Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Here're some more thoughts, observations from our first three-and-a-half weeks in Luxembourg:

Things I like about Luxembourg:
-       The Milka chocolate; in fact, chocolate here in general is the bomb!
-       The mélange or, as the kids say, mash-up of languages that’re everywhere—this morning I went to a bakery and said "Moien" (Luxembourgish) as I entered, ordered "ein poche pomme und ein muffin chocolat, bitte" (German), said "Merci," (French) and, for good measure, "Vielen Dank" (German) when I exchanged my money for food, and "Atty" (Lux) as I bid adieu. (I’m sure it’s a mess, but I have fun trying.) 
-       The cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and stone arches that are everywhere.
-       Turning a corner and having my breath taken away by one surprise vista after another—a stone bridge over a winding river, fortress walls built into sandstone bluffs, gonging church bells, steep-pitched Europey- rooftops, etc. History is everywhere here, it seems.
-       Poking my head into a hundreds-years-old church or cathedral and being gifted with a practicing choir or someone jamming on the church organ.

-       While riding my bike, finding yet another steep cobbled street that beckons me to attack it as if I were Tom Boonen pulling the peloton into a spot of bother.
-       The buses and train system.
-       The paved bike paths, bike lanes and signage for each.
-       That people have been super nice.
-       Franz Schneider and his biker.lu cronies.
-       The Petrusse Valley.
-       Baguettes from Fischer bakeries.  
-       Having Eurovision HD on my cable TV system. (Along with beaucoup cycling, they've been showing a lot of biathlon, ski jumping, women’s soccer and snooker.)
-       That there appears to be no sprawl here.

Things I don’t like about Luxembourg
-       There are no Starbucks.
-       Everything, EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays.
-       It’s crazy expensive to live here.
-       The weather hasn’t been the greatest so far. Probably three excellent days, seven days of snow (it looked like a blizzard outside much of today), the rest mostly gray.
-       Our apartment is great but whomever manages it, their website should be www.wedon’tgiveacrap.com
-       I don’t have a guitar here.

Things I’ve found sort of odd, interesting, different from the U.S.
-       That the female bathroom attendant at the gare (train station) told me that it was 60 cents “to go pee-pee”, 1.10 euro if I needed to do something else (as it were).
-       No one seems to pay to ride the city buses and the drivers seem almost annoyed when you do.
-       Check-out cashiers at grocery stores are seated.
-       Everything, EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays.
-       There are no Starbucks.
-       Besides McDonalds the other American fast-food chain that’s common here is … Subway. (???)
-       Watching “The Voice Italy” and “The Voice Belgium”

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