This would’ve been a familiar headline had the Associated Press bought my story. I suppose they don’t consider my sated appetite newsworthy. Jerks.
Yes, it’s true. After seven years of intense eating and drinking, I’ve officially lost interest in culinary comestibles and gustatory treasures. Sporting a paunch since age 21, I’ve consumed megalithic proportions of all that is ingestible. Ever since my first raw oyster at age 6, I’ve been a confirmed seafood junkie. The memories. . .
Sun-dried cutlets of octopus on the beaches of Ios; steamed snails followed by raw mussels and french-fries in the streets of Brussels; Egyptian pigeon with a view of the pyramids; gnawing on rabbit bones in the hillocks of Delphi. The list goes on and on. Elk jerky, pig’s stomach, calves liver, goat, frog legs, bratwurst, quail’s eggs, etc. You name it. It was not uncommon for me to conquer an entire Clam Supreme pizza in one sitting. I’ve glutted my way around Europe, to be sure — always washing down my daily feasts with ale, retzina, absinthe, whisky, ouzo, raki, reds and whites…
Those days are behind me now, thanks to the holiday season. After spending several days in Germany, stuffing my gob with schnitzel and drowning myself in liters of smoked beer, I’ve retired from my epicurean ways. My attraction to food has been quelled.
Aside from gaining a newfound respect for moderation, I also managed to steep myself in historical Germany over the holiday break. Bamberg and Munich, in particular, offered a few cathedrals in which I took temporary retreat through a timeless space. I’ve got a thing for Gothic aesthetics and their effects on the senses.
Christmas day was spent with the family in Dachau. This was a far more poignant and somber occasion. Walking through that wrought iron gate was a difficult step into a not-so-distant reality. It’s almost impossible to prevent the tears from welling up. Germany’s first concentration camp, Dachau began as a baleful prison for political dissenters, mostly journalists and academics. We all know the events that followed. I suppose this is the reason I’m deeply thankful for checks and balances. . . well, the idea of checks and balances, anyway.
New Years’ in London was the end of my holiday hiatus. I was caught in a mob along the Thames, unable to see any of the fireworks emblazoning the sky due to the heavy fog. That was no problem. There was champagne being passed around.
Oh yeah, when I was in Brussels prior to Germany, I accidentally stumbled into Main Square, catching an impressive sound and light show using the windows and towers of the King’s House (a huge palace/cathedral-like building). The finale was Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody." Never before was I in such strong need of good hash.