Monday, January 20, 2014


We have been to Europe eleven times, fifteen countries, and all the trips are tied for first place. I regret we somehow never got to the Scandinavian countries or to the Greek isles.

But we went to Lichtenstein.

 About ten years ago our plan to cruise along the coast of Norway and into the fjords was scraped at the eleventh hour.  The itinerary would have included Denmark, Sweden and possibly even Finland and Estonia. Too bad. I’ll have to settle for Ingmar Bergman films and Pers Petersen novels.

Lichtenstein, of all places!

As for Greece I leave that to my imagination and hope I’ve not offended the gods in the rubble of Olympus who may or may not hold sway over my fate.  I’m resigned to the certainty that I shall never meet Zorba.

Many people have lived their entire lives without going to Lichtenstein. It’s easy to miss. Since we are not among them I found out certain things I can no longer hold to myself. The average per capita income in Lichtenstein is an astonishing $141,000….highest in the world. The main industries are casings for sausage and false teeth. It is also a haven for tax-evaders.  

We went there for lunch from Switzerland. We had also heard they had good-looking postage stamps. We moseyed around a post office or was it a stamp store but didn’t find anything remarkable. However their cows were interesting. There is nothing quite like a Lichtenstein cow. At least we thought so at the time. Now I can’t recall what it was except maybe it is that famous cash cow I keep hearing about.

I do remember the busy single street filled, quite possibly, with money-launderers looking to stash their ill-gotten gains and while they’re there pick up a salami and a new set of dentures.   

Maybe everybody has a Lichtenstein in their life, a Hebrides or Tasmania, where very few have ventured. My guess is either one of those would have had more to offer than Lichtenstein. Or better yet, some interior Lichtenstein where they can go while waiting through an MRI.

As for Norway and Sweden I shall content myself with  the Peer Gynt Suite on my way to Stockholm to pick up a Nobel Prize.

I just discovered what it is about those cows. While chewing their cud wondering what they are doing there they have a contented look from a diet of hay spiked with alpine hemp. They parade around as if they are imagining Scandinavia. 

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