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 www.wudangshan.com. 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 anonymouse.org

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

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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