Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lost in Translation

I've had several lost in translation moments today.

First, I was woken up by the sound of classical players. I open my door to find an entire string section playing various traditional Russian music. This was a bit unexpected.

I asked one of the English speaking staff what this was about and she explained they were the entertainment for the Sunday brunch at the hotel. Brunch sounded enticing so I went to check it out.

Upon arriving at the restaurant I was informed that as a hotel guest I would be given a special price for brunch - only 3,500 rubles - or about $140. Those better be some fan-fucking-tastic eggs.

My common sense told me that I'd probably be fired if I attempted to expense what was essentially a $140 omelet so I decided to walk over to the Aeroflot office to change my flight back to NY to an earlier day. Unfortunately, no one in the office spoke English. The helpful woman at the counter told me the only words she knew in English - "I love you". This was not so helpful given the current situation.

Using a series of pantomime, as well as some rapid fire pointing at a calendar I got the idea across, and in the end managed to change my flight.

I've also continued my streak of great timing - as I managed to catch the tail end of this. Very sad.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Party Fowl

So I've had the privlidge of spending the last few days at a 12th century Irish castle for a work function. They've transformed the castle into a five star hotel and resort which just about every important person seems to have stayed at (including our esteemed president).

Like most high end hotels this one has a high end restaurant.
I don't know why "high end" always means exotic meats - but over the span of two meals I was served ostrich and PIGEON FOIE GRAS. Yes, Pigeon filet plus what I think was a paste made out of pigeon liver.

Now, if you know anything about me you know that I am a bit picky as to what kind of meats (or even what cuts of meats) I eat. Needless to say I was not feeling the birds.

The ostrich was actually ok - if I hadn't known I would think I was eating beef. Pigeon on the other hand was this grey looking thing that was extremely tough and left a nasty aftertaste.

Oh well .. better luck in Moscow

And in a related story....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

reflections on Ireland

So I decided that since I'd be going to Ireland for a conference it would be a good idea to spend some extra time in Dublin - since I very rarely (ok, never) find myself in this country.

It's been an interesting experience so far.
It's very hard to find healthy food here (not surprising) or a full service gym (again, not surprising) and I have yet to see the rumored warmth of the Irish people (surprising).

What have I seen? Drunks. Lots of them. On the street, in the hotel, at 10pm, at 10am - in the park, on stilts, dressed as cows on the toilet (really!) -- basically everywhere.

pics to follow.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The definition of wrong - link edition

This simultaneously made me laugh and throw up in my mouth at the same time.

Thanks Frank

Frank's Shitty Day

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Vagina Power