40 Years in Beer, Part Twenty-Five: The end of the beginning (1989-1990)

40 Years in Beer, Part Twenty-Five: The end of the beginning (1989-1990)

Previously: 40 Years in Beer, Part Twenty-Four: That infamous Madrid episode, and a necessary curtailment.

According to conventional sources of Internet wisdom, a Europhile is “a person who is fond of, admires, or loves European culture, society, history, food, music etc.”

It must be conceded from the outset that certain other digital sources are neither benign nor forgiving, suggesting instead that Europhilia is a self-inflicted mental illness prompting sufferers to lose sight of their blind, rabid, and often delusional America-first patriotism.

It will have become evident to readers of this series that I can only shrug and expedite the tendering of my guilty plea. That’s me, to a tee—a Europhile, by both definitions, lacking any inclination whatever to apologize for it.

Europhilia has defined my very existence since college, and traveling through the continent more than forty times since the mid-1980s naturally has cemented these bonds, which leads to a legitimate question: Shouldn’t I have long since pulled up stakes, opted for full immersion, and chosen to become a an expatriate? I know several Americans who have opted for this remedy, and envy them unreservedly.

All I can say is, “Welcome to my personal existential struggle.”

It remains that I’ve always been a slow learner, a...Read more