Posted by: Chris | March 28, 2010

Due bellissimi cappuccini

Oh my. Talk about confusion!

It’s probably been the longest breakfast session my dear Veronika and I ever had – and we didn’t even notice! Well, actually, this was foreseeable, considering it was

  1. the two of us meeting (somewhat adorable confusion, doubled),

  2. the two of us meeting on a Sunday morning (= end of the week, that’s when both our confusion tends to reach its highest peak), and

  3. the two of us meeting on a Sunday morning, which happened to be the first day after the time change (even though Vron had reminded me of that yesterday night so that we could both brace ourselves for the inevitable “jet lag” to come).

However, we both didn’t expect three and a half hours to fly by so quickly!! And the Maître D’ was kinda sweet too, calling the food and the cappuccini he brought us ‘beautiful’ – in an adorable Italian accent. Lovin’ that joint! :)

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Posted by: Chris | March 28, 2010

Protected: 20100328

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Posted by: Chris | March 27, 2010

On behavioral patterns of English ants

Took my TOEFL test today. (What a coincidence that ‘toefl’ sounds pretty close to the German word ‘Teufel’, which means devil.) 

I bought this thick volume of IBT (internet based test) a few weeks in advance and had sworn to work it through until the day of my actual test. As a matter of fact, I only got to complete only approximately the half of it; not because the exercises were too difficult but simply because I had been a bit more preoccupied with reading, listening to the news on TV and online as well as blogging and working on my screenplay (I have switched to writing solely in English since I took my last and final archaeology exam).

The test consisted of four sections (reading, listening, speaking and writing) and had to be dealt within four hours. I was presented a number of academic texts and excerpts of lectures and had to either answer some multiple choice questions, summarize the main facts or give my own opinion about them.

All in all, I didn’t find the test particularly difficult at all, but the time issue bothered me a little. Usually, at the university, I’m one of the first to hand in my test (after proofreading, that is), deliberately discarding the remaining time. That’s not to say that my exams in archaeology are easy,  on the contrary. However, at this English proficiency test, though I was working very fast, I had not even a minute left to revise my answers before I got confronted with the next question.

However, I was lucky to get excerpts from at least some topics I was well familiar with, them being the works of the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (I won two musical contests playing his Romanian folk dances on the piano a couple of years ago), the use of the mise-en-scène in Hollywood films of the 1950s (film studies = my first major), the decipherment process of the Rosetta Stone (archaeology = my second major, lol!), the finding and identification of some peculiar clay vessels which resembled 2.200 years old ritualistic scroll cylinders found in Seleucia (archaeology again, lol!) and the play patterns of dog/wolf pups (I’m afraid my granny’s boxer will never grow up), Romanticism art (the art major at school did pay off in at least some way) … to name a few.

In the end, it went okay and I think I should fulfill the requirements needed for my future plans. They said I could grab my results online in about 2-3 weeks.

Posted by: Chris | March 26, 2010

Protected: A little sip of sanity, anyone? Part II

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Posted by: Chris | March 26, 2010

Protected: A little sip of sanity, anyone? Part I

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Posted by: Chris | March 25, 2010

Protected: Aztec ruins? Aztec ruins!

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Posted by: Chris | March 24, 2010

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Posted by: Chris | March 23, 2010

Wostok

Finally, the Russian coke imitation ‘Wostok’ has reached the German market.

Sounds like I had been waiting for that, right?

In our today’s local news program we had a segment about a lemonade drink which had been popular in Soviet times, but, in  fact, had more or less disappeared from the Russian market since the fall of the Berlin wall and the associated tentative attempts to establish some import/export business. The drink, ‘Wostok’, however, introduced as a coke imitation, tasted more like a non-alcoholic, spicy kvas than something even remotely close to coke. I don’t even recall when I last had a Russian lemonade; it really must have been ages for that matter. This new stuff tasted oddly familiar though. It tasted like home, in a detached, nostalgic way. :)

However, in the editorial, there wasn’t even one person beside me who thought it was even vaguely drinkable. Our moderator even thought it tasted like cough syrup or bubbly bathe oil! :)

What a sensitive palates Germans must have, haha! What’s wrong with a little black tea, spruce oil and cardamon? – According to the manufacturer, those are the main ingredients. I wonder if they brought ‘Wostok’ back to Russia, too. The next time I’m Moscow, I will definitely be looking out for it.

 

Posted by: Chris | March 23, 2010

Protected: On panthers and backpackers

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Posted by: Chris | March 22, 2010

NPR vs. Photoshop

Right now, I should be reading, analyzing, summarizing and do whatever one can do with academical texts. Today, it’s six days till my TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and I’m so fed up studying for it.

Instead, I launched the National Press Radio live stream and turned my attention to the gigs of photos on my external hard drive in search for something I could possibly upload to my deviantART page.

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