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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Paris

Well, I’m sitting at a café in Paris, France. It is so beautiful here. This trip through Europe is so illuminating. I’ve that every preconceived idea about the last two countries I’ve been to have been totally and utterly wrong. I have come to realize that everything everyone has ever said about the French is absolutely false. They are a really kind people, not rude. They have excellent manners and always say “Please” and “Thank you”, and mostly, they love America. Walking around the city I’ve seen 1) A painting of the “Great George Washington” at a hospital for Invalids 2) A monument to the men who volunteered Paratroopers in WWII, who by their own will jumped behind enemy lines to assist the French resistance groups (They all died) 3) A huge statue of George Washington in the middle of a roundabout and prominent street honoring him and America’s Independence. In fact, without their help we would have never won our independence from Britain and their government went bankrupt because of the American Revolution. In fact, we’re the main reason why there was a French Revolution. They sacrificed much more than we did. They helped us get on our feet as a country and fully supported us as other countries around the world scoffed at us. I have a newfound respect for the French. And yeah I know what you’re probably thinking. What about their position on the war in Iraq. I’ve talked to a couple of French people and they have said the same thing. They agreed that Saddam Hussein was a bad man and that his capture was a good thing however the “We’re going in with or without you’re help” mentality that Bush laid out was very arrogant and a major insult to America’s allies. Also, the ill planning of what to do once Saddam was dethroned. They believe that taking Saddam away as leader of the country was a bad idea. This left a power vacuum in the state that is demanding to be filled. This has only bread chaos and confusion which is costing civilian and military casualties. What should have been done is an American occupation of the country like America’s occupation of Japan. The country was taken over however the government was left for an easy time of transition. The Iraqi’s don’t know what to do with their freedom. You can’t force democracy upon a nation that has known nothing but dictatorship.

It’s interesting hearing it out of the horse’s mouth rather through people you know and the media. They still consider themselves friends with America.

That’s one thing about traveling around Europe that I’m starting to notice. Every conceived idea about each culture I’ve seen has been completely false. The British don’t have bad teeth, the French aren’t rude and do shave, and Italian women are very pretty. Interesting huh? Makes me think about America and how we think as a country. What pride we have in ourselves. We complain about gas prices and taxes. Gas here is roughly about $9 a gallon if I remember correctly. Plus they have to pay driving, parking, health, social security, and 18% sales tax. Crazy! But I understand why. Their public transportation actually works. The streets are some of the cleanest streets I’ve ever seen, especially for the population size. And the security level is huge. I’ve never felt so safe in my life than walking on the streets of London and Paris. There are police officer’s literally everywhere. Remember that the little thing called “The Bill of Rights” that we have in America aren’t here in London or Paris. So the second amendment, the right to bear arms, isn’t here. So I’m not worried about getting shot, the police aren’t worried about getting shot (which makes them very friendly), and everyone else walking the streets or riding the underground’s aren’t worried about getting shot. The type of government in the UK and in Paris is a “Social Democracy” which actually seems like it works. I visited the bad parts of France. It’s funny. The bad parts of France are better than the good parts of L.A.

One thing that’s big here that you don’t hear about in the US is the joining together of the European countries. This is the first time this is happening in Europe, without an invading army that is (e.g. Army’s of Rome or Napoleon). Since the joining together of the European countries there is free travel without the need of visas throughout all European countries. It’s unbelievable! Everywhere you go you see people of all different cultures. Furthermore, the unification of currency such as the Euro is beginning to stabilize. This is great because if you live in Italy and you want to go to France for the weekend, your money is good there and anywhere in between. They are in the process right now of drafting a Constitution for Europe. This will be just as powerful as the United States Constitution. No wonder America is playing this down. America is a world leader and certainly the most powerful nation on the planet. If Europe unifies and becomes the United States of Europe we may actually have some competition in the sense of world power. Already the dollar is dropping and the Euro is becoming more powerful. Free trade and travel between nations is causing technology and goods to be brought to all nations. I sat in a fish and chips restaurant in London and to drink I got a Sprite that was bottled in Poland and a Fanta that was bottled in Spain, the waitress was from Russia. People in Eastern Europe where work and education are limited are now migrating to Western Europe where there is a labor shortage and plenty of schools to get an education. Those people can now go back home with the tools that their own country could not provide them with. Now let’s daydream a little. Let’s say that it takes a couple of generations or maybe 100 years for the United States of Europe to really take off. Europe becomes a world power equally or possibly greater than America. We are now competing with the might of Europe and China. The next time America decides to do something, like invade another country without the approval of the other countries, we may have another World War in our hands. On the other hand, we may be faced with a conflict with the 1.5+ billion people of China and the United States of America and the United States of Europe ban together to fight the invading Chinese. Whatever might happen, Europe is making some great changes and this will change life as we know it.

Also, being a male I find it my duty to report to all other men out their in the world. Since I have set foot off the airplane in London I have been swamped with beautiful women. GORGEOUS! I can’t believe that there are places in the world where everywhere you go there are just beautiful girls. Even sitting here in this café I have on my right and on my left side women my age and older at the tables and walking by whom are absolutely beautiful. Every nationality and background you could think of, French, Italian, Greek, Arabic, Romanian, Russian, English, Polish, and every country in between. I’m not kidding or joking. Dead serious! I don’t think I’ll ever see the girls in America ever the same. It’s got to be the diet or something. Maybe it’s something they put in the food here. Oh yeah, and I rarely see a fat person. I’m talking man, women, or child. Fat people are rare. In America the skinny people are a social minority. It’s weird thought. Amidst all the beautiful women that seem to have converged in one place in the world in the “city of love” there is still one person I can’t get my mind off of and I'm hoping she’s happy.

I checked out the Royal College of Music in London the other day. They were dismissed for summer break. I may apply and do the audition for fun to see what happens. Get a real education in music and have the opportunity to live in London. I really liked it there and wouldn’t ‘mind staying for a semester or two of school. Life is the best education. My love for history too can grow. The museums in Europe are astonishing. Maybe I can take some classes in Greco-Roman history. So I can either finish at WCBC or transfer for a year to another school for a year and come back and finish. I know I need to finish but nobody said when.

I can’t wait to travel to Italy and Greece. Once I find an internet café that will let me use my computer I’ll buy a flickr subscription and upload all the photos that I’ve taken. You can check some of my favorite ones now, I’ve uploaded those here. I can’t help but think that my life is changing, I feel it. My world view is growing. The world is waiting to be discovered by me. There are foods, people, cultures, languages, arts, governments, and histories that I have yet to discover. Reminds me, in a weird way of Che’s Motorcycle Diary’s, although I highly doubt I’ll lead a revolution that will place several South American countries into a communist dictatorship but hey, you never know.

2 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

From the sound of it Europe is really cool. Maybe ill go their someday. Hope u have fun man. ttyl

7/27/2005 12:48:00 PM

 
Blogger Joe said...

Tim, you should. This is the greatest thing in the world.

7/31/2005 04:02:00 PM

 

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