Category Archives: Europe

This spud’s for you: Well-oiled museum honors history of frites

Oh, to have been born with the pedigree of Kornelius Lieuwes de Vries, one of the heroes of the modern potato. Or like Chris Verschueren,  fry master extraordinaire who, along with Monsieur de Vries, is forever memorialized in the frietMuseum in Bruges, Belgium. Monsieur de Vries was a hybridizer of potatoes whose combination of two strains of spuds – the […]

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The contrasts of southern France in March

Southern France in March is a place of vast and impressive contrasts. Of sun-drenched valleys ribbed by endless rows of budding lavender, all lorded over by craggy, snow-capped peaks that abruptly rise from the valleys to the heavens. It is a place where lycra-clad cyclists work the winter kinks out of their muscles while testing themselves on routes frequented by […]

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Outgunned by animalia

Two weeks into our animal husbandry assignment masquerading as a house sitting gig in the south of France, I began to get a sense of how Noah must have felt. I was lacking an ark but had plenty of beasts to manage, with two neurotic dogs and three cats of the following description taking up considerably more than their fair […]

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(Un)welcome to the UK

I knew I was in trouble with Agent #3293 at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 the moment she turned her eyes to me. “Greeted” would be far too kind a description for the way she looked at me. Cold eyes, “fish eyes” I call the lifeless orbs that assessed me. She started right in. I see you overstruck all these letters […]

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A British pub with an abundance of Radiance

The British pub culture is pretty chill, from what I’ve seen over the years. People gather four deep at the bar, wait patiently for their turn to order a favorite pint and apologize profusely when a fellow imbiber spills bitters on them on their way to join their mates. It’s all generally civilized. Unless you go to a proper footy […]

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