The Days of Wine and Rascals (Soft cover)
by David E. Scott « View this author's BIO
Meats in European butcher shops aren't beautifully presented on styrofoam trays neatly packaged under cellophane and labelled by precise description, weight and price as they are in North American supermarkets. On busy days half a lamb carcass might be draped over a cut of beef behind the glass of the shop counter along with chicken legs, bloody sheep skulls and pigs' feet. These share space with clumps of livers, tongues, testicles, brains, kidneys and other organs, usually revolting to North Americans, most of whom have only ever seen such things in biology laboratories, if at all.
Handicapped by our language blackout, we'd hope the day's offerings at the butcher shop would include something one of us could recognize and which was where we could easily point at it. We invented or learned a variety of hand signals to convey instructions for chopping and slicing, but there still were a number of entertaining misunderstandings -- like the time we roasted a smoked ham believing it to be fresh pork. And our first batch of hamburgers which were a disappointing shock because the ground meat turned out to be ground smoked ham.
With a carefully enunciated "moo -- moo" Wendy used to acquire, and proudly bring home, beef from the butcher shop, though it may not have been the cut she wanted or expected, or milk from the general store.
A hamlet with a population of 22 people, whose language they couldn't speak or understand, was an unlikely place for two young Canadians to try to learn the skills of developing a bar-restaurant-discotheque business with the unprepossessing name of Casa No-No.
When that hamlet was located high in the Pyrenees Mountains in the tiny European Co-principality of Andorra -- known only to stamp collectors and a few geography teachers -- it wasn't easy finding enough customers to pay the heating bills.
Join the author in this hilarious romp down memory lane.