<div>Hip Hops: Do you speak Beer? Great. Now put away your #!@*&% phone</div>
Lowenbrau brewery in Passau, Germany in 2003. After all of these years traipsing around Europe—well, strictly speaking, I spent a few hours in Asia one day waiting for a ferry back to Istanbul, but otherwise the Europhilia is quite real—it annoys me to remain monolingual. English is my first and only language, and although there’s no denying the efficacy of English given its undisputed status among the planet’s non-native speakers as being their most desired second tongue, I feel as if I’ve failed. With James Joyce in Trieste, 2019. I’d have made a rotten expatriate in Trieste. Did James Joyce ever learn to speak Italian, Slovenian or Habsburg? If given the chance for that rarest of human events, a do-over, I’d probably opt for a more sustained effort to speak at least some vaguely conversational German. As it stands, I know enough German to say hello and goodbye, count a bit, comprehend basic directions, and...Read more