Africa, America, Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Hungry and Thursday – the off-sales

It’s what I use my one walk a day for… to go to the offie,

No. that’s not a misprint… I’ve been isolating from the office for nigh on a year since branching out on my own.

You may know it in your country as the liquor store or the wine store.

I was relieved then to hear that the offie ranks along the chemist and the supermarket as one of the stores that can stay open during the Coronavirus crisis.

Ned in Glasgow and NZ

Now we each do things a little bit differently and, at its rawest, the Glasgow offie is a cultural touchpoint in itself.

Now unsurprisingly I never saw a bottle of this New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon, The Ned, in my offie when I was growing up.

It has gooseberry tastings don’t you know.

The drink du jour of The Glasgow Ned (the Non-Educated Delinquent) was, and still is, I dare say, Buckfast tonic wine.

Buckie is best drunk from out of the bottle and wrapped in brown paper while sitting on a park bench.

Not perhaps what the monks in the West Country of England had invented it for I should imagine.

The sight of a Ned. or Dublin gurrier, or whatever you call them in your country, swigging booze on a park bench might not be what you’d want to see…

When you’re pushing a pram.

Boston, full of beans

And I was reminded of how the good folk of Boston deal with that dilemma when I was watching the movie Ted 2 the other night.

Mark Wahlberg was drinking his can, which was wrapped in brown paper, with his Teddy bear on Boston Common.

And it took me back to the English guy who had attached himself to our group, Nick, on our post-University summer in Boston.

And didn’t know about the rule about drinking in public and the need to cover it in wrapping which he had some trouble in explaining to the cops.

‘OK to throw tea into the harbour and blame it on the Indians but God help you if you drink a can of beer without the brown paper covering it!’ Officer.

That Boston summer remains a glowing memory and Beantown came back on the radar yesterday when I was invited out for August, COVID-19 allowing.

With a tour of Fenway Park included and the chance to sit on the Boston Red Sox Green Wall. See https://www.boston.gov/visiting-boston and https://www.discovernewengland.org.

South African township

Of course while I say that every country’s off-sales is different my eyes were opened by the familiar grill bars at the South African shebeen.

In the Port Elizabeth New Brighton township in South Africa where we stopped off for a braai Day in the life of a township and https://www.southafrica.net/uk/en/.

And a braai is a barbecue and a shebeen what started out as an illegal Irish drinking den.

More high-brow perhaps is the Tenerife wine shop https://www.visitingtenerife.com on our walking trip with CanariaWays www.CanariaWays.com where we ordered Shakespeare wine…. A walk through the ages… Tenerife

Is that a Malmsey I see before me?

That’s the court wine Malmsey, or Malvasia, which the Bard references in his plays and is still sold there.

Me, I’ve finished off my Ned wine and have resorted to draining the schnapps miniatures in my globe drinks trolley.

From the schnapps shop in Ehrwald in Austria https://www.tyrol.com.

So whether it’s Prost, Failte, Salute, Na zdravi or just Cheers I’m looking you right in the eye and toasting our holiday providers… #DontCancelPostpone.

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Moanday Morning – Electioneering

Holidays are coming and so is electioneering. In fact where you are it may already be here.

All over Britain people are drawing curtains and turning down their televisions for fear of encouraging the doorsteppers.

Our time will come in Ireland in the New Year.

When election posters will go up on every available pole.

No electioneering here: In Tirol, Austria

It’s like being gatecrashed by the annoying people down the pub.

It’s not just that they have an opinion on everything and promise you the Earth with no intention of delivering.

Or eat into your time when you’re watching I’m A Celebrity.

But those damned posters are so distracting in your eyeline when you’re driving.

At Thiepval, Belgium where they honour my Great-Uncle

I’ve seen how they do it in other countries and although, of course, I’ve not been in the tinpot dictatorships of the world.

I’ve found other people do do it better.

For example in Ehrwald in Tirol in Austria https://www.tyrol.com.

Where they were holding a general election when we visited with https://topflightforschools.ie.

You wouldn’t have known it as nothing cluttered the pure white vista.

He’s out electioneering in New York

And Daniella, our Italian hotel host, seemed pretty non-plussed on Election Day when I’d asked who’d won.

In other European countries too they make sure politicians don’t become a blot on the landscape.

Like in Belgium where they make sure half of their government is French-Belgian and the other half Flemish.

They know from history that compromise is the only way to peace… A pilgrim’s prayer and https://www.visitflanders.com/en/?country=en_GB.

And the best vote is ME

You may have caught on that screen in the corner of your room that the Americans are ratcheting up their Presidential race.

But when we visited New York as a family back in November 2008 it was all low-key on the street.

Yes, you could get buttons (or pins as we like to call them).

And I recall wearing a We’re With The Duke button when I was working in Boston in 1988.

I can always be depended on to pick a loser.

Maybe not… In Jordan

Back to Obama and that election race and it being Halloween when we visited I was particularly taken by the Obama pumpkins.

While even better are the Trumpkins… New Yorkers https://www.nycvb.com can be guaranteed to give you your (not their) opinion too.

And have been since the days of Hamilton…

Vote this way

Of course for all our ennui with politicians and elections there are some countries for whim true democracy is still nascent.

Which our South African hosts shared tales of queueing from the early hours to vote Nelson Mandela in in the Nineties.

When I visited Port Elizabeth http://www.visiteasterncape.co.za and the Eastern Cape with https://www.southafrica.net/uk/en/.

I’m putting my cross next to the Monster Raving Looney Party.

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Spend a penny, drachma, dinar

There is a sign in an Irish bar to help the clientele find their way to the toilet… ‘men, left; women always right.’

And isn’t it just the case that whoever we are and wherever we are in the world that we all love toilet humour?

So then in the interests of research I have been gathering men’s and women’s toilet signs from around the world.

I’ll be scoring them… out of five.

I’ll show them this evidence too when I’m taken down to the police station and asked to explain my actions.

It’s all Greek to me

It’s a nod to the Ancient Greeks and might even be taken from doodles from early Homer.

You want to concentrate on these signs though with the ladies’ hair not coming all the way around the chin.

And here are some more thoughts on Greece http://www.athensattica.com/things-to-see/sightseeing/acropolishttps://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/holiday-snaps-postcard-from-kethyra-%f0%9f%87%ac%f0%9f%87%b7/

Or https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/sporting-weekend-fun-olympic-games/

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German sense of humour

The Germans are unfairly stereotyped for not having a sense of humour. Scheisse!

But in a region, Bavaria https://www.germany.travel/en/travel-information/federal-states/federal-state-bavaria.html which boasts a Wanktunnel I’d say they can do better…

And some thoughts on Bavaria… Germany leaves me gratified.

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Toilets from Amsterdam

When it’s Spring again, I’ll sing again Toilets from Amsterdam https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do.

Hat’s how they do it in this Middle Eastern restaurant from a converted mosque in De Pijp… Pictures of Amsterdam.

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Traditional Tirol

We’re jumping from foot to foot which means that we really want to go.

And that’s how the Austrians, and particularly the Tirolians https://www.tyrol.com, dress up their herrs and fraus.

For this and much more toilet humour try https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/01/austrian-toilet-humour/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/03/__trashed/

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Let’s Split

Sometimes it just needs to be what it says on the tin.

And here in the airport in Split, Croatia http://www.croatia.ie, in the Balkans, the crossroads where South-East Europe meets the Old Ottoman Empire it’s best to have androgynous signs. This ticks the boxes.

And here are some Balkan memories from Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/18/medgugorje-whats-your-story/.

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Mr and Miss Sarajevo

Or for political correctness you can always hedge your bets with a couple of symbols and the local language.

These guys and gals have smiles on their faces. I guess it translates to Thanks Armitage Shanks.

The historic capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina http://visit-bosniaherzegovina.com is fascinating and fabulous.

Go visit.., https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/21/sarajevo-the-scot-that-was-heard-around-the-world/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/24/sarajevo-revisited/

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