Europe Trip #1 - The God of Excess [Gallery]

Europe Trip #1 - The God of Excess [Gallery]

[This post contains a gallery best seen on the website.]

We’ve made it home and are experiencing the familiar reverse culture shock of adapting to the U.S. I’m reminded of this scene in Thor Ragnarok.

I imagine this dialog.

Are you America, The God of Cars? Hmm?

Those cars were to help you control your powers…

to focus it, it was never your source of strength.


No, you are the God of Excess

Here’s the full scene, because… so good.

Back to the premise.

You need to know when the excess is helping and when it’s hurting. Our excess hurts us in at least two connected ways.

The prime mover is walkability. You pay the price in your health and in your connections if you can’t walk to a grocery store; if there’s nothing interesting to make you choose your feet vs. your wheels, if the streets themselves aren’t safe and enjoyable to walk on.

A reminder: streets are our public space. The role of a street is not solely to move people from point A to point B. It’s also to enjoy nature, to enjoy people’s company, to have things to do and see.

Here’s a gallery of walkability in Europe. For many of these photos, you can see there’s space for cars, and parking, and trees and people, and walking (and sometimes biking).

The second cost of excess is passion.

Excess calls us measure our consumer experience by width and not by depth. Lack of walkability compounds this. In so many places in Europe, we saw small shops owned by passionate people. These shops might only be the size of a room. But if thousands of people a day walk by that room, you can have a business.

An interesting hole-in-the-wall

Some memories.

  • An older charcuterie seller in San Gemignano who was glad to share his passion (in Italian only)
  • A hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Ortigia in 2015 whose proprietor fed us a great meal (but closes many days to be with his family).
  • A tiny booth selling coffee on the street in Budapest (part of a chain, fwiw).
  • A small bedroom sized coffeeshop in Madrid with a tiny bench for two to sit (they did!)

We’re glad to be home, we’ll be glad to be back in the Roc and we’re glad to keep learning what we like.