Monday, February 18, 2008

Exploring the Frontiers of Good Taste, English TV

This interview with the Beckhams would probably not have been allowed on American TV. On the other hand, I wonder if Americans (who haven't lived in England at some point) would understand a word of it?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

ExPat Query

Anyone out there know what "non-detergent soap" is in Germany? I want to wash a rather grimy down-filled jacket.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

the Poetry of the Chinese

I don't speak Chinese, but wish I had been able to on our tour. They are making a great effort (in view of the coming Olympics) to make the cities navigable to foreigners, which means there are signs translated into English.
This one I really liked, it has a wistful poetic feel to it, and despite making no grammatical sense, is perfectly understandable.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pretty Pictures: An Art Exam

I don't know where this originated, but it is very compelling and a nice use of computer power.
It is also interesting to see how many of the pictures you have seen before, and whether you can identify them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Minor Karneval Parade

There is a huge Carneval parade in Cologne every year , always the day before Shrove Tuesday (is there a name for this Monday in English?)... it is worth avoiding because if you don't know the songs and you are not REALLY drunk, it is 5 hours of agony.

But there are small local parades in every neighborhood, usually the elementary schools all try to organize some costumes and march.  This one was in Sulz, about a mile from my apartment.

Carneval Visitors

Today, Carneval in Cologne is over. The streets have been more or less cleaned and the steady rainfall is doing the rest. The Germans have gone back to being serious, sober, and, well... German.

Had a few houseguests over the last few days, L dragged some friends up from Munich, and these 2 flew in from Boston and Seattle respectively. This was possibly the only occasion when I saw them awake and uncostumed. Needless to say, they had a great time.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Birthday in Berlin

It was cold and rainy in Berlin last weekend. that didn't stop us from walking a lot, which we always do.
I thought these statues , across the river from the Palast der Republik-- now being reduced to a pitiful ruin--, were a nice symbol of the nostalgia for the less confusing times in the DDR, when no one worried about getting a job and nudism was perfectly acceptable (people who yearn for this kind of thing can now book a flight on a nudist plane.)

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