Archive for February, 2011


Fading memories exposed. Too much bleach used.

So people have been begging, clamouring for an update. Screamed they have, with burning tongues. Well ok then. Am sitting in Stuttgart right now. In an airport terminal. Waiting to board a plane to Barcelona. My carbon-footprint is so big that I am afraid it has squashed multiple of the smaller countries. How did it get this far? I dread to know. But I know. I know. But I’m trying my best to squash the memories. But then they explode and are exposed. It’s too late. A lucid birds-eye over-fly view of the last half year, with all the really important bits left out:

street-artist getting ready on la Rambla

Last I checked in on this forum there were tales of wet. Malaysia. A distant memory. Unwinding the spool of images I can vaguely remember the sun hitting the retina on the Americas and in Sweden and even in my homeland of the Netherlands. Oh how I frolicked in the sea of Gotland with <balloony stingy squishy> Jellyfish. Fell from my bike in the heart of night in my student town of Rotterdam. And what more, there was more. All hedonism. Nothing more. Stuffing the mouth with freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. Stuffed salmon with dill sealed in fried egg by the mouthful with nothing to show for it but personal pleasure. Got lost in New York, and wished never to be found. Complained how the Thai food there wasn’t really like the original.

Enter the United Kingdom. A strange little island kingdom with strange little people. They have clearly been cut of from contact with the civilized world for centuries. They talk funny and are all hooky. In their manners and beliefs. It’s hard to describe these beings. They’re alright. Nothing wrong with them, but they’re just a bit off. Kilter.

Anyways, the plan was to land and set up camp there for a few months. In amongst all the crazies. I read it as a sanctuary. A time to regroup the senses. What happens on the island stays on the island right? So I started stopping again. Stopping with meat. Stopping with alcohol, stopping with sugar in my tea. I couldn’t stop stopping. Cleansing the soul of the soul. Sounds unhealthy doesn’t it? It is. One can not cleanse the soul of the soul. What would there be left? Bliss? Bweh, boring.

But it was an interesting time. Within this vortex of calm, me and some of my compatriots found the bliss of cooking. As it turns out, we are gifted with masters of the cooking art, right in our midst. And not ones that sit upon golden plates upon tall mountain-tops, admiring themselves in pocket-mirrors. No these Gods of Cooking enjoy swooping down and enlightening the unenlightened.

So we learned to make bread from first principle, we learned to make delicious dal with honey, and exquisite risotto, with lots of cheese of course. All of this and much, much more a palette of tastes that wraps around the horizon, yet never ever ever ever touches the land of meat. If anything, the meat had previously just served as a cap upon the unshackling of juicy tasty dishes away from the path of the known.

pocket cheese-fondue

Knowledge wants to spread. It’s a disease. Soon all the lakes and all the mountains and all of the earth will be covered in knowledge, spread so thick that it will have suffocated every living being. Knowledge also demands of me to release these fruits of gastronomic passion. In time my feathered friend. In time.. We can’t haste taste. It deserves some of its own posts. Onwards with memories:

After some good fermenting of the soul it was time to stop stopping and start starting. A nice reboot of life. My little planetoid of explosive rocks crashed into the hustling and bustling and happening metropole of Zurich, Switzerland. A joke-ey kind of joke you might think. That’s not Switzerland. Switzerland is suits. Banks. Punctuality.

Well yes, all of that. But also more. Much more. Did you know for example that Switzerland is utterly and totally stuck in the late 70’s. The Swiss are rabid cheese fondue’ers. Advertisers fall over themselves to try and saturate any desire to cheese fondue, called raclette, in die Schweiz. Products like the Cheese traveller for example. For racletting on the go with two wax lights for power. Or the Burger King Fondue burger weeks. Geschmak ist king. Pushing the raclette boundaries with subtle and respectful twists to the familiar fundue theme as the Fondue Steakhouse burger and the Fondue Grilled Chicken burger.

But my biggest discovery in this land of tradition and guns has little to do with the actual country. It is in fact another of these internet fads that have been around for so long as to have outlived their fad status. And it is a very unusual internet fad as it involves meeting actual real-live people in a real-live setting. Not only people, but random and unknown people. Because in these days of Facebook, there are smarter ways of checking if people are axe-murderers than knowing them for several years. It involves other people that trust these people are not axe-murderers. And then you meet these alleged non-axe-murderers, and see if they indeed are not axe-murderers, so you can tell others, if indeed you still can.

Some Swiss are trying to get rid of the 'have to keep your gun after the army' law.

In the canonical scheme you not only just meet them in a crowded cafe, but you go sleep in their homes from the get go, on a couch or something. And surprisingly, usually they are not axe-murderers, but really nice and interesting people. It’s called CouchSurfing, and you all probably have already heard of it somewhere in the middle of ’85, but for me it’s totally new, and although I did not do the sleeping part yet, they are very active in Zurich; organizing meetings and movie-nights and so on. A great way to have a good time in a brand-new city for poor little lost working-birds looking for some company.

In the meantime I have now actually arrived in rainy Barcelona at the World Mobile Congress, the biggest mobile event in the world. And I sit in the tiniest little booth at the back of some stowed away hall, holding the fort, while the big guns eat lunch and prowl around. Sometimes I too sail the black sea of suits and ties. And I tell them we put boxes somewhere on the Gi, and we basically are not interested in base-stations or RANs, because we treat everything before the SGSN as a black box. And they nod.

This is where life got me stranded thus-far. Optimizing TCP packets and staring onto a wall that is plastered with light-beams reconstructing slide-ware in the back of a great big hall. Nice and chill. Next in the blog-post pipeline: a step-by-step guide in baking sour-dough bread with flour, water, salt and patience.

February 2011

Flickr Photos