Category Archives: travel

Specialty of the house

Remember how I went for a two-week long trip to Shanghai at the start of September? Well, a favourite topic of conversation with those who come back from China is food. At least, that’s one subject I like to ask about a lot, but it might well be a personal obsession: no matter what the country, my interest in the subject never seems to fail. But I digress — China is indeed renowned for its food, and this is what this long overdue blog post is about. Continue reading


The blue lotus

Ici, on dirait que le ciel est plus grand.

This observation was made by a friend during a schooltrip to Russia a long, long time ago. I couldn’t help thinking of this again when I went to China earlier this September; the sky looks bigger over there as well. Along with quite a few other things, but that is to be expected when visiting Shanghai, the world’s “largest city proper” according to Geohive. Large city, disorienting Orient, patchwork of colourful impressions, mind-blowing experience — this is what I shall fail to capture in the next few Entries.

First a disclaimer. The following haphazard account is merely an attempt to describe my first impressions of China gathered during a very short visit in a very specific location. For this reason, it is quite subjective and more likely to reflect my own flawed perception of things rather than providing a deep insight into Chinese civilisation. But honestly, would you be reading this if you were looking for boring objectivity? So there.

Very unusual: a regular-sized sky.

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A song about a long gone Irish girl

Despair not, O fair Reader, lest the thrilling tale of my stay in Edinburgh may never be finished. Here it comes at last: part 4 — packed with culture, booze and comedy! In technicolor!

You may want to refresh your memory: Find out why I went to Edinburgh this time, read all about the memories which kept me company during the stay, see how well the first few days went.

And now, let the show begin. Continue reading

The scratched and unusable negative

Another installment of my Edinburgh adventures series. Where it turns out that I can perceive the present time without being taken several years back. Plus, culture makes a cautious appearance.

We don't get these in Germany.

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Cities and memory

It seems to be an unwritten tradition of mine to always get my first pint or so at the Elm Bar (Deuchars IPA this time). I am not quite sure why; I mean, it’s not that I like it there much more than anywhere else. It has certainly a pleasant choice of beers, and it is conveniently located in the middle (my notes don’t say the middle of what). Well, it has been a few years that I do it, it probably just happened. Maybe I should make up a fancy story to explain how it all started? Continue reading

Ma hoovercraft’s breemin’ ower wi eyls

Two weeks ago on Friday I went to Edinburgh again. It was pretty much a last-minute plan, caught in the honey trap laid by my friends K and Z:

J is having a house New Year Party on the 15 January, also, we haven’t seen you for ages…

On my first trip in summer 1995 I had no idea that the people I was meeting there would end up the finest friends one could hope for, all at once easy-going, sharp, warm, open and understanding. They taught me much (and not only wine, whisky & song!), and without them I surely wouldn’t be as outgoing as I am today. Which, if you know me, should send a shudder down your spine.

Quite possibly some of their radiance washed out on my perception of Edinburgh. Well, surely the city has its own undisputable brilliance, but do locations not also shine from the light of the people who dwell there? Continue reading

Hasta luego

Here comes Sunday, my last vacation day. Thankfully I had booked a somewhat late flight and could still enjoy Seville and friends a little. The plan was, first a visit to Plaza de España, which had been undergoing renovations for years and had just reopened to the public the previous weekend. Afterwards, mystery lunch at Casa Az… Continue reading