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A more than secret recipe – only thousands of people faked it after I invented this meal (see google image search).
REQUIRED TIME: 5-10 minutes. COST: 5-10$.

Broccoli and steak is probably the best breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack for inbetween that I ever produced on my stove.

Surprisingly, it is also pretty much the only one I can do, despite my great potential to become a legendary cook (ask my roommate Yukkunn, the whole apartment is sometimes full of smoke because the food I make is so extraordinarily well done).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Steaks (one steak for girls) – no white lines (fat) in the middle of the steak
  • 1 Tree of Broccoli – the greener, the better
  • Butter (if not available, take oil, but be careful about pimping your cooking pan into a flame thrower)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pan
  • Pot
  • Water (for extinguishing fire)
  • Hot Stove

So, to get started, put the pan on the hot stove, turn it on full power and throw the butter in after a while.Fill the pot to 2/3 with water, and also put it on a full power stove plate.

Now throw a fair amount of salt over the steaks (as if you would throw it over fries, imagining you were the owner of a fries and cold drinks restaurant) and some pepper. Turn the steaks around and repeat. If the Steaks have huge fat layers on the side, cut them off with a knife. Fat has the tendency to tighten up when heated, so it will create a hard layer thats not only difficult to cut and eat later, but also uneasy to digest.

When the butter is meltung and optionally starts to burst bubbles, throw the steak in. Turn your stove fan on to get rid of the resulting smoke. Turn the steaks every 30 seconds to check on their state.

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In the meantime you want to get your broccoli as yummy as on this picture: Therefore, you need to shock cook it. As soon as the water in the pot bursts major bubbles and is obviously cooking, cut the broccoli in half and put it in the water. Within seconds, it will gain an enormously green color. Leave in for two or more minutes, but never let it get too soft.
The steaks steaming and brown, it may be a good idea to throw some mushrooms in the remaining bubbling butter.

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Et voila, Steak et Broccoli!

Time for “ice ice baby”, rental cars and the Canadian national transportation: Ice skates.

Montreal’s Public Transportation consists of buses, banlieue trains and subways. In the summer, they are quite frequented – in the winter tough, they are more than packed. That adds to the fact that everybody suddenly takes twice the volume as they would do during the summer – with the winter fat reserves and the voluminous coats, gloves, hats and other fancy equipment to fight the cold weather.

The point where it gets really weird and even dangerous, is when you yourself start using them.

Hazard 1: The Metro
Imagine you are standing on the platform at Berri-UQAM station, about to enter the orange line going to Cote-Vertu. The enormous chain of waggons – much longer than the ones in Vienna – on their rubber tyre wheels rolls in, accompanied by a clattering sound in the ceiling of the station. This is your command to step forward and anticipate the motion opf entering. If you keep standing somewhere further away, or worse, sit on a bench, you will have to fight. As soon as the doors of the subway open, a massive amount of people streams out like a raging river of hopping heads, shopping bags and coats, and you are cut off to the subway. It is like crossing a river – the water doesn’t take notice of you. I had to ram a woman with my laptop just to make my way through the moving crowd.
Another hazard here is that the doors close promptly, even before thge last person entered the subway. In Vienna, you may wait a minute or so in the station, but in Montreal it is merely thirty seconds. One time, I was standing right next to the door, it opened, I let two people step in in front of me, and while I put my nordic skiing equipment inside, the subway closed and I had to let go of the skis since my arms got stuck between the iron doors. Good that I was with Michka, and he could take care of the skis.

Hazard 2: The Bus
You think, lines in Europe (to get movie tickets, to buy groceries, to shake the hand of the major) are ridiculous? You’ll laugh your ass off in Montreal. What I see every day on my way to work, is thirty to sixty people standing in a line on the sidewalk. The first person in line stands next to a bus station sign.
What happens is that when the bus comes, everyone has to enter; and not like in Austria where you make proper use of your elbows and form a human bunch of grapes in front of the two bus doors, no, here everyon has to enter through the front door, and everybody steps in single filed. No doubt, sometimes when a bus doesn’t come, the line grows and grows, wraps around the metro station, making curves and you can’t see the last person when you stand at the beginning. I constantly pull out my cell phone and take pictures of this behaviour, but since a month or so, after sending the picture to Lorena, put my cell phone in my pocked and step in line, like a good Montrealais citizen.
By the way, the doors have handles that you actually have to push when the bus stops to let you out, otherwhise the door doesn’t open. And if there are three people getting of in front of you, chances are good that the door closes right in front of you before you could even get out. That’s a hint to drink some more maple syrup – the sugar will speed you up, lardass.

After waking up in our beautiful 40$-each beds (those are a whole different experience from 30$-beds, seriously!), we decided to stroll through the old downtown. We actually planned to visit the Quebec Ice Hotel, but got advised that it is 20$ to get in and have a drink – and a twenty just to see some frozen water was too expensive for us.


Those puppets are distracting from the fabulous clothes


Chateau Frontenac – this giant was built for the sole purpose of being a hotel


St. Lawrence River / St. Laurent River / St. Laurenz River / River of the Thousand Spellings


One of the great things in QC city: A ice sled race! You have to drag the heavy sleds up the hill, those seemingly sketchy constructions of wood and polished metal, sit down and SWOOOOSHHH down the ice lanes.


maple syrup, frozen, in little cones


Peter and me, sledding for 2$ each… a fucking fast sport


All the ice scukptures get cracks due to the warm weather. This one is made for looking through the hole and being an Inuit on the photo.


Roman architecture in QC city … something’s wrong here..


the large silos at the harbor

We witness a rudder boat race in the harbor area:


The start, on huge ice floes


…out of the harbor…


…and at least 500m across the ice cold river, full of miniature icebers and ice floes. Amazing what those guys do.

Once during the noon time I provoked Peter and Kevin to make a snowball fight with me on an ice-covered parking lot. They are both old men, so the team distribution is:

KEV&PETE VS. TOBY

Pretty fair, actually. A second chance arises at the harbor inmidst of some beautiful government buildings. I provoke them again, and hit Pete right in the face on my first attempt. It’s on, bitch … you got served.
And because they actually both want to serve me back, I land some other nice hits while they have troubvle balancing on the flat ice. Pete throws a ball right in my back – well done sir – but upon turning around, he slips, learns flying for a moment, and hits the ground hard with his chin.
The chin is bleeding, but his main pain is somewhere at the joint of jawbone and skull. A security guard comes running out of one of the government buildings, and is soon joined by pedestrians who turn out to be medicas at the Canadian Forces. They ask Pete something related to spine injury, I guess:

  • Did you lose consciousness?
  • Do your extremities – feet or hands – burn, is there pain?
  • Does your neck hurt?

All the questions were answered with a no, but another security guard comes the way with a jeep. When the medics tell Pete who is already wrapped in a warming blanket that he will have pain but is good to go, the security guard objects – he already called the ambulance.
Some legal formality; if you get hurt on government grounds, you need to sign a paper to a paramedic stating that you are fine and will not sue the government… or so.


Security guard, the skater without ice skates, and the military medic


Weee-weee … 25 min later six people with two cars came to help. The female paramedic was pretty hot.


Survived!

Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian Province Quebec and about three hours by car from Montreal. That’s pretty much everything factual I know about  QC city. The rest comes from my weekend trip there.

On my job search, many friends told me to create a profile on linkedin.com, the business equivalent of facebook. There is an option to search your email adress book and see if someone is registered on LinkedIn. I added everybody I knew, and got a message from some guy named Kevin. He said I met him in Italy on the VIEW conference, and I guess I did. I figured he lives in Montreal, and three days later we are sitting on a bus heading to Quebec city. I see people ice skating on a frozen part of St. Laurent river, right next to La Ronde. The bus is 50$ and a complete rip-off… for the double distance, to New York (a 6-hour-drive), I pay just 10$ more.

Getting from Montreal to Quebec City (or the other way round) for 18$:

A very nice guy with a beard named Marc offers a driving service every day Montreal->QC city and return. You can reach him here:
MONTREAL 514-815-3889
QUEBEC 418-262-3889

The transportation is comfortable and the eighteen dollars are a nice price.

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Kevin and me arrive three hours later at a giantic river, crossing it on a large bridge. The whole river is white and seems motionless, frozen, covered in white snow. Quebec city is further north than Montreal and is located on the banks of St. Laurent river as well. The parks of the city seem to seamlessly merge with the underlying river.


Streets like in Europe

We are staying at the Hauberge International in a three-man-room for 40$ each. A bit luxurious, but after the 50$ bus ride, I don’t get freaked out that easily.

Quebec city is very walkable, so we just make our way through the town gates into old Quebec. It used to be a fortress-like inner city, and other than in Vienna, the city walls are still standing and offer a nice walkway on top. We spot an ice castle with a line of about 200 people, who all want to see what’s inside. Last year there was an outdoor dance club inside the ice castle, this year it is a kind of art exhibit. Quebecoir people are very artsy. Maybe it is because of all the cheese and wine.

Digging deeper into the Quebec culture, we discover:

  1. Even if it is Frencher than Paris here, people can still speak English, and a baguette temple has still not been built.
  2. Same as Montreal: Someone had the idea to build all the important buildings in the 70s and only use diarrhea-brown concrete for it. Ugh.
  3. Quebec city is composed by probably the most European/oldschool architecture I have seen so far in North America.

To our surprise, it is warmer here than it is in Montreal, and it even starts raining for a couple of minutes.


The main shopping and nightlife street with a huge hotel in the background, on top a rotating restaurant.


After the douchebags in the restaurant tell us they are closed and we cannot step to the window, we go one level down with the elevator and find a panoramic window. Screw those restaurantiers.

Quebec city has, apart from ugly diarrhea buildings, a variety of specialties with history that we can see from here:

  • The Silos
  • Chateau Frontenac: The Goliath of castle-like hotels that look like they were made for a king.
  • The burnt roof of the Quebec City Armoury: Like in a computer game, someone in 1884 had the good idea to build the armoury close to the soldier barracks. Too bad that the architect didn’t study fire precautions in the 1800s, and the whole thing burnt down in 2008, leaving only some walls.
  • Military Base Citadelle du Quebec: This used to be a military base in the good old days. Today’s use is the same, but this time the soldiers call themselves Canadian Forces, and not something like “New French Defense viva la Revolution”


Beautiful winter park. Let’s look closer:


inflateable sleds,liked together to huge chains, are dragged up the hill by snow mobiles, just to be ridden downhill by those people who paid 6$ to get in to the winter wonder land


Some freight ship inmidst ice floes. On the far right bottom a horse-dragged, sled that is at least 20m long.


Huiiii (right behind the ice castle, also made of ice)


Snow sculptures seem to be that what Doenerbuden are for Berlin – they are everywhere.


Ice skating in Quebec

And since I already spent 50$ on a bus and 40$ on a bed, why not 20$ on a dinner?
We meet a couple of other people that Kevin knows and eat in a bar while watching an ice hocket match, Toronto VS. Montreal. I like the violence.
Somewhen in the middle the Australian mate Pete comes in (I do roadtrips with him) – and tells us that his car made weird sounds and he thinks the suspension killed itself. He has to repair it on Monday – so no cheap ride back for us two. I eat one and a half Nacho with cheese portions (the cheapest food they have), but cannot finish.
We all get fairly full of food, beer and involuntary upgrades of cola to whiskey-cola … and go out. The first cheap thing: Entry fee of 5$, wardrobe for 2$, and I can even deposit the storyfoam box of nacho leftovers that I took with me from the bar.


Our cute nightclub “Maurice”. On the bottom in the green light is a bar made of ice.


While we are in the club, it rains outside, and then the temperature drops drastically. As soon as we get out, the whole city is covered in solid ice.

Three Austrians meet after work to buy cheap shitty ice skates from their low budget. No question, the cheapest stuff is to be found at the Salvation Army. I have never been to a Salvation Army before.
The concept is simple: You give old stuff that you don’t need to the Salvation Army (for free), and they sell it cheaply to people who don’t have a lot of money to spend. The earned money is used for charity.

We get a little lost, so I ask a man in front of a mission. His index- and middle finger are grown together and he has some problems speaking and is very nice. Finally, we find the Salvation Army store on 1620 Rue Notre-Dame O, Montréal. It is a warehouse-styled, two story high store. Unfortunately, my camera is having intercourse with my apartment room and was therefore not available, so I have to describe what I see:
Long rows of clothing in the entrance area, tightly pushed together. There is no need to play the prestige of empty space here – just too many clothes to fit the available, large space. The store is about 100 meters long and 20 meters wide. First, there are shirts. Then Jeans. Jackets, suits, pants, coats follow. You go through a big, open door and come into a room where there are old TVs, stereo sets, golf clubs, swimming vests, ice hockey equipment and ice skates.

We discover that the ice skates are all made for little girls – typical female shape, and too small to even fit our hands inside the shoes.
“Look, those golf clubs. Must be really cheap.”
“Yeah, let’s go golfing!”
The only thing missing are golf outfits. Well, Salvation Army has them too.

Hat: 2$
Vest: 4$
Golf club: 5$
Golf balls: 2$
Paint leftovers from camera rape: pretty much no $
Golfing in deep snow on a Saturday at 9 in the morning: priceless.

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to the right the painted balls, to the left my nose…

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Customized balls for Austrian pimps in the colors of our flag. One of the many patriotic moments that I have abroad.


the reserve ammunition: walnuts, surrounded by splinters of red paint that fell off when we hit the golf balls


Chris eating his main nutritious supplement: Donuts. Stefan about to send another Austrian flag to Nirvana. The red color enables us to find some of the balls after they land under the thick snow blanket.


Le Messieurs du golf fanatstique: Chris, Stefan et Tobi Bond.

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It’s on bitch – after a while our technique advances and actually hitting the ball with the club becomes a constant sight on our golf course at the foot of Mount Royal. The enemy is imminent and threatening, highly active at 9 in the morning with the sole purpose to destroy our culture of sleeping through until noon: The fucking joggers. One time, I make a too good shot and nearly hit one of them from a distance of 100 meters. That made me proud.

Basic golf rules: (at least that’s what we do)

  1. Stand sidewise to the shooting direction. Legs stretched. Take the golf club in both hands, and stretch the arm that is closer to the ball. Twist you upper body, swing and SMACK – hit one of these amateur joggers.
  2. If the ball is right in front of you, it will leave in a 20-degree-angle or so. The further you step to the side where you swing, the higher the ball will take off since it is hit later in the circular swinging motion. The further you sidestep in the shooting direction, the flatter the ball will take off. If you step too far, nothing will take off but the face of one of your fellow golfers.

The main problem of being an artist is usually that you love doing art, you love being creative and spontaneous, bold and intuitive – but you don’t like to waste your time thinking about money while you could produce more art. If money wouldnt exist and you could be artistic all the time, wouldn’t that be awesome…
Well, I do feel the same way. Money is nice and some people use it to enlarge their penises and boost their egos, others donate it and others buy useless trash or 25 different cars with it (to enlarge their penises) – but money doesn’t make anyone automatically happy. Money buys convenience, which can be a good .

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Many artists feel the same way, they have no interest in money and see it as a problem. There are starving artists, who often live for years under a certain level of convenience until they either rise to fame or do something else. An artist and a business man, that doesn’t really fit together at first.
I am thinking often about what comes after my civil service, what comes after college, how shall I buy the convenience for my life? When I went Christmas shopping in the beginning of December, I discovered a small bookshop for used books – where I found this great book for three dollars (pretty cheap compared to the 38.95$ that it cost more than two decades ago).

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The Business of Graphic Design –
A Sensible Approach

written by Ed Gold

Amazon Link

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Sensible, very sensible. This book should be the declared bible of every graphic designer who wants to learn the business side of creative trades. It is written by a genius named Ed Gold, and even if you haven’t heard of him yet (I didn’t), he knows exactly what you want. Or at least, he knew what I wanted.
“Business of Graphic Design” is divided in two main parts: The business theory part, and the industry leaders part. Both enriched my horizons of graphic design and art business in general enormously.

The business theory part
Ed introduces a possible approach to make a living as a graphic designer: Founding your own company, founding something that outgrows your status as a freelancer. This is basically an introduction to company leadership, legal issues, forms of companies, managing techniques for people, materials, projects and jobs.
You learn how to estimate a price with different methods, the advantages and disadvantages of these estimation techniques.
What to do before you found a business. How to find clients, how to manage your office. How to interact and counsel customers. How profit in graphic design works, what kind of people you need. How to hire and fire people, how to grow the company, how to compete against others, the importance of niches, how to set up and manage contracts. The planning involved in design business, presentations and prospective client interaction – the list is as good as endless.

Bottom point: This half of the book is teaching you in detail how to rise from an employee or a freelancer to a company founder, how to manage this transformation, and how to become successful with it. I like the fact that there is absolutely nothing said about how to design – the same way that in design books usually nothing is said about how to make a living with designing.

The design principal part
Imagine, some artist would go up to the founders of the most prominent design firms of the country. Stop imagining now, instead read Ed’s book – because he did exactly that. “The Business of Graphic Design” features 21 design firm principals – those guys who founded the industry leading companies. Each and every of these extremely successful designers tell you:

  • How they started out
  • Why they founded a company
  • The problems they encountered
  • How they handle clients
  • How they grew their companies
  • What they would do different if they could do it all over

The basic statement to the last point, “What I would do different if I could do it again” is: I would found my own company earlier, I would get an accountant, banker, lawyer and insurance agent as early as possible, and I would put a stronger focus on getting bigger clients earlier.

It is funny to read that book 24 years after it was written – statements like “We actually purchased one computer last hear, and we do the accounting with it… it is worth the investment” seem to come from another world. Also, the business of graphic design changed drastically with the computerized revolution, and nowadays every jerk can draw a perfect circle in Photoshop or layout an annual report in MS Word.

Apart from those technology-based differences, the principles of graphic design business stay the same. It is amazing to read the principals’s statements and to see examples of their work, to understand how their companies got successful, to learn that founding a company is quite a big deal but not a monstrosity, and that fear of the unknown can be taken away by knowledge.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what that book does: It gives you knowledge about the business side of creating art, it takes away the fear to found a company. A must-read for every artist.

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(At least, read a similar book, maybe a more modern one. I am in graphic design since 5 years now, and this is the first time I actually read a book about how to make money with my artistic abilities…)

This happens at the end of the day. During the afternoon I was at Fete des Neiges.

One thing you will notice about Montreal, are the large subway stations, not just in the underground city. Far off anything that looks like downtown, there are subways stations that could be cathedrals. Every station is concepted by a different architect, and so you will find a wide variety of architectural designs through all the subway stations.


Subway station “Namur” in the Northwest of the subway system

The reason that I am so far out is a Film Group Meetup. The movie title is “Frozen River“, and the whole thing is organized as usual by David. The cinema is called “Dollar Cinema” and offers movie tickets for 2$. Including tax, that makes 2,30$. Add the 2,50$ that I paid for the frozen maple syrup, and you arrive at 4,80$ for a whole day of entertainment…


The shopping center. Enter, straight ahead, up the escalators/stairs, and all the way back and discover…


Dollar Cinema. Cheapest cinema ever, with huge screen.


The entry area of Dollar Cinema. Standing to the left, in red as always, David.

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The movie is depressing by the way. It’s a true story – frozen river is about a mother whose husband left her, whose job cannot pay for the children – but smuggling immigrants over the American border seems to be lucrative…

It was a long, long way until here, but finally the work of former Gedenkdieners is transferred on the new bling-bling system Joomla. Joomla is a free, Open-Source content management system (CMS) that enables people with limited web scripting knowledge (HTML, is that a school form? CSS, this is the new Christian Salvation Society … right?) to edit and extend content-rich and complex websites.

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When I proposed to Naomi, director of the KFF, to transfer our complete website to a joomla-based framework, I had a certain purpose. I knew there were other Gedenkdieners coming in the future. Gedenkdieners, who were not lucky enough to be a computer freak when they were fourteen. Not lucky enough to be interested in programming online interfaces instead of picking up girls.
The job of a Gedenkdiener at the KFF consists of expanding the online education material and presentations as well as public speaking in high school and college classes. Through transferring the system, the job gets more accessible to a wider range of people.

Il presente, the new version of the KFF!

http://www.kffeducation.org

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“Fete” is a French and German word for party. In Montreal, during the coldest winter times, people develop thick furs on their bodies which enables them to continue the party mania that they started in the summer. When I first arrived in Montreal, I had no idea what the city was like, and how people were. Now I am sure that the number one reason of choosing Montreal as a city to live in is the culturally embedded party culture.

While in Vienna, the city sometimes organizes festivals and shows in a quite lively climate zone, people in Montreal go out and party at temperatures where your breath crystallizes in mid-air. Stefan, man of the hour and Gedenkdiener at the MHMC, is my companion in exploring the wicked French party culture that settled this time on the Île Sainte-Hélène. That’s the island where the entertainment park La Ronde is located as well.

Shortly after arriving, my theories come true: The Montrealais actually DO grow a fur to survive the winter time:


This hairy man was playing ice hockey, the Canadian national sport. Everybody does it. If you don’t, shame on you.

After walking around a bit we encounter genius snow sculptures which mark the exit area of a mini-sledding hill. It seems to be common that there is no random sledding down a hill (like in Austria), but organized sledding lanes with a lift that brings you up the hill (for a ridiculous price of 8$ and a similarly ridiculous long line at minus 20 degrees). Great coincidence that I forgot my gloves at home on the warm radiator, so that I improvise and wrap the end of my sweater sleeves around my fists while taking photographs. Of course, we don’t pay so much money to go sledding.

Snow sculpures on the baby sledding hill. This one, surprisingly, has no lift and doesn’t cost 8$ to enter.


These scultures are all made of snow. Not the normal kind of snow, the hard-as-concrete one.


In the large crowds of French Canadians that seemingly never are too old or too young to party, we encounter little trash bags that a couple of people drag behind them. On the closer look, you see that it’s actually a stroller-sled mixture that contains a little child. “You see that everywhere on the sidewalks”, says Stefan. “They never clear the side walks, so people drag their kids in those little bags behind them”


If you think about joining law enforcement because you want to maintain a staus symbol, then join the Montreal police: They have quad bikes that are fast as shit and guarantee a penis enlargement up to 700%.

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On the way to the waterfront, we find a barricade, guarded by some security. No way to get to the waterfront. “You have to rent ice skates to get to the river”, says the lady that appears to have indulged too much maple syrup. “Is there any other way, like to go around?”
“No. Pardon.”, she smiles and the maple syrup wobbles around her cheeks.
OF course there must be a way around. We find people in brown, red and yellow colored costumes made of rags, who all look like miniature Hagrids. They supervise a competition that appears to be taken from Mother-Daughter Father-Son camps: Adults pushing their chilrden in a wooden sled along parallel tracks, competing against each other. There is one couple that doesn’t really fit there: Stefan and me. Stefans fat ass is taking the sled to a stability test, and my shoes keep slipping in the snow. I lose against a woman.

Which brings us to the ultimate Canadian way of happiness: Maple syrup.
Maple syrup with pancakes.
Maple Syrup with moose meat.
Maple Syrup with toast.
With rice cakes, with chicken, ham, cheese, wine, baguette … or just plain maple syrup.

Or, if you are part of the so-called creme de la creme, then all you eat is frozen maple syrup.


Frozen maple syrup counter. The peeing stains are actually realy tasty – snow soaked with syrup d’ rable.


Stefan and Tobias Maplefreezus. 2.50$ each.


After 30 seconds of drooling a line of maple syrup in the snow, the syrup gets so cold that it becomes a sticky solid. Licking or sucking it creates great, long strings of syrup which dangle in the wind. I believe when mixing it with snow or water before pouring it into the snow would make it a clittle crispier and better – I will conduct some experiments on that.

All the people who work at Fete des Neiges are volunteers. There are fake native Canadians with Tipi tents, clowns, mascots in fury costumes, and oh, there is the ice skating course, with no guards and no barriers. Finally, we come to the riverside.
While I run closer to the shore, I recognize a Rotzglocke, “Snot bell” dangling down my nose. In German, we are quite inventive with naming our body fluids and the way of getting rid of them. There is a term called Bauernschneuzer, “Farmer’s nose blow”, where you press one side of your nose, bend forward, and blow the snot on the other side out. Sounds quite convenient, doesn’t it?

Well … it is, if performed professionally. I bend forward, blow, and while the snot is following my nasal acceleration, I see that there is something blocking the way between my nose and the ground: My camera. FLATCH. The snot lands on my camera and starts freezing on it. I nearly gag but manage to wipe the biggest portion of snot onto my pants instead of exposing the camera electronics to my nasal feces. Stefan laughs at me, and it must be a funny picture:
A young man with two hoodies on his head, wearing with sneakers in the knee deep snow, a fat piece of snot attached to his thigh, too chaotic to think about bringing gloves, and a camera with a misguidedly spray colored lens.


That is how snot on jeans looks like.


That’s the place where this one gay guy twisted my ears. Now there are pieces of ice swimming down the half-frozen river.


Montreal, in front the frozen St. Laurenz river

After twenty minutes, the snot has become solid ice, and i simply tear it off my pants, leaving nothing but a wet stain. We decide to go to the Montreal environment museum, the Biosphere. It is a gigantic geodesic dome, constructed by a futurist architect named Buckminister Fuller.


If you seriously think you’re better at cooking KRAFT dinner than me, I’ll challenge you to a swimming competition in there


Montreal Biospehere as seen from the distance


The Biosphere looks much bigger from the inside


A pretty futuristic water fountain which fountains only warm water.

The exhibit is more expensive than ten dollars (about 4kg of bread), so we decide to do something cheaper, There is a line of little children who want to get photographed for free in a canoeing surrounding. We get in line too.


Canoeing at minus twenty degrees.

There is a last thing to see on the next island, one more product of the Expo 67 (like the Biosphere): The Montreal Casino. The Mekka of all gambling addicts and architecture fetishists. The place where buses unload people with the distinct “DING, CLING” sound of hard metal dollars when they shatter down to release the jackpot. I see those people walking from the bus through the outside waiting area, warmed nicely by heating lamps, into the open mouth of the casino. Once swiped over the red carpet tongue of the monstrum, they are rushed down the golden shimmering throat, only to let their money being digested deep down in the intestines of this casino monstrum, between rumbling slot machines and swirling roulette wheels. It is so sad to see them enter this self-chosen hell with a smile of excitement, and to leave it with a frown of disgust.

Most of the people we see walking in are people who you usually never meet: They are in their fourties and fities, sometimes wearing expensive furs with cheap make up, people with not much of a past and not much of future expectations – people who want to either double or half their mid-life crisis. People, who gamble with their hard earned money.


The underground arrival area. One of the buses says “Only for employees”

Stefan and me are not even allowed inside. There is no dress code, but it is not allowed to take a camera or a coat inside. We wear both, so the fat security guard in his sixties ignores us. We actually just want to see the outside. After a couple of minutes of standing next to him and getting answers like “Nobody can see the outside, haha” “Not during the winter, it’s not possible”, we decide to let him fuck himself and find a staircase that leads us to the outside fassade.


Casino people are the happiest I’ve seen in a while. Photographing the inside is strictly prohibited, so I go to the window on the outside, adjust the aperature and exposure time by feeling, turn around, clash the lens against the glass, click, and run away before this young hipster of a security guard can go after me.


Whoever built that casino had some money left to place this beautiful sculpture next to it.


A revolting sight of an abused Mustang in front of the casino. Poor car.


A pimpy version of the common fan: a heating lamp! As soon as i pulled out the camera, the girl tried to run away, but realized that she was trapped behind the counter.