Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Garage Sales

It’s funny that no one here does garage sales, so popular in the States. Where do poor people buy stuff for their homes?–c’mon, IKEA isn’t that cheap. My wife is doing an apartment sale over the next couple of days (Wienbergersiedlung) and so many people have stopped by to ask what she’s doing. It is a strange concept to our neighbors: putting stuff that you don’t want outside your house and having people come by and give you money to take it away. But it works; we made 67 Euros today.

Where do people go for used bikes, lawn mowers, tools, clothes, furniture in Graz?

Carnivale #1

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What a five-year-old sees at the Carnivale parade. [Herrenmgasse]

Carnivale #2

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What a very tall adult sees at the Carnivale parade. [Hauptplatz]

Carnivale #3

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What a very tall adult sees at the Carnivale parade after 6 Puntigamers. [Hauptplatz]

Mediterranae

We don’t go out often but we did visit a really nice Italian restaurant on Valentines Tag: Mediterranae, on a little side street behind St. Leonhardt cemetery. Nice really fresh fish, truffle pasta, grilled vegies, arrugula salad. Buckets of olive oil on everything. Cute waiter in a white t-shirt, relaxed, laid back atmosphere and decent prices.

Orange Chicken

I’m not a really big fan of Chinese food –I don’t go out looking for Chinese restauurants. But I’m not alone — I have friends and family who like the stuff–so I will go out and grab some Mu shu Pork (or Mu Schu in German LOL) or Bok Choy in black bean sauce when invited. I still haven’t been to a Chinese place here–wondering if anyone has any reccomendations.

My Austrian stepson fell in love with the Orange Chicken at Panda Express in the U.S. So yesterday we made a batch from a copycat recipe I found on the Net. He liked it.

Click below for the recipe.
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No Butts About It

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In front of the WaltENDorf school on — where else? — Schulegasse.

Hiking

Late last Fall, I went hiking on Schoeckel, a little northeast of Graz. Also called, Hausberg, or House Mountain. We started at Schuekelbartl. Many nice trails that led up to the top, about a 400 meter climb from there. At the top was — what else?–a restaurant serving imbiss and beer. That is the great thing about hiking in Austria: it seems that no matter where you end up, after hiking along mountain trails, through woods, along ancient paths, you will find a restaurant.

Also, most Austrians tell me I misuse the word “hike.” For them, hiking is an all-day event. You pack a lunch, stuff your rucksack and take off…for hours. It has to be a minimum 6 hours or it is not a hike; it is spazierengehen.

Well, where I am from, if you hump it up trails for a couple of hours or more, it is a hike.

Anyway, the Springlike weather recently has made me start salivating for hiking season. I would love to know what are people’s favorite hikes around Graz and why. And how to get there. Cheers.

Il Ballo di Casanova

Casanova and his maids

I love the ball culture here. And being masked made it much more mysterious. Waltz, jazz, Sicilian folk music. Fantastic hor d’oevres. Only thing missing was a good dose of salsa.

Ugh, Austrian Radio

Lately, I have been watching Deutschland superstar in the hopes of improving my German. No, really. That’s only reason why I watch that excreble show, I swear.

Anyway, I really like the skinny, gay dude who teases Dieter–Dieter, who is about the biggest sexist asshole I have seen on TV and whose claim to fame is some vapid pop group that was –emphasis on ‘was’–famous years ago.

So, I got to thinking, the music on the show is crap, the contestants are, for the most part, pretty boys and girls, the judges’ criteria for winning is which contestant can best appeal to the lowest common denominator (you can never underestimate the intelligence of the German public). It is like they took the worst music, placed it in a shiny package, and convinced everybody that it is the best thing since Sacher Torte.

Kind of like Austrian radio.

Why does such a cool country have such awful radio? Can anyone tell me?

I have tried to find a station that’s decent, but to no avail. Mostly I hear covers of older American pop songs, sung by American artists no one in America has ever heard of. The only classical station in Slovenian. Can’t find Alternative or Jazz. Don’t really hear music from other European countries except, ocassionally, you can hear some Italian pop crap.

What is going on? Can anyone help?

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