After 5 Years in Europe

Tony Barnes By Tony Barnes, 29th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Alabama

Coming back from Europe was a culture shock for me.

Of Football, Cell Phones and Fig Newtons

After spending nearly five years in Europe, I had a culture shock when I came back. I was in Europe with the US Air Force from Feb 89 – Dec 93. As I got used to being back in the good ole US, it took awhile to get back in the swing of things. I was amazed at Crimson Tide football, cell phones and fat free raspberry Fig Newtons.

Crimson Tide football – In Europe, we had Armed Forces Network (AFN) and were able to get some college and professional football. But, I got stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama and those folks loved their Alabama Crimson Tide football (some people like Auburn…but, they can get counseling) like no where I had ever seen. The famed coach Bear Bryant had already been dead for over 10 years, but the people in Alabama revere him as if he is deity. One lady even told me, “You know, I thought he would never die.” Wow, amazing statement. But, when it is football season, I believe the Alabama Crimson Tide fans are the best in the world throughout the entire state. We Texas Longhorn fans are pretty radical…but, Alabama fans have turned it into an art form for sure.

Cell Phones – When I left for Europe, cell phones existed but I don’t think I knew anyone who had them. But, when I came back from Europe I couldn’t believe how people were walking through the grocery store with a cell phone stuck to their ear. It was amazing. Suddenly, they were everywhere. I felt like I was Rip Van Winkle having just awakened from a 100 year nap. While stationed in Alabama, I worked part time for a news talk radio station and it was great calling the station with my cell phone and giving play by play football updates.

Fig Newtons – All I ever knew was Fig Newtons…that was it…there was one flavor. Oh my gosh, when I got back I discovered fat free flavored Fig Newtons. I started buying them like crazy. I did discover that there weren’t calorie free. Eating a package everyday sure makes your trousers start fitting more snuggly.

It sure was great living in Europe. But, it sure was good to come home…and Alabama football, cell phones and flavored Fig Newtons made it even sweeter.


Afr, Armed Forces Radio, Auburn, Bear Bryant, Cell Phones, Crimson Tide, Fig Newtons, Texas Longhorns

Meet the author

author avatar Tony Barnes
I am a native Texan who spent 3 years in the Marine Corps Reserves and 25 years on active duty in the Air Force. I have been a Christian since 1985 and am an ordained minister. I am conservative politically and love to study history. I publish a mont...(more)

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Phyl Campbell
29th Oct 2013 (#)

I know you've been "home" a while, but let me say, "welcome home, soldier, and thanks for your service to our country."

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
29th Oct 2013 (#)

Its a shock indeed, I was a yaer away!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Tony Barnes
30th Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you Phyl.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?