Here we are: The day to move and start the first leg of my trip has finally started. Packed with two suitcases and a messenger bag, I went to Düsseldorf airport, got them through check-in even though they were slightly overweight. The Rhineland seemed to be weeping for me since there were the heaviest rains for quite some time. I even had to change my shoes at the airport, they didn’t even survive the trek to the airport. :D This brought my checked baggage down to 20.5 kg and I was good to go.
Another surprise waited for me at the gate, the classic “machine says no” and “you have to go to the counter”. Standard economy class seemed to be overbooked, so they just put into premium economy… what a relief. My luck didn’t end there: first of all, I got seated in a place with no people in front of me (yay, legs). Secondly, the guy next to me was an expert on all things Asian (was married to a Taiwanese woman and had two German-Taiwanese kids). We talked about all things Asian for quite some time, so the actual flight time of 11,5 hours passed kind of fast. I thought Cathay Pacific was pretty good, especially the food in contrast to what we got two years ago with LH/Swiss while flying to Montreal. Though I had the space, I couldn’t really sleep.
Landing in Hong Kong we were welcomed by the arrival of the Juventus Turin team who were arriving at the gate next to ours. Anyhow, they didn’t have to wait like us commoners to get our passport stamped and went to another part of the airport. I was kind of tired, so I didn’t even recognize them at first and just went straight through a group of Juve’s management. :D A pretty dumb zombie move, should have waited for a bit and get some autographs.
I went to the city center by the MRT airport express, seeing a glimpse of the skyscraper “living quarters” of Hong Kong. Furthermore, I had to switch trains since my hostel was in Mong Kok, one of the most densely populated areas of our little blue planet. According to wiki, it is around 30 000 people per square kilometer, unbelievable. It’s really alien to an European, and has really strong cyberpunk vibe going about it B-) I am sure, Korben Dallas’s apartment in the 5th Element is inspired by this part of Kowloon Island / Hong Kong. You imagine high rise buildings, walkways on a 2nd or 3rd level, metro stations with several levels… especially levels for just selling stuff and not for public transport. I went to the “Dragon” Hostel and – no surprise there – it was on the 7th floor of a building which looked pretty used and had only two elevators. One was for odd, one was for even numbers. I arrived pretty early, at around 8:00 in the morning, so I couldn’t just go to my room. I made the acquaintance of a guy of the Philippines who works as an accountant in Abu Dhabi and was on his way to Ocean world, some entertainment park. I left my luggage and went into the heat and humidity of Hong Kong.
The humid weather seemed to be something I cannot cope with too well. I went through several shirts per day pretty easily. I went to Langham Palace first to check if there’s some free Wifi and some kind of sim card I could use. It’s a crazy place too but the AC did its magic. :D
In general, Mong Kok seemed way more slummy than Central on Hong Kong island. The most amazing thing are the people themselves, they wear the darndest things… some examples:
• A Chinese middle aged uncle guy wearing a “Jogis 12. Mann” shirt from the Nivea campaign from 2014 (I think, it was from Nivea).
• A guy wearing an FSV Mainz 05 jersey. In Hong Kong. Of all places.
• A 20 year old girl with a shirt “I do good fuck”
• Some guy with the fakest jersey ever: SSC Neapels jersey design, Bayern Munich tag, LFP tag and a very confused Patrick. At least it stayed in Europe.
• Various Engrish forms of more famous mode labels
I went to TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) and saw some of my first markets on the way: a market for flowers and a market for all kind of singing birds. The promenade in TST is something from another world. You can see Hong Kong island’s skyline (check my photos on facebook or Instagram) which especially during the nightfall / night is a particular treat. I guess there are only a very few places in this world which can impress like that. The main attraction is the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong and in contrast to everything else in Hong Kong, it is blessed with cheap prices. It’s just like 1 Euro to go the other part and back. The view from both sides is really amazing. If you want to take selfies you should go to either side. TST also has restaurants and bars from all the world… or at least what the Hong Kong Chinese think other countries eat. Anyway, jetlag and the heat took a toll and I had to get back to the hostel to give my eyes some rest.
Arriving at the hostel, the receptionist had changed and it got kind of weird fast. I was a bit too early to check-in, so I sat in the really small reception common area and was slowly falling asleep. I was woken up by a continuous burping. Well, it was the receptionist who enjoyed burping much more than folding blankets. My sleep had never been disrupted by burps, so that’s a new. Finally, I got to my room and could get some sleep.
To be continued in Part II
Hi guys and gals, as you might have seen or heard, I started my trip to China, so I guess blogging my experiences are in order B-) This will be just a short introduction to what lies ahead. After a short stint in Hong Kong, I'll move to Beijing and hopefully experience many different aspects of Asia and hope to meet great people here. So far, so good, I'll be writing a short mashup of Hong Kong later. :)
I'll probably make some videos about touristing in China. We'll see... I've made some Victoria Harbour ones but have to copy them from the action cam first. (will do that in Beijing). More likely will be Instagram posts or actual photos made with my Nikon D7000. (should save some money for ful format)
Nevertheless, check my Instagram for various foodporn and funny Engrish/Chinglish things... I might even find some rare memes here! ;) If you have me on Facebook, you'll probably also see some stream of consciousness posting in the next weeks.
I tried a bit with the free filters (it has in app purchases to get more filtes) and the pictures came out nice. Tilt-shift combined with some polaroid-esque filter tend to be good for small panoramas. :) Give it try!
Also have some panoramas of Constance/Lake Constance (the Xperia has this mode, hooray :D )
New photos and a video :) Last Saturday the Summer Köln Festival officially opened. The first act was Hop Stop Banda, a band consisting of a Russian, a Tartar, a Jew, a German and a Chilene, playing a mix of pop, rock, ska with elements of Russian, Jewish, Eastern European folk music. Awesome! :) Check the video:
It was followed by an open air theatre group from Krakow but we couldn't see much. I had my tripod with me though, so here are some Location photos ;)
Next day we went to the Bierbörse in Bonn, lecker Bier for everyone :D
and some nice light.
More photos in the Sets Eventastic, Köln Ming Stadt & Street!
Another update! :) Last week I was in Berlin, thanks to Deutsche Bahn's offer to ride the bullet train for free for one day (even though I guessed the world cup winner wrong and didn't get another year of BahnCard 25 for free :D ) I met some very dear friends and had an overall splendid time. Photos will be in the Voyages section. :)
Furthermore, we had the annual Kölner Lichter and I finally had a tripod with me. The photos of the fireworks look much sharper now (f11-15 & ISO100 instead of ISO6400!). Enjoy them under the Eventastic tab!
Also check the Street Photography Tab, I've added some photos there as well! :)
What a night, I still cannot find words for what happened during the game. It seems that my brain still needs another day to have a proper game analysis. "No one expected the Spanish Inquisition!" Anyhow, the internet burst with creativity, so here's a collection of what I found, mostly from facebook, twitter and the something awful forums (there are several ones with hitler but I dont want to get sued by some bored lawyer :D )
It is happening.gif .... it finally started and to get you in the mood, here are some songs, ranging from terrible to very terrible :D (or at least tongue in cheek as in Deichkinds case!) (if you find more songs, please add them in the comment section)
Yesterday I took a short trip to Germany's finance capital and was pleasantly surprised about the city. It's a bit schmuddelig (grungy) like my beloved Cologne or like Berlin but not in a bad way. Furthermore, it was also bigger than I imagined. So let's get to some things I've seen and I'd like to comment on:
Museums: Frankfurt has a lot of really awesome museums! I truly enjoyed my stay in the German Film Museum, the Museum of Communication, the Museum of Applied arts and the Jewish Museum. The German Architecture Museum is okay too but strongly to its founder. The Museum of Modern Art had a special exhibition on contemporary African art. I felt a bit lost there since I can't connect the dots that easily. The Museum of World Cultures is truly disappointing and it smells like a mixture of a dentist's office and a zoo. Most of the exhibited "art" and tools is collected in the 20s or 30s and from Africa (well, it corresponds to the time of the idea of Eugenics) and not really put in historical context. (auf Deutsch: es gleicht eher dem Konzept des "Edlen Wilden" anstatt eines wirklichen Herangehens an die Kulturen, sehr komisches Museum)
The Museum of Communication and the Film Museum have a lot of interactive parts, so it's ideal to go there with kids. According to the staff, the Film museum plans to make another exhibiton on video games and movies the next year, might be interesting. I found the Jewish Museum excellent in its display of History. They displayed original written sources, put them in the historical context and generally were well displayed. Just the airport security gate at the entrance is an ugly reminder that still not everything is right in Germany & Europe (e.g. they had these gates in Jewish museums in Budapest, too) There are many more museums in Frankfurt, it's really something. A 2-Day pass was just 18 Euros, which is a bargain in my opinion.
Festivities: There were Skiff (?) Competitions, a Wine Fest and a Foodstuff Fest, while I was there. At the foodstuff thingy I was drawn to a Kölsch stall (as you can imagine) and just generally had an awesome time, which leads me to the people...
People: Well, you instantly recognize the bankers and yuppies but they seem confined to their skyscraper neighbourhoods in a way. I think you see more suits in Brussels day by day then there. Also, Frankfurt seems to have a huge Asian population and a very popular tourist destination for people from China. Anyway, there are definitely more Asian restaurants than in Köln and a much bigger variety in them. Coming back to Kölsch stall, I talked with some Frankfurters and they were even surprised that I had such a good experience :D Basically though, they agreed that, people in this area are maybe not that friendly like in Köln but still are much better than the Southern Neighbours in Baden-Württemberg, which are more closed. There was one funny guy, who said he was the manager of Boyce Avenue and invited people for drinks. He actually looked more like some crazy person but friendly. :D I've also talked to a former tourist animateur in Spain who is in love with Köln (and a girl from Frechen ;) ) and so a member of the Rote Funken. Oh, the poeple you met sometimes. The Köbes (a girl from Frankfurt and a teacher from Berlin were also pretty awesome and happy to talk. All-around-good-time people :D
Other Sights: The Römer, the Paulskirche and the Mainufer are all sights to be seen. Pretty interesting places B-)
I've finally stopped being lethargic and uploaded the very best (imo) photos from Hamburg & Montreal, the last two cities I've visited. Enjoy! :) (for all the people who dont want to browse the huge photo database on facebook :D )
Here are the slideshows, the whole albums are in the menu (voyages).on the left side.
Well, I'm in the middle of my final exams so I didn't shoot many photos the past month(s). That said, there are a few from a short Dortmund visit two weeks ago. We went to the harbor and afterwards to our favorite beer place (with Glühbier!) B-)
Has a Stalinist Poster on his wall just to annoy the people visiting him.
Zizek: "Can I give you some fucking fruit juice?" "I'd love some fucking fruit juice" Zizek:"Coke, Ice Tea... so here the cancer you get is included because with zero sugar you got all those sweeteners."
Ein hervorragender (neuer) Kabarettist aus Duisburg, der radebrechend die Welt zwischen Rhein und Ruhr erklärt aber auch nicht halt macht die große und kleine Politik, Religion, Philosophie oder Linguistik ins Boot zu ziehen. Ich zitiere hier einfach mal eine Pressestimme: "Kai Magnus Sting glänzt mit neuem Programm. Politik, Haltbarkeitsdaten und Religion, nichts lässt der Wusel aus. Selbst Zwischenrufe aus dem Publikum baut er brillant ein. Dazu hat … er ein Mundwerk wie ein Maschinengewehr.”
Mainzer Rheinzeitung" (mehr unter http://kaimagnussting.de/presse/pressestimmen/ ) Der Mann des Abends:
Hier noch eine kleine Sammlung von Ausschnitten, die ich während der Hömma weiß Bescheid!-Tour in Dortmund am 22.09.13 gemacht hatte:
Here it is, the final update with the photos from Tallinn! Enjoy while it lasts :D Brilliant city, fantastic people and lot's of adventures to be discovered! ;) (bigger pictures always on the left in the menu "voyages")
Moody weather, coffee & oldies @ radioskonto.lv leaves me working with some photos (and the second to last update from my vacation in the Baltics) :) feeling creative, here is the slideshow of Tartu's best:
I also was reading some threads over at the SomethingAwful Forums and there was something like the "worst music videos" in the world. Well, I saw "The Hunger" which was pretty terrible but seemed to be fitting to the "Dayman" by Charlie of "It's always sunny in Philadelphia" fame. Enjoy this stupid mashup :D