Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Greece 4 600 - 24Can you tell where it is yet? Google have apparently noticed Europe (and you have to love the way the road to Moscow is the only one shown in Belarus. Hands up if you can even find Minsk on the satellite images). So why does Poland get maps but the other EU newbies (estlatlith) not?

Oooh, and the oracle of Google is so powerful it can show the future. Although strangely it calls them The Virgin Islands, rather than the US Virgin Islands (and why is it USVI, not AVI? Is St Thomas's really a state capital?*)

* Look at me causally name dropping, even though I don't think the main town on St Thomas's is called St Thomas. But I was only there fleetingly; long enough for the guys from America World Police to order everyone off the plane (and gesturing with machine guns, that's a great touch; especially when the plane's full of people English who still shy away from the armed police outside Downing Street), inform us to be "cognescent of the water" (or "mind the puddle" in English), made us queue up to go through passport control. Got arsey because there were too many of us to fit in the room they put us all in, got arsey because English people haven't quite got used to the idea that a queue must start 8 ft from the thing we're queueing for (unless it's cashpoint in London), and because couples would insist on walking up together. It was really surprising how worried they were, as if the man in deck shoes is suddenly going to make a break for it and kill them all with a smuggled tiller extension. Especially if you bear in mind the plane stopped there at the bidding of the Americans, and they must do this repeatedly each week. So after much queueing, and alternating fridge and oven rooms, plus being stared at so an age by some Baywatch reject security guy, who flung my passport belatedly down the counter with a "n'err", and then barked at the woman behind me who assumed this meant I had finished, and so started forward. I had apparently finished but it was bit hard to tell (Not even a "Have a nice day"; he can't have been a proper American). And then back out, past the cognesicised water and back onto the plane, wondering what the three people sitting down did to get exempted. Yeah, I've been to the US Virgin Islands. Great fun was had by all.

Er, I've sort of forgotten where this is going, and why it was going. But I also had problems figuring out whether "sought" was the wrong word in that context. Can you tell I discovered (once again) how many different shades of dawn there are, while not having time to look at it? Isn't it great when computers dissolve into a heap of hefty, yet unusable .tmp files? And I think I've only had one and seven-eighths of an apple since yesterday. Oh and some Weetabix, with a delish two-thirds water milk mix (I ran out of milk. My flatmates obviously haven't been drinking their huge thing which hogs half the fridge. Maybe they gave it up for Lent).

That reminds I ought to go and cook, but I can't think of what to have. What goes with quiche and cabbage and won't involve reaching into the cupboard with the unfound potato, which has been eluding me for some time (although it's a great way to lose weight; maybe every McDonalds meal ought to come with a dieters-only sachet containing the stench of rotten potatoes). Which reminds, but I can't quite remember it; my brother's girlfriend, being Scottish gave him some Finnish Sweets, which were not only called "Liquorice Wine Gums"*, but which contained, amongst other

* I've had elderberry, elderflower and gooseberry (you know what gooseberries taste like when they overripen and start to rot? Now add a dash of a sweaty man who's wet himself, and the merest soupcon of oven cleaner. I think the fact it survived undrunk all night when surrounded by a group of exuberant 20-somethings probably is indicative), but I've never had liquorice wine. Do they do a liquorice liquor? Anyway, they weren't exactly wine gums, but I still haven't forgiven Rowntree's or whoever it is for stopping making sweets with things like "PORT" emblazoned on the side (what were the others?). And I'm sure someone will now disprove me, and point out that actually I must have been eating fruit gums instead (which are like fruit pastilles, only you know the way some toffee is reputed to take out fillings? Well, fruit gums can be used to build the replacement).

Sorry, got distracted by the random lumps in my mouth (wine gums, gum grinding, teething, wisdom teeth, not being able to remember which have come through, discovering odd bony lumps slightly inside and to the rear of my upper back teeth). Anyway, the not-wine wine gums contain some delightful ingredient like ammonium cyanate (I know that probably has the wrong number of electrons, but I don't care), which we couldn't quite figure out why it was in there (ok, thing that sounds like it's deadly is probably a preservative, for the same reason prepacked cooked meat always smells like it's gone off when first opened. It's all LD50 stuff).

Car on balconyAnd while on bizarrely Scandinavian (yes, I know Finland isn't, but I don't know what it is) things, I saw the thing on the right as one of the randoms shots on Flickr.

So far I've figured that there was a forklift truck involved, but I have no idea about the rest of it. The car on it's own is odd enough.

Except now I feel like a certain American who talked about these odd little cars which he saw everywhere in London. Do you mean Smarts? Those mock-50s figaro things? Well, what then? ... Oh, you mean taxis?

Hmm, for some reason holding my mouse over the word "forklift" brings up a "Play in Real Player" message.

And does anyone know why I've written "Fauxpub" here?

Because I don't. It's like that scrawled message I found on a bit of paper today:
"I'd much rather have NA" Jeremy Clarkson.

Again, the logic eludes me.

Oh, actually I think I've just got the NA. Except that doesn't make much sense (ok, it does, but it's not worth pondering. Anyway, I sure there was an erudite blog post to be born of it, I just can't remember how now).

And of course, MOCKBA.

Another cartoquirk: The single road through Serbia and Montenegro, and Macedonia (note, not FYR) to something long and theta-ish which I take to be Athens (or possibly Thessalonika). Which in Google's head is linked directly to Istanbul (where the world ends). But then there aren't that many other roads in Greece, according to the map. But there are islands, and names were once there were none. Oddly the islands tend to have Greek versions of the names in Roman characters (e.g. Ithaki, not Ithaca; Lefkada, not Lefkas, Kefallinia, not Cephalonia [or any of the other variants], Kerkira, not Corfu), but the towns are in Cyrillic. Yet Crete the island is in Cyrillic. Such a dichotomy seems odd. But then Google Maps is a little strange (go to where you live, zoom out a bit, wonder why a small village gets equal footing with a fairly major town, and other towns are unnamed).

No such dichotomy when one reaches Japan (having discovered very little in between). Which means I can't even find Tokyo. I'd never noticed before the colour coding used on the roads. In the UK the major roads match the government reinforced standards (blue>green>orange>yellow>white). Yet in France (and much of Europe) the classification varies; just look at the density.



Wow. Reading more than one entry at the same time is simply mindblowing. To quote the Psychiatrists in Fawlty Towers, there's enough here for a whole conference. But very enjoyable ramblings none the less. Or should that be nonetheless? Discuss.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?