Friday, March 14, 2008
It takes the Euro to be nostalgic about New York..
I am trans- Atlantic.
Even though sipping a Tall Caramel Macchiato in a Starbucks am Domkloster in Cologne doesn’t make it very pertinent that I have made the hop across the puddle.
What does make it very pertinent though is the 3. 70 € I paid for it.
Yes, it is easy to miss New York.
Bill Clinton in 1992 bid put it best when he said, “It’s about the economy, stupid.” And as much as Paul Krugman tells us that the economy is going down, whether President Bush’s stimulus plan works or not, the fact remains that the United States is the greatest economy in the planet.
And it is pretty blatant when a bottle of Mineral Water from the volcanoes of Auvergne, France Volvic costs less in New York than in Cologne.
But I would not be complaining. I have the greatest piece of Gothic architecture in the Kölner Dom outside my window. And even though the skies are grey and the weather every bit groggy it is what Europe always was and is going to be. Beautiful.
But another realization has struck me is that to understand things, you have to be there. As much as we celebrate the Euro, and yes, in a greater perspective European integration, we miss a little bit of perspective. And as I have been talking to a lot of people, in the airport and in the trains in the past few hours, one thing is explicit in its conformity.
The Euros isn't perfect, and it is bloody darn expensive.
Agreed, what would a barista at Starbucks know?
And either ways, the banks in Frankfurt would do fine. But why should a barista in Starbucks in Cologne pay up for economic growth in Bucharest.
But he does, whether he likes it or not. And that poses the greatest question on European integration. Who does it serve?
And yes, a decent flight could be run with a 757 Boeing. Continental just showed me that.