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All posts for the month September, 2009

Tenerife

Although tourism hasn’t really come through to this part of the island (thankfully!), there are some places that are showing a bit more of a commercial attitude already. There are some small shops and musea where you can get your hands on some of the local cuisine like mojo, wine, gofio (which I started referring to as goofio, because it’s seriously weird stuff!) or some of the more standard touristic stuff that no one in his/her right mind would actually buy ;)

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

Tenerife

La Orotava is another one of those exceptions. It’s absolutely worth a visit, almost like a trip back in time. It’s a picturesque little village with cute colorful streets with cobblestones and probably the cutest little hotel ever, called Silene. If it hadn’t been in the Lonely Planet book we were carrying around, we probably wouldn’t have found it. It’s an old family home, recommended, I must say. He personally hand-made our breakfast in the morning. Took him forever, but it was worth it :D

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/5.6, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/5.6, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

Tenerife

Roque de las Bodegas is one of the few exceptions to “my” rule of a rather unexciting Tenerife. Roque de las Bodegas in the northern most part of Tenerife has a little beach, a roquey one, and a roquey pier which seems to be used for all kinds of (crappy, ahem) purposes besides it’s main purpose fishing.

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/6.7, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/6.7, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Sigma 10-20mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

Tenerife

Ever thought of doing your groceries in a church? Oh no, stupid, that’s not a church. The Mercado’s the place to go when you want fresh stuff. Fwesh fwuit, fwesh fish, fwesh whatever! And some actually spoke English (the people, that is, not the fwuit or fish ;) )!
That was one of the things that struck me most, really. You’re in a touristic place like the Canaries, Tenerife at least, and you can count the people who speak English (or sort of) on the fingers of one hand.

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/9.5, Tamron 28-75mm

You could of course also try El Corte Ingl├ęs, but there they primarily sell overpriced bad quality bags at heavy discounts (ask my Better Half about that *grins* )

There’s quite a big contrast between what’s maintained and what’s not quite… Nice houses with kind of… less nice garages or storages, or whatever they are… Nice piece of graffity right out front the Auditorio…

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/4, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/4, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/4.8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/4.8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/350 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/350 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm

And just because I can’t get enough of it:

D200, ISO100, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

Tenerife

I must honestly confess that Tenerife didn’t do much for me. I didn’t find it all that exciting. Of course it has its places that are nice (El Teide, now THAT was an adventure, but more on that later), but overall I don’t necessarily need to go back there.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the Canary Islands, has a couple of nice spots worth documenting. My favorite by far was the Auditorio, a futuristically designed (music) theater which is supposed to have great acoustics. Unfortunately we didn’t get to listen to any performance there.

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm

I probably shot close to 100 pictures of the building. Really photogenic, it was :)

There were some other things, too. Not many, but some… The Monumento de los Caidos for example. A monument to those who were killed in the Spanish civil war. Taken from… well… quite a different angle, I guess ;)

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/6.7, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/6.7, Tamron 28-75mm

And there was Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Conception. It’s supposed to be a “cathedral”, but although I’m not quite sure what sets a cathedral and a church apart, I thought it more a church than a cathedral. It’s a pretty building, nonetheless.

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm, 3 images stitched together in PS

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Tamron 28-75mm, 3 images stitched together in PS

Awhile ago I bought a nice little gadget to clean the sensor of my camera. It’s called Arctic Butterfly from Visible Dust and it’s this little brush with a battery that somehow does something with static electricity (see www.visibledust.com).

It’s not really such a big thing, but (don’t ask me what I was thinking!) I decided not to take it along on holiday. I had my Giotto Air Bellower, which I figured should be enough.

Of course… After the first couple of days of changing lenses, the sensor had gathered a good amount of dust. I thought to clean it with the Air Bellower and when I went about bellowing air on the sensor, indeed a lot of the dust disappeared. But there was also a massive chunk that flew in and refused to come off. I tried everything, even went as dangerously far as taking the brush I usually use to clean the lens glass with and brush over the sensor (DON’T try that at home, folks!!!), but it wouldn’t come off.

That was in the first days…
It’s funny how fast and how easy one accepts one’s fate.
I soon realized that there was little I could do. The dust was stuck. Stuck badly. And we were in the sticks, in the middle of nowhere, so I couldn’t bring it somewhere to have it cleaned.
So I just grunted, moaned and complained to my better half with almost every single picture I took, that it would take me 2 years to clean up all the pictures from all the dust speckles and such and such…

And that’s what I’m probably going to do in the coming two years (if you don’t see the spots, look at the bigger pic. And go see the optician…)

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm, box full of crap on the sensor

D200, ISO100, 1/180 sec @ f/11, Tamron 28-75mm, box full of crap on the sensor

D200, ISO100, 1/6 sec @ f/32, Tamron 28-75mm, a closet full of crap on the sensor

D200, ISO100, 1/6 sec @ f/32, Tamron 28-75mm, a closet full of crap on the sensor

… based on real life facts…

[exterior: the outside of the ladies bathroom on a near-deserted camping in the middle of nowhere]
The camera slowly zooms in. First the whole building, slowly up towards the sign hanging above the entrance. It reads “WC – Senoras”.

Bad C-movie, movie still

Bad C-movie, movie still

The camera pans down and zooms in further, now into the building.

[interior: toilet building with red matte tiles on the floor and impersonal, cold and bright fluorescent lights]
The camera pans to the right and shows four white ceramic sinks in kitsch marble stone. The taps look old and used. When the camera pans to the left we see four rooms on the far side of the wall and four opposite. The camera zooms in on the third room, the second last room in the building. It’s a toilet. The camera changes angle and pans down and zooms in further. First we see red tiles. Then we see a pair of flip-flops with feet, partly covered by pants.
The camera moves past the pants and shows a dark scene.

[interior: close up of the pants, the toilet seat is out of focus, but visible in the background]
We see two black hairy legs appear on the pants. Nothing more than the big black hairy legs. Apparently from a large insect.
Ominous music starts playing (think Jaws, dum dum dum dum dumdumdumdumdum).
The camera pans away for a second, only to quickly return so we can see two big black hairy legs (the hind legs this time) disappear in the pants.

[exterior: forest, dark and quiet...]
… only the muffled sound of footsteps on a thick bed of pine needles. The happy camper is returning to her tent after a little toilet break in the middle of the night.
Some stumbling and then the harsh sounds of a zipper breaks through the forest. The happy camper has closed the tent and has gone back to sleep.

Bad C-movie, movie still

Bad C-movie, movie still

[interior: inside the tent]
Our happy camper has taken off her shorts and has crawled back in her sleeping bag. Next to her, sound asleep, her happy camper partner. He’s sleeping on the floor, uncovered. The bed of pine needles under the tent is soft enough, and he found it too warm to use a sleeping bag.
The camera zooms in on the shorts lying next to the sleeping back.
Ominous music, briefly, but ominously, starts playing again. Dum dum dum dumdumdumdumdum.
We only just see two big black hairy legs crawl away from the shorts.

[interior: inside the tent]
The camera shows the happy camper partner sound asleep. He’s wearing only his boxers, because it’s so warm. He doesn’t seem to be dreaming, if he is, it’s not showing.
He turns around and grunts a bit. It’s not really a snore, but there’s something uncomfortable about it.
He kicks a bit with his leg, as if he has an itch.
It seems to be helping, because a faint smile appears on his face and he turns back around.
The camera zooms in on his face.
In his sleep he’s frowning. Maybe he is having a dream after all. He kicks with his leg again. More violently now. This time it isn’t enough.
The camera zooms out, pans towards the (maybe no longer so) happy camper’s leg and zooms in again. We see two big black hairy legs appear on top of the legs of our (maybe no longer so) happy camper’s legs.
Very ominous music starts playing. Dum dum dum dumdumdumdumdum.
The (maybe no longer so) happy camper wakes up with a start.
The camera zooms out quickly and shows the (maybe no longer so) happy camper grab the flash light. The flash light clicks on and suddenly the tent is bathing in light.
The camera pans and zooms in on the (maybe no longer so) happy camper’s leg.
On the (maybe no longer so) happy camper’s leg clumsily crawls a cute black beetle, trying desperately to find its balance and getting a hold, because the hairy legs of the (probably now again) happy camper don’t really give it much foot hold.

The other happy camper in the mean time has woken up in the consternation and sees her happy camper partner put the black beetle outside the tent.

Bad C-movie, movie still

Bad C-movie, movie still

[exterior: outside the tent]
The camera zooms out, showing the tent.
It zooms out further, showing more of the camping site. Then it pans, follows the path and shows the camping site’s entrance.

Bad C-movie, movie still

Bad C-movie, movie still

THE END

We flew with Spanair to and from the Canaries.

Cheap flights, but good service, be it you have to pay for pretty much everything and nothing’s included except for some really colorful candies that taste of artificial sweeteners.

But anyway…
They have a menu from which you can order stuff and on our way back, since I had read all five books and two magazines, a news paper and all the other readable stuff I could find, I turned to that piece of literary magnitude to ease my boredom.
When you have time, you start to really read things, and don’t just let your brain connect all the missing links.
So with all that time on my hands, I scrolled down the options (I was actually getting hungry too, so that might’ve helped), and came to the bottom of the menu where sandwiches were offered.
In the three weeks on the Canary Islands, where surprisingly little people speak English, my Spanish took a good boost. But having both English and Spanish at my disposal I didn’t feel like wrecking my brain and try to figure out the Spanish. I went straight for the English.

You can imagine my surprise when I read through this:

Spanair's menu on-board

Spanair's menu on-board

I nearly soiled myself, and I had to go to the toilet, seriously, after that. Maybe it was so terribly funny, because I was so tired and so bored, but really…
These kind of mistakes have NO place in a menu anywhere.

(I still fall in a laughing fit when I see this, and I’m not even tired anymore :D )

We’re back from our holidays in the Canary Islands. It was awesome, in many ways.
The coming month (probably ;) ) you’ll be reading all about it.

We’re starting here (for the small text you’ll have to check the big size of the image):

The Babelfish screw-up

The Babelfish screw-up

(the copyright of this -horrid, I’m sorry- design lies with the one who made it, and it wasn’t me)
So as a design/marketing guy I always assumed that when you promote your company or activities, you make sure that everything is perfect. If you need multiple languages, you have the original text professionally translated, or at least have it double-checked by someone who knows a few words in both or all languages you have the text translated into.
Clearly this wasn’t the case when they made this little flyer and it made me laugh out loud when I read it.

This is a buggy:

Image courtesy http://www.imcaonline.es

Image courtesy http://www.imcaonline.es

And buggy in Spanish is buggy in English (that’s easy!). But if you do your homework right, buggy in English is not only this sporty extreme little vehicle, but it’s also these sporty little vehicles below (pram, stroller, coming in a variety of versions, with 3 wheels, 4 wheels, sun hood, etc. etc.):

Image courtesy of http://www.babyuniverse.com.au

Image courtesy of http://www.babyuniverse.com.au

So when you translate buggy from Spanish to English to German, it might just turn out as “Kinderwagen”, which means pram, stroller.
And here this company is sporting a colorful flyer promoting with a big German header “Excursions guided in prams”. Not only are there some really weird translations in the headers, but if you check the small text, they claim to have “Routes long and half”. The excursion includes “assurance” (assurance for what, really? Is it THAT unsafe?) and there’s something weird with 7-year-old major children.

And the above example was only one of many, many translation comedies I found.
Saving money is good, but save it from the correct places, I say.

I don’t typically fancy an assured excursion guided in prams with 7-year-old major children…