Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Döner King

642 words

My almost spontaneous little trip to Cambridge is upcoming (‘spontaneous’ because I only booked the flight last week, ‘almost’ because the plan to go was sketched back in November but it looked like I couldn’t get away from Göttingen these days until recently – cue: Get me away from here I’m dying). And my plan was good: There’s no way to catch a nine o’clock plane in the morning in Lübeck when you’re staying in Göttingen and don’t have a car (and want to get up in the middle of the night). So I planned to visit a friend in Hamburg and catch the airport bus from there in the morning with the extra benefit of having seen him again. But it turned out that he has the flu these days – apparently so badly that he doesn’t even read (or reply to…) his e-mail and that he must have a new phone number.

Which pretty much broke my plan. So I’m on my way to Bremen now, so I can catch the 5:14 train tomorrow morning which takes me to Hamburg in time for the airport bus – hopefully. Quite a detour and exactly the thing people like myself who know that the sleep you get before 4 and 10 in the morning is the best enjoy the most. But at least it works!

On my way to Bremen I just enjoyed that insane full hour stopover in Hannover and had some food there. On our various trips to Hannover in the past year we often walked past a kebab place called Döner King close to the station and recently we tried it out for the first time, discovering that it was fine. So there I went for another kebab (or rather a Lahmacun, a rolled up bread with some meat and salad in it, something that I usually don’t dare to order as I can’t remember how to pronounce it properly). The food was a bit difficult to eat but nice otherwise.

But I keep being amazed by the shop itself. It seems to have been refurbished not too long ago. Everything looks new and clean. And they have a large plasma telly on the wall. Isn’t that a waste of money? I mean if these were the dot-com days and if this were America, you’d think someone might have fooled venture capitalists into paying for that insanity. But it’s a kebab shop in Hannover. Sure, tellys in kebab shops are popular, but to waste such a lot of money on it when it looks like they actually have to work quite hard to earn any money to begin with? I consider that odd (although I’ve seen that in a number of other kebab shops as well, so it looks like a trend).

As kebab shop tellys do, they were showing some music channel. A Turkish one even (which looked like it’s even worse than the German ones). And the thing is: There doesn’t seem to be a single music channel broadcasting their programmes in widescreen formats (let alone HD) around here. So in every single kebab shop (or electronics supermarket, I’m not trying to say this incompetence is limited to people preparing food) with such a telly you’ll invariably see images which are wildly distorted and look horrible. Bad.

Another thing that I noticed – which could be considered a good sign for authentic food – that everybody else eating there was speaking Turkish (or something similar). But I must say that being a bit worn out and on my own I found it quite irritating to sit there and not understand a word of what the people around me or the telly were saying. That’s something that’s unlikely to happen in small-town Germany and which I wouldn’t have expected in downtown Hannover either… perhaps I need to get out more!

February 2, 2006, 4:46


Comment by d.w.: User icon

Are you sure it was plasma and not LCD? LCD sets from some far eastern manufacturers are getting to be fairly reasonable pricewise these days — significantly under 1000 eur/usd for an 81cm screen.

Lack of HD programming is certainly an issue. I have a painfully long yet incomplete post about HDTV stuck in my current blogjam. :)

February 2, 2006, 17:04

Comment by ssp: User icon

No I’m completely not sure about that. I thought all of the large ones were ‘plasma’ screens. To be honest I have no idea about those devices whatsoever :) Just an ‘expensive’ note stuck. And the fact that I have yet to see one on which things actually look good.

February 3, 2006, 2:24

Comment by d.w.: User icon

The problem is that people insist on “using every pixel they paid for” by stretching a 4:3 signal across a 16:9 screen. What happens is exactly what would occur if you took a 320x240 picture with a cheap webcam and resized it, ignoring proportion, to display it full size on a 1280x 720 monitor: it looks ridiculous.

Rest assured that a proper HD signal looks great on these sets — the problem is that so many people don’t understand that they actually need to feed the correct sort of signal into the things to look good.

February 3, 2006, 2:54

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