Archive for June, 2007

Italy, week TRE

This will be a rather short post. Just arrived home from Bologna. Rented a car for the weekend. Just before that I made fun of the Italian police cars, very often tiny little Fiat Puntos (to be fair, they also have Ferraris as police cars). And then I got a Punto myself and the Italian colleague said: “See, God exists!” Anyway its cheap and has AC, and I never was able to cross the limit of 120 km/h due to traffic jam. After 3 hours we arrived in Bologna (40 minutes on the way back). This time without nitric acid and hence much more time and freedom (I promised a story in the previous post, but there is none, it was just the idea that it could be thrilling, however it was really a very boring trip straight to the university and back with both hands and eyes on my back so that no one accidently shakes the nitric acid containing box. It was needed to etch some stainless steel to get a needle shaped wire, which will hopefully serve as a hot-wire prongs, but enough about that; back to Italy). We went to Nutelleria, a restautant serving only stuff with Nutella, even Pizza ­čÖé (It is amazing what kind of Nutella and KinderSchokolade stuff they have in Italy compared to Germay or Sweden!) Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as expected. I guess there is a limit with things you can do with sweets, at some point it doesn’t make sense anymore, like my experience with sweets and bred.


Although I thought there was only one leaning tower (of Pisa) in Italy, I was happy to see another in Bologna. I am not sure, but the closer you come the more leaned it looks. On the other hand if you apply that measure on other buildings in Bologna they all look like tilted.


There is more to come for week three, but this is enough for today. 12 hours out with our son on the highways and Bologna and many rest stops where we changed diapers in front of the cars and old ladies came to speak to him are enough. You can’t just go away, you have to wait until every lady had spoken to him.


Fa freddo!

Today was a cold day. That is at least what they, the Italians, told us. We went out for a walk and it was really nice: just 25 instead of 35 degrees Celsius. On the way to the big, or better: the only, shopping mall, we passed a crowd of old ladies. Before reaching them they started to stare at us and speaking laudly about – I assume – us. In front of them I stopped, because I think they spoke to me. I, as usual, when Italian old ladies speak to me, which happens quite often if I have my son with me, said that I do not understand Italian. They repeated “fa freddo” several times. My wife, who spend some more hours in learning Italian translated “it is cold”. They pointed at our son, who had just short clothes on, and repeated. 25 degrees Celsius and it is cold?! We also saw people with jackets! People in Stockholm are almost naked if the thermometer shows 20 degrees Celsius. And sometime it just has to be Saturday night and you have to sit in the subway! But here people are freezing!

Few days ago it was 35 degrees and others said “fa caldo”, which I thought means “it is cold”, but actually it means “it is hot”. Lots of confusion these days, especially when old ladies stop me on my way to the gelateria and start speaking to me, pointing at my son and looking at my empty face, which after some seconds says: “Parla inglese?” No English, at least in Forli city, but luckily they repeat the important words in Italian until I understand: Bambini, bellisimo and so on. I have to say, well done daddy! As long as I have my son with me, I am the King of the old ladies in Forli! Except one person, I do not know him, but he always knocks on our wall when our son cries. He doesn’t seem to like the King :(. He should be happy, because otherwise there is not much going on in our street, except barking dogs and Italian music at nights and of course buzzing mosquitoes.

Next: The story of me with 65 % concentration nitric acid in the streets of Bologna and the train to Forli.

Fr├╝h ├╝bt sich …

… wer ein Meister werden will. (German saying with the approximate meaning of “Who so learns young, forgets not when he is old.”) Some month ago I posted a video clip showing the Italian football team exercising in diving for the world cup. Actually today I found that most of the players were already exercising since they were born. But see for yourself:

PS: But I have to admit that Italians at least win from time to time, whereas Germans are bad loosers, but so are Turks as well.

Childhood memories and bad taste

Cesena is quite similar to Forli, just a little bit smaller and maybe even nicer, but that might be an illusion, due to the fact that we have almost seen everything in Forli and Cesena has just got our first visit. One thing, however, was odd. Add some booth (actually “only” two) of the city festival I saw framed pictures of Mussolini. Until quite recently I had the impression that he would have a status similar to Hitler in Germany, i. e. the incarnation of evil or something related to that. However, after seeing some pictures of him at some normal festivals, and hearing that he has a mausoleum together with his family members scratches this picture in my mind.



Pictures of an other Italian, however, were more easily found, namely those of Bud Spencer. He, together with Terence Hill, were the most known (among others, e.g. Bruce Lee and of course Pippi) to my generation in the age around 10-14 as far as I remember. Later we moved on to movies of Adriano Celantano, another famous Italian actor, which surprises Italians, because he doesn’t seem to be so known for a non-Italian audience. However, Germans are known for their strange taste, who else would listen to Heino (one of his most listened songs among older Germans or my parents in law is this one here)?


Size matters …

… at least in Italy. That is my first impression after two weeks. Today we went to Cesena both to see the city and to eat some piadina (without lard, which is hard to find). Luckily they had a festival, so I was able to catch two extremes as well. Nutella in 5kg bottles and huge bread hard to carry by a person.


Italy, week DUE

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to find any Italian language courses in Forli for the summer. I am not so much concerned about that. I know how to get icecream and at the university my English is sufficient. We are still unsure what we are going to do over the weekend, but we are not renting a car this weekend, thats for sure. So it will be one of the following activities: Bologna with train, Predappio (where Mussolini is buried; I even didn’t know they had a mausoleum for him; recently also known among Turbulence researcher – at least those who are involved – for the new long pipe experiment) by bus, and Cesena by bus as well. We are not sure how much we can accomplish, it all depends on our son, who has a new hobby: screaming and carping (n├Ârgeln?) like hell, not crying. Anyway, to make live more livable I bought a ventilator, a USB TV card for my laptop and a all-you-can-eat -icecream-card. The latter is of course only true in my dreams, so I still try to restrict my icecream consume. But I have to say it is really not easy to eat lots of icecream, because it is soo hot, that a not negligible amount of it will always land on your clothes. And for those who are planing to visit Italy. If you don’t have a baby, make or borrow one. It will help you a lot here if you don’t speak Italian :). It would be even better if you bring your mother with you, so that you can let her do the dirty work, like looking after the baby when not needed for your own advantages. Beeing in Italy has one disadvantage, we have no holiday today, whereas Sweden celebrates its Midsummar (we all know how that is going NOT to be celebrated).

100 m from the runway

Working at the Aerodynamic laboratory in Forli is quite different than in Stockholm. One reason is that the laboratory is placed inside the airport of Forli. Actually I hear and feel some of the takeoffs and after some while one gets used to it, whereas during the first days it was quite exciting. Beeing so close to the airport coins the work in the laboratory as well as can be seen from the pictures below.




June 2007
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