Upside down you turn me

Article published on Sept. 27, 2006
Article published on Sept. 27, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ


Queasy days... As autumn leaves litter the streets, workers pack into pubs to drown their misery. There amid the cigarette smoke, the beer-stained sofas, Europeans drink to their… health.

‘¡ Salud !’ cries the Spaniard, ‘santé’ echoes the Frenchmen, ‘Salute!’ concludes the Italian. It is a strange habit that while ruining their livers and polluting their lungs, Europeans untiringly wish each other a healthy life.

With great gusto, drunkards sag in bars across Europe and exercise their wrist muscles. In Spain, revellers wave their drink around to a cheery ‘Arriba, abajo, al centro y para dentro’, above, below, in the middle and inside. In Bavaria, drinking men ‘schunkeln’, rock from side to side, in their local taverns. Last standing, the ironic Catalans wish each other health and virility ‘força al canut’.