Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is what happens to nitwits

Waiting for the Dive Boat - Palau 2008.
Cate has been hanging out to find a Thai restaurant and Melissa and I saw one a few weeks ago when we got lost in the wilds of the 1st district. It is not easy to get lost in the Innere Stadt but I managed.

Melissa and I were saved by the maps on my iPhone which contain a navigation system that shows you where you are.

Anyway – we found something called the Eco der city-thai Restaurant and Cate and I tested it on Saturday night – not bad at all – and non smoking.

On Monday I had one of my shopping expeditions from hell. These are rarer than they used to be but still occur when I lose the plot completely – as I did today.

I usually buy meat at Radatz in the markets in Landstrasser-Hauptstrasse but they are a bit expensive and I had noticed a Fleischerei in Invalidenstrasse so thought I would give it a try.
I had initial success as they had my favourite meat for Gulaschesuppe – Mageres Meisel – for €7 per kilo – a lot less than either Spar or Radatz – so I bought 2 kilos.

Flushed with success I thought I would try to buy some Rump Steak and the whole business turned into a complete fiasco. The entire transaction was too gruesome to recount in detail but it will suffice to say that I finished up with 2 kilos of something – I know not what – that is certainly not Rump Steak – cut into large lumps. I very nearly ended up with 4 kilos.

Halfway through something that was clearly turning ugly I lost the ability to communicate in any language had had to stand their helplessly and watch a large lump of meat being carved up into slabs. I did manage to stop him before he also started carving up a second large lump of meat.

I just don’t know how such a simple transaction could go so badly off the rails – but I have had this sort of problem before when trying to buy 50 grams of Ham.

Inevitably the person serving starts to slice 500 grams and I have to shout ‘Ich hab 100 gram gemeint’ – looking like a complete Goose in the process because the person thinks I originally asked for 500 and now only want 100. I eventually learned from Rozalin that I should ask for ‘funf deka’ (for five decagrams).

It must be the way I say some things in German. Clearly something I said to the Fleischmeister set him off so I will have to be on guard next time.

On a happier note - the cats will be eating red meat this week instead of chicken and I am sure they will welcome the change.

I have plumbed new depths in accommodation booking. Attempting to book a hotel in Gallipoli, Turkey for our trip there in early December I managed to book a hotel in Gallipoli, Italy (yes apparently there are two).

This is a new low in the long and sordid history of my forays into accommodation booking.

I did – of course – make a booking on a non-refundable basis. I have sent begging emails but I am not confident that they will be prepared to refund money to someone who is clearly so stupid that they can’t book accommodation in the right country.

It would be nothing less than I deserve for being a nitwit.


  1. Phillip
    I always wanted to try that Butcher, after reading your account I am kinda glad I never got around to it. Thanks for the laughs!

  2. I still smile at the memory of the blog post in which you wanted a pepperoni pizza without the other crap and so (quite reasonably I thought) asked for a pizza with "nur pepperoni". When it came it was just a cheese and tomato pizza with nothing else on, and certainly no Pepperoni. I sometimes lie awake at night wondering what the waiter thought you had said. Maybe he misheard "nur" as "no"?

  3. I think it was my fault Trina - not the Fleischmeister.

    I also still lie awake and worry about the Pizza conversation. I know I can never use 'nur' at Pizzeria Grado again.

  4. Actually I think the answer is to put the "nur" at the end of the sentence, as in "Pepperoni nur". Try that next time and see what you get.

  5. Are you sure that you did not buy horse meat? ;-)

    I'm afraid that asking for 5 Deka (you can save yourself the "gramm") exposes you immediately as a foreigner. Buying 10 Deka (zehn Deka, bitte!) brings you that much closer to being taken for a Einheimischer.

    I'd love to call the people in Gallipoli (the Italian one, I don't speak turkisch). It's ridiculous that they should not give you a refund. Send me a mail with the info and I am on the phone!

  6. Horse Meat! That must be what it is - the cats are not really keen about it at all but have grudgingly eaten it.

    I may call on your services. I booked through and they won't answer any emails - so if we get to the stage where they pay the money to the hotel I will give you the details.

  7. Just drop me a mail.
    I love taking Italians apart. ;-)
    I suppose you paid your deposit by credit card.
    They usually are pretty good in recouping money where it's not due.
    That booking company looks pretty abusive.