Tuesday, October 26, 2004


So, what do you think about the background design this time? The flowers in the blog-header are what we call Nadeshiko, probably called “Japanese pink” or “Fringed pink” in English. See the real Nadeshiko flowers in this site (scroll down a bit) The whole background design represents Nadeshiko flowers in a bamboo flower basket. How about that!

Well, off to work now. I’ll write about the continuing topic from my previous post sometime later today (hopefully).


Now, back to the topic of the place I always remember when I think about "boosting local economy" or "attracting visitors from other places."

The name of the place is Tortilla Flat, a small settlement on the Apache Trail in AZ, USA. The population of the whole town was 6 when I visited there in 1993. (Information on this place is available on the sites like
this and this.)

So what’s there in such a tiny town in the Wild West? There I saw one humorous way of making such a place a tourist attraction.

I don’t remember exactly how, but I think their jokes already started on the roadsigns repeatedly seen on the AZ88. Anyway, you enjoy driving miles and miles on the Apache Trail, and finally get to your destination, and find out why the phrase “Where the hell is Tortilla Flat” is used as the catch phrase there. The phrase was (still is?) on almost all the souvenirs such as post cards, T-shirts and bumper stickers.

The Apache Trail (a photo of the photo I took there on Oct. 24, 1993)

There were so many jokes that tickled me. They were making good laughs out of the smallness of the town, and also out of the legend of the Superstition Mountains. (To Japanese readers who know a TV program “Tantei Knight Scoop”: You might feel a bit of the taste of “Paradise” series by Mr. Koeda, but personally I think the jokes in Tortilla Flat was much more sophisticated. ) What I liked the most was the custom at a local eatery (or was that a souvenir shop? I don't remember exactly...). Visitors were supposed to write their names on 1-dollar(?) bills and pin on the wall there. I was impressed to see almost all the walls inside being covered by the bills with visitors’ names on. That was really something.

I don't think my hometown can or should copy the way they do in Tortilla Flat to attract tourists from other places. But the fact is that this funny place gave me a different kind of good memory that no other famous sightseeing spot did. Whenever I found a piece of joke there, I felt the humor and hospitality of the people behind it very closely. That’s what, I think, that made my experience there something “special.” To me, it’s something worth remembering.

posted by obachan, 10/26/2004 11:45:00 AM


Obachan, your template is so nice. Can you teach me how to change my template? I went to the site but it was written in Japanese..haven't got the clue.
commented by Blogger ting-aling, 10/28/2004 2:22 AM  
Hi. Thanks, ting-aling. The Japanese sites linked in “About” offer free web graphics, but do not have instructions on how to actually use them in the CSS of our Blogger templates. I’ll email you how I do this. (It’s a bit too long to be a comment.) Also, Blogger help has good info. on how to play with CSS.
commented by Blogger obachan, 10/28/2004 9:23 AM  
Your story just made me eagerly want to visit Tortilla Flat.
commented by Blogger Tatsuo Tabata, 11/01/2004 11:38 AM  

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