Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Innsbruck - the Brook of the River Inn

The following is a creative piece I wrote in Innsbruck... which doesn't do heaps for you as a foodie (but if you go there, I can highly recommend a restaurant called "the Piano" in the old town, with thanks to local guide Ben, from the Gold Coast); however it might give you a glimpse into this University city snuggled among the Austrian Alps.

Die Silberne Frau

I sat drinking a black coffee; an Americano, if you can believe it. Hot, not too strong, with crema floating on the top. I was having my coffee with a “nusschaker”, or some crap. When I’d pointed it out, the woman inside had warned:

“Oh, that’s nuts.”

“That’s OK, so am I."

From memory she even offered me the “special price, because you’re so nice! Actually, no, we have a combined price for a coffee and a sweet.”

That’s what the woman at the petrol station had called me when I bought an ice cream on a hundred plus degree day, for Chrissakes; “Are you a sweetie?” she’d asked me, kind of mockingly and flirting at the same time. “You are, you are a sweetie!”

Shows what she knows.

I was sitting in the old town, cooling my heels and surrounded by oriental people toting selfie-sticks, young Spanish girls with maps looking like they could use a hand – any hand, and ageing retirees who’d wander past and fart through their wet incontinence pads as they passed by me for their hard earned break after their thirty metre pilgrimage to see “the golden roof”, as installed at the new court of Frederick the empty pocketed one just down the block.
Across the cobbled lane from where I sat drinking my coffee worked a mime busker. He was dressed in a tri pointed hat, an old Amadeus era costume with a ruff, three quarter length knicker bocker breeches, and a white painted face. He was a master of his craft, constantly smiling, giving the thumbs up to passers by, waving and –when ignored – making kissing noises or half wolf whistles to attract attention. He plied most of his attention on women and young girls, posing with them in embraces and frozen kisses.

Another living statue arrived, this one a girl with a silver painted face, pulling a trolley and being followed by a small scrap of a dog. The tri-point broke character for her, pulling out a cigarette packet and offering her one; two professionals who shared the spot.

As her small yellow dog with no collar sniffed for scraps of food around the tables, they spoke seriously. She spent nearly the whole time looking at her phone, avoiding eye contact, speaking of serious matters; he was no longer smiling, grim. Perhaps someone they both knew, another location closed to them, a new council by-law or one of their friends being rolled for their money.

The smoke finished, Tri-point wandered off with his suitcase on wheels, clutching his wooden bowl, ceding the location to the silver woman. As she dressed she was swarmed by fascinated and overweight tourists. She’d arrived in a grey slip, her face already painted, before pulling on a broad-brimmed and floppy painted hat, with a built in silver spray painted curly wig.

I guess there really was a little girl, with a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.

More tourists arrived, muscling me out of my coffee spot, my nusscracher and Americano now gone. It was time for me to disappear too. Like the mime in his tri-pointed hat, but instead of a silbern frau, I was moved on by four human hippos, posing for each other with scroll buns over their eyes – like zany goggles – for photographs.