Some interesting images from our Europe trip

We have hundreds of pictures of beautiful views, art work, and historic sites.  They are fairly generic, though, so I won’t bother sharing them here.  If you go to Flickr and type in Tower of London, for example, you’ll see exactly the same photos.

There were some things, though, that did catch my eye, because they weren’t what I expected.

First, in London and in Rome, there are people who remember Gilad Shalit.  Maybe one of the things that happens is that, if you’re closer to the front lines of antisemitism, these things are more important than in America, where we can pretend that such things don’t exist:

A taxi in London


A plaza in Rome

Gilad Shalit is not the only one who isn’t forgotten.  I saw this bit of graffiti in Rome, at the Circus Maximus:

Bin Laden graffiti in Rome

The kids were amused by this bus advertisement, which someone told us is the real deal — there is indeed a Gay Village residential community somewhere near Rome and, yes, it caters to the GLBT population.

Gay Village ad in Rome

And finally, what passes for an art show in a small coastal town Italy, the name of which utterly escapes me right now:

Art in Italy

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  • jj

    Interesting that everything in Italy was written in English.

  • Gringo

    I would not have predicted the signs for Shalit. For all that one can read about anti-Semitism in Europe, it is reassuring to find evidence to the contrary.
    All the signs in English point to the obsession that much of Europe – especially the educated elite-has with the US. Most Americans don’t give a hoot about Europe, for about 3 reasons. 1)It was the place many of our ancestors wanted to leave. My uncle’s father immigrated from Ireland. One time when he was a child, my uncle said to his father that Ireland must have been a nice place. His father’s reply: if it was such a nice place, I wouldn’t have left it. 2) Europe is the place we bailed out three times in the last century. Bailout fatigue has set in. 3)There is plenty going on in our country of 300 million to occupy our interests.
    The obsession many Europeans have with the US is the reason why they feel free to involve themselves in our politics, such as the Guardian’s ill-fated attempt to sway the voters in Clark County in Ohio to vote for John Kerry in 2004. It is why many Europeans criticize the US from a Eurocentric and rather ignorant perspective. There is a big gap between what many Europeans think they know about the US, and what they actually know about the US. Ignorance about the US doesn’t stop them from criticizing us. The American perspective is rather different. The average American freely admits his ignorance about Europe, and because he doesn’t give a damn about Europe, is not ashamed regarding  his ignorance about Europe.
    Book, did you get to talk with a lot of Europeans- Greek medical personnel excepted?

  • Bookworm

    No, I didn’t talk to Europeans.  Often when I travel I do speak to the people who live in the place I’m visiting, but this time I just never got the chance.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I will certainly vouch for that gap in European knowledge about the U.S.  The average European’s view of the U.S. is formed by Hollywood, the New York Times and CNN. Talk about a trifecta of turds!

    Even the Euros that live here take years before they understand the how and why of our country, so they misinterpret things completely.

    When I hear Europeans tell me the things that they believe about the U.S., much of it so completely off the wall that it leaves me astonished. My general comment to them is that they shouldn’t believe their media but go see for themselves. 

    I will be leaving for Europe (France and Spain) this week for 10 days for business and pleasure. My commentary may be a bit off (yeah, yeah, I know…”so how will we know the difference?”) during that period but I will certainly share my impressions when I return. I will definitely be talking to Europeans.