Since my return to these shores from the U.S. I find myself noting the little things that are different between that country and Europe. It happened again the other night as the missus and I sat down to restart the West Wing boxset from the beginning (a TV show that this blog has neglected to reference since 2009 despite it being the best show of all time – shame on us). It was Josh’s shirt that got me going. It bellows like a hot air balloon about to set down/go up. What is it with Americans and baggy dress shirts? Last year it took ages to find a retailer that stocked a decent fitting shirt for work. Eventually I plumped for the extra slim fit dress shirt from Brooks Brothers on Connecticut Avenue (just in case you are ever a European desperate for a shirt in the U.S. capital).
I mention this as earlier this week I was a little taken by the comments of Polish PM Donald Tusk. As reported by the Guardian he took his fellow EU leaders to task for talking good game about the EU and then undermining it with their very actions. He also suggested that even in this time of crisis and uncertainty we should be a little bit more confident about being Europeans and what the EU has achieved. It made me reflect that having confidence in their achievements is certainly not something lacking in our transatlantic friends. Perhaps if we could make that small change in our own attitude, combine it with our (relative) ability to focus on something a little more long term than the moment and our infinitely better choice of shirts then we’d be onto a winner.
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November 4, 2022