Don DeLillo: White Noise (1985)

DeLillon teos 1980-luvulta – tuulahdus nostalgista postmodernia takavuosilta! Teemat eivät ole vanhenneet osin. Paikoin teksti on ironista ja leikittelevää, paikoin epä-postmodernin vakavaa. Ympäristön kemikalisoituminen on keskeinen teema.

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Stefan Zweig: The Royal Game

Zweigin novelli shakinpelaajista.

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Muistelmateoksia: Paavo Lipponen, Iiro Viinanen ja Erikki Tuomioja

Ennen joulua luin kiinnostavan kimaran muistelmateoksia 1980-90 -luvun suomalaisesta politiikasta ja suuresta murroksesta tuona ajanjaksona.

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Bhutan: 6. Houses

It seemed that even new houses were constructed by traditional models. Bhutanese houses are tall – I heard height of buildings signify wealth. Windows have colorful wooden panels just like in Bavaria and Switzerland. Attic is used to dry and store hay and other goods.

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Bhutan: 5. Drink

Bhutan has usual share of larger that all countries of the world produce. Druk, “thunder dragon”, is favorite name for beers also. Druk 11000 sounds fancy.

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There is also a local brand of red wine named after national animal dakin (odd-looking short-legged moose). It’s a strong red wine (alcohol content is 16%). There is no mention of grape variety. I cannot comment the taste as bottle is yet to be opened.


Interesting local speciality is “Ara” which is fermented/distilled alcohol. Often homemade from maize or rice. Distilled Ara was maybe stronger than 20% but less than vodka – it was difficult to say as taste was quite smooth. Ara can be served with a scrambled egg which makes it more like a soup – not bad after a long day working on rice paddies. Ara is traditionally kept in tall bamboo container. Below: straight Ara, and Ara à l’oeuf.

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Bhutan: 4. Food

Bhutanese food seemed to be influenced by Tibetan and Indian cuisines: curries and Tibetan momos (dumplings). National dish was Ema datshi or chili cheese which was pleasantly hot. You could eat it as such or with local red rice. Potatoes with cheese was another local speciality.

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Chili is an essential part of Bhutanese cuisine and people dry red chilies on their roofs.

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Local home cooking was solid no-nonsense food to keep people going on high mountains. The plate below is filled with chili-cheese, goat and cow meat, cheese-potatoes, and rice.

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Visiting local farmers’ market in the capital Thimpu revealed some interesting Bhutanese foods. Rock hard cheese was sold in strings and I guess people usually softened cheese in water. I started to chew one and it took almost 2h to eat it.


Another interesting thing was cow skin that is used in soups. Unfortunately didn’t taste this one.


There were also lots of usual vegetables and fruits, and exotic spices.

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Bhutan: 3. People

Bhutan has been isolated for centuries and only recently opened for tourism. Traditional ways have remained strong but there are changes in peoples lives and the young are following for example Korean pop and soap operas. Many Bhutanese wear traditional dress: Gho for men and Kira for women.

Old man in Punakha Two Bhutanese women

For more formal occasions people wear long scarf (Kabney for men and Rachu for women). Men’s scarf has colors which point out if the person is mere commoner or high-ranking official or royal.


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