03 April, 2006


So, yes, I failed all those (meaning me and one other person) in keeping up my blog. But here I am trying. I'm back from Europe. The take home messages are the following:

1. Germany is infinitely cooler than Paris. I'm not saying Paris isn't cool. But I am saying that I'd rather drink a half liter of Dunkel Weisbier for 3 Euros in Munich, than get an 11.5 ounce can of Kronenberg (read: rolling rock) for 6 Euros in Paris. The food in Germany was incredible, in spite of the many warnings I received that it would not be. I can't even remember who said it, but who ever you are, if you are not a vegetarian, you are a incorrect.

2. Riding the Metro in Paris feels pretty much like riding the train in Boston. It's not a whole lot different, except a) they don't announce the stops in any language at all, b) people are speaking French, c) there are 900 different train lines instead of 4.

3. East Berlin is a sad example of what happens when "freedom" comes to a big city. Because freedom really means "the right to open department stores and Starbucks anywhere you want to open them".

4. Nobody in Germany can agree on the pronunciation of the "ch" consonant. Seriously. This is a problem. You've got 25% of the population saying it like the "sh" in "dish". Another 25% saying it like the "ch" in "Chutzpah". Another 25% saying it like the "ck" in "prick". And then the people who come from Switzerny (actually, I think the region is called Swebia, or something - in the southwest) pronounce it in some completely insane way that is like a cross between "sh" and "ch" which involves not touching your tongue to any part of the inside of your mouth, including itself, and also requires you to stand on one foot and with a schnitzel in each hand. And this Shmebian sound exists nowhere in the English (or any other) language, and cannot be produced from the mouth of an American, even if they were formerly a German citizen.

5. German women are prettier than French women. Let me put it in a statistical context. The prettiest French women are probably as pretty as the prettiest Germans. But the standard deviation of the French is much higher, and the mean is much lower. The standard deviation of the French is probably within a factor of two of the standard deviation of American women, though their mass is probably 25% lower. The German women are all beautiful. It's apparently a rule.

6. French can make good steak. And good French Fries. Funny, that. I didn't try the French Toast. Or the French Dressing. Or the French Bread. But I did see the movie Better Off Dead, so maybe you appreciate the reference.

7. I need a new digital camera. I have a Canon A70, which is 3 megapixels. It's not a bad camera, but I think age has caused something to become out of alignment resulting in many pictures that are not as crisp as I would like. Or maybe my lens is dirty. But I still think I should just throw it away and buy a new one. That's the American way.Okay. That's all I've got.