arcanamundi: (Default)
( Mar. 10th, 2009 08:38 pm)
Apologies to the people who asked for pictures under a cut - I did it, but the HTML got all wack again and only cut a wee part under the link/jump, and it's 11 PM and I'm going to bed. :-( I think there's a real limit to the number of tags you can put in a given entry or something.

Why didn't I buy more of these before leaving Germany? They are the best cherry candy I've ever had - they taste like the best sour cherry preserves ever, made into a hard candy with a chewy center. And I only have five left out of the roll I bought from the vending machine in the Bayerische Staadtbibliothek when I needed to break a 2 Euro coin to have a euro to feed the locker.
Granini kirsche frucht bonbons, I hardly knew ye!

As a girl who is passionately fond of cherries, I have to say that I did like all the cherry things in Germany. Cherry juice at breakfast. Cherry candies that taste like real cherries and not like a benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, anisaldehyde, and amyl butyrate cocktail. Cherry liqueur that tasted like fresh cherries also. I really liked that.

Here's a picture of the BSB. It's on the far right. I like the lampposts in Munich.



I took the train from Munich to Vienna today and I took a lot of pictures.


At the Munich train station. I took this picture to show to Adored Advisor, and then realized later that it also captured the sweetest Deutschebahn station lady ever. I'd never noticed them before, but these lassies run around in these adorable red berets and help the helpless and confused, keeping all in ordnung. There were an unusual number of Japanese tourists around on this particular day and I wondered if there was some big convention starting up or ending or something and hence the helping helpers? Because when I went into the station to get my ticket, I noticed that it was one of those deals where you have to get a number out of a machine and then know to look at this one monitor that shows the numbers and the desk open to serve that number, but of course there are no signs indicating any of this in anything other than German. I took my number and waited. I noticed two younger Japanese women standing there looking with great timorousness at the red pillar machine that spits out the numbers. They did not want to push the button. This is understandable: it is the wrong color. It is a giant glowing RED button, not a GREEN button, and everyone knows you should never push the giant glowing RED button. Basic semiotic fact. I nodded encouragingly at them and waved my number. They laughed and punched the button and got a number. I did this three more times as more Japanese ladies came in and went through the same thing. There was a lot of bowing to each other, which was fun but made me feel super dorky like I was trying to be Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid or something. One of them who spoke some English looked TOTALLY exasperated with life when I pointed at the red pillar, the paper number, the monitor, and the numbers on the ticket agent windows. She said "I wait 40 minutes not know!" I could totally relate to this and she looked like she was kind of melting down so I made her take my number and I took her number and after a polite argument about whether she would accept it I insisted and she looked cheered up. She met the other Japanese ladies and started talking to them and then they all started bowing at me again, so I guess she told them what had been going on with her. I bowed back, feeling silly but also like, actually honored.

That lady needed a little cheering up from a random act of humanity because from my observation, the DB ticket seller was a grumpy old man who did not find her nearly as charming as I had.

Anyway, this other DB lady, in this picture taken moments before we met, was hilarious. She looks like Renee Zellweger, yeah? She was such a Bridget Jonesalike. Kind of cute and spazzy and dear. I asked her where my quai was (the numbers dropped off at one end and I was confused - had to go out and around) and she did a little interpretive dance demonstrating its location. I assisted by demonstrating my pidgin German acknowledgements and repetitions. It was like futurist theater. As I walked to the Starbucks for my gigantor latte (that and a slice of 'za carried me all the way to dinner 7 hours later, but I really shouldn't do that) I thought about the word pidgin, and the word pigeon.



This is my train:


I had a whole car to myself for awhile:


Because I had the car all to myself for so long, I was able to take lots of pictures of myself in the train, which is something I'm too embarrassed to do when there are other people around.




This one is my favorite of the bunch but I think I'm going to need to photoshop that eyebrow, which looks like it's about three days from Wolverine wannabe.

More of ME ME ME



This is my seat. Note that I had to raise the headrest nearly to the top to accomodate my tallness. Europe seriously makes me feel like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at a Little People convention. The wings on that headrest banged me in the collarbones.



There are more pictures down here! Of mutant pigeons and Viennese decor. And stuff. )
 

In what can only imagine was a forced eugenics project after the total defeat of the local pigeon population by a particularly robust strain of killer crow, these freaks of nature are EVERYWHERE and they are ENORMOUS. I mean HUGE. They're the size of very large crows, with this weird piebald pigeon coloring. They give me the wiggins. I will not be even a little surprised if they carry off my jar of pickles or the drinkable yogurt that I have stashed in my hotel-room pantry on my windowsill.

These dudes also gave me a slight case of the bewiggins:



BRRRRRRRRR.

I am going to show you two pictures. One is of the hotel lobby. The other is of the famous guests who have stayed in this hotel. From those two pictures you can totally deduce what my hotel room is going to look like:





And here is my own little corner of Vienna:



I LOVE IT!!! But I think it would give most people a migraine. There are five competing patters in this room, wich is about 9x9. It is TOO MUCH. It makes my own interior decorating style look tasteful and restrained.

Underneath this really unbelievable bedspread is a whole lot of feather duvet, feather pillows, and general plushiness:



It is burning my retinas with radiant elegance! It is like a hundred suns of sophistication all beaming on ONE BED.

Wait, that's not a hundred suns of sophistication! It's the giant chandelier which is hung so low that I can head-butt it like Pele by raising up on my toes. Figuring that I'm unlikely to find myself three inches from the bottom of a chandelier again any time soon, I took some pictures of it. Because: shiny.



Then I realized I was really hungry. Actually, then I checked my email, found a cryptic and wicked stressful message from my department administrator about my hotels.com account which made my adrenaline zing-a-ling and then *that* made me realize I was super low blood sugar girl, so I wrote back to her (forwarding all my reservation confirmations and a polite whynow?) and went out to find something to eat. I came back with groceries (I was too anxious about her super cryptic hotels.com message to even think that a nice leisurely restaurant dinner would be good) and discovered that she's pretty much just chipping her teeth over nothing. I had it all sorted out already, but she wanted to make sure that I remembered that the proper place of the departmental administrator is smack in the middle of my bidness. I kid. She has good intentions.


I'm here for a week - long enough to buy things in jars! The groceries: little pearl onions, gherkins, Spanish olives, a sweet red pepper, some Wasa bread (this tastes infinitely better here than it does in the states, where I think it's pretty much all stale and rancid), a little thing of weird but delicious egg salad (it, like my bedspread, is in the aesthetic of the late 50s/early 60s - it had an aspic coat!!! And vegetables all arty in it!), some creamy blue cheese, and a small "klosterkase" (cloister cheese) which I opened and promptly set out on the windowsill. RANK. I love stinky cheese, but I know the difference between stinky good and stinky bad. And that was BAD. I thought the look on the monk's face was suspicious, but have since upgraded it to "evil."



The breakfast here is 18 Euros. HA. I will be enjoying delicious chocolate strudel filled with almond paste and yogurt smoothie in bed! Suckas. You can have your smorgasbord of cold cuts and granola. Ew.



Seavas pfiati!

(I'm not kidding: that is how you say "Bye! See you later!" in Viennese German - no idea how the hell to pronounce it yet. So far I have stuck with Tschüssle! and that seems to be working fine.)
.

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