Friday, June 24, 2016


Nearly a decade-and-a-half prior, I found myself in Paris on the eve of the New Year's 2002.  Shortly after the stroke of midnight, I went over to the ATM and withdrew the first Euros as the currency became available.  No more Francs.  No more Marks.  No more Guilders.

The next day, New Year's Day, my family and I took the Chunnel train from Paris to London.  On the train, I went to buy some coffee.  I watched the steward exchanging various European currencies with each order.  I ordered my coffee and paid with a 5 euro note.  The gentleman smiled at me and said, "No more Francs.  No more Marks.  No more Guilders.  My job just got easier."

We arrived in London later that afternoon, and switched to Pounds since the British had kept their currency.

I spent the next two weeks traveling around Ireland (and Northern), Scotland and England.  While on a train from Edinburgh to Newcastle, I got chatting with some Scots in the train coach as the train hugged the North Sea coast with green fields in the distance.  They were curious about the Euros I had.  A couple joked, "we'd rather have Euros with William Wallace on the coin than the Pound." We laughed and chatted about the prospect of Scotland joining the EU more fully than the rest of Britain.
Now in wake of the referendum, such a reality might come to pass.  It looks quite possible that in the wake of the Brexit vote, Scotland and Northern Ireland might create their own Brexit from Britain since they voted so overwhelmingly to stay in the EU while England voted to remain.

We shall see.  The whole thing is properly mucked up.

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