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    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Thank You for Old Europe..

    Elaine Sciolini in his parting shot as the New York Times correspondent in Paris gave A Guide to the French on March 23d, 2003.

    Read it here.

    Handle with care.

    Sitting in the Cologne Airport having one last opulent French Breakfast counting out the minutes before the much- maligned 757 takes me to Newark and I seal the lid on the Euro Trip Spring '08 edition, I couldn’t agree more.

    Donald Rumsfeld, The American Secretary of Defense, once labeled the French and the Germans regarding the opposition to the war in Iraq in 2003 Old Europe.

    A Europe that did not matter, and surely wasn’t relevant.

    But damn, nothing does it for me better than Old Europe.

    And it does not take the falling American economy, a war that should not have been sanctioned, and then gone on for so long, or all that is blatant about being in America at this point of time.

    It just takes standing, as in the picture, on the Neustadt on the other side of the Elbe for a view of Altstadt Dresden that stands eternal in time, or just sitting back and letting a Pils do it for you as your train pierces through a countryside that makes the Grimm Brothers come alive.

    And Dresden isn't just history. They have a bar- hopping district in the Neustadt with about 200 bars that erupt with nightlife of the very first order.

    Europe is special. And the world would do better to learn from it.

    Pity Rumsfeld never realized that.

    A word of thanks for all the conversations I have had through these couple of weeks and the people I have met, and all that talk from the Euro, to French women being sexually active till late 60's, and to dark Beer being for women.

    That's what a German told me. I don't intend any pun at the Irish. I have nothing but the utmost regard for the Guiness.

    And yes, I only go to come back.

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