tor

S&S World tour

681 posts in this topic

Day 7: Linguistic Skills & Culture

mochte zee fruchost?

This is a question I posed to Al in a half arsed attempt to be all cool and linguistic. The issues arose when he tried to understand it. So far we have

Mochte: German: Desire

Zee: Dutch: Sea

Fruch: German: Fruity

Ost: Norwegian: Cheese

So instead of asking if he wanted breakfast before going out in german I asked if he “wanted a sailors fruity cheese” in 3 languages. This, I believe, can only be something really nasty that you have to pay for.

Apparently there is a large red light district nearby so I am pretty sure he could get one if he wanted. In a rare display of parochialism Al declined and suggested a cafe instead.

Jeff Koons has an exhibition here at the moment. To avoid being the sterotype aussie drunkards on tour in germany we all wandered along to have a look. The paintings were meh. The sculptures however were in some cases hilariously well done. The curator had taken an existing museum with the various “old chinese stuff” “old italian stuff” and so on and in each room put one of koons sculptures which fit the general theme of the existing stuff.

I had two favourites. The first was lame to look at but hilarious when you figured out the joke. There was an old statue of some greek goddess which apparently was one of the first times that a female was nude in a statue and the myth behind the statue was that she had to wash her clothes and was using a bucket. One of koons stupid pieces “bucket” (a brand new shiny metal bucket) was placed beside the statue. That made me giggle. I do like a good joke.

The second however was just awesome to look at. Venus of Willendorf done as a balloon animal (like those ones clowns do for kids) and made out of anodised aluminium about 20 foot tall. This picture http://www.thefastertimes.com/decorativearts/files/2012/07/120620_Koons_Ausstellung_Frankfurt.jpg doesn’t do it justice at all.

After all that culture we retired to the river side for beer in the afternoon sun. To be honest I expected more german men in speedos than I saw.

1 Week in. Time for Numbers:

Attempted tasks

• Plane Rides: 5 tickets each

• Train Rides: 3 tickets each

• Hotel Bookings: 7 separate bookings

• Event Bookings: 2 separate bookings

Hello Mr Cockup, have a seat over here:

• 1 expired passport (me)

• 1 wrong dates for hotel booking (al)

• 1 attempt at carrying a bottle of coke onto a plane (al)

Acceptable Blame Shifting

• Travel agent for not checking passport, embassy for not contacting me to warn me of the expiring passport, BA for checking me in, Customs all over the world for having slavish rules, Arbitrary notion of time only moving in one direction.

• Web developers for having date resetting pages, Round shaped world leading to jetlag and time-zones, Petty traditions of local time, Egyptians inventing beer.

• Terrorists, religions, zealous officials, fear mongering politicians, Bruce Schneier, Coke for making bottles that are too big.

Not bad by my standards. Well within the acceptable range of half arsed travel cockups. As all the cockups are clearly the work of small minded external forces this can be considered persecution and it is just a good thing we are magnanimous in acceptance of local customs and Bruce Schneiers failure to educate the world.

Cultures insulted to a level requiring UN intervention

• 0 but this could shoot right up (note historical hatreds and actions do not count, insults must be delivered whilst on the trip)

Gastronomic Attempts

• Haggis, Stovies, Black Pudding, Scallops, Chips with curry sauce, Chicken Tikka Marsala, Frankfurt green sauce.

• Only one beer ordered more than once

Food Failures

• This might be 1 or it could be just that a few mornings of Scottish breakfasts altered someone else’s gastrointestinal flora. My mighty viking digestive tract has not been affected.

Sartorial Slipups

• A couple of instances of socks worn twice (me).

• All clothing in a random state of cleanliness (al – see attempt to take coke onto plane and resulting examination of bag contents resulting in a randomness which Bruce Schneier may find useful if he can harness Heathrow customs staff as a generator).

• Not taking shorts to a sunny hot tropical scotland island (me).

• Putting deep heat onto toothbrush instead of toothpaste (me)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good old Koons - carrying the dadaist baton forward. No surprise the Germans appreciate his work. You as a drunken Australian however have an obligation to reject it outright! :laugh:

I like the popeye statue.

Chips with curry sauce is a midlands classic. Could there be a finer example of cultural harmony than this little fusion gem. I think I'm going to have to make some. :smoke:

Manchester is the home of the double entendre (apart from france of course) so it's lucky we've been practising them here. :)

Still envious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mochte zee fruchost?

This is a question I posed to Al in a half arsed attempt to be all cool and linguistic. The issues arose when he tried to understand it. So far we have

Mochte: German: Desire

Zee: Dutch: Sea

Fruch: German: Fruity

Ost: Norwegian: Cheese

So instead of asking if he wanted breakfast before going out in german I asked if he “wanted a sailors fruity cheese” in 3 languages. This, I believe, can only be something really nasty that you have to pay for.

Moechten Sie Fruehstueck?

Would you like breakfast?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 8: Religious Festivals and Architecture

A morning stroll through the Frankfurt centre was somewhat surprising. Granted a Sunday morning but still it was most conclusively closed. High volume of people wandering around and almost every shop was closed. The shopping centre "My Zeil" is amazing. Here is a video taken by someone else which gets across part of the amazing architecture.

Further wandering lead us to the middle of a religious festival. Apfelwein (the local cider like drink mentioned on Day 6) was being celebrated through consumption. I am not normally a religious person but I do like to partake of local customs. In the interests of anthropology I investigated the associated rituals as well. Curry wurst (sliced sausage smothered in a sweet curry sauce) was a nice easy way to bridge the cultural divide. In the manner of censor swinging priests covering the stench of pilgrims a stall roasting hams created a scent Krishna must have approved of. The trinity of roast ham, sauerkraut & coleslaw anointed with Frankfurt green sauce induced an hour of contemplation.

The hymns I found of particular interest. Examining the drum machine beats I discovered that "Sweet Home Alabama" is derived from the German medieval and that the Gods of Apfelwein have yet to forget eighties long hair spandex rock. Like Paul on the road to Damascus Al was converted and impelled to dance for the glory of the Gods. Largely this appeared to be a seated dance which involved much shoulder movement and the occasional eyebrow wiggle.

Tomorrows Goals:

Make it to Sweden (see I didn't forget)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 8: Religious Festivals and Architecture

A morning stroll through the Frankfurt centre was somewhat surprising. Granted a Sunday morning but still it was most conclusively closed. High volume of people wandering around and almost every shop was closed. The shopping centre "My Zeil" is amazing. Here is a video taken by someone else which gets across part of the amazing architecture.

Further wandering lead us to the middle of a religious festival. Apfelwein (the local cider like drink mentioned on Day 6) was being celebrated through consumption. I am not normally a religious person but I do like to partake of local customs. In the interests of anthropology I investigated the associated rituals as well. Curry wurst (sliced sausage smothered in a sweet curry sauce) was a nice easy way to bridge the cultural divide. In the manner of censor swinging priests covering the stench of pilgrims a stall roasting hams created a scent Krishna must have approved of. The trinity of roast ham, sauerkraut & coleslaw anointed with Frankfurt green sauce induced an hour of contemplation.

The hymns I found of particular interest. Examining the drum machine beats I discovered that "Sweet Home Alabama" is derived from the German medieval and that the Gods of Apfelwein have yet to forget eighties long hair spandex rock. Like Paul on the road to Damascus Al was converted and impelled to dance for the glory of the Gods. Largely this appeared to be a seated dance which involved much shoulder movement and the occasional eyebrow wiggle.

Tomorrows Goals:

Make it to Sweden (see I didn't forget)

:laugh:

Man, you are way better than the olympics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so the swedes have finally invented anti-gravity shoes? where can i get a pair?

Yeah, those are really cool. But the anti-gravity scarves are a pain when you drive.

Edited by AndersB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My trip reports from Sweden are pathetic. I don't see anything from a tourist's perspective and all the local quirky stuff are just familiar and natural through the eyes of a Swede, which means I don't report them.

Also, my photography skills are non-existent. Matching this inability is the built-in camera of my iPhone 3GS, which takes horrible photos, especially with pocket lint covering the whole lens.

So, apologies for re-using photos I find on the net that is similar to what I have experienced during my stay here - which has 90% been spent visiting friends and relatives. This has left even less time to do touristy stuff.

In other words, all the above disclaimers are telling you to read tor's trip reports instead if you want an entertaining and interesting take on Europe.

Anyway, the last week was spent mainly around the north-western part of Skåne (which is the southern most county of Sweden). The main city here is Helsingborg, which has Helsingør in Denmark as a twin city. There is just a 20 minute ferry ride between the two cities.

Skåne has an interesting history. Its latin name is Scania - which is where the word Scandinavia comes from. This county used to belong to wonderful Denmark until 1658 when it was so cold that the sea between Skåne and Denmark froze and the evil Swedish army could just walk across to Denmark and beat the crap out of the valiant Danish defenders. Skåne has been under cruel Swedish occupation since, although there have been several brave separatist movements mobilised in the first hundred years since the treaty in 1658. Perhaps it is time soon for another uprising.

Helsingborg is a fairly ordinary city in Skåne - nice in many ways though:

vyHelsingborg.jpg

A bit north of Helsingborg is Domsten - a little sleepy suburb along the coast where I got a cracker of a warm smoked mackerel with potato salad just near the harbour:

strander_domsten_hamnen_2_bildspel_480x270_sbf.JPG

fjällbacka-rökt-makrill.jpg

Given the history of Skåne, the pretty houses in Simrishamn in my earlier post are basically Danish looking. An even prettier town is Helsingør, which is just drop-dead gorgeous. The Kronborg castle is located here, which is the setting for Hamlet - the play by Billy Shakespeare.

400px-Helsingør_street.JPG

01.jpg

800px-Helsingoer_Kronborg_Castle.jpg

Danes are world champions in sandwich making. They call it smørrebrød - literally "butter bread" (I think smør and smear are related words). But calling smørrebrød a sandwich is like calling Taj Mahal a shed.

spaceout.gif

smoerebroed.jpg

You get between Helsingborg and Helsingør by ferry, where you can feast on various forms of pickled herring for lunch:

cateringsill.jpg

A good beer goes well with pickled herring. If you feel adventurous there is also Gammel Dansk - a strongly herb-flavoured bitter vodka:

file_6_15.jpg

The instructions on the back of the bottle says:

"Try Gammel Dansk Bitters neat, with a cup of coffee or with your favourite beer"

and

"... is served traditionally at room temperature in small glasses for any occasion and at any time throughout the day"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They call it smørrebrød - literally "butter bread" (I think smør and smear are related words).

In Russian sandwich is бутерброд (buterbrod)... which I think is the same in German... maybe Tor can confirm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Russian sandwich is бутерброд (buterbrod)... which I think is the same in German... maybe Tor can confirm.

yes let's all ask that guy that has teeny tiny language skills :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 9: Viking Regalia

Since the 1100's or so the vikings have cut a swath through europe with their drunken drug fuelled mayhem. In those times the recipients of a good old scandinavian party tended to try and retaliate with edged weapons or lamentations.

During the eighties I believe the vikings turned from the chain mail and drums to jean jackets with those conical studs and iron maiden. I guess because the recipients of the nocturnal nordic nastiness were more likely to respond with stale bread sticks (stupid french) and german techno.

As we travelled from the home of "Sweet home alabama" dubbed into german with a kraftwerk drum machine via two flights we noticed an increase in the protective garb of the sojourning viking. I never saw one of these ladies go through the metal detector but I am guessing they responded to the efficient german request of "take off your metal encrusted jacket" with the disdain that was deserved.

Then we made it to the largest reservoir of large busted blonde giant women in the world. Stockholm airport. Al was a little nervous to ask the information lady where the trains were. She looked like she might pick him up and use him as some kind of pet. I had my camera ready but he stood too far back for her enormous arms to capture him. Shame really. He is a good travelling partner but that would have been a photo for the ages.

We have rented a small apartment in Uppsala as a base of operations. It is like a little fairy house; bleached floorboards, candle sconces and drawers that don't fit. We are lumbering giants afraid of breaking stuff.

We have net connectivity but didn't need it, I know the food traditions here. Pizza! This was consumed, fortunately I can guess most of the ingredients on a menu from my crappy norwegian, I can actually feel parts of my brain limbering up as words I used to know are recalled from context. It was good traditional scandinavian student pizza (uppsala is a uni town). Nice simple base, minimal toppings and happy hour beer. Happy hour is indicative of the vikings arbitrary use of the english language. From memory a "mil" here is about 10 miles despite sounding much the same. I believe the same zestiness is used in the definition of "hour" in happy hour.

I had been warning Al about the cost of Scandinavia in general, when I lived in Norway (late eighties) a pint of beer at a student bar was about $7.50. Fortunately since then a whole lot of chinese blokes have wanted some dirt and so a pint now, some 25 years later, is about $6 at a similar type of bar.

This is slightly embarrassing as my warnings seem like panic mongering however it also struck a small note of "holy crap we are really depending on that general sentiment that we missed the GFC". I have some more thoughts on pricing and ability to pay and such and such which are slowly working their way through my brain.

Tomorrows goals:

Shopping for domestic things, it's like moving into your first apartment, so much fun.

Buy / rent a couple of bicycles, let's see if Islay experience can be stepped up with wrong side of the road biking.

First day of training, hmmmm so many scottish breakfasts.

Edited by tor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The instructions on the back of the bottle says:

"Try Gammel Dansk Bitters neat, with a cup of coffee or with your favourite beer"

and

"... is served traditionally at room temperature in small glasses for any occasion and at any time throughout the day"

Dude you've got to be a bit less self deprecating. You are in the exciting place while we are stuck here. You have the conch. :)

It's lucky the gammel dansk can be drunk at any time of day. I was thinking it was only for post midnight when you had gone through everything else in your booze cupboard... :wine:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 9: Viking Regalia

Since the 1100's or so the vikings have cut a swath through europe with their drunken drug fuelled mayhem. In those times the recipients of a good old scandinavian party tended to try and retaliate with edged weapons or lamentations.

During the eighties I believe the vikings turned from the chain mail and drums to jean jackets with those conical studs and iron maiden. I guess because the recipients of the nocturnal nordic nastiness were more likely to respond with stale bread sticks (stupid french) and german techno.

As we travelled from the home of "Sweet home alabama" dubbed into german with a kraftwerk drum machine via two flights we noticed an increase in the protective garb of the sojourning viking. I never saw one of these ladies go through the metal detector but I am guessing they responded to the efficient german request of "take off your metal encrusted jacket" with the disdain that was deserved.

Then we made it to the largest reservoir of large busted blonde giant women in the world. Stockholm airport. Al was a little nervous to ask the information lady where the trains were. She looked like she might pick him up and use him as some kind of pet. I had my camera ready but he stood too far back for her enormous arms to capture him. Shame really. He is a good travelling partner but that would have been a photo for the ages.

We have rented a small apartment in Uppsala as a base of operations. It is like a little fairy house; bleached floorboards, candle sconces and drawers that don't fit. We are lumbering giants afraid of breaking stuff.

We have net connectivity but didn't need it, I know the food traditions here. Pizza! This was consumed, fortunately I can guess most of the ingredients on a menu from my crappy norwegian, I can actually feel parts of my brain limbering up as words I used to know are recalled from context. It was good traditional scandinavian student pizza (uppsala is a uni town). Nice simple base, minimal toppings and happy hour beer. Happy hour is indicative of the vikings arbitrary use of the english language. From memory a "mil" here is about 10 miles despite sounding much the same. I believe the same zestiness is used in the definition of "hour" in happy hour.

I had been warning Al about the cost of Scandinavia in general, when I lived in Norway (late eighties) a pint of beer at a student bar was about $7.50. Fortunately since then a whole lot of chinese blokes have wanted some dirt and so a pint now, some 25 years later, is about $6 at a similar type of bar.

This is slightly embarrassing as my warnings seem like panic mongering however it also struck a small note of "holy crap we are really depending on that general sentiment that we missed the GFC". I have some more thoughts on pricing and ability to pay and such and such which are slowly working their way through my brain.

Tomorrows goals:

Shopping for domestic things, it's like moving into your first apartment, so much fun.

Buy / rent a couple of bicycles, let's see if Islay experience can be stepped up with wrong side of the road biking.

First day of training, hmmmm so many scottish breakfasts.

You're talking valkyries. I love valkyries. :sly: A lot of my retirement plans involve being scooped up and taken back to Valhalla. 8 foot plus would suit me. I'm on the next plane to Stockholm. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Russian sandwich is бутерброд (buterbrod)... which I think is the same in German... maybe Tor can confirm.

Butterbrot. The fancy type of "sandwhich" Anders is referring to is basically cutting a bun of bread in half and then topping each half with the creator's vision. It can be quite difficult to eat because only the underside is bread and you can't hold it like a sandwhich. The more bites you take the more balance is required by the eater to keep any remaining topping from falling to the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's lucky the gammel dansk can be drunk at any time of day. I was thinking it was only for post midnight when you had gone through everything else in your booze cupboard... :wine:

The instructions for Gammel Danks Bitter were also helpful with the advice that it goes well with other alcohol. So, basically, have it with other alcohol at any time of day or night. Other than that, there are no restrictions.

Edited by AndersB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're talking valkyries. I love valkyries. :sly: A lot of my retirement plans involve being scooped up and taken back to Valhalla. 8 foot plus would suit me. I'm on the next plane to Stockholm. :)

Calm down!

Swedish women are not all the stereotypical platinum blonde.

Some look quite plain, like Princess Madelaine:

07_madeleine_77190a.jpg

If you looked carefully, you can tell that she is naturally a brunette - probably (who can tell about women and hair colour anyway?)

Edited by AndersB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Butterbrot. The fancy type of "sandwhich" Anders is referring to is basically cutting a bun of bread in half and then topping each half with the creator's vision. It can be quite difficult to eat because only the underside is bread and you can't hold it like a sandwhich. The more bites you take the more balance is required by the eater to keep any remaining topping from falling to the floor.

+1

Very attractive, but rather impractical.

I can remember as a young child my family making the transition from open sandwiches to closed, and being impressed at how easy they were to eat... even if the filling ratio did adversely decline. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calm down!

Swedish women are not all the stereotypical platinum blonde.

Some look quite plain, like Princess Madelaine:

07_madeleine_77190a.jpg

If you looked carefully, you can tell that she is naturally a brunette - probably (who can tell about women and hair colour anyway?)

Oh Anders, your posts are always so educational.

I feel that this is a valuable cultural insight that you are providing here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have rented a small apartment in Uppsala as a base of operations. It is like a little fairy house; bleached floorboards, candle sconces and drawers that don't fit. We are lumbering giants afraid of breaking stuff.

Uppsala was where i had my Swedish adventure. Love how the cannons at the castle point at the cathedral, just to reinforce who is in charge.

1359344.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did, I did! :blush:

Good! I'm glad you all paid attention to Princess Madeleine's hair. I wouldn't want to perpetuate the tired blonde stereotype of Swedish women.

Anyway... that photo of the princess was taken during the Nobel Prize banquet 2002 and is quite flattering. In real life (and in other photos) she seems to have a more generously proportioned jawline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in wonderful Copenhagen - the capital of lovely Denmark (and Skåne for that matter). We will stay here for a few days.

The first thing to do is to walk along the main pedestrian street - Strøget, and take in the atmosphere and the streetscape. The name is similar to the english word 'strolling'. Here you will find shops, restaurants and street performers.

poul_storkespringvand_700pxb.jpg

Surprise, surprise! Danish are world famous for their danish (pastry, that is). My wife and I stopped by Konditori La Glace, where they are famous for their 'sportskage' (sports-cake). Although there is nothing sporty about it. I think the name is just a ploy to fool unsuspecting tourists to think that it is a healthy cake.

kondotorie-la-glace.jpg

Lagkage_sport_2.jpg

After a slow perambulation session we arrive at Nyhavn, which literally means 'new harbour'. Not that there is anything particularly new about it. Perhaps it is a peculiar Danish sense of humour that considers everything established after the Viking era as modern stuff.

This place is absolutely packed with local people and tourists in summer when the sun is shining. I wonder why?

4220504-der-var-gang-i-nyhavn-da-nyhavns-kaffekop-blev-holdt-sidste-r-p-lrdag-sker-det-igen-pr-foto-annette-dres.jpg

5013714-restauratr-det-kommer-gsterne-til-gode.jpg?IP_w=800

The place is just all restaurants and outdoor pubs. There is a rip-off premium on all prices, so a large beer is about $10. It is still worth it.

While enjoying the long summer evening sun, I had dinner with a platter of sweet-pickled herring and gravlax (kind of like smoked salmon). Try not to have some generic American food while you are here!!!

copenhagen+(156).JPG

Edited by AndersB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 10: Bikes Bikes Bikes!

We have bikes. We ride them fast around town because we are own little gang! We have baskets on the front like all the cool kids! Our bikes are all black because we are mean!

The fact that I have a habit of yelling "wheeeeee" on downhills and grinning my arse off constantly should not detract from our toughness.

The guy renting the bikes out seemed pretty lackadaisical regarding things like how long we were renting them for, who we were and whether we would ever give them back. I can only suspect he has a night time operation for stock replenishment.

First night of training in almost 2 weeks. I am old and slow. All these young whipper-snappers with their reflexes and fitness jumping around made me a little dizzy.

After training a late night laundry party was held. I was excited as to what a swedish late night laundry party entailed. So many thoughts. As it turns out it is a bunch of smelly guys sitting around waiting for a washing machine cycle to complete. Not quite as sexy as it sounded. Fortunately a few scotches made the lack of sexiness acceptable.

On the food front I have noticed that yellow chanterelles are everywhere here. And, I think, very cheap (although I am awful at math involving dividing by 7 when I riding past and trying to also figure out where the hell the cars are coming from).

Our bike gang numbers 4 now, we have an american, the local swede and Al and I. The swede has been really helpful for us and the american is tolerable (which is quite good going for their type). I figure that is enough of an excuse to cook up some tasty chanterelle type food. Advice welcome as I don't think I have ever used them before. Locally they appear to be mostly just sauteed in butter and served on a steak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good! I'm glad you all paid attention to Princess Madeleine's hair. I wouldn't want to perpetuate the tired blonde stereotype of Swedish women.

Anyway... that photo of the princess was taken during the Nobel Prize banquet 2002 and is quite flattering. In real life (and in other photos) she seems to have a more generously proportioned jawline.

You can clearly see the jawline in this picture.

475d0b883d1b9tn.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now