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Old 06-11-2019, 05:52 AM   #1171
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Sounds like a nice plan for a holiday, although to do all that within a week or 10 days?? Will you plan time in to visit any sights in the vicinity?
Hope your work situation improves - would the cost for outsourcing the translations justify to employ maybe another part-time translator perhaps?
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:05 PM   #1172
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Wow that sounds like a lovely long vacation. I never really got to take regular vacations when I worked. They always found a reason I couldnt go during the time I wanted and then they bitched when I took my time as every friday or monday. They even put their foot down to a every Wednesday day off. Is it any wonder I worked like hell to retire at 55? Now any sort of a vacation is out of the question as there is no one to take care of the kitties and I refuse to board them or let strangers in my house. Not that Wolfie would agree to any sort of a getaway. Ah well. I did manage a few nice trips in my lifetime so wont complain (too much)
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:10 PM   #1173
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Granath - the threshold for partial blindness used to be -15 but with the improvements in lens technology that is long surpassed. My optician is confident in being able to prescribe lenses which allow me to honestly fulfil the requirements for driving. Without lenses I would hardly be safe to cross the road.
Tanje - I used to take regular holidays and, yes, grateful for the places I have been able to visit. For many years I had friends who cared for our cats when we went away and now have an excellent neighbour will to do the same but we have only managed one short trip away so far. I must say I do miss holidays away but don't have the energy to arrange these now.
At my annual thyroid consultancy I managed to get the specialist to have a fresh look at what is causing the hormone imbalance, so have given 8 'fingers' of blood tests in the past few weeks as well as other tests but I don't hold out much hope for any positive solution; in a way the result of 'nothing more we can do' would be a help as I would then be able to resign myself to the limitations (after all I am moving into my later 70s)
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:50 PM   #1174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moelisa View Post
Sounds like a nice plan for a holiday, although to do all that within a week or 10 days?? Will you plan time in to visit any sights in the vicinity?
Hope your work situation improves - would the cost for outsourcing the translations justify to employ maybe another part-time translator perhaps?
Oh, I wish... Still, I'm glad my boss put the foot down. Now we can blame her when our in-house customers complain that the quality of outsourced translations isn't as good as ours.

We have planned some time to visit things, so it won't be just a drive from one city to the next. Our return is open-ended but I'm probably packing underwear etc. for about ten days. If we take longer, we'll just have to find a laundromat somewhere.

Here, employers have to allow at least one two-week vacation per year, but I'm glad I can take longer than that.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:05 PM   #1175
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When I was a child I did take vacations on a regular basis, well my parents did and dragged me along. Those were wonderful days. I visited the California original Disneyland the year it opened. Our pictures from that show the flowerbeds just planted and still mostly dirt with tiny plants. Of course we drove then which was a cross country trip with various sites visited along the way.

Facebook was odd last nite. The log out option was missing. When I clicked on the spot it used to be I got a menu for account security or some such thing. Any one else of you FB'ers here have that problem?
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:42 AM   #1176
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Granath - I am not 100% sure, but I think a 10 days to a fortnight is the minimum leave every employers must grant his employees. The British Forces are a good employer this way, as we have a Tariff granting 30 working days (not even calendar days!), giving me 6 weeks' worth of holidays each year. Employees with a severely handicapped status can get up to 6 days more. For part time employees or those not working 5 days a week this would be pro rata, of course.

Tanje, I did not have any problems with my facebook yesterday - all the buttons were where they are supposed to be for me.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #1177
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It (the FB log out thingy) may have been a local thing as several of my usa friends had it as well. It sure stumped me as to what to do not being able to find the log out option. I dont like not signing out of anything. I ended up just exiting the whole mess and shutting the computer down for the nite. I was still logged in on FB next morning, but the log out option was back where it belonged.

We are surely getting teased here by Mother Nature. Summer is missing. It peeks in for a day or so then we go back to cold spring and rain. The farmers have not been able to plant the corn and soybeans that are the areas main crops. Fields are too waterlogged to plow. Not sure if they will get crops in this year or what. As for the temperatures, we still have the heat on and will stay on all day today as it was for the weekend. Cant remember a mid June where we had to use the heat so much.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:30 PM   #1178
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We have been having a cool start to summer here in Ireland as well, with a lot of putting back on the heating happening. Its a pity. I would like another 5 C of heat.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:19 AM   #1179
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After the first year, everybody working for the government gets 30 working days off per year. After 15 years (within the public sector, not necessarily working for the same employer) you get 38 days, or seven and a half weeks. With a bit of luck, you can also earn vacation time working in the private sector, if you're doing the same kind of job (of course, the private sector follows a different set of rules, but most people do get at least four weeks off in summer and one in winter, like my husband). I just hit that threshold last October. People on fixed-term contracts in the public sector earn two vacation days per month, if they work for at least 14 hours a week that month.

The temps here have been nice and warm, even a bit hot. Daytime maximums hit 24-27 C (75-81 F).
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:03 PM   #1180
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Wow that is a LOT of vacation time. I was born in the wrong country I think. AND you have warmer temperatures going on now than us here. Sweet!

Had the final crack repaired yesterday. Rain due today so will see if it holds. They will get back to me to replace the dry wall and get their money, so I should be finished with that for awhile.

Eye specialist appointment tomorrow so will be blind to small type for several hours. Not much computer playing will be done I guess.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:37 PM   #1181
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Update on the eye visit. Macular degeneration of my right eye. Had eyes dilated and multiple photos snapped of the insides, the exam with more bright lights then more pictures this time with a dye injection (in arm) and more bright lights in the eye. Doctor wants me to start treatment with Eylea, a drug injected into the eye....* huge shudder* So have appointment for that next thursday. Sincerely am NOT looking forward to that. Am hoping it wont be too scary or detatch my retina or anything but will help clear up the blurry in the center of the vision of my right eye. I do believe it is a series of injections as well. Also hope the insurance will pick up the costs for it as it is really $$$$$

Aside from all that, it seems we have summer today however rain is forecast for every day for the next week. Has been cool as well in the evenings needing the heat on. Garden isnt too happy. Very few cherries this year and tomatoes have barely grown at all. The rhubarb seems to be happy though.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:31 PM   #1182
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Sending loads of hugs your way Tanje, as I think you could use them.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:09 PM   #1183
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It sounds as if they can treat it Janet, well done for the regular eye testing. Hope the injections are not too traumatic.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:45 PM   #1184
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Hope it all goes well for you Mary, better to get on to it quickly.

We have had a bit of winter the last week or so interspersed with glorious blue and sunny days. Still cold out of the sun though.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:04 AM   #1185
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Tanje - the positive thing is they are on it and have a potential solution. I'm sure we are all sending strong vibes for next week
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:48 PM   #1186
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Thank you all for the virtual hugs. The scary part is the thought of seeing a needle coming for my eye. I hope the approach is to the side or someway that I cant see it. Glad there is some sort of treatment and glad I have one good eye so I can continue to play on the computer.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:34 AM   #1187
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you do have your priorities, don't you?
Seriously, though, good luck, hope it won't be too uncomfortable and helps.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:05 PM   #1188
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Tanje, now my Thursday bedtime so must be about midday for you, thinking of you and trust all will go well
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:04 PM   #1189
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I survived! The injection into my eye wasnt as bad as I imagined it might be. They didnt even have to dilate my eye for it. They did put multiple drops in to deaden it and also used a jell (lidocaine) under my eyelid. It did take hours to get the drops and the vision test, pressure test and photographs of the eye and finally the injection. I could feel the needle go in, mostly pressure and see the medication swirl around inside my eye when it was injected. It has been tearing more than normal but seems to have slowed now after dinner. Doing minimal computer stuff today and hoping will be back to normal tomorrow. Thanks everyone for your concern.
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:18 PM   #1190
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That is great to hear Tanje. Do you know how soon you may expect to see any improvement in your vision?
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:37 PM   #1191
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maybe in several weeks or after the next injection in August. As long as it doesnt get worse I am good with it. Today the eye is a bit tender feeling and a red blotch where injected. Havent talked to the nurse who said she would call today so am assuming it is ok like that. We shall see.

Rain again today. One would think I was living in the rainforest or something. This isnt going to be a nice summer unless it really gets its act together. Hot as well and of course HUMID...............ugh
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:21 AM   #1192
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Good to hear you're feeling better. Sorry for the long absence but we went on our vacation trip, see below:

It was a great trip, but exhausting, and as always, I'm glad to be home. I'll add some pix later, when I get them stored online.

We started on Friday, June 21 at 5 a.m. We're pretty early birds anyway, so it wasn't a problem. Especially not at this time of year, as the sun was well up by then and it was almost broad daylight. We drove for about two hours to Turku, where we were in plenty of time to board the ferry to Stockholm. Luckily it wasn't too hot, so sitting in the car waiting to board wasn't too bad.

On the trip over, we sat on the sun deck to start with, but unfortunately our son had forgotten to pack his sunshades, and we had forgotten to remind him, so he complained of a headache (sun, sea and no shades is bad news) and we had to go to our cabin. They were selling hideously overpriced sunshades on board, but they were a lot too expensive for our budget. The trip was 11 hours, so we had a cabin even though it wasn't an overnight trip. He tried to get some sleep but his headache pill didn't help and he threw up on the cabin floor (common in glare-induced migraines). Luckily my husband managed to clean the mess while I tended to our son. Still the puking helped and he managed to take a nap and felt much better afterwards. We had lunch and dinner on the ferry and drove from Stockholm to Uppsala, a lovely university city probably best known for botanist Carl Linnaeus (or Carolus Linnaeus or Carl von Linné). We got there around 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Eastern European DST) and just checked in to our hotel and took an early night, as our day started so early. Because it was the midsummer weekend, most places were shut.

The next day (June 22) we got up early enough to be the first guests in the breakfast room. We headed out to the University botanical garden and walked around the old city. The morning was sunny and warm, with temps hitting 25 C at lunchtime. So after a quick lunch, we were happy enough to sit in our air-conditioned car for the next leg of our trip to Gothenburg. When we got there, we checked in to our hotel, which was across the river from Ullevi Stadium. We took a quick walk and had some dinner and then bed.

The next morning (June 23) we walked some more, had lunch at KFC and visited the Volvo museum. In the afternoon we took the ferry to Frederikshavn in Denmark. First we visited Skagen, although we didn't walk to the tip of the cape, drove through a couple of idyllic small towns on the way and checked in to our hotel in Aalborg. There we had a drink each in the hotel bar. The waitress took to our son so much that she brought him some candy on the house.

From Aalborg (June 24) we drove to Lübeck in Germany, it's a nice Hanseatic town. We had a great view from our hotel room on the 7th storey. We walked around in the old city for a bit. By this time the European heatwave was making itself felt, we had temperatures around 30 C that afternoon. At 10 p.m. we sat in shirtsleeves on the roof terrace.

The next day (June 25) we drove to Berlin, and when we got there, checked in for two nights at our hotel as early as it was possible to do so and spent much of the day walking around in the city, in spite of the heat. My husband and I must have drunk around 5 liters of water each, our son with his smaller body size about 3). In the afternoon, it was 36 C in the shade. Luckily there was a bit of wind or else I wouldn't have wanted to get out of our air-conditioned hotel room! And we stuck to the shade wherever we found it... It was my first time in Germany and Berlin, and it was quite interesting to walk around and seeing places of historical significance, such as Alexanderplatz (the main square in East Berlin) and Potsdamerplatz (the central square in West Berlin), Brandenburger Tor (which was a lot smaller than I expected) and Unter den Linden (the main street of the city, literally Under the linden trees (lime tree or basswood)). The linden trees were in bloom and the scent was sometimes overpowering, certainly stronger than traffic exhaust fumes. Another, much less pleasant smell was sewage. I'd been warned that Berlin smelled bad, but I hadn't expected quite this. Of course, the heat didn't improve things at all... We had dinner at an outdoor restaurant serving Bavarian cuisine. It was the closest thing you could get to Oktoberfest without attending the event in Munich in October. It was loud, but people weren't rowdy, and there were lots of families with school-age children.

Our hotel was quite close to Checkpoint Charlie, so we went there first thing following breakfast on June 26. I'm old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall quite vividly, it was rather awesome at times to just step across a former border. They had forecast daytime highs of 37 C (99 F), so during the hottest part of the day, we visited the German Museum of Technology. Interesting, if rather exhausting because the air conditioning couldn't keep up with the demand. We had eaten a reasonably filling lunch at the museum, and when we finally got to our hotel around 7 p.m. after an exhausting walk in the late afternoon heat, both my son and I refused to go further than the grocery store on the other side of the street from our hotel to get a snack before bed and to buy more bottles of water.

The next morning (June 27) we had a long drive ahead of us, as we went from Berlin through Poland to Kaunas, Lithuania (nearly 1,000 kilometers). There we had a room in a tiny hotel (20 rooms), which was very difficult to find, because our satnav kept trying to get us to use streets that were blocked for repairs, in spite of us having updated the software just before we left for our trip. Well, finally we got there with the help of Google Maps and a bit of luck. Fortunately temperatures were much more reasonable, around 22 C during the day. But we took a fairly early start the next day as well, so I mostly got to see Kaunas through the windscreen of our car...

The next morning (June 28) we left right after breakfast for our final long drive to Tallinn. We paused for lunch in Latvia, and at the border with Estonia, we stopped at a liquor store catering mainly to tourists. Latvia has a lower alcohol tax than even Estonia, so booze was cheap. We had to put our suitcases on the back seat, because the trunk of our car was full of beer and cider. :P/> Once we'd arrived in Tallinn, we checked in to our hotel and went for a walk in Old Town. It's been wonderfully restored following the end of the Soviet era, some of the houses look like they're made of candy. We had pizza in an outdoor restaurant in the central square. It was quite chilly, really, but that didn't bother me following the heat of Berlin.

This morning (June 29), we had a banana each for breakfast and headed for the ferry home... The trip was uneventful, although we had to take a circuitous route home, because the city center of Helsinki was pretty much blocked by the Helsinki Pride parade, with 100,000 attendees expected.

My Impressions

This was just a taste of most of the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. I'd definitely like to go back, certainly Latvia and Poland deserve a second look, as we barely stopped there.

We've visited Denmark once before, three years ago, and Sweden, mainly Stockholm, several times, and my son and husband visited Tallinn last year without me. Of course, I've also traveled in Europe in my youth before meeting my husband. But Latvia Lithuania, Poland, and Germany were new places for me. I'd like to go again when our son is a bit older, and hopefully willing to try more exotic foods. For me, half the fun of visiting a new place is discovering its cuisine, but you can't do that if you stick to hamburgers, chicken nuggets and pizza for most of the trip...

I liked traveling this early in the season, when the crowds aren't overwhelming and you can easily book a hotel room at a day's notice. We literally decided our itinerary during our trip. Thank goodness for a portable computer and complementary Wi-fi in pretty much all hotels!

One thing that really struck me is the almost complete absence of English on signs and even ads in the Baltic states and Poland. I've heard foreigners say that English is just about the third official language of Finland (and Sweden, Norway and Denmark), and now I believe it. You see lots of English ads in the streets here, and even some official bulletins and signs, say when a street or popular tourist attraction has been closed for repairs.

I love, love, love the freedom of travel in the Schengen area. Driving from one country to the next was just as easy as crossing a state line in the US, no formalities at all. They only wanted to see my husband's passport at each hotel (because the rooms were booked in his name), and all of our travel documentation before boarding each ferry.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:39 PM   #1193
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WOW! That was some trip. I cant imagine having access to all those different countries so close to home. For me. Id need a very long airplane ride to even get close. Your ferry ride was a bit lengthy but not so bad as a trans Atlantic flight. You certainly packed a lot of stuff in there with so much to see and do Im not sure I could manage half that. Glad you enjoyed yourself and got back safe.

Gearing up for the 4th of July Celebrations here. Already can hear fireworks at night. Guessing the coming weekend will be a loud one. Happily we have no dogs to be scared. The cats dont seem to be bothered much except by blasts that tend to rock the house.
Will be doing a bit of outdoor grilling. Shish kebobs most likely as they are easiest. Not sure what else to go with.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:40 PM   #1194
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That was really interesting to read Granath. A lot of energy and stamina is needed for being on city tours and visits and it seems that you did an awful lot in the few days.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:18 AM   #1195
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I know! Before the trip I wondered how I'd manage because work has been crazy all year and just the idea left me feeling out of breath. But apparently I have more stamina than I thought, and it was a lot of fun. That said, I'm glad I still have July off work to recover.

The most exciting thing was going to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, because I don't speak any of those languages. Luckily hotel staff spoke fluent English, so that wasn't a problem. My German is rather rudimentary but I can still read road signs for the most part, and it was enough for shopping purposes. Even if most younger Germans speak English. In Denmark I mostly spoke English. I can make myself understood in Denmark by speaking Swedish, but I usually don't understand the response, so it's easier to use English. But I can read Danish pretty well. Sweden was no problem, because I'm a part of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, and so is my son. Even my husband's Swedish is a lot more fluent than it was when we met. He doesn't speak it with us, but his Swedish is at least as good as my German when it comes to dealing with hotel staff and ordering in restaurants. I can read some Estonian, as it's the closest thing to a related language Finnish has, and speak a few words, but younger Estonians usually speak English and some older ones who grew up in the northern parts of the country speak Finnish (they learned from Finnish TV, which was more interesting than the Soviet propaganda on local TV, Tallinn is only 50 kilometers (30 miles) across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki, close enough for TV signals).
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:39 PM   #1196
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Just WOW again Granath. I cant imagine going to all those different countries.
Nice trip and so lucky to have time to recover from it as well!

Here we are still playing "when do we start building the Ark?" Honestly last night the way it was pouring down wetness I got worried. Our house is on high ground but still there was so much water coming down for so long I got nervous. Was sure Id find wetness in the basement. (its like water leaking in has become a habit). The winds were very nasty and the rain just came down in sheets so dense you couldnt see far at all. This morning I checked the basement, so far all is dry. *cautious happy dance*
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:05 PM   #1197
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Apart from the languages, I imagine it's a lot like traveling from one US state to another, as the cultural differences between states can be as great as those between countries in the EU. The main difference is that Americans in my experience tend to think of themselves as Americans first and inhabitants of a state or city second, whereas in the EU, people's primary allegiance is usually to their country. Even if it's just as easy to move from one EU member country to another as it is to move from one US state to another.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:43 AM   #1198
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Really cannot wait to see pictures, Granath
I think the reason behind the "patriotism" is that we are just a European Community, and not even have been that for 100 years, whereas America has been the United States of America for much longer, and there is only one Head of State for all the states, and you all speak the same language; here, we have a King/Queen/President for each country, and every country has a different language. Maybe the "we" feeling is not as strong for Europe as it is for one's own countrymen and women. A typical example, I think, is Great Britain: the younger people might embrace the idea of a joint Europe, however, people my generation or older nearly always called Europe "the Continent", or even spoke of Europe as something completely different. I even had colleagues who were offended, mightily so, when I called them Europeans! I am not picking on my British friends, but it really only happened with British people (and don't get me started on calling a Scottish person British )
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:21 PM   #1199
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I dunno, but interesting observations. Here people move from state to state quite often. There are some regional differences but not that many nor are they big ones. Ive lived in several states and aside from the geography and weather/temperatures, they are pretty much the same. Id say the biggest differences are regional, north states from south and east coast from west sort of thing.

Happy 4th of July today here. Ill be cooking outside on the grill. Have chicken shish kebobs planned now just hope it wont rain too much while I am doing that. Is already getting dark and cloudy out there.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:12 PM   #1200
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I hope you had a great 4th of July.

But although we visited a lot of countries, the trip wasn't really all that long. The Baltic Sea is about the same size as the Great Lakes, although the cultural differences between countries were obviously bigger than in the Mid-West on either side of 49 N.
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