Wednesday, 17 August 2011

On cheese, curry, tourists and film

I let my Twitter followers dictate my next few blog topics. First up, tackling @Nickehbee's many questions:

What's your favourite type of cheese?

This question is vague - does type refer to style of a cheese (i.e. soft, blue, mature, etc) or a specific named brand (Cheddar, Gruyere, etc)? It is also hard to answer - asking me to choose between cheeses is like asking a mother to choose between her children.

Stylistically, my preferences lay with soft cheeses with garlic and/or herbs. Le Roulle, Boursin, anything you can eat on a toasted bagel (although realistically, I will end up eating it with my fingers, directly out of the tub). However if choosing a specific cheese, it would be between Mozzarella and Halloumi. Mozzarella reminds me of Bologna (and Spain, oddly enough) and the Italian (the first Italian, not the second) and is delicious whether fried (I only recently discovered fried cheese. I can't believe my arteries have remained unfurred for so long) or fresh. Halloumi is not so delicious when not grilled or fried, but is so very versatile, and my Halloumi and Chorizo wrap lunch from the Greek place at Glasto made me feel worldly and sophisticated.

Where's the best place to get curry?

Curry mile in Birmingham, obviously. I went to the first one on the row, closest to the entrance to uni once (come on, there is NO point after the first three. Students don't walk a mile in search of curry when they could walk 5 feet). It was the weirdest thing ever. My chicken Korma was almost pure sugar. I wasn't keen at the time, but I had the left over sauce, cold, with naan bread for breakfast the next morning and it was like coconut ice cream. AWESOME.

Most irritating tourist you've encountered so far?

Oh, easy, although it was a group of tourists rather than one. This has happened quite a lot, but one group were stand out. Four stops into the red tour is the stop for the blue tour, with recorded commentary in a variety of languages. So you get a few people per tour on the bus for the first four stops who clearly neither know what you're saying, nor care. This is fine. What they should do is sit quietly downstairs for four stops, but they don't, they sit on the top deck, usually right at the front, and talk loudly. You know, at the same time as me. The absolute WORST lot was a massive group of Spanish people last week, who colonised the entire front of the bus and talked loudly through all my initial commentary. When I started shouting - partially to make a point, partially because people at the back were motioning that they couldn't hear - they seemed to view this as a challenge to their authority and started shouting over me. And sighing and shooting me glances that would imply they felt *I* was rude for interrupting their conversation. Fucking unbelievable.

Also got a group of teenage girls who stayed on for ten stops and spent the entire time on their mobiles. They were the only people on the bus. It's so frustrating when there's literally no point in you speaking, but you have to carry on. I'll never get people who seem to use the tour bus just as a method of transport, with no regard for the commentary. It costs €27! A taxi would be cheaper!

Also group of French tourists at a stop, wanting to buy tickets. Quite apart from the fact that I'm not sales staff and it wasn't my problem anyway, they were getting REALLY angry at me for not being able to speak French. WTF?! When I work in France and don't bother to learn a few token words of the language, get pissed off with me, but are you seriously going to get arsey with me for not happening to be fluent in your particular language when you're in MY country?! Also got a family of German who thought I couldn't understand them slagging me off.

Really, I just fucking hate tourists.

Worst film you've ever seen and why?

I saw a film at the cinema once, and I can't remember what it was called, or what it was about. All I remember is that it starred George Clooney, and there was a scene where he wallked through his house in the twilight. That is literally it. There have been lots of films I have hated, but I think the fact I can remember a single thing about them implies they were a hell of a lot more interesting than whatever the fuck it was I saw that day. Although The Singing Detective remake was pretty fucking horrific.

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