Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Bollywood Experience

"It is just like sitting in a big cake..." That was the clinching sentence that made me book tickets for "Dabangg" in Jaipur's "Cake Cinema." I just hoped Lucky, our driver, didn't mean Dundee cake.

Bollywood produces hundreds of films each year and draws in regular cinema audiences numbering millions. Most of the films follow the same love, violence, family problems, sing and dance genre in order to satisfy the majority of a 1.1 billion viewer market and in Jaipur, I began my Bollywood education with a standard Hindi comedy called "Dabangg."

Dabangg roughly translated is something like undefeatable, which made sense considering the main character, a cross between a beefed-up, Indian Freddy Mercury and the policeman from The Village People, was largely invincible. The main man also inspired whoops and cheers from the cinema audience when he first came onto the screen, including one guy next to me who let out a bizarre Mohican war cry to show his approval of the characters appearance.

I suppose any character who can bust the Bollywood dance moves, harmonise the Hindi hymns, battle with the bad guys matrix style, dodge bullets, laugh after being stabbed and rip off his shirt with his expanding hulk-esque muscles at the sight of his dead mothers inhaler, deserves to be cheered and applauded when he blesses the screen.

He was also able to woo any lady he thought worthy of his charms and was a perfect gentleman when, after falling through a roof into a bedroom, he was faced with a young damsel with her collarbones exposed. It's possible that lesser men feel certain urges at the sight of such a fine neckline, but not Mr Dabangg. His finest party piece however, which would only be possible in India, was to kill the main bad guy using tractor exhaust fumes. A moment of pure genius…

In Bollywood films there's also often an "item song." This song has absolutely nothing to do with the film and is instead just a chance for a bit of a singalong and for the men in the audience to continue the whooping and cheering as a sexy Bollyood bellydancer belts out a Hindi classic to the beats.

But despite the howling males, Indian cinema is a place for the whole family. There were grannies, toddlers, new born babies and even a couple of birds in the expansive auditorium enjoying the hero-led tale. And, halfway through the 3-hour odyssey, a 20 minute interval is provided where 500 numb bums can stock up on popcorn, coke, samosas and chai (Indian masala tea). Thus everyone is catered for.

From An Ache For The Distance
Interval

From An Ache For The Distance
Keeping it traditional

As for the inside cake aspect, the cinema had an ornate 1920's feel about it, although the carpets may have been there since the British Raj, and the lighting was either a soft green or yellow which, I suppose, would be Indian cakey. We would probably be classified as the topping as, yet again, our white skinned glamour status meant that we were filmed by locals with their phones. And on that note, if the person who filmed me dribbling coke down my chin is reading this, I would like to see that video...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Delhi to Agra - India

The room phone rings, unusual considering firstly I wasn't expecting a call and secondly a phone is an unusual commodity for me in a hotel. I answer hesitantly,

Tourist: "Hello?"
Telephone: "Hello sir."
Tourist: "Hello..."
Telephone: "Hello sir. It is being room service sir."
Tourist: "Uh huh..."
Telephone: "Hello sir?"
Tourist: "Yeah, hello..."
Telephone: "Hello sir, it is being room service sir."
Tourist: "Uh...OK...But I didn't order anything..."
Telephone: "OK sir, no problem, I will be thank you sir."

India is hectic, chaotic, dirty, sweaty and jam packed but at the same time a daily source of Monty Python comments, scenes and conversations. It's difficult not to smile. An example from a few days ago, after months of seeing the "Incredible India" adverts on CNN whilst at work, I couldn't help but guffaw when, whilst stuck in traffic, a passenger in a jeep next to us rolled down his window and spat out a hefty amount of inner fluids, all of which splattered across the side of our car. Lucky, our driver, simply turned around and said, "You see, that is why India is so incredible..."

Anyhow, after the luxury sightseeing, we decided to continue with the flashpacking by booking a two week jaunt around Rajastan with a car and driver. It's worked out to be €35 per person per day with car, driver and hotels, which is a tad over budget but worth it considering the size of Lanas bag and the extra titbits that we'll see along the way. It also means that by the time we're back in Delhi, some of the monsoon floods will hopefully have disappeared and we won't need rafts to reach Kathmandu.

As such, we dined on another curry and japati rooftop breakfast in Delhi before hitting the road in the direction of Agra. En-route we passed through the dusty, industrial pit that is outer Delhi and witnessed shopping centres, slums and car show rooms all side by side. The poverty in India is extreme but it's harder when an abundance of wealth is shining in the middle of a tarpaulin and twig housing area and hungry children stumble around in the dust near McDonalds. Once out of the city, the scene became cheerier. Cows on the highway, four to a motorbike and typical Indian chaos.

From An Ache For The Distance
A moment of calm on the road to Agra as a hippy is transported from the 60's

After 3 hours, we reached Agra, checked into the hotel and went for a wander. Within the space of half an hour we were asked by at least 25 rickshaw, autoricksahw and taxi drivers if we wanted to go to the Taj Mahal. A malnourished horse, surely only hours from death, was offered up as a ride to the Taj. We witnessed a man running across the street with something burning in his hands, more cows blocking the buses, child labour first hand as kids polished metal on the streets and a couple of tipped tuk tuks with guys repairing the engines using cloth and grease. I'm telling you, this country is chaos...

We slept that night in icey conditions, as the hotel's air conditioning was a centralised system with one arctic temperature for the whole building, and woke up to the prospect of the Taj Mahal with mild hypothermia. The drive through Agra at 6am was like a romanticised version of India as a misty haze blanketed the city and the streets were largely empty, except for a sprinkling of cows and dogs. We were dropped off outside the complex and had to walk the last half kilometre. Since 1994, polluting vehicles have been banned from from going within 500 metres of the Taj as the white marble was slowly being discoloured by the Indian smog. As such it's a long walk fighting off touts, hawkers, sellers and rickshaw drivers.

At the ticket counter and security checks, it's typical Indian organised chaos and we ended up with a 10 year old called Sanjeet acting as an unofficial helper. He turned out to be a little gem and so I gave him a few rupees as well as making a little deal. I gave him 10 rupees and told him to buy some postcards. Afterwards, if we saw him again, I promised I would buy the postcards from him for 100 rupees (€2). If we didn't see him again then it didn't matter as it was my money he spent and he could always sell them to other tourists. It was a win-win situation for him and possibly a business lesson at the same time. Later in the day, we did manage to find him again and we did buy the postcards but immediately afterwards, he tried the hard sell with his fridge magnets and keyrings, so in reality he probably needs no lessons from me. To the little fellas credit though, after I'd convinced him I had no fridge for the magnet and no keys for the ring, he gave me a keyring for free anyway, to say thanks.

The Taj itself lived up to expectations. The whole two hours we spent there I never lost the feeling that I was looking at a postcard or some kind of stage backdrop. It was photogenic perfection and somehow unreal. It didn't matter what angle I saw it from, it always offered that same feeling as the car drive of romanticised India. Even the river that runs behind the back of the Taj wouldn't look out of place in the Jungle Book. The whole scene was simply phenomenal and worth every rupee. The only slightly concerning aspect of the whole thing were the Indian tourists wanting photos with us. Various prints are now being slid into Indian families photo albums beside captions such as,

"This is me with a white man at the Taj"
"This is me touching the arm of a Scottish guy"
"This is me with his Russian girlfriend"
"This is me shaking the hand of the Russian girlfriend"
"This is our family with a Russian woman and a man from Yugoslavia" (I often lie about my nationality)
"This is our family with two white people"

And, in addition to the photos are the camcorders and phone videos, daily! A strange process when the tourist becomes the attraction...

Day 4 - Delhi Belly (negative)

From An Ache For The Distance

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Delhi India - The Beginning

Imagine the situation, Olga and Nikolai go carpet shopping somewhere in deepest darkest Siberia. They buy a lovely "Amber de Antalya" number and bundle it onto the roof of the Lada. On the drive home, they don't bother discussing how they will lay it, what furniture will need to be moved or even whether or not they should take their shoes of now before entering the house.

Why? Because in Russia, carpet is what goes on the walls. As such, words to the effect of, "Oh my God, there's carpet on the floor..." were Lana's first in India. The cultural revelation will be profound I thought to myself.

Half an hour later, once the carpet novelty had faded, we found ourselves in the reception of a hotel in a backstreet slum. Maybe slum is a little hard but the streets we went up to get there were barely wide enough to two people to pass each other, the ground was a piss-smelling sludge and in the dim light, things could be seen scuttling. Whilst waiting for the receptionist, I could see Lana wishing she were back marvelling the floor carpet and, when the first cockroach whooshed past her foot, I knew we had problems.

Ten minutes later we were in a slightly more upmarket hotel looking at another room. Lana spotted something dark on the bed and moved in closer to inspect. However the Indian porter had also clocked the new guest and decided to throw a pillow at it whilst reassuring us with, "It's only a mosquito, honest!" The mosquito scuttled down the back of the bed...

Credit though to the folks at the Hindustan hotel as in the end they gave us the room for free, seeing as it was 4am. I passed out around 6am after trying to reassure Lana that the cockroaches wouldn't eat her but she held an all night vigil against any encroaching roach. Thus, with bleary eyes, the next morning we hauled our bags around in search of a cockroach free establishment. We eventually found a fantastic place through the guidebook but not before I had built up a serious, shirt soaking sweat and Lana went ankle deep in a monsoon mud puddle.

Despite finding a fantastic hotel, which incidentally leaves a copy of the "Times of India" outside the door in the morning (I'm easily impressed), the day still went down the pan. We tried to visit the Red Fort but were fucked about by the Tuk Tuk driver, even after I shouted a round of samosas. He took us to the arse of the building, told us it was closed and then whisked us to Connaught Place in the city centre to conduct some dodgy deals. The day ended with a 6.30pm bedtime.

The following day was much better. Newspaper at the door. Breakfast on the roof. Guided tour of the city with a car and driver. Brief stint on a rickshaw with a finely bearded old fella showing that you don't have to retire at 67. Enough temples, gardens and monuments to break a lonely planet writers wrist. Hundreds of hellos and funny looks from curious locals along with the occasional photo (Indians taking photos of us that is!) and to top it all off, 32C and sunshine.

End of day 2 - Delhi Belly (negative)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Travel Limbo - Istanbul

I've never travelled with a laptop before but I have to admit, it doesn't half help with those hours of airport limbo. Albeit the larger than large beer I ordered to accompany the free internet is posing a distinct liquidy threat to the computer as it drizzles over the keyboard everytime I feel my liver isn't working hard enough. But with 3 hours to kill in Istanbul's Atatürk airport, it's a small price to pay.

However, I do have a strange personal record which may be heading down the toilet, quite literally, if I keep up with these 700ml beers. Although I've been to Australia twice, I've never used a toilet on an aeroplane... I should actually take a prostate pride moment after writing that...

...*moment*...

But yeah, despite never visiting a john in the sky over 7 years of intermittent travelling, I think that the Delhi flight might be a cherry breaker. A bathroom plaque would be in order I'd say! And I would also go as far to say that Turkish airlines would consider "plaquing" the toilet on my behalf, especially after experiencing the honest, down-to-earth nature of the airline this morning.

While most airlines try culinary seduction on their passengers, the Turks opt for a more honest approach. Upon the menu card for the in-flight meal were a variety of options ranging from veggie friendly, lactose free, gluten free, hindi-friendly , Turkish titbits and finally the refreshingly blunt "Bland Meal."

Designed for those with digestive and/or chewing problems, the bland meal had me thinking "hmmmm, why not?" And although there were no official meal details, the idea of an English woman at the back of the plane, boiling the life out of potatoes and carrots, had me contemplating ordering just to savour the "tastelessness" before 3 months of curry. In reality however, we didn't get a choice and I was instead forced to enjoy ravioli. Damn the Italians!

Anyway, the beer is coming to an end, my fingers are losing coordination and the prospect of losing my toilet cherry is weighing heavy on the mind.

Next stop Delhi!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Auf Wiedersehen Hamburg

The final night in Hamburg...Two years ago I rolled into town with a backpack, an attempt at a bushy beard, single, perhaps because of the aforementioned, and an iPod full of kiwi tunes. Tonight, I find myself on an air bed surrounded by a mountain of bags, sporting neatly trimmed chin fluff, Russian girlfriend by my side, probably not because of the aforementioned, and an iPod influenced by the Germans...

After two years, I'm thankful to Hamburg. I'm thankful for the German I've learnt. I'm thankful for the beard trimmer I bought here. I'm thankful for the city letting me practice my English teaching on it's unsuspecting populace. I'm thankful for the lessons learnt with German women. And I'm thankful for Hamburg reaffirming my mother's lessons of "it's rude to stare!" If anyone from Hamburg is reading this, when you're on the train, stop staring! It doens't matter how bored you are, look somewhere else!

But the time has come for pastures new. Or maybe "ponds a new," seeing as the pastures are flooded. The river in Delhi is currently 2 metres above the official "danger mark," according to the Times of India. The prolonged monsoon means that much of low lying Delhi is flooded, Dengue fever cases are on the up (2,296 cases as of Sunday) and various other headlines inspire hope for the start of the India trip,

Two foreigners injured in firing near Jama Masjid in Delhi

Rapist school cab driver attacked by angry kin

Mentally unwell woman locked up in dirty room for 3 years rescued

Four held for killing jeweller in N-W Delhi

Woman found murdered in Paharganj (Paharganj is where our hotel is!)

Drunk man arrested for parking car on rail track

The last headline being light news...

But, despite these heart-warmers from the last four days in Delhi, there is good news. The BBC weather report, has for the first time in weeks, predicted a sunny day in Delhi for this coming Sunday! Flips flops ready, sunnies packed and with a generous smattering of mozzie repellent, Delhi belly here we come...

Die Ärtze, spreading the feel good vibes...(skip the first minute)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

India Preparation - Newspaper Research

I can already picture myself, sitting on a Darjeeling rooftop, a view to the Himalayas, a hot chai and a copy of the excellently named Hindustan Times. With a name like that, images of turban-clad, heavily bearded journalists slaving over Raj-era typewriters in a yellowing office in a Calcutta backstreet are conjured up.

Or the tabloid antithesis, the Mumbai Mirror brings to mind chai wallahs oggling over sexy, thigh flashing Bollywood stars. Thighs only mind, it is India after all!

However cliched your perspective might be, newspapers can offer a fantastic insight into a country's mentality. A headline in the Sydney Herald, "Kiwis Call Tait A Chucker" is a 5 worded lesson in Australian culture. From this you learn that Aussies & Kiwis have a somewhat provocative relationship and that although they speak English down under, very often you won't have the slightest idea what they're talking about!

I once read a story in Singapore's Straits Times about police being called out to a peaceful demonstration by a group of Burmese protestors. Within the article was the fantastic line "police were forced to take down the protesters particulars." Not only does it tell you that not much happens in Singapore but also that the British were once here taking down particulars too.

Over breakfast this morning, I found myself reading The Times of India online. In the Delhi section, between flooding problems and increased cases of dengue fever, was a little article about the city's metro system. In preparation for next months Commonwealth Games, the city government is improving the metro system. Nothing overly noteworthy in that until they give exact details.

Apparantley trains on some lines will be running every 2 minutes, or to be exact 2.26 minutes! I know Indians love their trains but I would bet that behind those 26 seconds of preciseness is a German!

Times of India
Metro trains every 2 mins on some routes for CWG rush

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Australia 2007 - An Aimless Day at Hervey Bay

With less than two weeks until the big India trip kicks off, I found myself reminiscing previous adventures and reading a blog post from 2007. More specifically, one from the four weeks of travelling and writing in Australia with the worldnomads campervan. This morning, the laptop was given some stylish coffee stains as I guffawed at my own, 3 year old observations. Sad but true...


Hervey Bay, 17th December 2007

I wake up, yet again, at 7.30am. I feel like a Christmas turkey on slow-bake. As soon as the morning sun is high enough to reach the top of the van, the velcro type material on the ceiling takes on the attributes of a nuclear oven. Every morning it’s a struggle contorting myself out of the coffin-like top bunk and out into the fresh air.


Today’s picturesque scene that I stumble out of the van to is Torquay beach at Hervey Bay. After a minute or two of adjusting to the light, wiping the evenings drool from my face and then taking in the beachfront scenery, I start to think about what to do today. Using your brain at this time of the morning is difficult enough but it slowly dawns on me that I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself here.


Hervey Bay is the jumping off point for trips to Fraser Island and also a good area for whale watching. However the whales are on their summer holidays at the moment, I’m not too sure where but probably somewhere with cheap fish and plenty of good-looking lady whales, and Fraser Island is off the cards for two reasons. Firstly, for matters of a fiscal nature and secondly because I need to leave some new things to see when I next come back to Australia.


So with Fraser Island now on my “to do” list, joining other notable spots such as Karijini, the Bungle Bungles & Kakadu, I start my aimless day by heading to the campsite office to pay for the nights accommodation. I’m greeted by a wrinkly hag who has a receding hairline and all the friendliness of a Gestapo trained Alsatian. She does, however, have reason to be pissed off as she barks down the phone to Dave, “They’ve put a fack’n peg through the bloody water mains again…” I’m left wondering whether Australians have the longest tent pegs in the world or if perhaps they should have laid the pipes a little deeper.


Encouraged by my first interesting encounter of the day, I head into town to hunt down some breakfast. I settle for some gigantic bananas, the fluffiest white rolls you’ve ever seen and a mandatory iced coffee. I grab a copy of The Australian and head down to the beach for a munch and a read.

As I’m trying to decipher the main sport headline, “Kiwis Call Tait a Chucker,” and the reasons behind why it’s souring relations between the two nations, a man with a shiny bald head swims into my field of vision. He’s about 20 metres out and swimming in a line parallel to the beach. He’s the only person in the water and the longer I watch him the louder the Jaws theme tune plays in my head. I start to envisage the reconstruction of the scene for the TV documentary on shark attacks with me as the main witness, my 15 minutes of fame at shiny heads expense. I decide it’s a price worth paying and start scanning the watery horizon in the hope of spotting a tell tale fin. Once again though, my toothy friend fails to make an appearance and I retire back to the campsite, albeit feeling a tad guilty for wishing harm on shiny head.


I spend the rest of the morning with my feet up and do my best to become accustomed to my new status as a man of leisure. Doing nothing is more difficult than you’d imagine and, in my opinion, achieving a status of contentment through merely sitting on your arse is a skill in itself. However, once achieved, there comes a point when you do have to extract yourself from your vegetative state and go out into the world.


I head out onto the main drag and plod along before finding myself in a second hand bookshop, chatting with an extremely spherical gentleman who sports a superbly bushy, white moustache. He starts off the conversation with, “I bet you’re glad you’re not in France, they use bloody horse fat for frying the chips in McDonalds...” and this sets the tone for the ensuing fact filled conversation over the next 5 minutes. He tells me that he’s reading a book about the effect of eating at McDonalds all the time and I become aware of the fact that if I were in a movie, this would be the point where a little red devil Stuart would pop up on one shoulder and an angelic Stuart would appear on the other. Fortunately, angelic Stuart wins and I refrain from suggesting that he looks in the mirror in order to find out the books conclusion.


Perhaps it’s the guilt from thinking these nasty thoughts or maybe it’s my growing obsession with how I could grow a moustache as bushy as his, either way I feel the need to cut the conversation short and flee the premises. I head down to the beach, get my toes wet then take a long walk along the squeaky sand, complete with a very loud iPod. Shiny head is still swimming.


As darkness falls, the fruit-bats come out in search of tucker and the backpackers go out to hunt down beer. I’m in the busiest pub on the main street and surrounded by jiving middle-aged Australians, yet I feel like I’m part of some kind of European Parliament beer drinking committee. My drinking partners for the evening, representing Norway, Germany and The Netherlands at this beer summit, are less than impressed at the boogying on display and the music being pumped out by the hillbilly band.


Of course, as the Scottish representative and a lover of all things Australia, I have mixed emotions about the scene in front of me. I’m inclined to agree that the 40 year olds in “Mrs Claus,” red furry Christmas outfits should put away their disco fingers but I can’t help singing along to the bands cover of the Cold Chisel classic, Khe Sanh. We spend the next few hours polishing off pots and schooners of XXXX Gold and then make a beeline for the only nightclub in a 100km radius.


As we walk into the Koala club I almost go into cardiac arrest. The management are clearly expecting a large contingent of polar bears to be clubbing tonight and as such, the air conditioning is set to “Arctic” mode. It’s so cold that I could easily cut diamonds with my nipples. The freezing conditions are combined with a fly-paper like floor that makes it difficult to move around without losing your shoes. We get a beer and go in search of a semi-warm spot. There’s one corner where the air conditioning is broken and the temperature is a mild -10C, we settle in and start shivering. After 10 minutes everyone is borderline hypothermic and I’m sure my fingers are going black so we decide to call it a night. On the way back to the campsite, I spot a sign above a kebab shop advertising “Kebab, Potatoes, Ice Cream.” Do the polar bears pig out on potatoes after a big night?


As I contort myself back into the top bunk in the van, I’m left thinking about how strange the world can be. Or maybe it’s just Hervey Bay?


From An Ache For The Distance
World Nomads Campervan

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Germans

Two years, three months and seventeen days amongst the Germans in Hamburg. In eleven days it's over... What have I learnt from our Germanic cousins? That in this country, a table has a penis.

Over the past couple of years I've made a linguistic fool of myself on numerous occasions, for example "are you feeling hot?" coming out as "are you horny?" But considering the complexities of Johnny German's language, it's easy to fuck up.

Germans, for example, aren't content with having only one word for the English "the." Instead they give inanimate objects genders and expect us to follow their logic, of which there is very little...

Penis to the Germans is masculine, der Penis. Vagina is feminine, die Vagina. Sounding OK until you reach the testicles, die Hoden???? Why are my balls feminine? German pedants may argue that all plurals have the feminine die but even those with a solitary, lonely, single testicle are given die Hode. A harder blow to the one-ball club I'd say...

Genitalia aside, the Germans are labelled, by the international cliches organisation, as an anal, humourless bunch. In my two years here, I have experienced events which could confirm this. I've been subjected to stand-up comedy that's made it to television and witnessed an auditorium worth of Germans guffawing at the lamest of jokes. I've sat in a cinema and heard people literally crying with laughter at something worth a small chuckle at the most. I've been screamed at for cycling on the wrong side of the cycle path. I've seen strangers bitching with each other for no real reason. And I've heard endless complaing and whinging.

Of course, cliches are cliches. I've met dozens of fantastic people who are kind, friendly and funny. But many would probably agree that Germany, and more specifically Hamburg, can be a bitch of a place to live!

On a more positive note, an exception to the German humourless cliche is Hape Kerkeling. He speaks enough English in this clip, Germans Abroad, to get the gist of what's going on. And even if you don't, take a moment to appreciate his language skills...

Enjoy.




Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Kaltenkirchen - Photo Follow-Up

A couple of weeks ago I posted something about visiting Kaltenkirchen concentration camp north of Hamburg in a post called "An Unexpected Toilet Stop"

http://saharanscot.blogspot.com/2010/08/unexpected-toilet-stop.html

At the time, I didn't have the trusty camera with me. So today, on the way back from another action packed in-company class in Neumünster, I pulled into the camp again, kept conversation with Herr Enthusiasm to a "Hallo," and wandered around trying to get some decent shots. To be honest, I actually only wanted a photo of one collection of stones. Each stone bears the name of a prisoner known to have died at the camp and it has a greater impact than a simple list of names. The little collection has stayed in my mind for the past couple of weeks and so I thought I should get a photo or two...


From An Ache For The Distance
Germans, French, Russians, Poles, Dutch & Yugoslavians...


From An Ache For The Distance
"The Unknown Dead of the Camp. Who knows their numbers???"


From An Ache For The Distance


From An Ache For The Distance
"Prisoner Barrack Block 3" Now a peaceful forest


From An Ache For The Distance
The turning stone on what was the parade ground. "The Ashes of Birkenau" is inscribed around the stone


From An Ache For The Distance
Hoffnung - Hope


Saturday, 4 September 2010

Hamburg - Alstervergnügen

Among the many festivals and events taking place each year in Hamburg, one of the finest in the sausage and beer category is the Alstervergnügen. Lining the banks of Hamburg's Binnenalster, bratwurst, currywurst, beer & schnapps are proffered to strolling Germans & camera wielding Japanese tourists.

From An Ache For The Distance
Binnenalster


From An Ache For The Distance
Sausagey Times


From An Ache For The Distance
Lekker Schmekker


From An Ache For The Distance
Barbeque der Snags


Aside from the cliches, various other options from chips to chorizo are available to help expand the waistline a tad further and sugary treats abound on every corner. Even the fruit on offer, normally well meaning, is a glazed/chocolate covered dentist's nightmare.


From An Ache For The Distance
Glazed Grapes?


Still, at least you can tell you're dentist that the weight you gained and the teeth you lost was in pleasant surroundings...


From An Ache For The Distance
Hamburg Rathaus on the Binnenalster

Friday, 3 September 2010

India Preparation - Bombay Beats

Whilst painting the flat over the last couple of days, in preparation for shifting out, the Bombay beats have been pumping out into suburban Hamburg, accompanied by faintly Scottish sounding, made up Hindi singing...

The real stuff is better...


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