and Kanhara regions of the south.
Utania is a country of the full range of entertainments, from theatres, cinemas and clubs in the main east-coast cities, to the traditional forms of theatre and music, and street celebrations. In the cities there will be both on offer, the former thinning out the more rural the city or town.
The traditional music (see section on music) is fast, danceable and revolves primarily about Aparea (guitars), pan flutes and drums. It is extremely popular in Utania, though rock, pop, jazz and blues are all growing in popularity, too.
Theatre is of two types, the traditional and international. Most major plays are available in Utania that have played internationally, but there is also a growing theatrical scene in Luka. Traditional forms of theatre are usually played out in small amphitheatres and compare in style to the plays of Shakespeare. Cinemas are also in most cities, and newspapers carry advertisements of what's playing daily.
Various festivals often spill out into the street, as Utanians
have a tradition of street parties, with music and theatre playing along a street. In major
cities it was used as a form of rebellion, as few Guwimithian military governors would attempt
to suppress hundreds of thousands of revellers (though they certainly tried some 200 years ago,
with some horrific effects), much less their elected successors. The major Utanian holidays
are a good indicator of when such celebrations will be on, though there are others held that
are not national events, on average about one each season can be expected.
Clubs and bars are becoming increasingly popular with the youth of the east-coast, usually not getting going until about midnight, and staying open until six the next morning. They are tolerated in Nystonia, too, but don't take to driving home if you have been drinking, because Nystonia state is looking to implement a "zero-tolerance" approach to excessive drinking and drink-driving.
The major spectator sport in Utania is undeniably football ("Soccer"), which is played be young and old, professional and amateur alike, and impromptu matches in small towns or villages are common. Utania has a twenty-four team national competition of two divisions playing for about three-quarters of the year (it avoids the tropical summer) in all major cities. The teams cover most of the cities in Utania, from Luka (which fields three teams) even to Virana, and therefore games should be available close-by at least once every three weeks. Note that they are very popular and since few tickets can be purchased in advance, queues can be long to get in, and, for big games, the stadiums can be tightly packed.
THINGS TO BUY
Utania is cheap for most low-cost manufactured goods, such as clothing, all of which can cost very little in international monies, so bring a large suitcase. Brand name "rip-offs" are being cracked down on as the country enters the world stage, so get in quick for some high-quality but very cheap Adides or Noke clothes. Utania is also earning a reputation for some cheap good quality brands of its own. "FreeTime" is one such brand, and their sports shoes can be comparable in quality to Noke or Adides. Markets will sell most of the cheap goods, but note that haggling is probably not going to yield a good result.
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