Reiselust- Hungry for travel

Rotto: Where animals are the true Selfie-pros

Perth and its surrounding areas have so much more to offer than cultural cliches might make you believe. In my humble opinion, there are a lot of spots here that come close to what heaven might resemble like, especially if that heaven was envisioned for Condé-Nast-travel-editors, National Geographic- wildlife-photographers or just intrepid travel lovers. Ok, now that the stage is set and your curiosity is sparked, let me introduce you to Rotto. Say what?

Rotto is local speak for Rottnest Island, an absolute chocolate-praline of an island located about a 25-minute ferry ride off Fremantle in Western Australia. Rotto is everything you think the Carribean might look like, plus Quokkas. Say what again? Well, imagine stepping off the ferry in Thomson Bay, being blinded by white sand beaches, greeted by incredibly clear blue waters sparkling invitingly in the sun and a sky the color of azure-blue confetti. Your gaze wanders around, your mood lifts from taking in all the picture-perfect impressions around you and then, something VERY unusual stops you in your tracks.

Is it an Instagrammed aka beautified rat? Is it a small kangaroo gone wrong? No! The small animals that like to wander around Rotto as if they own the place (which they kinda do) are called Quokkas. If a zoologist would explain to you what they are, he would probably say that they are wallaby-like marsupials about the size of a cat. Quokkas are a truly Western Australian phenomenon, as they can only be found on some islands off the WA coast and in the forest and coastal heath in the South-Western part of this vast state.

The Quokka is a true trendsetter by the way, as he/she prefers vegan food, and is furthermore also very photogenic. It´s no wonder, then, that Quokkas do fancy the occasional photo-shoot. Ah well, they might be slightly addicted. But who isn´t, in these times of social media mayhem? Sorry, I am wandering off. Back to your new found animal friend.

No matter whether you choose to explore the Rottnest Island nature reserve by foot or on a bike, you´ll see Quokkas all around. They will approach you if you stick around for a bit, so get that selfie-stick ready and put a smile on your dial. The Quokka usually already has one, that´s why it´s often called “The happiest animal ever” by its admirers. I would be happy, too, if a whole island was named after me!

Yep, the name ´Rottnest´is actually a weird sort of love declaration to the fun-loving furry marsupials, because, just like you, 17th century Dutch explorers didn´t know what hit them when they saw these cuties for the first time. They accordingly named the island after their perception of the Quokkas as cat-sized rats – Rottnest Island literally means rat´s nest.

Alright, let´s assume you are waiting for your Quokka-friends on this car-free island playground, ideally around the main settlement area in the late afternoon. Your new photo-co-stars love green spaces and grass (ahem, no comment), so they often hang out around the green space where the bakery is, according to insider sources on the island.

You could also choose to interact around Thomson Bay or see if a Quokka wants to keep you company at the Oceanside Pub. Anyways, Quokka approaches you, next up, get low to the ground and close to the Quokka’s level, and do not put your arm around it – you can do that with your Uncle Bill, but not with this wild and free Selfie queen/ king. Do not touch it all, actually. Think of it as a Kim Kardashian or a Sam Heughan in animal form. You wouldn´t touch them, either, if you crossed their path, right? Being starstruck and all.

To top off your Quokka-interaction- experience, continue on to the final step: Click that freaking shutter! Yeah, you´ve done it! And the best part: No need to Whatsapp the Quokka-mate the new picture. They have plenty already.


Practical information:

  • To get there, take a ferry from Fremantle, central Perth or Hillary´s Boat Harbour. There are numerous ferries available daily with Rottnest Express and Rottnest Fast Ferries. 
  • Do not touch the Quokkas, you or them might get unwell from that. Think of them as a Tinder-date with social anxiety.
  • Do not feed them, either. Think of yourself feeding them as that overeager aunt that always wanted to stuff you with food you didn´t want.
  • Bring a Selfie-stick to keep a decent distance between you and smiley Quokka. Remember, they are basically movie or TV stars. Keep your cool and don´t get hysterical. 

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China for beginners: Hainan

Excitement doesn’t even begin to cover what I feel when boarding Air-not-Africa in direction Hainan, China’s only subtropical island paradise. I wonder whether I am slightly high – no wonder, after a very restless night wandering the corridors of Singapore’s Changi Airport I am on a 24-hour sleep deprivation that’s just about to go weird.

Meeting Isabella from Haikou

Fortunately, there’s my new friend Isabella: a very dreamy girl from Haikou, Hainan’s capital city, who smiles non-stop and asks me straight-up whether I am up for a chat. Over the next two or three hours, Isabella shares fascinating insights with me that reveal a lot about some of the challenges that contemporary China and Chinese youngsters specifically are currently facing.

As opposed to most Western young adults, Chinese youth are heavily influenced and formed by their strict parents’ expectations and demands. Isabella, a name the 23-year-old chose for herself to facilitate interactions with foreigners who might struggle with pronouncing the Mandarin name, is no exception. Following her parents’ wishes, she is studying tourism in Singapore despite feeling utterly bored by it. She also hasn’t been able to catch up with her boyfriend in eleven long month due to her parents’ disapproval.

Isabella keeps telling me how hard it still is in modern day China to stand up to your ancestors and to choose the life you really want to live against all protests and odds. We end our surprisingly direct conversation by exchanging addresses and hugging each other goodbye. My first impression of Chinese people in China is definitely a great one! Let´s see if these positive impressions keep coming –  it’s time to set foot on the land of the rising sun.

The land of the rising sun

The people’ s Republic of China is home to over a whopping 1,37 billion people. The little island to the South is subtropical Hainan, one of China’s premier holiday destinations.

Passing the Chinese border control

Ah well, it´s ALMOST time to set foot on the land of the rising sun. First, a border patrol lady is questioning my motives of entering the holy land of consumer product creation. “Are you here for business?”, she asks me in a strict tone of voice. “No, visiting a relative.” , I answer slightly intimidated. “What is your relative doing in China?” At this point, I am inclined to answer with “He is an American spy. ”

I choose not to, however, flying back to Australia without even tasting some authentic dumplings does not sound like the wisest plan. The border patrol lady seems satisfied with the answer I actually give, and so I triumphantly leave the security area, pick up my bags and meet my relative at the exit. Fortunately, he is fluent in Chinese – seeing as out of nowhere, about five over-diligent cab drivers surround us and get a little too close for my liking. Hey, I am used to plenty of space now, living in WA and all! After discussing loudly in screamy Chinese, we get into a cab and drive to the hostel. There´s good and bad news awaiting me there.

haikou taxi

Haikou and a cab. I know it´s not the airport.

First impressions of the Haikou hostel

The good news: an in-house menu with delicious dumplings that I actually manage to eat with chopsticks! The bad news: the toilet is a hole in the ground… Then I remember that this is quite a common thing in Asia, and tell myself to be less biased, for f… sake. Flexibility is key regarding authentic travel experiences, and I plan on sticking to that mantra! The next two days in Haikou are spent discovering some intriguing sights, tasting authentic treats and ….almost eating a brain. Stay tuned for more details on my Haikou adventures! Have you been to China yet? What were your first impressions?

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Fiery food and fancy clubs in spectacular Singapore

My first trip to Singapore was a game changer – I was in Asia for the first time, after all! And I was ready for absolutely anything. Before even setting foot on the Lion’s city’s soil, I made sure to cover every last inch of my skin in pungent, poisonous DEET-Spray to keep any possible malaria-threat at bay.  In my mind, it was quite obvious that bloodthirsty anopheles-mosquitoes were patiently waiting around every corner just to get hold of my irresistibly delicious blood. My first Singaporean encounter was, however, not an out-of-control mosquito, but a lovely Indian guy working at the airport. Much to my amazement, he was quite delighted when he found out that I had just arrived from Germany. He gifted me a broad, beautiful smile and performed a little jump, mimicking a soccer-move in the air and enthusiastically exclaiming: ”Ah, Germany! Soccer!”

Singers Skyline

Admiring the Lion´s city skyline on a hazy afternoon

Stepping out of Changi Airport, voted the best airport in the world for the last five consecutive years, something quite distinct caught my attention. A bunch of mostly tiny white-haired ladies and gentlemen,  all in their seventies or eighties, were walking around full of determination and busy like bumblebees. Their sole task consisted in making sure that the taxis would swiftly drive up to their designated spot and that customers would be on their way right away, without any hassle or any tedious waiting in line. All in all, it took about two minutes until we were safely seated in the taxi. Quite efficient, right? On the way into town, I longingly pressed my nose against the tainted window, fully in awe of the amazingly lush, abundant tropical vegetation that lined the impeccably maintained streets. Gorgeous Banyan trees, palm trees, and orchids gave us a quick first impression of Singapore’s staggering 2200 native plant species.

Eat, eat, eat some more: Welcome to food heaven

Our cute hotel, Hangout@Mount Emily, was located only 3 km away from Chinatown, and we decided to make the most of the balmy, tropical night and take a look around. Luckily for us, the shopping malls, one of Singapore’s definite go-to-places and (almost) national treasures, were still open at 10 pm, allowing us to explore their amazing food stalls. With their array of colorful, mouth-watering specialties, Singapore’s hawker centers and markets are undoubtedly a piece of pure paradise for food-lovers.

 

singapore shopping mall

Enjoying one of Singapore´s countless shopping malls

One of Singapores´s many foodstalls

A busy food stall at Lau Pa Sat food market

Want some inspiration? If you love it hot and spicy, you should definitely give Singapore’s specialty dish Laksa a try. Laksa is a spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan/ Nyonya cuisine,  created by descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and Indonesia inter-marrying with local Malays. It consists of rice noodles with chicken, prawn or fish, offered in spicy soup and often times based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk. When I tried Laksa for the first time at fancy Lau Pa Sat Food market, I desperately attempted to eat a quarter of the normal sized portion for an eternally long seeming half an hour, skeptically ogled by the Singaporean soup Saleslady. I did not do so well, to say the least, despite basically turning into a fire-spitting ball of determination. So yeah, you better love your meals real hot!

Other delicious food-ideas to sample in Singapore pose less risk to spice-adverse stomachs and include delicious pink dragon fruit, Kaya toast and Milo for breakfast. Or tender satay, grilled meat served with rice cake, peanut sauce and cucumber-chili relish, for a light lunch. Singapore’s food is generally speaking as diverse and eclectic as its population, a fascinating blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, and Western influences.

 

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Pretty in pink: Dragon fruit, or Pitya, is grown and exported from several South East Asian countries. Its mommy is a pretty cactus!

Spice it up, non-food-wise: A wedding celebration and tropical nightlife wonders

My first stay in Singapore, a country that consistently scores top spots in the ”Best countries to live in” – rankings, obviously did not just (exclusively) consist of food indulgences. One of the undeniable highlights was attending a friend’s incredibly memorable wedding-celebration at luxurious Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay in Singapore. After a touching church ceremony downtown, the celebration took place in one of the many Skyscrapers overlooking the Singaporean Marina. And what a celebration it was! A delicious five-course-meal and two dress changes and appearances of the newlyweds, dramatically set in scene by a red carpet, Titanic-movie-style-music, as well as smoke from an authentic smoke machine (for real!), turned the party into an almost out-of-body experience.

Singapore

Stunning Singapore at night

After a mix of tear-jerking speeches and light entertainment, it was finally time to hit da dance floor. Singapore has quite a reputation for its great club-scene, including but not limited to the areas of Clarke Quay, Chinatown’s Club street and Holland village. For fans of nostalgic momentum: Check out legendary Raffles hotel and drink up that notorious Singapore Sling, though your purse might not thank you for it. However, your travel memory collection certainly will. Choices! In our case, we opted for something different that young and alluring night and decided to party on in one of Singapore’s stunning clubs with a view, CE LA VI, and to, later on, hit the clubs on gorgeous Sentosa Island. Hugely popular Sentosa Island is a true treasure chest, even though it’s not entirely what it seems to be… Do you have any handy, absurd, or exciting travel tips for Singapore to share? Feel free to comment below, and thanks for your time, fellow travel lovers!

 

 


Handy information part: 

Hungry at 4 AM? Go to: Lau Pa Sat Foodmarket, 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582. You can eat around the clock here, so better bring those generously sized pants, mates. And they better be decent looking, financial district location and all. Just sayin’…

All jittery? Dance it off at: CÉ LA VI, 1 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018971 

Tired much? Sleep at: Hangout@Mount Emily, 10A Upper Wilkie Rd, Singapore 228119. Phone: +65 6438 5588

Having an airport-crush? Spend the day prior to your arrival or departure in Chiangi-Airport, Airport Blvd, Singapore. Why? There’s enchanted gardens, butterfly sanctuaries, art installations, a multimedia entertainment center and even a movie theatre to keep you in non-stop-marvelling-mood.

 

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Bali Beach turtle rescue

It is late afternoon in Bali. World-famous Kuta beach resembles an overcrowded anthill: a messy mix of surfers, retired Australians with big bellies enjoying their Bintang beers on plastic chairs, partying youngsters and Balinese either socializing in the sand or selling all imaginable types of products. Some also offer up drinks from improvised mini beach bars as well as mobile Rasta style hair braiding services or massages.

The muggy and stifling heat of an average tropical day at the end of the dry season is finally easing up. Palm trees along the narrow beach promenade mercifully stretch out their long leaves to shelter the gathering onlookers who await the dramatic sunsets of Bali’s Southern Coast.

The Balinese Sea Turtle Initiative

In between all the hustle and bustle, a giant turtle raises its head and commands attention. It belongs to the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Center, an initiative created by Balinese Mr. Agung and his wife Wayan in 2001 as a safe haven for sea turtle eggs, which are being laid on Kuta beach by the thousands each year. The programm’s goal lies in protecting the tortoises’ eggs from threats in their original nesting locations such as high tide, tourist traffic, feral dogs or irresponsible human behavior. In a safe and sheltered environment, hatching rates are increased.

It’s the first time for me to help in a Sea turtle program, and even though I have worked with animals of a much bigger size before, I feel quite excited and a tiny bit nervous. More than forty or even fifty people linger around the oval, sand filled open-air container that harbors the now hatched eggs and the incredibly cute baby sea turtles that left their shells just the night before and crawl around for the first time in their short lives. Agitated and expectant sounding fragments of Malaysian, Indonesian, English, French and Italian around me fuse into a motley hotchpotch while we wait for Mr. Agung to give us instructions. Meanwhile, some trained volunteers carefully transport the sea turtles from their container to the point of the first encounter between the baby sea turtles and us international volunteer – bundles of excitement.

Mr. Agung is, even at first sight and before commencing his speech, a joyous force to be reckoned with. Bursting with energy, the founder of the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Program addresses the curious multicultural crowd with an incredibly infectious enthusiasm that makes you feel in your bones how deeply he cares about the cause. While connecting with us volunteers for the day with a smile that seems as warm as an honest embrace, he tells us all about releasing the baby sea turtles back into the ocean and reveals some insightful facts about the conservation project.

How to be a Turtle Ranger aka almost a Ninja Turtle

The work of the long-term volunteers consists in morphing into heroic Turtle Rangers who patrol the beach all night long on the lookout for mother sea turtles that come out of the ocean to lay their eggs. They then go on to protect the mother turtle during the nesting process. Once she is finished laying the eggs and safely back in the ocean, the task concludes with the eggs’ relocation from the beach to the hatchery at Kuta. Subsequently it’s time to wait 45 to 60 days for the baby sea turtles to develop and hatch. Once they come out,  it’s all about being quick, as the sea turtles should be returned to their natural habitat as soon as possible, ergo the day after their nightly hatching.

Mr. Agung tells us that their survival rate without help, with the eggs remaining at often chaotic Kuta beach, would be just 1 in 3000- not very convincing odds and a huge driving force for the Sea Turtle program to work relentlessly towards bettering the baby sea turtles chances. General survival rates for hatchlings, baby sea turtles venturing to the ocean for the first time, are just 1 in 1000. After getting instructed in how to release the turtle into the Indian Ocean and encouraged to give “our” little tortoise a name, the excitement continues.

Tending to turtles or to let go and trust the flow

My little turtle friend is handed to me in a small plastic container with a bit of water, and I need to keep a hand on top so it does not escape. I try to keep steady as I don’t want baby Grace to feel like in a rollercoaster and get motion-sick. I am hoping a name like the one I chose could slightly increase her chances to make it in the unpredictable environment of the gigantic Indian Ocean.

Once the huge crowd of volunteers is safely at the shoreline, Mr. Agung gives us the sign: “Lower them down now!”, he shouts out excitedly and in a voice of determination against the backdrop of the crushing waves. I gently lower the plastic container and let Grace courageously crawl onto the beach. She seems a little unsure at first, but then her instincts lead her into the wide open waters of the Ocean. We all cheer the baby turtles on with everything we got and watch them getting closer and closer to the sea, incredibly tiny against the vastness of it all, until they are absorbed by the waters, bravely defying the huge waves.

It might not be the final goodbye I fear it to be, as astonishingly the sea turtles that make it tend to return to the exact same beach where they were born, guided by the Earth’s magnetic field. According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, most female turtles come back faithfully to the same beach each time they are ready to nest. Not only do they appear on the same beach, they often emerge within a few hundred yards of where they last nested. Grace, I don’t know to 100% if you are female, but I certainly hope so…Catch you later, sweet turtle friend, may we meet again, I whisper with an almost mother like feeling as I watch the sun set in all its splendor over Kuta beach.

Practical information:

  • Facts concerning the Balinese Sea Turtle release: Between 2012 and 2013 there were more than 50,000 eggs safely relocated to the hatchery, and around 80% of these were successfully hatched and released to the ocean.
  • Sea Turtle nesting season on Kuta Beach is from March to September each year.
  • Sea turtle hatching season is from April to October each year.
  • Nesting dates are an estimation only and the baby turtles will hatch naturally when they are ready.Early and late in the season the frequency of baby sea turtle release will vary.

For more information on the Balinese initiative and to contact the centre directly:

For more information on Sea turtles and their protection in general:

What can YOU do to help and protect sea turtles?

Check out defenders.org suggestions:

5thingstosaveseaturtles

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Magic happens

Feeding a wild dolphin, riding a cuddly camel, and dreaming with aboriginal didgeridoo-meditation, living magic:

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Connecting to Latinamerican vibes in the middle of nowhere

How the story goes, two and a half years ago I was facing a major life decision.While others may deliberate at age 27 whether to get a house or a baby or a marriage or the whole suburban dream package, I was facing the crucial question:

Photo by Maik Wunderlich

Should I either spend the whole amount of my European bucks on a trip to  A) BALI or B) Brazil and Mexico. That  A) would somehow be leading me to a life in Australia, was not to be foreseen then. Even I if I do remember having mentioned on occasional confrontations with my parents in my early twenties and teenage years, that I would emigrate to Australia never to be seen again if they would continue to be so nasty to me, lol. (Maybe that got somehow stuck in my subconscious…spooky).

Anyway, embarking on the Balinese and the Australian adventure somehow meant abstaining from the south- and central American delights, and even though I mostly love how the story went so far…

visions of the sounds of Samba and Salsa, the smell of Guacamole and Fajitas and the sights of wildly and joyous dancing bodies at the beaches of Brazil keep lurking seductively in a corner of my mind.

When I arrived in the wild Australian West around two years ago, I was desperately looking for Spanish fellow expatriates. They insisted on hiding from me though, joder! Nevertheless, I did find an alluring multicultural mix of lovely Latinos, and was soon enchanted by their warmth and their variety of Spanish vocabulary as well as the cultural expressions each of their home countries harbors.

Let’s have a look at Venezuela, for example:

We all know that there was Chavez. And now, not anymore. However, I learned through my beautiful Venezuelan friend Carolina that Venezuelan gasoline is cheaper than water, that “chevere” means the same as “guay” in spanish Spanish (meaning cool, awesome) and that the Venezuelan culture has been strongly influenced by the Caribbean context.

And what about El Salvador? Who except for adventuresome backpackers and ecotour-travel agents knows exactly where this country is located (yes, between Guatemala and Honduras), and what makes it so special?

My Aussie friend David was born in El Salvador and emigrated with his family to Western Australia twenty-four years ago, because there was a brutal dictatorship in that small but delightful central American country at that time.

I also learned, that there is a magical dish called PUPUSAS (still need to try it) from this country and that you can reach EVERYTHING within half an hour drive once you are there (EVERYTHING meaning beach- bush\jungle-volcanos).

Oh, and of course: that “chivo” means “chevere” (Venezuelan Spanish) means “guay” (spanish Spanish ) means cool (international English). And then there is Mexico…which will turn up in a different post.

Until then, enjoy y que tengais un dia bien chevere! Y chivo! Y guay! Ole!

PS: Did you enjoy this post? If so, just enter your mail address where it says ” follow”(subscribe) on the right side of this page. You can find it, I know you can. Go for it and enjoy the read. May it serve you and your face muscles (laughter relaxes face muscles btw. Healthy stuff.)

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Von Bieren, Blondies und Beaches: das bunte australische Identitätenkaleidoskop

Vor einigen Tagen fand hier in Perth ein gigantisches Oktoberfest statt, bei dem halb Westaustralien, in Lederhosen und Dirndl eingekleidet und mit viel Lust auf Bier ausgestattet, zugegen schien.

Das Oktoberfest scheint einfach zur Wahrnehmung deutscher kultureller Identität im Ausland dazuzugehören: Ob im muslimischen Melaka im Herzen Malaysias oder in der abgelegensten Metropole der Welt Perth – Deutsche, Bier und Lederhosen scheinen in den Augen der Welt so sehr zusammenzugehören wie Australier und Kaenguruhs.

Wenn wir in Europa an Australier denken, steht uns sicherlich schnell der rund um die Uhr wellenreitende Surfer mit von der Sonne blondgekuesstem Haar, durchtrainiertem Posterkörper sowie tiefenentspannter Grundattituede vor Augen. Sowie wahlweise auch niedliche gruppenkuschelnde und stets fotoflirtfreudige Koalas, gefaehrliche Giftviecher und Endlosdimensionen (endlose Straende, endlose Wuesten).

Zumindest war das meine Vision dessen, was Australiens Essenz im Grossen und Ganzen ausmachen muesste. Sicherlich lag ich nicht komplett falsch mit meinem heiter zusammengemischten Vorurteilsbaukasten. Aber eben auch nicht so ganz richtig.

Was also konstituiert die australische Mentalitaet, die australische kulturelle Identitaet? Was genau ist ein “typischer Australier”?

Dieser Frage wird in den naechsten Beitraegen nachgespuert. Aspekte, die diesbezueglich thematisiert werden, umfassen:

  • Von Surfern und dem australischen Mannsbild aus dem Busch: australische Identitaet als Identitaet des weissen Mannes
  • Von glattgeleckten Adonissen und reichlich fuelligen TV- Junkies: australische Identitaet zwischen Fitnesswahn und Fernsehfaulheit
  • Von Australien als kleinem Bruder Amerikas versus Australien als braver Tochter Grossbritanniens
  • Australien als gutgelaunter Multikultipott versus Down Under als Angst- und Aggressionshort
  • Von Australiens Identitaet in Abgrenzung zu Asien und zu den Ureinwohnern: die Angst des weissen Mannes um “sein” Land

Zum Auflockerung und zur authentischeren Vermittlung des Themas werdet ihr in Kuerze auch einige Interviews von waschechten Australiern zum Thema lesen koennen.
Wenn Ihr noch andere Aspekte thematisiert sehen wollt, schreibt mir gerne und jederzeit!

Ich muss jetzt auch mal los zum Kaenguruhstreicheln. Und zum Barbecue am Strand. Mit Kaenguruhfleisch (deshalb das Streicheln).

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Einmal Abenteuer und zurück

1200 km – was in Deutschland bedeutet, einmal das ganze Land im Längsschnitt durchfahren zu haben, ist in Westaustralien quasi Käsekuchen.

Coral Bay, Ningaloo Marine Park

 

Von der Hauptstadt Westaustraliens Perth bis hin zum Ningaloo Marine Park im tropischen Teil des Bundesstaates führte uns unserer Roadtrip, vorbei an umwerfenden Landschaften, ungeheuer lauten Mac Pie Vögeln und ja, jeder Menge Känguruhs. Unterwegs wussten wir uns gegen bussgeldgeile Ranger, uns nachts über den Weg laufende Kühe, klirrende Kälte im nächtlichen Wüstenland und Konsorten zu verteidigen. Endlose Strassen führten vorbei an winzig kleinen Dörfern, die sich hier in WA Städte nennen, und meist karger Vegetation auf roter, rauher Erde auf der einen Seite. Und vorbei am tiefblauen Indischen Ozean und endlosen, oftmals einsamen Sandstränden auf der anderen Seite.

Sechs Nächte in sechs Ortschaften: Übernachten im Van, im Motel, im Zelt und in Backpackerunterkünften. Und sechs Tage zwischen Durchwandern atemberaubenden Nationalparks, auf Tuchfühlung gehen mit Kamelen (wunderbare und superfreundliche Tiere übrigens!) und Delphinen (dito), Banananplantagen Bestaunen und im tropischen Rentnerparadies Coral Bay Entspannen. Letzteres war wirklich speziell: das Dorf besteht aus einer Strasse voller Campingstätten, die z.T. auf ein halbes Jahr hin ausgebucht sind und hauptsächlich Rentner in massiven Campervans, oder sollte ich lieber sagen Campingschloessern, beherbergen. Als wir in Coral Bay ankamen war es proppenvoll – auf den Campingplätzen. Die umwerfenden Strände waren nett leer. Denn klar, wenn TV mit Satellitenschlüssel, Sofas und Co locken, kann auch die Magie eines Sonnenuntergangs über dem Indischen Ozean nicht mehr viel ausrichten;).

Was wir in Coral Bay und Co so anstellten:

Auf Tuchfuehlung mit Whitling Fischen

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Das Fuck- Gedicht

Poesie- die kondensierte Essenz einer Erfahrung, Phantasie oder Emotion, voller suesser Fuckausdruecke und sonstiger gehobener Wortwahl… Wer erinnert sich nicht mit tiefstempfundener Freude an das Lernen von Gedichten zur Schulzeit? Wie jetzt, keine Erinnerung an ” Fuck”, “Bastard” oder “Bloody”? Auch nicht an deren deutsche Equivalentausdruecke?

Das mag vielleicht daran liegen, dass sich deutsche und australische Poesie um Einiges unterscheiden. Aber lest und staunt selbst:

The bastard from the bush 

As night was falling slowly on city, town and bush,

from a slum in Jone’s Alley came the Captain of the Push,

and his whistle. loud and piercing, woke the echoes of the Rocks,

and a dozen ghouls came slouching round the corners of the block.

 

Then the Captain jerked a finger at a stranger by the kerb,

whom que qualified politely with an adejective and verb.

Then he made the introduction: ‘ Here’s a covey from the bush; fuck me blind,

he wants to join us, be a member of the Push!’

Then the stranger made his answer to the Captain of the Push:

‘Why, fuck me dead, I’m Foreskin Fred, the Bastard from the Bush! I’ ve been in

every two-up school from Darwin to the Loo;

I’ ve ridden colts and blackgins; what more can a bugger do?’

 

‘Are you game to break a window?’, said the Captain of the Push.

I’d knock a fucking house down!’, said the Bastard from the Bush.

“Would you out a man and rob him?’ , said the Captain of the Push.

“I’d knock him down and fuck him!’, said the Bastard from the Bush.

 

– Auszug aus dem Gedicht ” The Bastard from the Bush”, anonymer Verfasser, 19. Jahrhundert. Quelle:100 Australian Poems you need to know, Prahran Victoria Australia 2008.-

Bei besonderem Interesse schicke ich Euch gerne die Vollversion des Gedichtes zu. Weitere spannende Gedichttitel lauten uebrigens: ” A convict’s tour to hell”, “When your pants begin to go” oder auch” Women are not Gentlemen”. Was stellt Ihr Euch darunter so vor? Bin gespannt. Bis Eure Antworten eintrudeln, widme ich mich dem weitergehenden Studium der Fuck- und- Bloody-Hell-Gedichte. Oh yeah!

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Skurile Bahnbegegnungen oder: Fahre niemals nach Detroit

Neulich Abends war ich unterwegs zu einer Sunday Sess mit Freunden, einer wohl sehr Pertheigenen Kreation, bei der im Idealfall Ausblick auf die untergehende Sonne ueber dem Indischen Ozean und ein geselliges Beisammensein mit Alkoholika oder wahlweise Apfelsaft besteht.

Dieses Mal brachte mir die sagenhaft schlechte Anschlussverbindung der Transperth Bahnen (wer haette je gedacht, dass ich einmal mit sehnsuechtiger Nostalgie an den Hamburger Verkehrsverbund denken wuerde) jedoch unverhoffte Ueberraschungsbekanntschaften mit einem australisch-indisch-irischen Clownsperformer und Erfinder sowie
einer Eminem-Nachbar-Extrem-Patchworkfamilie.

Kaum stieg ich aus der ersten Bahn aus, sprach mich ein untersetzter Mann mittleren Alters mit dunklem Teint und stahlblauen Augen an: ” YOU are dressed properly for this weather, girl” (DU bist fuer dieses Wetter genau richtig angezogen). Ich war naemlich,
weise alte Frau die ich bin, in Schichten ueber Schichten eingemummelt, waehrend quasi alle anderen Maedels um mich rum halbnackt durch die Weltgeschichte spazierten und den 8 Grad Aussentemperatur freizuegig und leichten Willens trotzten.
Wenige Minuten spaeter und dank der Verspaetung meiner Anschlussbahn um nette 30 Minuten wusste ich, dass mein Gespraechspartner irisches, englisches und indisches  Blut in sich vereinte, noch nie in Europa gewesen war, aber der festen Ueberzeugung war, dass Oesterreich Deutschland annektieren wolle, und es offensichtlich liebte, einen “typisch deutschen” Akzent zur Schau zu stellen. Vielleicht lag das daran, dass er hauptberuflich Clownsperformer in Perths Haupteinkaufsstrasse war. Doch nicht nur das: Ungefragt erfuhr ich darueberhinaus auch, dass der kleine Mann der Erfinder eines Ballersatzes war,den er unaufthaltsam und ohne langes Zoegern auf dem Bahnsteig demonstrierte. Das besagte Teil war ein irgendwie mit Waescheklammern zusammengefriemeltes Etwas, das man aus mir unerklaerlichen Gruenden kicken konnte.

Nach gefuehlten zwei Stunden Zuhoeren empfand ich es als fast schon einen Gnadensakt des Schicksals, als der Clownsperformer eine in der Naehe stehende Gruppe mit in die Demonstration seines Waescheklammermonstrum einbezog. Flugs sprach ich einen aus der Gruppe an- wie ich schnell herausfand, einen vor gerade mal einer Woche von Detroit nach Perth gezogenen US-Amerikaner. Bald klinkten sich auch die anderen Americanos in die Unterhaltung ein, und ich erfuhr heisse News aus einem Land, dessen Boden ich noch nie betreten habe.

Als der junge Mann Detroit als Heimatstadt erwaehnte, kam ich nicht umhin, ihn zu fragen: ” Thats where Eminem is from, right?”  Ich war richtig aufgeregt. Dass die Leute in Detroit aber wirklich so boese sein konnten wie in dem Film 8 Mile, in dem es um Eminems Lebensgeschichte vom Ghettokid zum Superstar geht, fand ich ganz schoen einpraegsam.  ” Yeah, in Detroit brennen die Leute ihre Haeuser ab, um das Geld der Versicherung zu kassieren. Und im Fluss in Detroit kann man nicht schwimmen, weil da tote Koerper rumtreiben, so sagt man”,  erzaehlte mir Nada, 39, Amerikanerin mit libanesischen Wuerzeln. Sehr einladend das Ganze.”Mein Mann hatte seinen Arbeitsplatz direkt neben Eminems alter Wohngegend”, berichtete Nada weiter. “Er wurde allerdings staendig gedisst, da er weiss ist”. So rum gehts also auch, dachte ich mir.

Nadas Mann ist 28 Jahre jung, ihre zwei Soehne, die sie dem angeblich ganz besonders fiesen leiblichen Vater entrissen hat, 14 und 17. Die Familie startet nun ihr neues Leben in Perth- hoffentlich ohne Gedisse, heruntergefackelte Haeuser und Konsorten. Und mit mehr Freizeit. Denn in den USA, so weiss ich nun auch, wird haerter geschuftet und weniger gespielt als in Aussieland. Wenn das mal nicht eine Bestaetigung des Gemeinplatzes ” Australia- the lucky continent” ist.

Categories: Reiselust- Hungry for travel, Reisen | Leave a comment

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