Reiselust- Hungry for travel

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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Meeting the Camel Whisperer

Do you have a dog or cat? Do you feel connected to animals and are interested in learning more about them?

As an animal friend, you might have noticed that the perception of animals varies a lot from species to species, and often also from country to country. In China even dogs are considered as “living things”(the translation for animal in Chinese), while in countries like the US it’ s not rare to find luxurious Spas exclusively for beloved dog or cat companions. 

But what about different type of animals, like let’s say  camels?

They don’t belong into the category of edible animals (for non-vegetarians, and not even by Chinese standards). Nor do they belong into the category of animals separated by most people from other animals by labeling them as cute or cuddly, aka dogs, cats, hamsters and the like.

What do you associate with camels? Think about it. And after having read this, please think again.

Camels are surely one of those animals highly prejudiced by society. And that’ s just a tiny bit of what I learned when I met the Camel Whisperer, Henk Van Eek, at his workplace in Monkey Mia, Western Australia.

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Getting up close and personal with Lou and Ally

Getting to know a dutch Camelwhisperer

I encountered him and his gentle camels for the first time a year ago while exploring the Australian Westcoast. More specifically, it was at the beach of Monkey Mia, a place famous for its dolphin feeding and for its remoteness.

I must admit that I felt slightly intimidated at first, as my first impression of Henk consisted in him being almost overprotective of his camels. He insisted that I  should not come too close to his animals or take pictures of them without going for a ride. ‘What a grump’, was therefore one of my first thoughts.

However, as “Riding on a Camel” was an important item on my “Things-to-do-before-I-die” –  Bucket list, and as I find any kind of animals generally pretty interesting – and sometimes so much more friendly than some humans -, I decided to give it a go. And I was up for a fair bit of a surprise!

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With Henk, the Camel Whisperer

Once save and sound on camel Ally’s back, a “camelus dromedarius” proceeding from Northern Africa and Afghanistan, the ride along the paradisiacal beach of Monkey Mia could begin.

While I was marveling at the deep blue of the wide open sky seeming to melt into the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Henk started telling me all about his fascinating life story. And of course also about his friendly camels! He was leading the two camels Lou and Ally, who were kindly carrying my partner and me along the beach while he shared his experiences with us.

Henk had been sailing the seven seas as a captain after growing up in Holland where he had learned all about animals from his granddad, a veterinarian and animal lover. He had also lived with indigenous people in South America, who as Henk stated were used to communicating in telepathic ways. Yes, sceptics of the world, this weird stuff can apparently really work. A true adventurer and animal lover, it was obvious that Henk heart’s calling lay in protecting his camels and teaching people the truth about these amazing creatures.

The truth about Camels

I developed quite some admiration for Ally, Lou and their mates when I got to know the following facts:

  • Camels can raise their temperature about seven Degrees as soon as it gets hot. Like this, they makes sure they do not even lose a drop of moisture through sweating. HOW HANDY IS THAT?
  • A pregnant camel which just doesn’ t feel like giving birth can deliberately stop the process for up to two months by letting the baby go into hibernation. Now, how useful is that one? Great skill to have, don’t you agree?
  •  The first Australian settlers would have had quite some problems without these creatures-the good old horses soon resigned, alas laid down their heads and died, when the settlers wanted to find out what was behind the shoreline. And who came into play then? Yes, you are right, the camel fellows. Unimpressed by heat and hardship, they went on in search for food and water.
  • Camels also have the stunning ability to go without water for long periods, without drinking  anything- probably longer than many people can without a beer.Why? They can store water in their blood stream! Freaky!

    Image

    Taking a ride on beautiful Monkey Mia beach

On this year’s ride, Henk also shared that he had freed one of his camels from a farm in Yallingup, where it had been severely abused by his “owner” at the time. Since then, Lou still does not particularly fancy young ladies with long blond hair- as that’s what his former “owner” looked like.

Sadly, the abuse of camels is common, even in countries like Australia: The most frequent being drilling through the camel’s nose and using a nosepeg to assure the camel’s obedience. Would you like to have that procedure done to you? I guess you see my point.

And in Africa, the herdsmen have a tendency to treat their camels fairly rough, as I learned from Harry Raffil Anderson, who grew up on a farm in Kenia.”It’s a fact. They don’t on average care for the feelings of animals. They are a means to an end, a practical utility”, states Harry when I ask him about the treatment of camels in his home continent.

Getting up close and personal with these gentle animals at Monkey Mia and learning how much abuse they usually have to endure makes me want to confirm again how incredibly friendly and helpful they really are. And I  can also attest by experience now that camels:

  • Don’ t spit
  • Don’ t stink
  • Don’t sink: they are awesome swimmers and use a refined method of breaststroke swimming.

Instead, they love to be patted and to smile into cameras. If you wanna learn more about camels and go for a ride with them- check out Shark Bay Camel Safaris.  It’s definitely an awesome adventure!

Let’s care for and connect with Nature and the beautiful animal world – what could be more important and worthwhile?

How do you feel about camels ? Did you ever get the chance to go on a ride with them?

 

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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

Das ultimative australische Miniwoerterbuch

Australien- der blosse Klang des Namens des kleinsten Kontinents verheisst Abenteuer, Eroberung und einen Hauch von Gefahr.
Doch wo sich weisse Haie, toedliche Quallenkontakte und Red Back Spiders (Australische Schwarze Witwen) mit ihrem laehmenden Gift irgendwie umgehen lassen, erweist sich ein bestimmter Aspekt des Lebens in Australien schnell als unvermeidlich. Sowie als herausfordernder, als jemals antizipiert werden konnte. Denn wenn es um den sprachlichen Kontakt mit den Einheimischen, von denen uebrigens nicht alle surfen und die meisten hartarbeitende Buromenschen sind, geht, kann es schnell zum kompletten Chaos bzw.zur schieren haareraufenden Verzweiflung kommen.

Durch jahrelanges Englisch sprechen mit Europaern und dem ein oder anderen Ami, sowie konsequenter und kontinuierlicher Comedyserie-in- Originalversion-Rezeption, fuehlte ich mich im letzten September mehr als gewappnet, dem Abenteuer Australien aus sprachlicher Perspektive stolz entgegenzutreten.

Schnell lernte ich jedoch: Englisch und Australisches Englisch sind so vereinbar und koehaert wie Ketchup und Kuchen.
Damit den angehenden Australienerkunder nicht das gleiche Schicksal ereile (und besondere Vorsicht lasse der Westaustralienbesucher bitte walten! Gefahr Megaslang voraus) -hier das

Ultimative Miniwoerterbuch Deutsch- Australisch:

Arvo- Nachmittag
Bloke – Mann
Brekky- Fruehstueck
Maaaate- Freund, Kumpel, Typ (eine etwas elegantere Version des deutschen” Alter”)
Sheila- Frau
Roos- Kaenguruhs
Good on you mate- Gut gemacht
Catch ya later- bis spaeter
No Worries- Kein Problem (in ungefaehr jedem Satz gefuehlte zwei Mal verwendet)
No dramas- Kein Problem

Lets get pissed- Nein, nicht das…Sondern: Lass uns saufen

“Eey Mate, lets get brekky with your Sheila and lets get pissed in the arvo”- Dieser Satz sollte nun klar dechiffrierbar sein. Oder:)? Hats geklappt?  Und habt ihr vielleicht noch mehr merkwuerdige typisch australische Woerter auf Lager? Lasst es mich wissen.

Bis dahin- catch ya later mate!

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