Archiv für Mai 2009


The new ROest is out!

As pretty much all of you I wouldn‘t know what ROest is if they didn‘t publish a number of photos I took in Iran. Emma, my travelmate back then, has become the chief editor of the Rotterdam based magazine ‚ROest‘. As she wanted to write a documentary about our trip and the experiences we gained in the country she asked me to publish a selection of photos. Of course I agreed and this how it came out.

click HERE to see a PDF of the current issue (it’s in Dutch though)

And WOW this is already post number 100! I never though I would make it that far…and will keep going I suppose.

capitalize this…

One thing that really constantly pisses me off is the internet censorship of the Chinese Government. You cannot surf the web for half an hour without reaching its limits. Turkey was a joke against this. Yang, my colleague, tried to tell me in the beginning that it was due to the servers being far away…well I don‘t think so. Of course Youtube is blocked just like in Turkey but here I couldn‘t get around as easily. Luckily I found a way and am now able to put some new music here again.

I was listening to one of my favorite webradio stations (byteFM, no it is not blocked) during the last week and could listen to two bands a couple of times.

Phoenix just came out with the new album ‚Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix‘ this week and their opening song ‚Lisztomania‘ is really nice I think. It’s quite easy going music and compared to others maybe even a little ’shallow‘. Nonetheless a great summer tune.
And of course it’s kind of ‚hip‘ to have the video in this grungy 70s style. Yet I still like it, especially how the colors come out…it reminds me a lot of the Polaroid program that I use for photos…8-)

The second song comes from the band ‚Grizzly Bear‘ that I also just discovered thanks to the radio. Adding it all up it can be seen as ’shallow‘ as Phoenix..8-)…again a very lovely song though.

This song is actually a cover version of a song by Grizzly Bear recorded by ‚CSS‘ (Cansei Ser Sexy) and is called ‚Knife‘. I really like the synthesizer sound.

The last song comes from a band called ‚Morlabeatz‘ and is called ‚Starships‘. The sound really reminds me of the swedish electro-Pop singer ‚Robyn‘

I guess that’s plenty for now I hope you‘ll enjoy one or the other song.

Bamboo fun

I was again scouting for some inspiration to get started with the design of a website when I found this photo. What I really found stunning was the race bike with a frame made out of bamboo. It’s extremely light-weight and I guess with a good coating it’s quite long-lasting as well. Each frame is a unique and handmade product and of course the idea of protecting our planet on a bike that is made of a renewable ressource is just great. Simply the price for this piece that you can buy (frame only) for about 2500 US Dollars is a little too high for my wallet.

I came across the website of the manufacturer, Calfee Design who seems to be one of the only producers so far.

If there were an award for „Bicycle with lowest carbon footprint“ (least amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the production of the frame), this frame would win, hands down.

Bamboo Bike Features:

* Amazing Vibration Damping – Even better than Carbon fiber!

* High performance frame. Weighs from 4 to 6 pounds but has good stiffness.

* Crash tolerant. Bamboo is a lot of tougher than most people realize.

* 10 year warranty

* Looks cool! A work of art!

a very nice version of a mountain-bike

another photo of the streetbike produced by ‚Calfee Design

umbrella love

One day it started raining, and it didn‘t quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin‘ rain… and big ol‘ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. - ‚Forrest Gump‘

As the rain season finally kicked in this weekend and being outside doesn‘t seem like the best option as a weekend fun I was more or less stuck inside these last two days. On Saturday Yang took me to the Shenzhen Fair where the ‚International Consumer Electronics Expo‘ took place. International being only the ‚Samsung‘ stand and the presence of a few foreigners (including myself). But it was sure interesting to see some chinese companies and their products. It is of course already known but always a surprise again to see the many copied products companies offered. iPhone-look-alikes (without nearly having all the functions of a normal iPhone) for about 30 Euro and a lot more. Of course ‚copying‘ a product can be understood as an honour that the copied product is the ‚top of the line‘ but of course this interpretation can easily become a problem for a company in terms of loss of money. The funny thing for me was that most of the time I wasn‘t allowed to take pictures as they were afraid I could copy their products (at least how I understood it but Yang told me the same). After the fair we went downtown to buy some speakers and ended up in the big shopping street of Shenzhen. On every corner you could find a new huge ’shopping mall‘ hosting a countless number of stores selling all kinds of electronic goods. We spent quite some time strolling around always getting deeper into these ‚temples of consumption‘. Here you could find all the nice (‚copied‘) products that the fair had on display earlier. Prices are low for almost anything (that is not original and thus imported; even though it doesn‘t make sense to me since almost everything is produced in China…just look on most of your electronic products). Bargaining like in many countries is a big issue you really have to do it. When we came by one shop/stand the salesman jumped up yelling ‚hello mister, please 32GB USB‘ trying to sell me a USB-stick. We turned around and looked at it while he was already typing the price in his calculator. He wanted 200 Yuan (~20 Euro for it) but since I didn‘t need it I just didn‘t react so he went down to 150 Yuan. We just walked away and he yelled 100 Yuan behind me. Yang just smiled at me and said ‚If he goes down to 50 I‘ll take it.‘ After a while you just have enough of all this chaos so we went back home getting into a horrible rain shower. It wasn‘t just drops it was a wall of water pouring down. Today it was the same so it was another easy-going almost boring day. I think it’s supposed to stop raining tomorrow…

view from the fair to the city hall on a rainy day

the city hall last weekend in bright sunlight

I saw this poster in the metro today and just love it since there is no grass around the city hall and a blue sky is rare due to Smog

chopstick adventures

„Eating peanuts with chopsticks is like playing ‚crane machine‘ you barely ever get anything.“

image found on Flickr

I wonder what it is that I‘m eating….

While I was doing some research about a certain flower that is the symbol of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong (‚Canton‘) province, I stumbled across a very lovely chinese saying that seamlessly fits with the restaurant menu I showed earlier.

„The Cantonese eat everything that is swimming, flying and has four legs except submarines, airplanes and tables.“

Slightly odd but they supposedly eat everything even though you cannot find it on a restaurant menu most of the time. Or I simply cannot read it anyway…8-).

communication at its best

I wanted to post this a lot earlier before I left Europe. I found it somewhere a while ago.

first glimpse of china…

After a very relaxing weekend here the first few photos of my new Chinese home (-town).

take the metro down to China

So in this post I won‘t include any photos since the last one was really full of it (and Shenzhen is not even nearly as beautiful as Hong Kong, but that’s alright…).
It’s already been almost a week that I am in China now. Last sunday I took the metro from downtown Hong Kong to China (I‘m serious). It takes about 40 minutes from Kowloon Island and then you just walk across the border; as easy as that…But of course when you enter China there is literally nobody who can speak English. I arrived in Luo Wu and had only a name of the place I was supposed to go to. Of course I didn‘t find anything and ended up taking a taxi, which was ordered by a guy who wanted to rip me off right away, not the nicest start in a new place. Then the taxi guy turned one road too early and just dropped me and told me it was there I was supposed to be brought. There I was in front of a supermarket with my backpack being stared at like the strangest creature on earth. I wanted to meet Yang, my colleague and helper who is also one of the only workers who speaks German. After another 30 minutes waiting while I was also trying to get access to a phone booth I found him and he took me to the flat. The flat really surprised me. It’s really really nice and quite big but on the upper-most floor (7th floor which isn‘t exactly a high building for the measures here) without elevator.
The first days were just to relax and get used to the city (as much as you can in two days). Yang showed me around a little bit. We went to the city center and to a park along the water. And yes as I mentioned in the beginning Shenzhen is no beauty. I was prepared though, Johanna, the other German girl doing an internship (my flatmate) told me this before. The Lonely Planet was once again also not lying. So my shock was not too bad.

more of Hong Kong..

Well some more photos of Hong Kong now, this time I made in my beloved Polaroid style. It’s just a huge mix of photos from all three days that I spent there.

signs signs signs….

Just three photos from today before I hit the bed. The one in the middle was taken from the menu of the restaurant we went to today. Well I knew that chinese food is different but I was quite astonished to read what you can eat. Unfortunately I wasn‘t too anxious to try out something ‚crazy‘ so I just went with the deep-fried fish. But as I stay a little longer I just have to get used to the food before I start my culinary explorations.

Sorry to get so obscene today but does my ‚poop‘ count as foreign?

my personal favorite of the day the ‚Taibai Drunken Young Pigeon‘ together with the ‚Frog‘ certainly a great meal

beer was served out of soup bowls (sorry but they didn‘t have anything else than San Miguel)

I‘m big in…china

So this is my first post from far east. Anyone who doesn‘t know it yet,t I‘m in Hong Kong at the moment. I won‘t stay in Hong Kong but in Shenzhen, the supposedly rather ugly neighbor town just across the river in China. I got an internship here and will stay for 6 months.
After a really pleasant flight with Emirates Air one of the fanciest fliughts I ever had I arrived in Hong Kong last night. Today I spent the day strolling around trying to get a feeling of arrival. So far I haven‘t really realized that I will stay here for quite some time but I guess it will come within the next days. Hong Kong is an amazing city though. I haven‘t seen anything quite like it before. I took the city express train from the airport downtown to Kowloon Island where the cheap hotels and the most touristy places are. Already on the way to town you notice the unbelievable amount of skyscrapers which downtown are illuminated with the brightest and most colorful neon light signs you could imagine. During the day unfortunately it is not as colorful anymore but still very impressive (despite the many shopping centers that you run into pretty much all the time). I went up to Victoria Peak, one of the highest points of the city and got an amazing view across the bay. Hong Kong Island itself is just packed with skyscrapers, the front row being business/office buildings almost all with glass fronts and behind there a lot of what seemed to me as residential ‚blocks‘. In the back of this urban scenery you can notice a green range of hills that is supposed to be around 93% of the land mass of Hong Kong. The area is scarcely inhabited but used as water supply for the city.
With the tram I went down to Causeway and ended up in the 1st of may demonstrations of Hong Kong. Their main aspects were better integration of immigrants as well as a law-enforced minimum wage. The demonstrations were peaceful and several times you rather got the feeling of a carnival than serious demonstrations (listen to the sound below).

view across the city from Victoria Peak

‚Happy Valley‘ Tram line

1st of May ‚Labour Day‘ demonstrations in Causeway

along the tram alley to Causeway

it’s either a very poetic language saying one sentence in three or ‚Caution, falling objects!‘ is not all that is written

the usual colorful neon light scene at night that you find anywhere in town