My time in Graz will end in a few hours, and it was a full trip. Got plenty of work done. On Friday, I took a train to southern Styria and went wine touring with Bernhard and his family and friends. I slept quite well until some asshole started triggering very loud explosions around 5 AM and kept firing intermittently all morning. Goddamn it, I thought, I warned you about those GegenNazis, didn't I? Better go edit my recent blog entry before they overrun the hotel. But no, it was just an Austrian wedding tradition. They begin shooting the morning of the wedding to wake up the bride. This would justify one shot, not hundreds. Perhaps they thought she was deaf, narcoleptic, recalcitrant, forgetful, and retarted. And do you really want the bride (and the groom, and all wedding guests) exhausted during the wedding, and wedding night? Some traditions should die.
All of Styria seems to love all parts of pumpkins. They have pumpkin soup, pumpkinseed oil, pumpkin breading on their schnitzel, and pumpkin seeds with various spices everywhere. All of this is tasty. On Saturday, Bernhard and company were quite insistent on visiting the legendary Samen König, the colorful king of the Austrian realm. I was told the trip would not be complete without getting some of his oil and seeing his special Samen Press. Unfortunately, when I asked one of the locals about the first word, I got the translation that Samen = semen. Thus I had to tell Bernhard that I was really not that enthusiastic about the visit. I'll meet him, but I sure as hell will not shake his hand nor buy any of his oil. I do not want to see the Samen Press, especially if it is in use. In fact, I prefer to stay at least 50 feet away from it.
Are you sure you want to bring your kids to meet such a man? Does he demand tribute? If so, what gifts are traditional for this king? Dirty movies? Cheap booze? Vitamin E? An inflatable doll? A pump? Special gloves? Some mammarily blessed locals? Turns out he was not there when we visited, or so we were told. I bet he was just out back playing with his seed press. It must take a lot of discipline to produce that much of his seed oil. Our governor is only the second toughest man from Styria.
Here is a picture of the Seed King with a tool whose purpose I can survive not knowing.