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February 26, 2007

Comments

Consul-At-Arms

One thing that many Europeans, even those who've visited the U.S., fail to appreciate is how very small that Western Europe is compared with the continental vastness that is the United States.

A European can be "well travelled" in the sense of having visited various nearby countries that equate, in terms of distance, to a couple of American states, sort of like a spring break trip or about the first 45 minutes of a National Lampoon "vacation" movie.

That don't impress me much.

Diggs

I agree completely. A weekend trip into a neighboring country 100 miles away, or the annual migration of Germans down to Crete, where they lay on the sand with a million other Germans, is hardly the way to become a worldly traveler. And yet, that's how they define it.
You can go into any German village along the Mosel river, where I lived for four years, and you will see the same names on the gravestones going back 400 years, and then walk down the street and see the same names on the mailboxes! The dead giveaway is the naiveté of the average European when it comes to understanding the world. Most Europeans that I've talked to have a knowledge of the world's leaders and actions that is as deep as the paper mache skin on the puppet they carry in the latest demonstration. And as useful.
Even before I lived in Germany, when I would meet European rock climbers at Veedawoo or the Flatirons, they were completely astounded that they weren't able to keep up with their itinerary that they had planned, because they only counted on driving a few hours between LA to Yosemite, then a few more to the Tetons, then a few more to Veedawoo, then a few more to the Flatirons (okay, that drive is just a few hours), then a day down to Hueco Tanks in Texas, and another day to the "Gunks" in New York. They had no idea how big the US is, they simply assumed it was about the size of old Europe.

A.M.

Hey Sir, I have run across so many people (Americans) who have never left the USA. Priory to my enlistment and my childhood years my family traveled extensivily. We are of French ancestry (hope I don't get picked on) and still visit relatives. I Have been lucky to have done Eupean, China, India with my family. Of course I visited Japan and several asian countries as party of my service.

I am glad I has these oportunities as I doubt my condition would give me the phusical ability to do stuff. I remember these gray haired couples in Brusse Belgium. It was a 12th Centrury city and a great place to visist. There is a clock tower with views of the town. The stairs were too much for older floks and I remember getting to the top and thinking my journey was through a time machine. I saw from above a perfect midevil period town. Now I could not repeate that climb, but you can't take away the memory.

Semper Fi Sir, how has transition been taking care of you.

Peace A.M.

Diggs

AM, I've never been to Brussels, but the whole Mosel region of Germany is like that. Every city had an old town area. Trier even has stuff left over from when the Romans claimed that as their northern border. I agree, it's pretty cool.
The transition is a bit trying. I have been doing the easy stuff, painted all the upstairs rooms, new floor in the M bath, and I start on the basement soon. In the mean time, I've been working on getting the permits and variance I need to build our cabin. It's all very different. But I'm glad I'm doing this rather than getting ready for a fourth tour to OIF.

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