Tuesday, November 14, 2006


After two and a half years of diligent blogging, I finally got to meet a fellow blogger tonight. And we met the old fashioned way: in person.

That’s right… Angie—Indiana’s most trusted journalist—and her fiancé, “The Boyfriend,” made a triumphant return to Madrid to relive the days of her bygone youth and give me an excuse to stay late in the city drinking wine.

It’s always a risky proposition when you meet your heroes in person. I once met Andre the Giant at a bus depot in Fairbanks, Alaska and was crushed to discover that he was not only 5’10”…but also a classically-trained oboist.

But when those heroes prove to be as nice and as genuine as you’d imagined, it makes the risk worthwhile.

And such was the case with Ang and The Boyfriend tonight. They were the real deal.

We had several rounds of wine and tapas at a mercifully quiet, mercifully uncrowded Madrid bar and babbled-on like old friends for a full three hours—fifteen minutes of which were devoted to the all-important topic of COCONUT.

Oh, and by the way…Ang is about as tall as Andre the Giant. I have the stiff neck to prove it.

All this brings me to my next separate-but-related point—which is the very real need for a 2007 European Blogger Reunion. And since nobody else has jumped on this grenade, I’ll do so now.

Christina, Trac, Lady Di, Cream, Tat, TBF’s, C-Swiss, Nerd’s Eye, Bueller…Bueller…Bueller? What do you think? We can discuss possible dates and location later, but for now…just give me an indication of your general level of interest.

Does this idea sound remotely appealing to anyone?

If we build it, will you come?


At 1:23 AM, Blogger Pam said...

My level of interest is somewhere between squealing with delight and trying to decide what to wear.

"Does this shirt make me look less virtual? VirtuAL, not virtuOUS, smart guy!"

At 2:40 AM, Anonymous patty said...

Truly? Andre the Giant was a classically trained oboist?

Something to blog about, to be sure.

(Hope you don't mind this random blogger landing here; it's all because of the oboe ... which I suppose IS disappointing to many. ;-)

At 7:43 AM, Blogger christina said...

Y'all are just too cute. I can hardly stand it.

As for a reunion, sign me up! You KNOW my level of interest is right off the meter. *runs out to buy new outfit*

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Pam: I'm shocked, SHOCKED that you would make such a broadside against my virtual virtue! BTW, I am struggling with my own wardrobe issues. Should I choose a shirt that makes me look more virGINAL or virILE? Maybe I'll just wear a burka. Anyway...I'll take my Pam Voodoo Doll and place it into the "Remotely Appealing" box. Thank you for confirming. And...you WILL bring your ukulele, won't you?

Patty: Oh...I'm so sorry. I was just kidding about Andre the Giant being an oboist. Andre was so big, he could fit an entire oboe in the palm of his hand. I was originally going to say that he played French Horn (since he was French, and all), but couldn't figure out what the French Horn equalivalent of oboist is. "French Hornist?" Anyway, I hope that this traumatic experience hasn't scared you away for good. We love new visitors here. In fact, I will shortly embark on a campaign to out some of my more habitual lurkers. These people need to pull their weight on this VTB.

Christina: Angie is every bit the sweetheart that he seems on her blog and in this Chat Lounge. But more funny was The Boyfriend. He neither blogs, nor has ever read a blog. So you can imagine the look of amusement mixed with confusion mixed with concern on his face has he was listening to three hours worth of stories smokers and COCONUTS and blah blah blah.

Anyway...I've tossed your Voodoo doll into the same box as Pam's. I hope we can actually pull this off.


At 9:18 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Me me me too!

Build that baseball field but I'll be photographer ;)

At 9:54 AM, Blogger christina said...

And I'll bring cake!

I bet poor Shane didn't know what hit him. Brave, brave soul, that one. :-)

At 10:24 AM, Blogger The Big Finn said...

I think Andre the Giant was actually an English horn player. English horn/oboe...easily confused.

Mrs. TBF and I are planning on making the trek to Madrid either this coming February or March. It all hinges on Mrs. TBF's rather busy business-travel schedule, your schedule, and my busy...awww, who am I kidding? I don't have anything going on. We're there!

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Ms Mac said...

I don't care about the oboe/English horn. Was Andre the Giant really only 5' 10"? Seriously, it's disturbing me.

Oh and glad you had a good time with your friends and all that.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I shed a tear that I'm so far away and left out of the fun.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

oh wow - that looks like it was a really great and fun meet up...

At 7:22 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

I'm going to answer all on my own without even talking to OX about this -he's in Holland right now . If we're still here (and not back in Canada already), this soon to be jobless lady will make sure we get there... somehow. And if Christina brings the cake... get outta our way... we're with you guys!

BTW, that first pict is so great!

At 7:39 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Lady Di: Well, actually...I already had your voodoo doll in the "Remotely Appealing" box. ;-) No matter how bad the reunion goes, at least we'll have fantastic photos.

Christina: And don't forget to bring a filet of smoked Kenny, too.

TBF: Good man! We wouldn't accept excuses from you, anyway. And I promise that there will be no crazy, violent Hungarian seeking a size 12 Nike enema.

Ms. Mac: Another believer? Sheesh! No, Andre was 7'2". I have been to Alaska, but never met Andre. Really...you people shouldn't believe much of what I say.

Lisa: Don't be sad. You may be far away from the fun, but you're damn close to those Pipe, WI apple fritters.

E-Traveler: It sure was. I really need to get out more often.


At 7:44 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...


I knew that we could count on you two.

But if the Reunion occurs too late, then I guess we'll just have to hold a future Reunion in Canada...now, won't we?

You bring the Molsons and I'll bring the back-bacon. Smoked back-bacon!


At 8:05 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Just because we're party animals?

Ah, yes. You're quite often in Chicago and that could also be a meeting point, now couldn't it? Or Toronto? But where ever, we'll bring the Molson's if we're in Canada and the Toblerone, if we're still in Switzerland. Ever make a chocolate fondue with it (the Toblerone, of course)? It's fantasticabulous!!!

At 8:36 PM, Blogger Pam said...

Can anyone get Sal's Collection of Expat Blogger Voodoo Dolls?

Because that is SO what EVERYONE is getting for Channukah this year!

At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great idea!
Logistics may turn out to be a nightmare but you're an optimist, Sal!

At 10:06 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Don't be a baby cream ... just say you'll be there, we all will :)

Utterly appealing actually, Sal.

Oh god, the idea that I can photograph all these people I've admired so long :) Yayyyyy.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Don't worry, Cream. Christina has a VW van.

Don't worry, Pam. I'll FedEx you a six-pack of voodoo dolls and a bottle of Manichewitz (sp?).

Don't worry, Lady Di. We'll build a human pyramid, you can get us all in one shot, and then we'll head over to the bar for the rest of the night. Cream is buying the drinks.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger christina said...

Logistics??? Logistics don't even enter into it! Either you're with us or you're against us. :-)

We can only use the VW van if Di drives.

At 11:58 PM, Anonymous cream said...

Gee, Christina, for a second I thought you were going all Dubya on me!
Bugger the logistics! I'm in!

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hi everyone:

Well...I am pleased as punch to see that a 2007 Euro Blogger Reunion is unanimously "Remotely Appealing."

But one point of clarification regarding location.

We could certainly do it in Spain if that's the consensus, but it might make more sense (from the turnout perspective) to do it in whichever interesting city is closest to the greatest number of potential attendees. And if it's not in Spain this time, that certainly doesn't prevent anyone from stopping-by for a visit whenever you'd like.

Anyway...Reunion dates and location is a discussion for after the holidays. Right now, we're in the "motivational phase"...and I'm feeling quite motivated by your responses.


At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One day I hope to find myself in Spain. Be careful Sal, I just make take you up on your offer.

Of course you are always welome here if you ever wandering in "The Boot".


At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd invite you all to Albania (HAHAHAHA)but then what???

The amazing Andre was actually 6'7" according to www.andrethegiant.com - his official website.

Anyhow... I'd honestly try to make this most excellent event and hope to win the prize for coming from the most unusual expat posting!

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah - lets do it!

As you can see, I'm back. Not that keen on being back here from Spain but there you go...

I'll meet anyone anywhere me! I'm like that! :O)
Errr... try making it somewhere warmer than here though!

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Trac! How's your Spanglish?

At 7:58 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Congrats cream ...

Hey Sal, how are you going to do this? I vote for Spain but then again, I will travel.

Antwerp is available if we're closest to everyone but I already had plans for tasting Salivator food.

So, since it was your remarkable brainwave ... will you do the research?

My input for now ... well Gert and I will be there - 2 from Belgium :)

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Ms Mac said...

In my defence, I didn't fall for the Lisa Marie Presley thing....

But I have been known to fall for the joke, "Did you know the Oxford English Dictionary has replaced the definition of "gullible" with a picture of you?"

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Oh, boy. Now I'm starting to understand why nobody has jumped on the grenade beforehand.

Ok (reverting to the bullet-point-obsessed, efficiency-obsessed Sal that rears his ugly head during working hours), THIS is how we are going to make the 2007 EuroBlogger Reunion happen:

1. After the holidays, we'll figure out who wants to come (for real) and which is the best date.

2. Then, we'll see where those "for real want-to-comers" live and select the most interesting city that is closest and most easiest for the most numberist attendees to reach.

3. Then, we'll pick a recommended hotel and two recommended restaurants.

4. Then, everybody will make his own hotel reservation (or, if it's in Madrid, then everbody will bring sleeping bags and sleep on my floor).

5. Then, *I* will call the restaurants and (provided that the restaurant owners speak either English or Spanish) will make reservations for 65 people. Lady Di will give me her American Express credit card to guarantee the reservations.

6. Then, we all arrive on Friday, get sloppy-drunk, and stay sloppy-drunk until we all leave for home on Sunday morning. Pam will play "InnaGaddaDaVita" on ukulele, Christina will bring cake, TBF will coax several of us into piercing our ears (except for the ladies, who will pierce their belly buttons), Cream will tell us dirty jokes, Lady Di will take embarrassing photos of passed-out and/or vomiting bloggers, C-Swiss will send us a fax from Nova Scotia, Trac will wear a sequined cape and mutton chops, and me...I'll be in bed and asleep at 9pm each night.

And that, my friends, is how we are going to have our Reunion. Logistically, realistically and majestically.

Any questions, God dammit?! Good! I didn't think so. Now, go fold your laundry. All of you!

Hugs and kisses,

At 9:03 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

All in all, your plan is good, but NOVA SCOTIA?? It's certainly beautiful, but are you outta yer friggin' mind? I said I'd bring Toblerone or Molson!!! Or Labbatt's blue, if I'm closer to the Quebec border.

Anyway, we're all looking forward to the get together.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger christina said...

NO ONE gets to see MY belly button. Is that clear?

Otherwise it sounds like a plan, Sal. :-)

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous trac said...

Now where's pedantic Jeff when I need him???

Was his name Jeff? Oooops, can't remember now, but if he is/was here, I think he'd like to point out that a '2007 EuroBlogger Reunion' implies that we've all already met! :O)

Hey! I'm with WW... Spain sounds good to me!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Pam said...

Your plan makes us sound like a bunch of 19 year old exchange students on a bender. I'm gonna have to start training for this event NOW. Today.

Plus, will you settle for Freebird?

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...


Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to bring my Bic lighter.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

Deargod, laughter all round.

- Christina, belly laughter over 'We can only use the VW van if Di drives.'

Sure ... you will be so relieved to arrive, remember NZers use the other side of the road, therefore anything Sal organises will be a celebration of life.

Sal, should Antwerp be the default option ... then floors at our place too but I MUCH prefer Spain.
Ref: 4. 'Then, everybody will make his own hotel reservation (or, if it's in Madrid, then everbody will bring sleeping bags and sleep on my floor).'

Ref: 5. Then, *I* will call the restaurants and (provided that the restaurant owners speak either English or Spanish) will make reservations for 65 people. Lady Di will give me her American Express credit card to guarantee the reservations.'

I almost died laughing, I was an in-process bloody immigrant to Europe so long that I barely remember what money is and as for credit cards well ... Christina will pay, should she arrive safely in the VW with Gert and I.

Note: There is no way you'll be in bed at 9pm however I do like my task list. Drunk and taking mortifying photographs.

Christina - you are safe with me, I don't want your bellybutton.
Ref: 'NO ONE gets to see MY belly button. Is that clear?'

My belly button is a no-fly zone, I understand this ... it's a colonial thing I think ... buttoned up folk, but happy with limits.

Hey, and Trac, come over, you can VW there with Christina, Gert and I

Okay, last glass in the bottle ... my work is done. Your subliminal messaging finally worked Sal, re: open that bottle of red.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger christina said...

I love it when Di posts when she's drunk. :-)

At 5:22 AM, Blogger J said...

Mausi alerted me to the European Expat Bloggers' Meet-Up, and I'm in (depending upon location). Actually, Sal, I would have looked you up in Sept had I known that you lived in Madrid.


Post a Comment

<< Home