Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Parsing (kind of like Snakes On A Plane?)

Being the condescending westerner that I am, I was enjoying this seemingly eccentric phrasing on the menu of a local Moroccan restaurant:

The Argan bears plum-sized fruits, which are eaten by goats on the tree.
Ha! Goats in a tree! Crazy Moroccans. Then Michael pointed out to me that there actually were goats up in the tree in the photo next to this paragraph.
It turns out that goats actually do climb Argan trees to get at the fruit. Who knew?

Photo from Wikipedia

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For all of you who keep asking what Joel is doing with all his free time now that he's submitted his PhD:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to Hungary, part 3: Places that are NOT Hungary.

This is NOT Hungary.
This is Vienna.

Exhibit A: The cathedral in the centre of the city. Lovely, so dramatic, in the night and the day. The roof is pretty amazing. Vienna had lots of roofs like that, that are different colours, very bright and vivacious. So did the big city in Hungary we went to.
Exhibit B: This is a building in Vienna not too far from the cathedral. I find the painting appealing. (This is not a pun.)
Exhibit C: This is at the War Museum in Vienna. Do you like the armoured man's skirt? Apparently, they didn't actually use the skirt armour in battles. They saved that for special occassions, like fancy shmancy balls and courting rituals, parades, that sort of thing. You know, armoured fashion.

We also went to the Museum of Musical Instruments, which was pretty much the coolest museum we've ever been to. They had Mozart's piano, and some other crazy instruments that seemed like something out of a really intelligent 12 year old's dreams. Joel liked the guitar with a built in foot pedal capo.

This is also NOT Hungary.
This is Slovenia.
Richard took us for superb iced coffee with ice cream and the thickest, most gorgeous whipped cream I've ever tasted.The view from the castle. There were loads of vineyards on the hillsides.
This is inside the castle. We saw endless examples of the type of embroidery I would spend my whole life striving for. I will show you some that I brought back with me later.

We enjoyed our day trip to Slovenia.

This is ALSO NOT Hungary. This is Croatia.The colour of the water. I wanted so badly to jump in and never come out again, to swim in it so much that I turned that immense shade of blue, and it would be part of me forever.
Waterfalls, water falling.
Water falling, falling, falling, splash!
The puppy sleeping on my lap on the drive. When we arrived at the national park, she refused to go up the stairs. She was so tired. Tired and gorgeous.
I LOVE teals and blues and greens all together. It speaks to my soul in such an immense way. It frees my heart. Do you know what I mean? Just looking at even the photos makes my heart feel fluttery in an 'I'm-falling-in-love' sort of way. Is that totally ridiculous? I just love teal water so much.
It was like Disneyland, with all the people! But Disneyland doesn't even come close. I choose natural, clear, teal water over shiny plastic any day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Taking a short break from our exploits in Hungary, here are some glimpses of our weekend. We took full advantage of the sunny weekend, being fully aware it may be the last bits of Glasgow sun we see as residents here.

Cathkin Braes Country Park - the highest point in Glasgow.

The Braes' shrooms

The promise of my downcast container garden

An evening on the balcony

Monday, September 07, 2009

Hungary, Part Deux: ICE CREAM

While Joel puts together posts about interesting bits of language and words in Hungary, I will continue to spend my energies on remembering the ICE CREAM. Oh, I couldn't forget anyway. It's part of me now. (Very literally, since we ate ice cream EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sometimes more than once. Oh the glory.)
Now let us join together in the common bond of love for ice cream. Let us realise the creamy goodness, the rich mountains of splendor...

First, the Hungarian national ice cream. This is one we ate sitting under the apple trees in the garden, watching the doggie go crazy. It is vanilla ice cream, hazelnut ice cream, and frozen marmalade, all swirled in together. Surprising, but tasty!

Then there was tiramisu ice cream... one of the great wonders of the world... oh except biscotti which may rise above.

We had green apple ice cream, Russian Cream ice cream, vanilla, coffee, blackberry...

I do maintain the blue ribbon goes to the Sour Cherry and Poppyseed ice cream. The poppyseeds took their responsibility seriously, and did not disappoint.

Oh, ice cream. Oh, a country where the weather allows for comfortable eating of ice cream...

Tonight my dreams will be cold and wonderful.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A List of Hungarian Villages...

...and the rough translations of their names in English.* A result of our recent adventures in Eastern Europe, guided by our friend Richard and his mom, Elizabeth. This should be all you need to know to tell whether we had a good time. And to form a favorable opinion of the Hungarian language and mindset.

Hungarian Name
English Translation
Pagan St. Peter
My Big Problem (or Monkey?)
Little Translator
Mouse Branch
Amputated All Saints
Abundant Coal Wood
(The) Rolling
Barely a Castle
Groaner (possibly professional?)
It's Dripping

Stay tuned for further details.

*Translations provided by Richard, who reserves the right to find better ones.