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Monday, July 18, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 3, Part 5 - Strasbourg

"Like the Germans, the Dutch fall into two quite distinct physical types: the small, corpulent, red-faced Edams, and the thinner, paler, larger Goudas." - Alan Coren

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 3 - 19th March - Strasbourg
(Part 5)

Taking an alternate route back to my hostel, I ran aross "Little Tokyo".

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Retro games at Little Tokyo
They also had Star Wars and other figures. I'm guessing that just Japanese stuff woldn't have paid the bills, especially since they didn't sell Tenga Cups or stuff like that.

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Little Tokyo on the street

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I tried Schweppes Agrum. It was citrus flavour, and a little bitter.

After slacking (napping) in the room for a while I left again at night for a €15 concert.

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"At the start, God created the rail and the tram. If all the trams in the world wanted to join hands, it would be nothing - it would be a tram which drowned" (?)
Much ado about trams

At the Place Kleiber, people were celebrating the Kurdish New Year.


Kurdish New Year celebrations

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Sad future of education. I'm wagering this was linked to the demonstration earlier in the day.
This listed how budget cuts would affect educatio

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Coffin for "L'école juste" ("Just school")

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"Ici se rassemblaient autrefois les hardes de cerfs de la Forêt Noire à l'époque des amours"
("Here the deer herds of the Black Forest assembled in the time of love" [?])
Sign for Grand Rue

Before the concert (at St Thomas Church) I had a Red Bull for energy (there were other brands of energy drinks but I stuck to Red Bull). Also because of my nap I didn't fall asleep despite my long day.

There was an Alsatian restaurant near the church which closed at 9:50pm (Winstub aux deux gourmandes). The concert was to end at 10pm, so I decided to leave earlier if I was hungry. Luckily I'd chosen to depart the next morning, or I wouldn't have been able to attend the concert.

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"Passion Cantatas - Easter
Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4, Himmelskönig, sei willkommen BWV 182"
I think I passed by the church earlier and took some pictures of the side

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Biographies and Program

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"Musiques de la Passion, Passion de la Musique"
("Music of the Passion, Passion of the Music")
This was an advertisement for Bach's St John's passion


End of instrumental introduction to Cantata 182, start of second movement

I really liked the Flûte à bec (Recorder)

The stone of the church was too echoy for multiple voices. Hard acoustics are okay for instruments and solo voice.


Start of alto aria (or lament, rather). Heinrich Bach: Ach, dass ich Wassers gnug which ended on a hanging note
Google credits this to JC Bach instead

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About the church of St Thomas

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Mauritio Saxoni heroic monument

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Concert crowd

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Tomb with skeleton

After the interval I changed my seat, and chose one at the side of the church so it would be easier to leave. However most of my view was blocked. However it was also the best seat in the church as the pew was just on on top of a heating duct. It was very shiok. Though it was near the door so there wa a draft.

When the organ piece was on, I couldn't see the organist. I tried to solve the mystery of where he was sitting. I couldn't see him at the controls where he played during the ensemble pieces. Everyone was looking straight, but I saw nothing even when going to the back of the church and peeking. I didn't see any telltale shadows moving either.

I then left for dinner. Just as the church door closed, the chorale ended.

While ordering dinner the waitress switched to English because I was confused about "salade de pommes de terre chaude". Apparently potato salad translates directly. She then explained some other item and I exclaimed "haxe" ([pork] knuckle) and ordered it.

Waedele braisé sur salade de pommes de terre (apparently the same thing) and choucroute were my other options but they didn't sound as good.

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Apéritif maison - crémat (like champagne) with crème mandarine, and jambonneau braisé au munster (braised pork knuckle)
Actually I'd have preferred a roasted (i.e. crackling one) but somehow "braisé" didn't register. No matter, it was still good though a bit bland (but not as bland as choucroute). I could taste the mustard in the potato salad and the pork knuckle.

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Armée du Salut = Salvation Army

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"No placement of bicycles"
Discrimination!

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Apparently someone dragged a dog under a car and killed it so a protest was called

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River View

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Pont de Paris / Nussbaumbruck
Again the name didn't translate - understandably (given Franco-German animosity)
Assuming the French name came first, the Germans should have called this bridge Berlin Bridge out of spite

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Palais de Justice

I felt quite happy after a night of good music and good food (the alcohol couldn't have hurt), taking a nice walk in a peaceful and quiet city - and no one had tried to swindle me all day (unlike in China). Also it wasn't too cold. This was the life!

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Some building across the river opposite Palais de Justice, at Pont de la Fonderie


I was informed that it was both Alsatian and African culture to eat a lot. At lunch I already asked for less and still got a lot.

I was suspecting that I was a victim of racial profiling. In my hostel room I had slept with a Japanese, a Taiwanese and a Hong Konger. I almost thought it was the Asian room, except that the first night had a French guy and on the last morning I found a white guy in one bed.

The Hong Konger came in on the 8+pm train (originally it was scheduled for 5+pm) and was leaving at 10+am. I don't know what these guys were thinking.
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