Here ye, here ye, I have an announcement: paper money in different colors is tons of fun! It feels weird and crispy, it has pretty pictures and a shiny metallic emblem in one corner, and it can actually buy delicious things. I went to ye olde wine shop today, traded in a few crinkly bills (complete with different sizes for different denominations,) and walked out with a tremendous 93 bordeaux! The wine merchant, obviously impressed with my ability to say, in German, ‘Excuse me. Do you speak English?’, asked for a price range. When I tried to quote Pretty Woman to him (you know, the part where she tries to go shopping and gets shot down and comes back to the hotel with wads of cash to find the most helpful concierge ever who then teaches her the correct fork,) we both coughed politely and moved on… to the ridiculously-expensive-for-Europe bordeaux section.
You can buy a good, rich, expressive mid-range cab/merlot here for less than 5 of the big coins. Sidenote – let’s remember how good Canada is to us: Looneys and Tooneys, anyone?
You can buy a day-if-not-life-altering, changes-with-every-sip, oh-I-could-smell-this-smell-forever, why-don’t-they-make-lipstick-this-color, what-dinner?-I’m-not-really-hungry-let’s-just-have-cheese cab/merlot for 15 Euro.
For 32.61 Euro, I tasted something that gave me a swooping feeling. It made me greedy and carefree at the same time. It was all of the fruits of the world, plus the earth itself, and the spires of cathedrals and the world’s greatest yawn/stretch. It is, I realize, a bit indecorous to be speaking about alcohol this way (I should reserve these feelings for the joy that giving to Doctors Without Borders brings,) but hallelujah that something, anything, tastes this damn good.
And all in exchange for some dirty paper Euro that wasn’t even a twinkle in its mother’s eye 30 years ago! Europe, I don’t know what the P or the E stands for, but sometimes I love you.

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