Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tram Mastery and the Cajun HolyButt

My trip abroad earlier this month was largely contained inside conference rooms, but one of my colleagues (KM) and I did manage to get out the last evening and stroll around the city.

Figuring out the automated ticket dispensers for public transportation was a challenge because many of them only allowed you to “refill” a permanent pass with additional rides, and the lower-tech machines that accepted cash didn’t have any English on them. KM fed the words in the signs into his iPhone translator while I tried to piece together a story from the numbers. One option had a “24” in the text to it, which I guessed was for 24 hours. Another option had a “7” in it, which must be a week-long pass. Therefore, the two other options, one with a picture of a person and the other labeled with a smaller person must be the single trip passes, one for adults and one for children. We fed a lot of cash into the machine and pressed the button for the larger person. Tickets!

Shortly after, the right tram came zipping up, and a kindly passenger stopped me from trying to insert my ticket into the transfer pass dispenser and pointed out the ticket stamper. After a long stroll past gracious old buildings and racks of city rental bicycles, we stopped for dinner.

Of all the cuisines in the world, two Americans in Scandinavia walked into what turned out to be a sort of retro 50’s diner. We’d been eating local seafood specialties all week anyway, so seeing a menu offering Smokey Alabama Baby Back Ribs and Cajun HolyButt, of all things, seemed plenty amusing. And even funnier, the waiter came out to say that they “had not received their shipment of meat that day,” so there would be no hamburgers.

After a meal and a chat to absorb the week with a new business team, we turned back to walk towards the Palace, KM to his hotel and me to mine, where I started packing bags for the trip home. Home!


Bob said...

It's great that the numbers are the same in most languages.
Picture always helps-great interpretations.

mayberry said...

I guess no cajun butt-burgers either, huh?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I would lose my cool in the face of a Scandinavian ticket dispenser. Well done for figuring it out!

And I love all those rental bikes. I wish they had those in my area.