Archive for the ‘Food and Rural Affairs’ Category

Love-Hate about the US-Europe

I have a long post simmering where I get into some of the things I don’t like about the US. Some apply to Europe as well, but that’s easy since Europe is basically a bunch of countries which have banded together because they finally figured out trying to kill each other made no sense. Although, there are a few people who still think it does. Part of this is due to watching (wasting a couple of hours) the first two episodes of something called “Tribes of Europe”. Europe has survived serious destruction without ending up like that series.

Portrait de la contesse Fouler de Relingue

Anyway, it sort of comes down to four things: food, culture, distance, caring for cities and countryside, and transport. We could get into the Oxford comma as well, but that is francophony-anglophony. The French will eat Grandma, but prefer their lovers….

I’m not sure I should make “head” jokes, but I am very certain some of my ancestors made it through the Terror. They were able to enjoy the bals des victimes, but they exited stage right when it came to Les Mis. I’m posting the cleaned up version of coiffure à la Titus which was popular post-terror. My race memory clicked on the painting by Guérin in the Louvre.

I don’t relate to US history and always thought that the Civil War monuments commemorated the Franco-Prussian War, which was the Civil War for me. My relations fought on both sides. A direct result was that my great-great-grandfather shipped his son off to the States to avoid Bismarck’s Army. It also set off a chain reaction of events which would lead to my being born in the US. The Second World War led to my father coming to the States.

The thing is that I can get the things I like in Europe in the States/North America, and some of the things I hate about the States exist in Europe. Although, it’s hard to get something vaguely like Europe’s history in North America. People in the US prefer the myth and have done a great job of wrecking the real history, but that is changing. Just not fast enough for my taste.

Still, I would prefer Europe to the States even if there were TGVs, the cities ended at defined boundaries, and there were really cool small towns out there that had restaurants that served exciting local food. As opposed to restaurants that are exciting because everyone is carrying guns–that’s not they type of excitement I mean. I left out more obvous old settlements. Places like Cahokia and Cahawba don’t do it for me since they were ethnically cleansed from history.

I didn’t get the Hudson Valley School of Painting and the concept behind it until I spent a lot of time on the ground (can’t make a good pun of “sur-le-champ”). But no matter what the appearance is, natural resources are limited. While the Americas have been populated for millenia, the cultures that populated them have been ethnically cleansed. Or are seen as a quaint. This quotation about the “First Thanksgiving” gets to the point:

One is that history doesn’t begin for Native people until Europeans arrive. People had been in the Americas for least 12,000 years and according to some Native traditions, since the beginning of time. And having history start with the English is a way of dismissing all that. The second is that the arrival of the Mayflower is some kind of first-contact episode. It’s not. Wampanoags had a century of contact with Europeans–it was bloody and it involved slave raiding by Europeans. At least two and maybe more Wampanoags, when the Pilgrims arrived, spoke English, had already been to Europe and back and knew the very organizers of the Pilgrims’ venture.

Most poignantly, using a shared dinner as a symbol for colonialism really has it backward. No question about it, Wampanoag leader Ousamequin reached out to the English at Plymouth and wanted an alliance with them. But it’s not because he was innately friendly. It’s because his people have been decimated by an epidemic disease, and Ousamequin sees the English as an opportunity to fend off his tribal rebels. That’s not the stuff of Thanksgiving pageants. The Thanksgiving myth doesn’t address the deterioration of this relationship culminating in one of the most horrific colonial Indian wars on record, King Philip’s War, and also doesn’t address Wampanoag survival and adaptation over the centuries, which is why they’re still here, despite the odds.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thanksgiving-myth-and-what-we-should-be-teaching-kids-180973655/

I found that while looking for this clip. I saw it when I went to the Smithsonian Museum of the Native American the day my application for European residency came through. The speaker is Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche).

Unfortunately, the westward expansion of the English Colonies meant ethnic cleansing of the Native Americans.

Anyway, Paul, my family is supposed to have been there for that First Thanksgiving, but it’s a lot more difficult for a European to move back than most people realise. And changing North America for the better is tough with monied interests blocking the way.

Quarantine is coming to an end for the UK!

Laci as Air Cargo

Yipee!

Sort of.

Although this is somewhat of a nonevent since the The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS AKA Pet Passport) has been in place since 1 October 2001.  The one real advantage seems to be that the hassles of PETS appear to be a thing of the past.

If you brought  your pet into the UK from the EU or another listed country or territory prior to 31 December 2011,  The UK required that preparations (rabies vaccination (including boosters), blood sampling, and issuing the PETS documentation) must have been done either in the UK (before you take your pet out of the UK) or in one of those  listed countries or territories. The tick and tapeworm treatment must be done 24-48 hours before your pet enters the UK.  Your pet can be fitted with a microchip in any country or territory.

Animals which did not meet these rules when they arrive in the UK must enter quarantine for six months prior to 31 December 2011. They may be able to be released early (before the full six month quarantine period has finished) if they can be shown to comply with the necessary PETS rules whilst in quarantine.

Add in that you had to fly approved airlines from certain airports (and this): or fly into the EU and then continue to the UK.  Additionally, if you chose the UK routes, the pet had to go as cargo.  It appears that there will be no change in how the new scheme works. as DEFRA point out:

Pets travelling to the UK by air will travel as cargo, unless they are a registered assistance dog entering with an approved airline, on a route that permits them to travel in the cabin.

People coming from non-PETS approved countries had to place their pets in quarantine for six months, which was a barbaric system that had been in place since 1895.

Although, looking at DEFRA’s travelling with pets page, it doesn’t seem as if things have changed too much. That means that all this isn’t really news to those of us who have been taking pets in and out of the UK since PETS came into existence on 1 October 2001.  I was hoping that there would be an opening of carriers and how the pet is transported to the UK.  At this point, it doesn’t seem as if there is too much to be happy about as far as pets travelling to and from the UK since they are still required to be cargo if they fly from some countries (e.g.  the US).

From what I have read, it seems that the PETS scheme was not very consistent.  The “new” regime just makes the PETS Scheme more “sensible”.  But, as I said, this has been around since 2001.  It isn’t really news for most people who have been travelling with their pets since that time.

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