Saturday, 17 June 2006

एज़बेन ऐयाज़्नप

The reason for this mysterious headline is that I have begun studying the script of Devanagari, which is used for writing amongst other languages Hindi. The purpose of this is to able to read signs and perhaps even magasines when I get back to India, but also as a starting point for learning the Hindi language proper.

I figure that specialising myself in India might be a smart move for a later career. As you all know I have been an intern at the Danish Embassy in New Delhi and furthermore my thesis will be on Contemporary Energy Related Indian Foreign Policy. If I could then add Hindi to my CV I should be able to get work for companies, government agencies or NGOs with special interests in India.

And by the way, the above headline is my attempt at transcribing my own name in Hindi. It's not totally simple as Hindi letters and sounds don't match those of Danish completely. My first name was not too tricky with my only problems being whether use s or z and whether to conjunct (combine into one sign) two consonants (I chose not to), but my last name actually spells out aiyaaznap - which pronounced in Hindi would be roughly the same as Agersnap pronounced in Danish.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

Tivoli - World Famous Amusement Park

It's been a while since I updated my weblog partly due to the beautiful summer making other things interesting. One of those things was a trip with my family to the very old, and very famous amusement-cum-flower park in the heart of Copenhagen.

A typical scene from Tivoli. The park is a bit of an eclectic mix of thrill rides (notice the tall free fall tower in the background), artificial lakes, flower arrangements, chinese pagodas and restaurants set in various interesting settings, such as the one inside the pirate ship in the right part of the picture.

Here I am in front of the side entrance to Tivoli's most famous Restaurant "Grøften" (The Trench). This is a favourite place for Danish celebrities to eat and one of the dominating political parties Fremskridtspartiet (The Progress Party) in Denmark in the 70s was founded here. The party with a radical anti-tax and anti-immigration platform fortunately doesn't exist in parliament anymore, although other parties have taken over parts of their policy views.

One of the more thrilling of the park's rides, the new corkscrew loop rollercoaster called "The Demon". Notice the yellow carts going through one of the three loops (slighty to the left). My brother Ole was very anxious about taking a ride in this one, and it took a bit of persuasion before he finally agreed to take a ride with me. Afterwards however he was so excited about the ride that he wanted to go again. Unfortunately the lines were too long and we had to leave soon after.

Ole, in front of one of the many snack pavillions, being very pleased with himself after the ride in the Demon.

Despite the many rides and activities Tivoli is also in many places quaint and peaceful and good for a stroll. Here a couple of ducks have found one of those very peaceful places for a nap in a genuine flower bed.

The ever popular Tivoli Guards thrilling especially small children and the park's elderly visitors. These boys dressed almost like the Queen's real Royal Life Guards at the nearby royal palace play various marching tunes much to the joy of tourists and locals alike.

One of the nice uniformed Tivoli officials holds the hand of a young Asian visitor while having a chat with him and his mother.

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Flensburg and Surrounds

I here bring some more picture from South Slesvig, this time mostly from Germany's northernmost major city, Flensborg (Flensburg in german)

View across Flensborg Fjord from the pier in Flensborg Harbour. The church that can be seen here is St. Jørgen's Church.

This picture was taken from almost the exact same spot as the one above. It shows some of the beautiful, old sail ships that can often be found docked in Flensborg. Traditionally the harbour played a very big role in Flensborg's economy.

One of the old timber frame houses on the harbour front, now a restaurant. It is an old house and it shows - the roof of the house is tilting to the right. Notice the many regional and maritime flags outside - and also the flag to the right showing clearly that the World Cup fever has reached even this city in the Periphery of Germany.

Some wonderful apartment buildings in Toosbüystrasse, that probably used to belong to the wealthy bourgeousi of the city, possibly already in the Danish days? Flensborg was part of the Danish Kingdom untill 1864 and still today it houses a very large Danish minority. The Danish party SSW usually gets about 25% of votes at local elections.

A view down the main street, where only light motorised traffic is allowed. It is mostly the domain of pedestrians.

On the way to Flensborg you pass numerous amazing rape fields such as this huge one. Notice that what appears to be just another little patch of yellow behind the centrally located tree is in fact another gigantic field situated lower than the field in the front. If you click to enlarge, this should become clear to see.