Arrived in Colmar, France last night and went into town for dinner. Old school small French town with 67000 people. Found a church that too 130 years to build in the 12/1300's. The so called 'dark ages' laid the foundation for Europes domination of the globe. Long term projects like the church definitely would have informed people's attitude towards human endevour.
We are off to Freiburg, Germany today to play a show. It's the most ecologically friendly city in Europe according to the Techs in Belgium so should interesting.
Went into town today to buy some tobacco. It's quite challenging to ride on the right hand side of the road in a strange land, with different ways of presenting traffic and road signs. We managed to luck upon a tabacco shop that sold American Spirit AND a shop assistant who spoke English. The pride that French people have towards their language is known worldwide, as is the arrogance of English people who expect everyone to speak their 'international' language. Truth is we would not have built such as interconnected web of services and systems without a common language so, arrogance aside, I am sure the French will soften in time. Or bots will be able to Google translate in real time. We live in hope. I am all for keeping cultures alive and differnt so I commend the French too for their attitude. It has kept their culture alive and well as we head into multiculturalism and ultimately a world of single currency, language and systems. It seems inevitable.
What Europe has taught me is that they lead and we follow. It is easy to develop a 'provincial' attitude towards the world when you never leave your own country. It is easy to think you can change that world if you come from SA. Bu when you come to Europe and grasp the sheer magnitude and history that gave rise to Western Barbarian civilization you can step back, take a breath, and choose how and what you wish to engage in.
I am hoping when I return that I can set to work in my own country and alliviate and heal some of it's problems. Our problems are unique. We are a colonial country that still has a vast investment from Europe which often seems unacknowleged. The truth is we supply Europe with the ability to maintain the high standard of living the people demand here, as do many third world nations. The key for me is to see where I can bridge the gap between SA's 'primordial' cultures and the cultures of my Ancestors. Through understanding we may build a better world for all.