Sonntag, 4. Mai 2008

Trip to Shiyan and Party Night

Yesterday I went to Shiyan with Georg and Anja. We ended up in some Karaoke bar and had quite some fun. Foreigners are quite unusual here so we the attraction of the night. We had some police officer, a singer and the bar owner sitting at our table in the end and most of our Vodka and food was paid for by the owner. They just wouldn't stop filling up our glasses again and again. We were pretty drunk when we finally left the place.
After getting some munchies at the 24h super market (they even had some German "Rote Bete") we went to one of the massage spots near by end got a relaying food and body massage - 12 Euro for all three of us. After that it was time to head back to our nice hotel room - also 12 Euro for all of us.

Here are quite a lot of photos of the night
Trip and Party with Georg and Anja

And some videos...

...crazy Chinese Jumping Game...


...dancing, dancing...

...Georg singing Chinese...

...more Karaoke by Georg... to the polonaise!!!

And finally our hotel room


I got some really nice Chinese Calligraphy especially made for me.
The first Chapter of the Tao Te Ching.
And I could even take a little video while the artist was writing it.

He even had the whole Tao Te Ching but it was just a little to big to hang in my place.

Freitag, 2. Mai 2008

Chinese Toilette

The Chinese toilettes and toilettes habits are a bit different from the west.
Instead of a seat it's a squatting pan, basically a hole in the ground.
Here are two photos of one of the toilette and shower cabin at my school. These are in reasonable condition for Chinese standards.
There is also no toilette paper provided at public toilettes so it's a good idea to always carry some with you.
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Dienstag, 29. April 2008

What has happened in Wudang so far

Just the train ride to here was a bit of an adventure. The first part from Shenzhen to Wuhan I had a sleeper, so I could get some sleep on the 12 hours over night journey. But the train from Wuhan to Wudang was full so I had to stand and sit on a little stool for most of the time. The people on the train were very interested in me. Unfortunately since I don't speak any Chinese yet I was quit hard to communicate. But they were all very nice and offered me food. When I ate my rice with chopsticks everybody was watching me. I almost felt a bit like an animal in a zoo.
When I arrived in Wuhan the whole train waved me good bye.
After I walked around the small town for a bit I sat down to just observe the street life. I group of foreigners came by and told me that they are students at the Kung Fu school in town. So they took me along to their school. The next day I joint their training and man that was quite the hard training for me. Lots of stretching, kicks and leg work. The next day I was so sore. But still I think I was a very good training and the master there is very good and pays a lot of attention to detail. But the city is quite noisy and so I decided to take the bus up the mountain to have a loo at the school there. They had their day off on that day so I could joint the training but I still decided to stay here. It is nice and quiet and the school is smaller.
Georg another German student here has already been here for 1.5 years and is going to say for a total of 3 years.
I walked up to the top of the mountain to have a look at all the Daoist temples there. I don't know how many stairs I walked up that day, but it must have been thousands. So the next day I was already quite sore when we started the training.
In the afternoon of my first day of training here we went to Shiyan (the next big city in the region) where some of the students gave a performance for the opening celebration of the website After the performance and a lot of talking we had a huge amount of food. And every few minutes some important person would come to our table and toast with us. We got back at around 7PM to some more training.
Today is my second day of training at this school and I just feel tired and sore.

The Chinese Government Firewall blocks my Blog so every time I wan to look at my own site I have to uses a website like

Sonntag, 27. April 2008


So I made it to Wudang!
After staying for two nights with my super welcoming couchsurfing family...
I went off to a 20 hours train ride to Wudang.
Here are the first snapshots of the Wudang Mountains.

I will write a bit more about my experience here when I get some time.

Mittwoch, 23. April 2008

Arrived in China

So I made it to the land of the Dragon!
Last night I arrived in Shenzhen Airport. There was quite a long wait for immigration but no problems to get in.
My Couchsurfing host family is so nice and welcoming. Simon picked me up at the airport even at that late hour and took me out to get some food. It was good to have a decent sheep after all that time at airports. Today Cathy will help me organise my train ticket to Wudang.
Such a wonderful hospitality!!!
First impression: A lot of people. I'm on the 14th level of an apartment building right now and all I can see from the window are more big apartment buildings. Well somewhere the 8 Million people in this city have to fit.

Dienstag, 22. April 2008

Cairns -> Darwin -> Singapore

Just a quick update from the Singapore Airport.
I had quite some time to kill in Darwin so I took a bus into town, but I wasn't that impressed.
In Singapore Airport I found a Restaurant promoting Vegan Food - good on them

In Singapore I found myself in the unfortunate situation that Tiger Airways doesn't check its passengers through so that I ended up in the public not the transit area. And there is nothing to do there.
After taking a bit of a nap at Starbucks I hooked up with two other travellers and went off to explore the city a bit. Quite interesting but I guess the big Asia Culture Shock will come when I get to Shenzhen.
Here are some random visual impressions of Singapore.
[Click on the photo to see more images]

Montag, 21. April 2008

Off to China

So my rather long journey to the Wudang Mountains begins in a few hours.
At 1PM local time I will fly from Cairns to Dawin, where I will arrive at 3PM. At 1AM the next morning, so quite some time to kill at Darwin Airport (thank god they have free Wireless Internet) it's off to Singapore. I will get there at 4 in the morning and leave for Shenzhen at 7:20OPM, so again a lot of time to kill. But Singapore Airport is nice, lots of shops, free Internet, Massage to reasonable price and places to sleep. After about 3 and a half hours I be Shenzhen at 11PM (22. of April). In Shenzhen will stay with a Couchsurfer for the night or maybe even stay two night to see the city a relax a bit. You can get an hour massage for like $10 there.
From Shenzhen it will be a 13 hour train ride to Wuhan and then another 8 hours to Wudang. I'm thinking about getting off the train one station before Wudang and walk the last 80km but I'll decide that when I'm there.
So all in all it will take me at least 3 days and 7 hours to get there ;)
I'll let you know how it all goes.

Samstag, 19. April 2008

A lot has happened in the last two months and I haven't written anything anything about it and it is still a bit hard for me to do so.
I had just started my job as SCUBA Dive Instructor here in Cairns when I heard from my mum that my granddad is really not doing well. I booked a flight back to Germany that night and was on my way back home the next day. The next morning I arrived in Frankfurt and took the train home where my dad picked me up. We went straight to my granddad. I must say at first I was shocked. He seemed to be unconscious and didn't react to anything. I was just so sad and thought I came to late. After sitting with him for quite some time he opened his eyes again and I sure on some level he realised that I was there. I so glad that I had these moments with him.
Throughout the day the whole family came. Later in the evening he passed away very peacefully with all his family by his side.
The cremation and burial took place with the closest family.
The poem "Stufen" by Hermann Hesse, which has been on my own journey for quite some time, came as the theme for the ceremony.

Wie jede Blüte welkt
und jede Jugend dem Alter weicht,
blüht jede Lebensstufe,
blüht jede Weisheit auch und jede Tugend
zu ihrer Zeit und darf nicht ewig dauern.
Es muss das Herz bei jedem Lebensrufe
bereit zum Abschied sein und Neubeginne,
um sich in Tapferkeit und ohne Trauern
in and're, neue Bindungen zu geben.
Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne,
der uns beschützt und der uns hilft zu leben.
Wir sollen heiter Raum um Raum durchschreiten,
an keinem wie an einer Heimat hängen,
der Weltgeist will nicht fesseln uns und engen,
er will uns Stuf' um Stufe heben, weiten!
Kaum sind wir heimisch einem Lebenskreise
und traulich eingewohnt,
so droht Erschlaffen!
Nur wer bereit zu Aufbruch ist und Reise,
mag lähmender Gewohnheit sich entraffen.
Es wird vielleicht auch noch die Todesstunde
uns neuen Räumen jung entgegen senden:
des Lebens Ruf an uns wird niemals enden.
Wohlan denn, Herz, nimm Abschied und gesunde!
(Hermann Hesse)

Unfortunately the English translation doesn't quite capture it


As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
(Hermann Hesse)

Bon Camino Opa!

The death of my granddad shook me quite a bit.
I feel like the life here in Cairns is not for me right now and so I decided to do a retreat in the sacred Taoism Wudang mountains in China and study Tai Chi. I plan to be there for about a month but maybe even longer.
So on Monday I'm off to my next adventure.

Freitag, 18. April 2008

Blog via email

Thanks to FeedBurner you can now subscribe to my blog via email. Just enter you email address in the subscribe form on the right and you will get an update every time I post something new.


You might know the movie The Big Lebowski (Well if not you should definitely watch it), I just found out that some dudes started a religion based on it - Dudeism. And it is even related to Taoism.

Montag, 7. April 2008


My friend Miriam recommended me to watch this movie.
It shows how we abuse animals in many ways to our own advantage.
Even though I knew a lot of what it shows already I was shocked by this movie.
After watching this I just don't want to eat meat any more

Montag, 3. März 2008

I've got a Job!!!!

After doing a trial with two of the dive centre in here Cairns, Deep Sea Divers Den offered me a position as Diving Instructor. Today I signed my contract and did all the paper work (a lot of paper work). Tomorrow I just have to do an Australian First Aid course (yes Queensland is a bit special - German First Aid course is no good here) and on Wednesday I start work.
I'm actually glad that the first dive centre didn't give me a job because I like it a lot better at Deep Sea Divers Den - nicer people, better atmosphere and not quite so early starts ;)

I hadn't really had a chance to take many photos but here are a few shots from my first trip out on the Great Barrier Reef. I will try to take some more shots soon.

Sonntag, 17. Februar 2008

New Phone

I just got a new Phone. The number is +61 411 491 834. So now you can all txt and phone me again.

Samstag, 16. Februar 2008

Arrived in OZ

Yes I made it to OZ - even with my 20kgs of diving gear.
The first two nights I stayed with Frank from couchsurfing. He was such a great host - showed me around town and help me a lot to get myself set up here. He went flat hunting with me today and sure enough I ended up moving into the first place I looked at. I did look at some more flats but I had a feeling that this will be the place. I straight away got along with my new flatmates. And how could you not if you get offered a cold beer when you just moved in with this heat.
Unfortunately I haven't found a job as a Dive Instructor jet - it's slow season right now - but there are lots of other jobs available, so I might just do something else for a couple of months before I get a job on a dive boot.
Last night I went to a couchsurfing BBQ on the Esplanade - Cairn's Waterfront - it was really nice to meet some like minded locals and travellers. And I even got do some fire twirling.

Mittwoch, 13. Februar 2008

Counting the hours in NZ

Just 19 hours until I leave New Zealand again. Almost exactly one years I have been here and so much has happened in this last year. What will the next one have in store for me. "Es bleibt spannend" (It keeps being exciting).
My Van is sold and I'm pretty happy about the $3950 I got for it, that should get me started in Australia. My Backpack is almost packed and my dive gear is ready too. I think just the dive bag is like 20kg, so I hope the airline sticks to their word that I can take it at no extra charge.
So tomorrow at 7:25AM! it's off to Brisbane and then on to Cairns. Sanchio will drop me off at the airport where he picked me up almost a year ago - I think this will be a nice way to say goodbye - no I mean "See you" - New Zealand. I hope I'll be able to get some sleep tonight, well at 3:30 in the morning it's time to get up anyway.

Freitag, 8. Februar 2008

Update Piha

I finally managed to rotate the little video I took at Piha Beach.

Mittwoch, 6. Februar 2008

Small World

Last Friday I was walking along Queen's Steet in Auckland with Sanchio and my parents and who do I bump into - Matthias - a study colleagues from Agilent back in Germany. What a small world. We exchanged phone numbers and decided to meet up when he is back from his trip to the Bay of Islands. Yesterday we met up and went on a little road trip. After a shot trip to (N)One tree hill to get a good aerial view of Auckland...
[click on photo for more pictures]

...we drove out to Piha on the West coast.
[click on photo for more pictures]

After some hours on the beach watching the surf and enjoying the sun we went to the Kitekite Waterfall just around the corner. What an amazing place. I walked up a little track to get to the top of the falls and the steep climbing was rewarded with stunning views and a refreshing bath in a private pool on top of the falls.
[click on photo for more pictures]

On the way back we paid a short visit to Karekare Beach.
[click on photo for more pictures]

Back in Auckland we had dinner in Mission Bay - what a great day!

Montag, 4. Februar 2008


I know it has been a while since my last post....
Well I'm back in Auckland and getting ready for Australia.
My parents came to visit me for two weeks and I took them around the Coromandel. Was so nice to see all these familiar places again, but also a bit sad to have to say good bye for now.
Now I'm selling my Van and sporting everything out for OZ and on the 14th of February I'm gonna jump on my plane to Cairns.

Samstag, 5. Januar 2008

Cave Diving

I just went Cave Diving with Barbara and Dave in the Riwaka Resurgence Cave near Motueka. What an adventure. The stalactite and stalagmite formations are just amazing.
The Dive New Zealand Magazine has an article on the site with some photos.

Mittwoch, 2. Januar 2008

Happy New Year

Hi everybody just a quick update what I have been up too.
So much happened in the last 2 or 3 weeks that I still have to process lot.
Just before Christmas we went to the Rainbow Gathering. Just "lush".

Over Christmas we walked the Able Tasman Coastal Walk, a lot of people and nice beaches.
[click on photo for more pictures]

New Years we celebrates at the Carnon Downs Festival on Takaka Hill. The most intense New Years for me. Just when News Years hit I was fire twirling with about 30 - 40 other people - what an experience.
[click on photo for more pictures]