In Tubingen

Which is in fact rather prettier than this gray picture would lead you to believe — it’s a bit rainy here at the moment. My hotel is quite pleasant, although my streak of hotels with lousy Internet continues; this one promises wireless access in every room, for values of “every room” that mean “the lobby.” But at least it’s reasonably quick in the lobby. The hotel is also just across the street from where the event is this evening, so that makes it very easy to get about. I’ll probably go for a walk a bit later to see some of the old town. Because, you know. When am I going to be in Tubingen again? Exactly.

And remember, if you do happen to be in or around Tubingen, I’ll be having my event this evening. Please come. Otherwise I’ll have traveled thousands of miles and six times zones to be in a room all by myself. Which would be sad.

14 Comments on “In Tubingen”

  1. I’m gonna be that guy and say you aren’t in Tubingen, there’s no such place. You’re in Tübingen or, if you don’t have access to umlauts, Tuebingen. Despite what several decades of heavy metal bands would have us believe, those little dots aren’t just decorative. They started out as shorthand for a following “e” and they’re totally different from vowels without the mark.

    OK, end rant and apologies, but it gets to me.

  2. *blames the heavy metal bands. ;)*
    Yeah, that really, utterly makes me twitchy, too. Ü and u sound totally different, so do ä and a and ö and o – Umlauts are as different from their normal vowels as the English e is from the English i.

    On the other hand, maybe Tubingen is the English name of Tübingen? I mean, they made Munich out of München, for fricks sake. ;)

    That aside, Tübingen is a pretty city, enjoy your stay there! :D

  3. Guys, that amount of shit I give about missing an umlaut can be found underneath a microscope, and this is especially the case while I am using an English language keyboard. And that’s really all I’m going to say about that topic.

  4. It’s very picturesque. Can someone explain to me what elements in that picture make it look so very European to me? It’s a hill with some buildings and trees sprinkled on and around it, so how can I tell from a quick glance that it’s not somewhere in the US?

  5. Hmm…I feel like if I ignore the street, it could easily be somewhere in New England, so perhaps you’re subtly noticing the different road markings/lights/signs? Also the fact that there are no jaywalkers? :)

  6. > Can someone explain to me what elements in that picture make it look so very European to me?

    Something about the roofs… maybe the steep pitches? Even here in snowy New England they tend not to be that steep.

  7. > Can someone explain to me what elements in that picture make it look so very European to me?

    Lack of visible signage, roof materials, style of streetlights, general proportions of the buildings.

  8. I’d say it’s the signage and the building spacing that looks very pre-auto. Most US buildings are spaced further apart unless you’re in a city center with high rises.

    Nice picture, glad you’re having a good time John.

  9. Wibble: good question.

    One characteristic is the relative density (or “building spacing” as rick puts it). The layout is not only pre-auto, it’s concentrated: although there’s plenty of acreage visible, virtually all the buildings are of multistory design.

    Second is the signage – or rather, the comparative dearth of same. Photoshop in about twenty or thirty signposts and a shedload of tacky neon in front of each of the businesses, plus at least three or four billboards, and I could probably convince you that you were looking at Spokane, Flagstaff, or N. Dakota.

    Also missing: above-ground power- and communications wiring, AFAICT.

    Oh, and one bit that’s hard to pin down: The roadway is not only sparsely occupied, it’s also utterly free of yellow-orange striping.

  10. You have no idea how badly I want to zoom in and out of that photo.

    I think I remember which bridge that is, but I’m blanking on which direction it’s going.

    If the island’s upstream (to the left, out of the picture) then the kebap shop used to be behind the tree in the mid-ground at the far end of the bridge.

    (If the river goes the other way, I think you’re standing on top of the kebap shop…)

  11. The Leavenworth picture is not actually all that far off of how actual small Bavarian towns look. Main difference is the street width and diagonal parking. In a small Bavarian town, if the street is that wide (and some are) the buildings will be further apart; whereas if the buildings are that close, the street will be narrower, parking will be parallel and, in all likelihood, the street will not be straight because it will be the paved version of some very old horse/carriage path. Pretty good adaptation, all things considered. That it looks very different from Tübingen is more a testament to regional differences in Germany.