Our profound apologies to those who need a GUARDIAN FIX.
We have been in Europe for the past couple of weeks and will share some thoughts and impressions.
–Universal dislike of George Bush and nearly the same universal appreciation of American people. Lots of people are afraid of the Iraq mess harming the Europe Union economically and other ways…they are a lot closer to the Mideast and Africa than we are.
–The EU is becoming more of a “United States of Europe” all the time. It is a cross between the U.N. and the USA in many ways. England and Switzerland still hold onto their currency and it is a pain in the bum to visit–especially Switzerland.
–The German autobahn with its high speed driving is toll free, but to drive on the expressways in Switzerland you have to pony up $30 for a permit–good for a day or a month same price!
–Diesel is about 30 cents cheaper per LITER than gas and the diesel car we drove was a sweet LITTLE Mercedes “A class” with super economy and you could park it most anywhere–for a fee of course.
–Seen from the French perspective, the decision to stay out of Iraq was what the citizens wanted and it made for good domestic politics. They don’t want to fight the “American war.”
–Soccer mania is rampant throughout Germany. The best sign of how silly it has gotten was miniature soccer goals with little red soccer balls suspended in front of the net…placed in the urinals. The GUARDIAN scored several times in one session, but there was no goal tender either.
–Air travel in Europe has gotten efficient and cheap. Security screening is at or near the departure gate in many airports as is luggage claim. No long concourses to walk with bags.
Wine, bare boobs, and church steeples were to be found everywhere.
–In the heart of Zurich is a Ladies Swimming Club on the river where women soak up the rays topless next to outdoor restaurants. It beats a convention center any day.
–GPS is no good when the roads are closed for construction. “Helga” goes ape when you get detoured and demands immediate U-turns.
–Europeans offer up “student discounts” for transport, museums, etc. instead of “senior discounts.” That makes a lot more sense to the GUARDIAN. Age discrimination in the USA is wrong–charging younger people MORE than old duffers who can afford entrance fees.
–USA, with emphasis on Idaho and the West is shameful in the addiction to big cars and pick ups which suck fuel, pollute, and take up space. It will catch up with us soon.
–Wind generators dot the hills throughout Germany, France, Spain, and Holland. Plenty of nuke plants as well.
As we get back on track we will try to offer up some pictures and more comments.
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