28 April 2007
24 April 2007
The first half of this post was put up around 24 hours ago. We had continued to start the rest of the post immediately; but the man whose internet cafe we were in decided that we had been on his computer for long enough and disconnected us. Everything was lost! A big argument ensued, and we are proud to report that we argued effectively in Italian including many hand gestures as per local custom. Whilst we are happy with that outcome, we are most displeased that we are trying to reconstruct this entry as the one we had written last night was simply wonderful. We apologise in advance if this one is less than scintillating.
Hello reader, hello.
Today we find ourselves in Italy. It is most wonderous, and is all that we have dreamed of, and a whole lot more. In the tradition of the plethora of books ('Under the Tuscan Sun' for example) about moving to Italy and living la vita italiana, we shall be unnecessarily inserting Italian words in italics and providing you with
Allora (now then), where did we last leave our tales of travel? It was in France I believe...
Paris indeed was inspiring, glamorous and astounding. We traversed the city as dusk fell to see the Eiffel Tower display its hourly shimmer:
We also sat in front of the Notre Dame cathedral and fed little birds bits of the baguette (baguette) that we had bought at the local boulangerie (boulangerie) that morning:
Yes, that is correct gentle reader, EuroTrash is pleased to report that all people in Paris are very nice indeed. It was our expectation that we would use our haltering French to request a baguette (baguette), only to be handed a dead squirrel and then when we assure them a mistake has been made, we would be spat at in the face. Fortunately, none of that eventuated. In a traditional Today Tonight-style survey, we interviewed (interacted with) approximately 30 Parisiens and we can conclusively announce that 100% of Parisiens are nice!
[Please be aware that all visits to McDonalds are done in the interests of cultural research. The Economist magazine uses the prices of Big Macs worldwide to provide economic analyses; in a similar vein EuroTrash is using McDonalds as a baseline to effectively compare and contrast the varying cultures we encounter. In another Today Tonight-style survey to come later, we will use McDonalds to conclusively announce which culture in Europe is ultimately the best]
Hmm. After that slight detour, let us return to our arrival in Nice.
Nice is très (very) beautiful. The old town is full of narrow cobbled lanes, bars and restaurants one would expect. We found ourselves unexpectedly hauling our collective butt up a large hill (almost mountainesque) and gasped for breath (at the sheer beauty, and also because of exhaustion) at the following scene:
And it is indeed this very picture that leads us to the other said activity - people watching. If you missed it in the picture above, here is a close up, in detail for you:
Fashion is also used to make strong personal statements. Take this young man for example:
We had already begun to leave our mark on the country.
"Durante le fermate nelle stazioni è vietato servirsi della ritirata"
"It is forbidden to use the WC when train is standing in the station"
The next morning saw us moving south through the country to our present location - Firenze (Florence). This city, and the surrounding areas of Tuscany are simply beautiful. One searches for adequate words to describe it, but they can not be found. So, as the Italians say, "una pittura dipinta mille parole" ('A picture paints a thousand words'. Well, we are not sure if they actually say this or not). So here are a few pictures, and you dear reader, can come up with the accompanying few thousand words.
18 April 2007
3am in Seoul! Night market stalls in front of the huge shopping malls
And, as promised in the previous post, here is a picture of the greatest gastronomical item invented by Korea. Behold the CHIP SURPRISE:
Starting from the outside with a layer of chippy battered fried goodness, one is indeed surprised when a sausage is encountered in the middle of this gastronomic delight! SURPRISE!
And before the cries erupt of "EuroTrash! You travelled across the globe to just eat fatty fried fat?" please be assured that we did eat more regular Korean fare:
Pick a title:
"EuroTrash enjoys traditional Korean BBQ cuisine"
"Traditional Korean BBQ enjoys EuroTrash"
"EuroTrash sucked off table by traditional Korean BBQ"
Trash for trash.
We felt immediately at home in London.
The following sights were viewed (amongst others):
EuroTrash was highly dismayed to find out that this bridge is NOT London Bridge. Having seen this picture all our lives as a London landmark, we foolishly assumed it was the London Bridge. No! It is Tower Bridge. We were heart broken to learn this fact as we were skipping across the walkway singing "London Bridge is falling down!"
When we heard that a bunch of men were parading down the Mall wearing bearskins and blue feathers on their heads, we thought London's version of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was in town. But no, it was the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
We put our leather chaps away with haste.
Note that the stay in London was also educational! We learned some new, exciting and innovative photography techniques! Look at these!
By increasing the aperture on one's camera, one can make things go blurry in the foreground! Genius!
Look how the water is blurred giving the impression of flow and movement! Yes! Simply lengthen your shutter speed and you too can create photographs as good as this one!
And if all of these sights and education wasn't enough, EuroTrash was fortunate enough to see the stage production of MARY POPPINS! Yes, the classic movie comes to life on stage - and in all seriousness it was wonderful. The directors have given the stage Mary Poppins a strange edge to her - very much like Johnny Depp as Will Wonka. Our singing of "Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious" carried long into the night as we ambled back to our beds for the night.
And so that brings us to Paris. EuroTrash only arrived in Paris several hours ago; but the city has already had such effect on us. We are staying right next to Notre Dame. Double aah.
The following sights were seen this afternoon:
The sun setting over the Seine as we regardons le cathedral du Notre Dame de Paris!
We are currently making up our French as we go along. Apologies to anyone that actually speaks French for ruining your language completely. We did however manage to buy two tickets on the Metro this afternoon. SUCCESS!
People busking playing the accordion and wearing black and white stripy shirts!
Small cobbled laneway complete with small car parked at jaunty angle on the kerb and a dome roof with spire peering over the top of the buildings!
Yes, these have all made EuroTrash very happy. However, on the way here to this very internet cafe, we came across another sight which beat the lot!
Woman with big hair, leather jacket and small fluffy white dog!!!
16 April 2007
This shall just be a very quick post due to a couple of factors: a) the exorbitant British Pound, and the fact that we cannot stop converting prices back to Australian dollars in our head and having a coronary attack every time we reach for my wallet and so cannot rationalise paying for internet access beyond 3 seconds duration; b) it is quite late here and our head feels like it shall fall off shortly.
What a whirlwind! It has only been a few days since departure, but it already feels like so much has happened that we feel that if we were to go home now, it would have been a fulfilling break already. But after that thought runs its course, we come to our senses and realise that there are many more moons to go before this trip is yet through!
Disappointingly, VERY disappointingly, the flight on Asiana Airlines contained NO singing, magic tricks or string quartet performances. We were dismayed at their oversight, but soon forgot that when I watched the inflight Korean movie offering. "200 Pound Beauty" is an insightful movie about a young lady who wishes to become Korea's next singing sensation. However, she weighs about 200 pounds (100 kilos??) and is therefore grotesque and should be kept in a box as my interpretation of various cahacters' attitudes revealed. So in response, the 200-Pound-Beauty, Hana, decides to have full body plastic surgery, and after a few months emerges from her cocoon as a fully formed butterfly - the svelte singing lark, Jenny. Jenny takes Korea by storm, but the story wraps up with her having to reveal her true identity. Shock! Horror! What sort of culture worhsips youth and beauty like that! The shame! (Irony intended)
Watching that film on route from Australia to Korea put me in a certain frame of mind before entering the country. Upon landing, we ended up heading into town from 11pm to 5am and spent the entire night market and window shopping. Amongst the all-night throng of people, we stumbled across possibly the best Koren invention not yet released to the rest of the world. The chip-sausage surprise!
A sausage is skewered on a stick, and then is enveloped by golden crinkle-cut fries, all battered and fried to form one large ball of sausagey-chippy gloop.
Glorious I tell you. We ate ours in about 2.64 seconds flat.
And then as we scoffed one looking around we noticed that Koreans, in our
How was it so then that they had these tasty gloops of fat-on-a-stick on offer, and many people were similarly scoffing said gloop, and no one in our sight would have had to endure poor Hana's fate as in the 200-Pound Beauty??
Oh dear. As the seconds tick away, so do does my available internet access time! This shall continue later, including a photo of the Sausage-Chip-Batter-Surprise wonderment; an
Yours in pluralis majestatis,