Sunday, April 08, 2007

Here we go Ljubj loo

Weekend markets in full swing, mostly farm produce and flowers, with a sprinkling of ceramics and other wares. A couple of people were astonished that I had brought Bondi from Australia:
"Did you bring him with the sheep?".
"????... Oh you mean ship!"

Bondi sheltered from the sun. Over a lunchtime fish under an outdoor table by the river, while I talked to a couple of London-resident Danes enjoying a short break here. One of them had lived in Coogee for a period, which is where my parents were living when I was born, and the earliest beach photos of me come from there.

Memories of a long-ago Coogee.

Stari Trg (Old Square)

Ljubljana's old town centre is very compact and easy to get around. Local architect and urban planner Jože Plečnik essentially made the city layout a work of art. He also made major contributions to the streetscapes of Vienna and Prague.

South of the Three Bridges area the river is lined with cafes and restaurants, busy day and night. Well, not too late at night - cafes were starting to close down by 11pm on a Saturday night. It's all so civilized here, that one might think that a punchup in the street would be more likely between curia in the Città del Vaticano - and probably over who gets included in this year's Calendario Romano.

The shopping opportunities here are very good: the big high street names are mostly left to a new shopping mall outside of the old town. Instead there are some more interesting places like Piranske Soline. From the outside I wasn't sure what the store was for, and even after a minute inside I wasn't any the wiser and then I cracked and asked the manager. "Salt! From the Salina Nature Park" [in the southwest of Slovenia]....and many accessories. I bought some dark chocolate laced with salt flowers which was a delicious bittersweet combination.

I bought a little book of Slovene recipes, for when I finally get back into a house again and have time to slav over a hot stove. Clothing stores are quite good - all the men dress like metrosexuals or bears, depending on whether they came of age under Tito or Kylie.

Under the fountain, and behind the hill.

Enjd Bljton's Famous Fjve - where's Tjmmj?

I think that working as a translator or voice-over artiste in these small language markets must be a lucrative career. On a lazy evening I watched some Croatian television, one channel being subtitled episodes of Nip/Tuck, Cold Case etc. Other channels had US shows dubbed into Croatian, and I'm sure I caught an Australian Nescafe advertisment with dialogue in English and Croatian text. All of Europe is emblazoned with English text: commercial slogans and brand-names, sometimes more like manglish, as in the case of a coffee mug that I saw refer to "your childtime" rather than "childhood". TV in Croatia and Slovenia has a mix of domestic, English and German content, with the odd bit of French or Italian. So, the spoken English here tends to be superior to Italy or Spain where everything is dubbed and so people don't get a sense of the sound of the language except perhaps in sung form, since English-language pop/rock is ubiquitous. Evenso, on some Italian dancing and talent programs, most of the music was English-language songs but sung with the accents on the wrong words/syllables. This is almost like having watching out-of-sync dialogue in a movie.

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