Despite a familiar enthusiasm for heading to one of the bars, from those familiar quarters, as we loitered at the Zell Am Ziller Valley lift station, the desire for alcohol from which this customarily sprouted was notably absent. Re-hydrating soft drinks for some.
At a given point on the road into town there was a smell, a reliable presence that varied only in strength and depth. It came drifting out from here, a brick barn with a couple of windows that were generally open, within there were cows within. Having cleaned up i headed back out, to meet up once again with the others in the quiet foyer of the hotel opposite their own..
They had a bar, the hotel opposite, it was anything but the center of all the lively things but it was a handy, quiet and easy. Damon wasn’t with us yet and it was he who so far had demonstrated the most specific thoughts on matters relating to dinner. Charlie had an intention, he wanted us to just head back to the now reasonably familiar Scotland Yard Pub, only this time he wanted to eat there, unfussed and indeed seeking the relaxed informality of whatever options they might have. Damon would never concur with such a plan, with a strong mind to eat well and each customarily local style food so the collective were of a mind not to tell him, to simply go there and at some point set about ordering food. I objected, not caring where we ate but simply finding this exercise in disingenuous maneuvering that seemed unnecessary, craven and unbefitting. While they were right, Damon would never agree to the idea and i myself had previously argued no one person had the right to dictate terms to the group, the approach made me quite uncomfortable and the reward seemed very far from being able to offer legitimacy to the approach. I was clearly in the minority and having stated my objection for a couple of rounds, that was that, Damon arrived and the group set of, quiet on the intentions even as queried.
The bar it was pointed out, i forget by whom appeared to operate a familiar policy (be it a policy not customary in the traditional smokey dive bar upon which this seemed largely modeled) of rotating service personnel, clearing away drinks while politely eager to query whether any replenishment were required. A recruitment policy which was being suggested had a view to retaining and making best use of the male patrons. The collective then, though aware of the tactic, were clearly either willing or at least unperturbed subjects of it, remaining contently seated. Charlie was clearly feeling the alcohol, evident since before we’d even arrived, i know not how or from where this occurred but the volume on a customarily quieter group member was up. This is the more inebriated face of Charlie, its no worse than many but as with many, not so endearing, arguing loudly and poorly the case for the EU and the Euro with Damon who took quite a different view. It was a shame because it would actually have made for one of the more interesting and few proper conversation had it not been quite so loitered with political strap lines, broad but basically empty sentiment and what seemed to be anything but a conversation. Indeed both seemed quite inclined to ignore the statements of the other and to use their questioning of positions as anything but questions, rather they were statements in question form with no interest in the actual response. Damon was the quieter less vigorous party, while Charlie’s inability to muster a coherent, well founded justification for his position, was ever the more frustrating, especially given my own strong inclination to support the broad nature of his position.. Well until he started, what i hoped was a semi joking line, espousing with enthusiasm the prospect of a future forged upon a benevolent European imperialism. Be it but a cultural form that was meant and offered quite possibly in boisterous jest, it was a line none the less uncomfortably apart from my own motivations and as distasteful a notion as the nationalism of small minded domestic parties..
I set myself to intercede, these were lawyers, professional arguers, in full rancor. I attempted what i hoped to be a more reasoned, less emotive and quiet approach, perhaps indeed probably wholly unsuited to the environment.
The political argument is one of preference, one of feeling, the economic argument less so, it is one of relative clarity if not stark conclusions, clear advantages and disadvantages, what is most odd about them is, in the UK at least it is the capitalist parties of the right who are most set against both. Yet both are the children of globilisaiton, free trade and free capital.. a position in favor of one ought naturally flow to a position in favour of the other… While the left might better be placed to retain consistency, were they to offer an objection to such liberalisation of borders, yet they don’t, these are the parties most open to pro-European integration policies. Its quite the oddity of politics and economics seemingly becoming quite unbound.
Besides the discussion about monetary union was being unfortunately conflated with the somewhat separate matter of political unions &/or trading regions. They maybe intertwined but the arguments for or against one is a matter mostly quite apart from an argument for or against the other. What makes it matter is that my dissertation was on the topic of the then yet to come into being EMU and reality is that no broad statement can serve to do either contention justice, the economic argument being one of detail and strongly related to the pragmatism and detail of its implementation, being neither an intrinsically good or inherently poor economic tool. On this Damon, an economics graduate, and i found common ground on the familiar notion of optimal currency areas a term long bathed within dust, forgotten in an unvisited reassess of my mind. The conversation faltered and withered, in some ways a low point in others a pleasant break from the vapid but jovially cosmetic, sketch show repetition that otherwise characterises nearly all the groups interactions.
Besides the spectre of dinner was upon us as the group set about studying and ordering their meals from one of the rotating service personnel. The prospect of dinning here met with expected level of approval from Damon’s corner of the round two adjoined round tables. Personally i dithered, neither ordering nor volunteering to join Damon in his intention to set out to forage for food elsewhere. Remaining as i did, both content with staying put and in opposition to what i knew to be the fait accompli manner by which it had been achieved. In so doing i was achieving nothing, some pizzas (the main offering available from the limited range) had already arrived as my persistence with the achieving nothing other than opting out of both camps strategy persisted… genuinely perplexed by this dichotomy and the apparent lack of an optimal solution, the undeniable glory of the abstention.
Ultimately Damon did leave to set of in search of more regionally native fair, targeting the Neue Post .. while i added my name to list of pizza consumers now sat about me. We did not remain until late, instead once we were done we headed down to the Neue Post ourselves, energy level were not at their highest with little appetite for adding further stops to the evening excursions, Daud though couldn’t quite have it Determined that the night should not end quite there, he stopped off at a very small shop on the route back and procured some bottles of refreshment, offering to be consumed back at their hotel.. Perhaps this was the least compromise he could make with himself, either way it was an agreeable end to the night for all. Damon however was not to be found and we wondered around the Neue Post in search, either he’d reconsidered and never been here after all or he’d been been and gone in a most efficient manner… Either way he wasn’t about.
For my part once at the hotel the full extent of lingering energy depletion became quite evident, i managed my somewhat sweet and not entirely naturally occurring fruits flavored beverage before slumping down in the corner. A none alcohol induced, pretty much purely naturally occurring bought of fatigue and while i was the most visually representative of this mindset i appeared to be far from alone.. This house/room party at the nights end was not long lived, the only issue to overcome was finding my feat once more and setting about the final trundle of the day, back to my hotel and designated place of resting.