attie: A suicidal Lemming cookie baker baking himself along with his cookies. (nichtlustig - plätzchen)
For the longest time, I did not believe that the local vegetable - there is only the one, known on restaurant menus and the like simply as "vegetable", unless the restaurant actually spent money on a translator, in which case it will usually be rendered as "chinese cabbage" - was actually a type of cabbage. After all, it has a pleasant watery but slightly sharp taste. Whereas cabbage, destroyer of dinners, bane of my childhood, is clearly only considered edible by virtue of it not being acutely toxic.

Alas, my companion left for his quarterly world tour yesterday morning, so I now have to cook for myself. In the process, I not only reminded myself all over again why this task is usually left entirely in someone else's hands, but also managed to confirm quite thoroughly that the vegetable in question is indeed a fully-fledged member of the genus brassica.

It would appear that in Germany, and I assume many other parts of Europe, we are in the habit of sadly overcooking our vegetables. I wonder if cabbage and its relations also taste less awful if you limit their contact with boiling water to one or two minutes?
attie: A mouse caught in a trap, saying "I Regret Nothing" (misc - regret nothing)
So to escape the yawning emptiness of the fridge, we went for lunch at the pizza place the other day. My budget did not thank me. Pizza is an exotic foreign thing here, priced at a premium, presumably because it contains significant amounts of cheese, which is itself exorbitantly expensive. For perspective, last time I went clothes shopping, I bought a cardigan, a dress shirt, and two pairs of socks, all together for less than the price of a not particularly large one-person pizza (margherita - with toppings I could buy another shirt or two).

But we did get to overhear the family at the next table, whose primary school age daughter was clearly not appreciating the menu. The mother was desperately trying to convince her to eat something. She had, apparently, ordered rice with cheese. And expected rice. Picture this little Chinese girl in a "pretentious hipster from San Francisco" style pizzeria, eyeing a plate of vomit-colored, slightly chunky goo, exclaiming in her most offended tones: "I ordered rice. THAT is not rice."

Repeatedly.

Until her mom, at her wit's end, finally threatens: "If you don't eat right now, little lady, you're not allowed to go to school tomorrow!"
attie: Kirk staring at a tribble in his drink (st - kirk tribble in a cup)
So we were taking an evening walk along the shore the other day, and passed a small construction site. I took note of a sign bearing an example of a trope I have been growing fond of: talking about the past in future tense (often found in relation to large public works), in this case "expected date of completion: mid 2014". A closer look at the construction site labels confirmed that this was indeed a public enterprise, part of something called the "Harbour Area Treatment Scheme Stage 2A". It also revealed that there were some 700-odd workers employed on the site, which seemed surprising given its size. Google informed us that this was the construction of a sewage tunnel to Stonecutter's Island, which apparently houses a large sewage treatment facility. Thus the mystery was explained: all these people must be working underground.

"If they haven't finished the tunnel yet, what do you suppose they do with the sewage for now?", my companion wondered.

"Dump it into the harbor," I joked, waving vaguely at the gentlemen holding fishing poles at the walkway's railings, presumably attempting to catch dinner.

As it turns out, that is exactly what they do with it

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attie: Piko gazing into your soul with his big, dark eyes. (Default)
Attie the penguin

June 2015

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