Archive for January, 2008

Back! And weird fruit

Back from Austria, where I took photos of a nice conservatory.
I might be posting more photos later, but for now have a weird fruit:

A mutated citrus fruit in which the wedges do not connect at the bottom, but grow each their own peel. It’s called “Buddha’s hand” in its native India (I think).

I wonder how it tastes…?

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Bentos will be back in February as I’m “between jobs” until then.

In the meanwhile, have a picture of sukiyaki, which is nice even if you don’t have a proper square pan and table gas stove.

Off to Austria for the next week, to sample regional wines and arts and culture! Reports will be following.

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Happy new year 2008!
For myself, 2007 was entirely too stressy for my own taste. I hope that 2008 brings, if not relaxation, then stress of the positive, challenging kind!

While Christmas is pretty much the same everywhere (the only difference being that the presents are opened on the 24th evening in Austria and Sweden, and not the morning after as is the case in most English speaking countries), new year has a lot of different traditions everywhere.

The Austrian one (“Silvester”) includes (amongst other traditions):
The operette “Die Fledermaus” will be played on TV sometime during the evening
Typical new years eve dinner includes: fondue, meat table-cooked in soup, water or oil, with various sauces and pickles.
The new year starts with the giant bell in St. Stephan’s church in Vienna ringing, followed by The Blue Danube waltz on the radio. It is mandatory to waltz!
Little cheap talismans are exchanged with friends and family.
In the morning, the new years concert will be played on TV (see the embedded video – my first time embedding, I hope it works!). Also mandatory, but not to waltz this time because most people will be too hung over.

The Swedish one includes:
A black and white version of the theatre skit “Dinner for one” will be played on TV sometime during the evening.
Just before midnight, there will be a recitation of a poem (always the same poem) on TV. It always ends at exactly 00:00, at the first ring of the bell. This is mandatory to watch, but not to cite.

And of course both include fireworks, cheering and clinking of glasses, partying and staying up late!

I hope you had a lovely new year’s eve, whatever it included. And if your country has any different new year traditions, please tell me! I’m incredibly curious to learn about different traditions that I never heard of!

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