Pensées de l’Alsace
| Randy Westgren |
Sorry to carry no intellectual weight tonight. One day remains of a 14-day whirlwind tour of the EU with 24 students of business, international studies, and agriculture. No student has had as much as 4 hours of sleep any night this week and I am in awe of their willingness to throw themselves into long days of travel and company visits. I am beat. Much of my day was spent translating between English and French, between US weights and measures and EU metrics (including such oddballs as quintals and hectolitres), and between currencies. Luckily, there was beer.
In honor of Peter Klein’s francophilia, I note the following from our second day outside Strasbourg.
(1) Cousin Naomi’s book has been translated as La Stratégie de Choc and sells as a trade paperback for 25 euros. It is not flying off the shelves. Evidently, there aren’t enough intellectuals in Europe’s second capital to make a sale.
(2) Not that polemics aren’t big press here. I bought Le Monde Selon Monsanto by Marie-Monique Robin. Evidently (on first read) Monsanto is behind the dioxin poisoning in Belgium, agent orange use, hormones in beef, and lost biodiversity in Mexico. Complete crap, but worthy of two hours on national TV earlier this year. Something for Naomi Klein to aspire to.
(3) We dined at a restaurant in the beautiful village of Obernai tonight. The specialty of the house is choucroutte (sauerkraut) served in a 2 kilo pile topped with 4 kilos of sausages, meatballs, pork chops and belly slices. What sweet revenge on the sour, self-absorbed vegetarian in the group (add emoticon here)! Magnificent food!