Europe 1983

As a young man, I was lucky to have the chance to travel around Europe with a group of students from my area.  There were maybe thirty of us, but when we were allowed to separate we traveled in a group of four.

We mostly stayed in hotels, but I was also able to stay with three local families.  If my notes accurately reflect my impressions, I was happiest to be introduced to the world of social drinking.  My Dutch family showed me how to play quarters (my notes used the term guilders).  I clearly remember the trip home from the Austrian disco on the back of a ten-speed after too many glasses of wine.  My German family was very serious and did little to develop my new habits.  I did learn that I bathed and washed my clothes too often.  I really took that to heart, but I wonder if today they would tell me to wash a bit more often.   So hard to get the balance right.

In addition to refining my skills in the finer social and antisocial arts, my notes show I expended some effort seeking out bicycle parts.  Unfortunately, I concluded that the prices were too high and bought only a pair of cycling shorts with Campagnolo written down the legs in a nice velvety script ($20).   I passed on  a complete Colnago bicycle  priced at $240 (must have been used) and a suitcase containing the Campagnolo 50th Anniversary group (price not recorded, but no matter the price, it would have been a better investment than the shorts). 

Sigh.

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