All too often, I look at the time only to realize that I’ve been trolling through the Travel & Places category of Pinterest for an inappropriate span. Then, I must also account for time spent trolling through NatGeo’s rich travel photography archives. Best Trips of 2012 anyone? While I could reprimand myself for “wasting time”…eh I’m not gonna.
True, most of the time is spent staring glassy eyed and open mouthed at gorgeous shots of Brussels and Costa Brava, however, it also awakens my curiosity. It’s no secret that I’m eager to return to the European continent, but I’m aware of the dangers of over-romanticizing any place. You have to be aware of the realities you might get dumped into…and dumped may be the accurate word here.
In case you have missed this: Europe is in some dire economic straits. It’s all very complicated. So complicated, that I’ve been seeking help from any article, diagram or interview I can find.
This has to be one of my favorites: Lego, brilliant.
If you look here, you can download the pdf that explains this all in much greater detail.
We all know that a bunch of countries, but particularly Greece are faltering. The rest of the Euro Zone has to figure out how to deal with this since they are all tied to the same currency. If one member falls, how will that effect the others? How much responsibility should countries like Germany and France take on in helping the likes of Greece? How do those German taxpayers feel about all of this? It’s a mess.
Cue: Seth Meyers
Did anyone catch “A Closer Look at Europe” on Weekend Update? Brilliant and concise, Mr. Meyers brought levity to a complex and frustrating situation. I’ve tried to embed the video, though I fear it hasn’t worked. So…click here to see the bit.
Favorite lines include:
“The only thing that works together in Greece is eyebrows.”
And because the Euro Zone requires unanimity in big decisions, Seth remarked upon the differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds which hinder big decisions.
“You guys have shared a tiny continent for two thousand years and you still don’t speak the same language. Belgium has two languages and it’s the size of a Midwestern college campus.”
In both Greece and Italy, heads of state are stepping down. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was supposed to have been replaced today, and yet…no government has been decided upon. Then of course in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi (embroiled in a classy sex with hookers scandal) promised to step down after financial stability measures had been passed. Lest we forget Italy’s economic woes: a €2.6 trillion debt load. That’s nearly six times that of Greece! Oh and don’t forget that analysts are saying that if Italy defaults, the country is simply too big for a bail out. So….Italy could come crashing down, and I bet the world economy would really handle that well.
OH! I almost forgot to mention the burgeoning presence of populist parties in Europe. More and more regular Europeans saddled with these problems are turning to political ideologies which espouse anti-Islam and anti-multicultural views. In a time when the Eurozone must band together, I’d say this might be a bit of a stumbling block. Nothing says happy times like a staggering economy and simmering ethnic tensions 🙂
Woooo! So, as eager as I am to get away from here, I’m reminded that no place is perfect. Plus, I’m lucky to be here right now. Yeah, I live in sleepy Camarillo, but sometimes I am absolutely taken with its beauty.
Few places can boast the “purple mountains majesty” that Camarillo enjoys on a daily basis. Honestly, dusk in this place paints everything such a lovely color, there are few places that can contend with it. My photography sucks, but perhaps you can imagine.