Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cultural Weekend. The Return.

We're back in Holland after a very enjoyable weekend in the land of Goethe. Goethe himself had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of our staying, but our dear friends surely had. They made everything humanly possible for the three of us to feel at home. And they had to put up a lot with, cause we are very troublesome guests, extremely posh when it comes to culture, as I already explained before. But no matter how hard we tried to be annoying and to catch them out, all our attempts proved to be to no avail, as they got over that in the most elegant manner. A big kiss and many thanks for that!

Surely, there is a drawback for such great hospitality, namely the five-kilo-surplus we had to carry back home, but these are details.

As for the lecture, it went quite well. We were pretty tired the first night, so we skipped the seminars in the local library. And so did we the following night. We went for the old fashion self-learning style and we managed more than decently.

The books we read.
Some of the books were written in several volumes and, no matter how hard I tried, I had to take some self studying at home.

We had some extra-curricular activities as well, mostly visiting a piece of Germany, which we could summarise in very few words as "what a great country". I don't know how it is to live there, but as a tourist in Germany I always had a feeling of cosy tidiness: very neat, but still comfortably liveable, without the compelling need to take your shoes off.

And the Germans behave accordingly. They might not be the greatest stand-up comedians, but they have a flawless logic that guide them through life. However, this time I found two cracks in their logic, which took me somehow by surprise.

The first one is visible in this picture:

You got it, too, right? If not, let me give you a hint. There is nothing wrong with the cathedral. It's the people manifesting with the big banners on the street. I was very proud of myself to be able to read them (again, Dutch and Deutch are so alike). They were some plant-haters, who wrote on those bed sheets something like "Meat is a piece of a dead animal and the animals want to live". I do not want to argue with their belief, as I truly respect it. I can't help noticing though that people on the street don't seem to be bothered at all. And you know why? Because next to them it was a bradwursterie that sold 278 kinds of sausages, right on the street. The fragrance would have made you lose any religion, had you had one before entering that street. So, even the Germans could sharpen up their logic a bit.

The second think that puzzled me I encountered on one of streets full of small shops. One of those shops had quite a few bookmarks for sale, in different shapes and colours. Alas, I didn't capture any picture from them, but they looked like these ones:

What I really don't understand, not even a bit: what's their purpose? Who's the reader with the minimum amount of self esteem to use them?

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