Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And we're back... Mea culpa

Image of Hong Kong from the air.Hello Gentle Reader,

And we're back... mea culpa... Or should that be mea culpa, we're back?

Venice was fabulous. Bremen and Hamburg, on our return, also fabulous.

And there are still stories from Cambodia rattling around.

Where to start?

First, sorry for not hosting last week's my town Monday with the effable (by reading, and that is meant to be the opposite of ineffable) Junosmom.

There were a series of mini-disasters. One critical, the rest less.

All disasters, however, contrived to keep your scribe away from his virtual tablets. For techies out there, the option for e-inscription of epistles was deconfigured.

Such as?

Well, the mouse and keyboard for the desktop in Bremen stopped working. At about the same time that all stores closed. So typing in a new story was made more difficult, if not impossible. The critical issue here was that this was the desktop of the inlaws which your scribe had just jumped in front of. And it worked before...

Then there were laptop issues.

Then Blackberry issues.

Your humble scribe is happy to say that his Nokia's Internet capability seems to work. How "Blogger" works via Nokia, however, is an utter mystery. Compared to standard eschatological mysteries the Nokia interface is possibly far more ineffable (the opposite of effable), if not graver.

Your vaguely disconcerted scribe, about three days later, discovered that he also had not managed to turn the Internet connection off.

Speculation on your scribe's contribution to a private telecommunication bail-out plan, for these trying economic times, is intense.

In the short term, this may make the Nokia Internet issues graver than the eschatological issues. But, I hasten to add, only in the short term... nervously glancing over shoulder for lightning... And only between your scribe, your Heroine, and your Hero Pommes who is still wondering why not even one bottle of Piemonte Gaja wine was earmarked for his sole consumption.

That, in whole, is your scribe's excuse for not laying out more (any) coin(s or paper or plastic) in Internet cafes in Venice. Well, that and the fact that there were paintings and buildings and cheeses and wines all to be devoured...

But, as you can see from the introductory picture, we are now back in Hong Kong. So communication can re-commence.

I have mentioned before how Hong Kong is largely uninhabited and that the inhabited parts are quite densely packed with people.

Here is a shot from the plane of the part of Hong Kong near where your scribe, Heroine, and Hero normally live...

Close-up image of Hong Kong near where your scribe, Heroine, and Hero dwell.

Sorry for the loss of clarity, there was some cloud between the ground and your scribe.

Also, it was really tricky to clean the outside of my window. Airline stewardesses start panicking when you try to use that handily positioned door.

A dirty window is an emergency for a photographer who cannot find the "down" button for the window controls. And I could not find any controls for my window. And the door was handily labelled "emergency"...

Even when your scribe pointed towards his squeegee-window-cleaning-device to reassure the airline stewardess that he was doing everyone a favour, no reassurance was, apparently, derived by the stewardess.

It is a strange world. Your scribe was not even asking for spare change to clean the window. As your Hero, Pommes, is wont to say, concatenating the Doors, people are strange.

Anyway, for comparison, here is the backside of Hong Kong island... (id est, the side that we do not see from our apartment windows.)

Image of a view of Hong Kong Island, the uninhabited bits (most of it) from a plane.

But planes are good for more than just taking photos. They are also good for transportation.

Some esrom, fol epi (with figs!), gorgonzola, leerdammer, tilsiter, appenzeller, pikantje gouda, grana trentino, reggiano, cambozola, chaumes, saint aubray, tommes de savoie, delice d'argental, fontina, three varieties of fresh chevre, and four varieties of brillat-savarin all made their way back to a new home in Hong Kong.

(Well, the Perigord truffle encrusted brillat-savarin is already finished...)

Along with the cheeses six wines, German breads, and a six-part selection of chocolates including some fantastic Swiss chocolates with a heady filling of Norman Calvados (apple brandy) that your Heroine mistakenly believes are for her alone all made it to their new home in Hong Kong.

Smuggle is such a dirty sounding verb.

I prefer relocate.

I have mentioned the wondrous Brillat-Savarin cheese before (here!) (while Brillat-Savarin himself was obliquely referenced here) and told you how fantabulously creamy it is.

This stuff has a minimum fat content of 78%. Mmm. Goodness in every lick.

Here is the second chunk of Brillat-Savarin that I am working on this morning.

Happiness by the half-kilo. (So you can buy happiness, and in one pound increments too...)

Image of a half kilo of happiness, an über creamy chunk of Brillat-Savarin...
This is my powerplant.

This is my town.

Chris, Regina, and Pommes


After posting today I went reading.

I imagine all MTM regulars shared the same shock upon moving over to the site of the founder of My Town Monday and finding out that Travis Erwin's house had just burned down.

An effort to help with a new house has been launched here...

Here I thought that Junosmom and I were finished our month of hosting.

With Junosmom, I will carry on cohosting My Town Mondays until Travis returns to take it back.

These are this week's MTM postings as of now. As we find more, Junosmom and I will post them.

And Travis, whatever you are doing, there are a lot of people wishing you strength and support.



Barbara Martin said...

You're forgiven for your absence by providing witty vernacular on the yummy stuff brought back from Europe.

Cloudia said...

"Well, the Perigord truffle encrusted brillat-savarin is already finished..."
Oh yeah! I need a cigarette now.
Thanks for such a vivid conveyance of your trip that I no longer feel that I need one. LOVE your precise, yet easy-to-read writing, Chris. MMMMMMM Good cheeseS.
Bread. . . . . .from-the-air shots & humor to boot. . . . I like boots . . . . (holiday "burn-out")
Bless our dear Travis; Ouch!

Junosmom said...

Ah, glad to hear you were not kidnapped by Somalians. Chuck and I were worried. Thank you for making me look up several words on the internet to see if you were slamming me :-) and to improve on my education. I found that effable means "squeezing reality into words". I like that! Thank you. Welcome back.

Sepiru Chris said...

Barbara, Thank you very much. Brought back.... I wonder how cutoms and excise would react to that phrase... Hopefully I never find out...

Cloudia, I can send you a clove cigarette if you like; I saw them in a Chinese apothecary the other day. At least I am fairly sure it said clove cigarettes. It might be wise of me to look up the character to be sure.

If you liked boots you would likely have loved Venice. Every fifth shop was either a glove shop or a boot shop.

Junosmom, Funny thing there. I was trying to convince the Heroine that my going to Somalia was a brilliant plan in investigative journalism/bookwriting. Strangely enough, the Heroine had an entirely different view of the whole thing. Go figure.

And slamming you? How could you think such a thing?

Tschuess all,

Junosmom said...

I have just been reading about the Somalian pirates. Sounds like an adventure and surely some writing opportunities, if you aren't killed that is.

And I just tease, I'm sure you wouldn't slam me, but I did have to research what you were saying about me.