Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Tomato Paste

There are actually many good things about living in Europe,  and perhaps Vienna in particular.
I say "perhaps",  since I'll never be a true city boy,  but that's OK,  this too shall pass.

Sunday's outing comes to mind.

Think about it,  the Choir from the University of Vienna (one of the oldest in the world,  going back to 1365 ) along with a gaggle of musicians playing music written by a couple of the most clever dudes to ever put quill to manuscript.

And all we had to do was show up.

And they say that one of them,  the little guy
who lived here in Vienna,  would typically have the music in his head,  and "composing" it,  was mostly a matter of simply writing it down. 
...mind boggling...

€5,00 in the collections basket,  and another voluntary €10,00 on the way out the door by way of appreciation...

Meanwhile,  actual concert tickets are as rare as hen's teeth.

But I digress...

Let's slide on down to some more basic amenities,  shall we?

There's hardly a week that goes by when beer isn't on sale.
Ah yes,  it's come to this.  The true measure of a man's willingness to look favourably on the European Lifestyle.

A few weeks back,  it was Ottakring.

This time around,  it's Gösser which,  if I were to buy 24,  was at an astounding €,54 each.
(that's around 80 cents CDN kids....and as it turns out,   80 cents American too....sorry there Yanks)

How can you NOT buy 24 at that price?
Now,  I have made the mistake of buying beer in bottles but really,  it was at some discount type store somewhere in Prague,  and it broke my heart to just recently take a six pack of empties to the recycling bin.

This,  unfortunately was the last one.....

Not quite worth it to drive back to the Czech Republic to take back six empties I'm afraid.

Now let's briefly talk about the "bad",  shall we?

A while back,  I think it was when we were living in the Netherlands,  I saw a brief piece on the Tube about this particular type of Water Closet that the Germans where all keen on.
Little did I know,  that the Austrians were of a like mind,  and that we would be blessed with a couple of these abominations when we moved here to Wienerland.

Now,  in case at some time in the future that link fails to produce results,  let me just snip a short quote from this rather lengthy description:

And I quote:

German toilets are quite extraordinary. Other European toilets - well, the ones that aren't merely holes in the floor - work much like their North American cousins. They are shaped a little differently, but the basic principle is the same: the excrement either lands directly in the water or it slides down a steep slope into the water, before being flushed away. Simple, effective and clean. See?

"Normal" toilet
Not so the German toilet. The excrement lands on a bone-dry horizontal shelf, mere inches beneath one's posterior. Repeated flushings are required to slide the ordure off the shelf into a small water-filled hole, from which it hopefully disappears. See?

(with credit to Scot Anderson for that).

Turns out much has been written on the subject.

Here's the thing,  the exhaust fan is your friend.   Really,  I could leave it at that.
I mean,  I made sure that we shipped a couple toilet brushes from the Netherlands,  so that we'd be prepared since,  one needs to clean the damned toilet every single time there's any hint of "the big one".
It doesn't even need to be "the big one".
It's going to lie there,  mocking you in a naked,  stinking "shittin' in the woods"  kind of way.

If I didn't know in the back of my mind that we'd be blowing  on out of here at some point in the future,  I'd seriously consider shipping over a couple proper "plopping"  toilets.

Well,  actually I could get them from the Netherlands.  We didn't have this problem there.

Now for the Tomato Paste.

Ever open one of those small tins of tomato paste,  but you don't need to use the whole thing?   Then you try putting it in the fridge,  where it gets forgotten and starts to become some sort of twisted science project?

The answer?  Simple.  Tomato Paste in a tube!


See?  Stupid little can on the left,  resealable tube on the right.   What more can I say?

I think tomorrow night just might have to be pasta night,  so I can try it out.

On edit,  I've been informed that we DO have tubes of the stuff in Canada.  I guess I've just never seen it,  as I rarely am called upon to do the grocery shopping over yonder.


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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.