Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (domestic life has found it's way way on here) and become more of an expat/photo blog. Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Italian from a Scottish perspective - Scotto

Many moons ago, I had an in-depth political discussion with a taxi driver on the way to Alicante airport entirely in Spanish.  At that time, I had just packed in studying politics at university so a little political banter wasn't unusual.  What was strange however is that I didn't and don't speak Spanish.

Despite this apparent linguistic limitation, the conversation was a success.  By following the blissfully ignorant idea that all Spanish words were simply English with lispy pronunciation and an extra vowel thrown on the end, we were able to chat about the presidente and the parliamento using my fantastico vocabulario.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Photo of the Weekend (Graeme Smith)

Should Sony Europe ever decide to set up an entirely Scottish branch then this photo from an old school friend (in both senses) may just provide the perfect advertising for them.

It was taken whilst 40,000 Scots bawled out their national anthem before a friendly against Brazil in London and was probably the best moment of the match for the Tartan Army.  Scotland went on to lose 2-0 and were unfortunately given a sound lesson in the silky samba ways.  The team seemed in awe of the Brazilians for 80 minutes of the match and so these initial moments of hope and optimism are worth savouring.

For some other arty snaps click on the link below the photo...


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Indian English

Lost among the hundreds of photos from India last year was this little beauty, taken in a milkshake shop somewhere in the suburban sprawl of Chennai.  A fine example of the Indians not allowing linguistic barriers to get in the way of business and also a photo that poses many questions.  Do they tosat the bread and jam together? Or is it jam made from bread? What kind of sandy vegetables can I wish upon? And how do you toust veg?

Credit where it's due though, the place did a fantastic chocolate & fruit milkshake with small pieces of spaghetti mixed in, magical...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Daytripping in Liguria

Come holiday season, weekends or any moment they don't fancy working, the Milanese tend to flee their city like rats on the Titanic.  If they're not sunning themselves by Alpine lakes then generally you can find an abundance of Gucci & Prada handbags being transported over the regional border into neighbouring Liguria.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Simple Pleasures

Milan is a city of style, fashion & money, but it's not la Dolce Vita. Outside the tourist friendly centre, it's a city set up almost entirely around industry and business, meaning in an Italian context, it's a bit of a munter...

Luckily however for the Milanese, and myself, the Alps are only half an hour away

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Italian from a Scottish perspective - Fango

One priceless aspect of learning another language is discovering that another culture takes a silly word seriously. Take the Italian word "Fango" for example. Transport this vocabulary to a Glasgow bar and it would likely take on colourful twists, such as,

"Ye stupid f*ckin' fango, ye..."
"you know, when you've been fango'd!"
"Last night, I was well fango'd..."
"D'ya fancy coming to mine for a wee fango???"

Alas, the Italians miss these opportunities to enrich their language and instead use the word simply to mean "mud." However, not the sort of people to let you down, except in military alliances, Italian google makes up for this linguistic limitation by focusing almost entirely on semi-naked people having a mud bath when searching for fango images.

So, next time you find yourself in an Italian restaurant, test the waiter and ask him what the fango is like...

Italian - English
fango {m} - mud {noun}