Saturday, July 23, 2016

Citroen DS in Mazzy Star's Fade Into You video

A few days ago, I met the owner of a Berkeley recording studio. I went on their website and saw that the '90s alt rock band Mazzy Star once recorded there. I remember having their CD in the mid-'90s but don't remember ever watching the video of Fade Into You, their most popular song. Here's the video, and it's got a DS in it!

Soviet supermarket just before collapse

Via Ripituc.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Uneventful Friday

I went to my 53rd global restaurant today for lunch-- an Indian-Fijian place in Hayward. Unfortunately, it was closed. Apparently, the one-woman team went on vacation, probably to Fiji.

And on the way back, I spotted this Mark 1 Integra 5-door and Porsche 911.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gibraltar documentary

This is worth watching on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I had always assumed that people from Gibraltar were all Englishmen who despised Spain. I had no idea they have their own language that is a mix of Spanish, English, ancient Jewish, Genoese, Moroccan, etc.

The first third of the doc is about the language, then it discusses the history of the territory, and the end talks about its people's desire to be autonomous.

Finally, the documentary had me looking up a list of the world's remaining colonies and free associations. Neat!

Need help with Belgium GP tickets


I just got the nod to go to Belgium, but all the good seats have been sold out. Only General Admission tickets are left. My options:
1. Buy tickets from a reseller, but from where?
2. Buy GA tickets for now, and hope that I'll bump into a scalper once I get to Belgium.
3. Wait until 2017 and plan better.

If I do go, I'll be flying into Dusseldorf and taking the train or bus to Spa. Any suggestions for hotels?

Chaos at CNN Turk

1. What the hell happened Friday night in Turkey? I still can't believe there was an attempted coup.
2. I feel really bad for the low-level soldiers who were just taking orders from above.
3. I'm definitely not a fan of military coups, but I was kind of rooting for them to succeed. I don't pretend to be an expert on Turkish politics or history, but Erdogan was becoming more and more autocratic.

Eating the Globe: Samoa

Awful. Just awful.

My friend Ali and I were looking forward to this place, which had ten 5-star reviews on Yelp. Promising, right?

As soon as we walked in, we knew we were in trouble. The lights were off and the restaurant looked like an unfinished residential kitchen. There were two tables for customers. One was un-useable because it was stacked with 25 pound sacks of flour. The other one was taken up by a big man playing with his phone. I assumed he was a friend of the owner's and just hanging out.

Up front, from left to right, there's a steam table, a postage scale, a cash register that didn't work, and a giant rice cooker. The steam table was half empty. Most of the items on the chalkboard menu were not available. Ali, being a vegetarian, took one glance at the options and told me he's going to the burrito shop next door.

I chose the pork ribs and the corned beef. The owner put it on the scale and charged me $4.00. It's 12:20pm, but the rice was not ready. I'd have to wait.

It was during this 25 minute wait for my rice that I realized the big man sitting at the table was a customer and had been waiting even longer than me. After he left, and after I got my rice, I sat down to try the food. The corned beef might have been the saltiest thing I have ever tasted in my life. And yet the cabbage was mysteriously bland. The ribs were all bone. The sauce was sweet and spicy, but couldn't make up for the overall awful experience. Just awful.

In retrospect, this was a great experience. Eating food from around the world doesn't just mean eating the food, it's absorbing the culture and observing the people. If this experience was representative of how Samoans work and conduct business, then I've definitely learned something valuable.

Next week, I'm going to try Fijian food! Better luck next time.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa

Asia: Afghanistan, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Yemen

Europe: Bosnia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, USA

South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

Oceania: Samoa, Tonga

The moment Saddam came to power, captured on video

It's extraordinary. Who knew that this petty dictator was the glue that held EVERYTHING in the region together?

Skip to the 1:00 mark.