Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Skiing by Color

In Austria, ski slopes are given a color designation to indicate level of difficulty. This is my interpretation:
Black: Certain Death
Red: Probable Death
Blue: Ok (unless it gets too steep, then it means: Likely Death)
Kindlift: Death Unlikely (unless you run over a child)

What makes skiing in Austria so interesting is that these different colors overlap frequently. So you may think you’re skiing on a nice gentle blue slope when suddenly it overlaps a red slope and you are facing your mortality at 1800 meters (something like 5000 feet for all us Americans). Then you will see literal toddlers blow by you with perfect form and no fear. That’s how you know it’s time for a beer.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Thanksgiving in Innsbruck, or Day Drinking on a Thursday in November

Unfortunately for us, Thanksgiving is solely an American holiday. This means that while the entire country of Austria shuts down for every single Catholic holiday you’ve ever heard of (and I bet many you haven’t) during real American-made holidays (that more than just the Catholic portion of the country can celebrate), like Thanksgiving, there is no indication that one of the best days of the year is passing. As such, Dr Husband had to work. I was sort-of-kind-of ok with that because I don’t have a job so instead of simply being funemployed I could pretend to instead have the day off in observance of Turkey Day. It is also socially acceptable (and encouraged) for me to spend the day drinking, cooking, and overeating, which happen to be three of my favorite things.
              In preparation for our first Thanksgiving abroad, Dr Husband and I decided on a menu of foods which fit into two basic categories: A) foods we’d like to eat, and B) foods we knew we could make with available ingredients. Notice there is no “traditional” Thanksgiving foods category. This is because at that point in time we had realized any attempt to recreate a favorite American dish would end in bitter and bland disappointment. Our menu was as follows: cheese and bread plate, vegetable (pumpkin, carrot, potato, onion, and spices) soup (blended with immersion blender), baked mac n’ cheese (which came out amazing), white mashed potatoes, ham, brown gravy, sautéed carrots, some dessert thing I found at the Interspar, and –of course- plenty of beer and wine. Dr Husband managed to stream the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade so it felt like the real deal, and our food was delicious.

              I only cried a little bit.