Thursday, August 2, 2007

Brazzaville versus Burgerville

[if you are here about the book list thing, go here and vote! Then come back and read this one; it's very droll.]

Do you ever do that thing where you see or hear one word with your eyes or ears, but a different word goes into your head? Sure you do, everybody does. I'm just not articulating it very well.

(In fact, there should be a word for this phenomenon. I encourage you to suggest a word for it in the comments.)

Anyway, whenever I see a sign for local burger joint "Burgerville," my brain thinks "Brazzaville." I know. I'm a freak. But whatever. I have created and will now share with you this:

Faceoff: Brazzaville versus Burgerville

The Basics:

Brazzaville: Capital city of the Republic of Congo, population 1.5 million.
Burgerville: Chain of fast food restaurants in Oregon and Southwest Washington, with 43 stores.

Founded by:

Brazzaville: The French Explorer Pierre Savoignan de Brazza, in 1880.
Burgerville: Entrepreneur George Propstra, in 1961.


Brazzaville: “Unite' - Travail – Progress.”
Burgerville: “Choose fresh, local, sustainable; choose Burgerville.”

Under the Shadow of:

Brazzaville: Congo/Zaire’s capital Kinshasa, five times as large and directly across the Congo River.
Burgerville: McDonalds, Burger King, and other national fast food chains.

The French Connection:

Brazzaville: Capital of French Equatorial Africa until independence in 1960.
Burgerville: Sweet Potato and Yukon Gold French Fries are always big sellers.


Nabemba Tower, tallest skyscraper in Central Africa.
Burgerville: “Last Burgerville for 24,700 Miles!” billboards.

Natural Resource Use:

Brazzaville: Major port for natural resources of the Congo Basin, including rubber, timber, and agricultural products.
Burgerville: Makes major fuss about using ingredients from the Pacific Northwest region, including beef, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables.

Recent Problems:

Brazzaville: Unrest in the 1990s caused thousands of civilian deaths and sent refugees streaming out of the city.
Burgerville: Planned expansions into Central Oregon and Seattle markets have apparently been postponed.


Brazzaville: Underdeveloped social and physical infrastructure; unemployment; poverty.
Burgerville: Annoying oldies music; half-hearted 50s diner theme.


Brazzaville: Congo's economic prospects remain largely dependent on the country's ability to establish political stability and democratic rule.
Burgerville: Whether Burgerville's regional popularity will allow it to compete against much larger competitors, with their buying power and economies of scale, only the future can tell.

There. I hope that helped.


Karin said...

Well, of course, I LOVE Africa. Anywhere in Africa. That goes without saying. Although, so far, I've limited myself to areas that that tend not to kill thousands of people. Genocide: Not My Thing.

I rarely eat fast food, a couple times a year, but when I do, it's always at Burgerville and I have the Spicy Black Bean Gardenburger (YUM!), which gives me the hiccups.

Oh, and your MRTB mind might like this: every time I see (or used to see, in my bible reading days) the word astray--as in sheep led astray--I see the word ashtray, which is entirely different.

Rebel said...

Would you believe me if I told you that last Saturday I had lunch at Burgerville (you know the one!) and sat reading "The Poisonwood Bible". (Which if you haven't read it, takes place in the Congo in the 1960s).

Your post really put my Saturday in the correct historical perspective. Thanks! ;)

Michael5000 said...

@Karin: That's what I love about you, that genocide isn't your thing.

I bet you could love Dakar and not love Brazzaville. But I'd be happy to go investigate if anybody wants to sponsor the trip.

@rebel: You see, this is just another manifestation of the mysterious Burgerville/Brazzaville synchronicity! (a particularly excellent one, I must say.)

Glad I could help with the historical perspective. That's what the L&TM5K is all about. Helping people.

chuckdaddy2000 said...

Brazzaville would kick Burgerville's ass.

Michael5000 said...

@Chuck: Makes me wonder which one Baby ChuckDaddy is going to visit first.