Thursday, December 11, 2014

These requests from abroad, Vol. 9: "I am a big collector of beermats, coasters and other promotional items of beer brands."

If you own or work for a brewery, you've probably fielded numerous e-mail inquiries from overseas asking for beer labels, crown caps and the like, as destined to become the cherished keepsakes of private collectors from the foothills of the Alps to the South Sea islands.

To me, there is something compelling and yet haunting about these foreign requests, which tend most often to come from Central/Eastern European locales, places of longtime personal interest to me historically and geographically. They speak vividly to my inner melancholic. Lately, I've been pasting their addresses into Google Map and seeing what their places of residence look like.

After all, they can look at my business, and it seems only fair for me to see where they live, so very far away.

Now, for something completely different, we have Frans. His request is the first we've received from the Netherlands in a very long time. He's from Zwolle (population 125,000), the capital of Overijssel province. 

First, see where the water used to be ... and still is.

According to Wikipedia, "In World War II, Zwolle was single-handedly liberated from the Germans by Canadian soldier Léo Major. He was made an honorary citizen of Zwolle in 2005 and a street is named for him."

This is it: Leo Majorlaan. Look at those tidy bike paths on both sides. Sighhh ...

In addition, note that "Citizens of Zwolle are colloquially known as Blauwvingers (Bluefingers)."

Frans says:

I live in the Netherlands and I am a big collector of beer mats, coasters and other promotional items of beer brands.

I hear you, buddy. Let's forget the small potatoes.

Would you like to trade homes?

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