Showing posts from August, 2007

Hong Kong - the good, the bad, the ugly and the very ugly!

Wow! The madness continues! Wrapping your head around Hong Kong is like learning Chinese overnight! If Japan has neon or fluorescent pockets, Hong Kong is just one big light bulb! Where did I read that New York is the city that never sleeps, but Hong Kong is the city that never stops! Bingo! We have now been here a little over a week, and not a second goes by without my ceasing to be amazed, due what I see, or more to the point, what is thrust upon me. Hong Kong is everything all at once, and this indeed involves the good, the bad, the ugly and the very ugly! This is "immersion" at its best. Read on.

I must say that Hong Kong has never been on my "I gotta go in a hurry" list, but I am so thankful that I made it here. It has been, and continues to be a lesson in motion. The Hong Kong Airport was a clear indication of what was to come. Both Alex and I were overawed by its opulence. There was not a solitary designer (we are taking Gucci and friends here) that wasn'…

Our whirlwhind Japanese tour.

We made it back to Paris safely and easily, after which we went "straight" back to the the hotel close to the airport (we had stayed there the night before flying out to Germany). Well "straight" as in all the way back into the centre of Paris, and then straight back to the hotel! Why? Well, it should only have been one stop from the airport, but as we failed to see the "express" sign on the train, we had no choice but to go ALL the way back in, to then have to come ALL the way back out! Neither of us were in the mood for a free joy ride, and adding on more than an hour when you are tired is just plain boring! We were both p!*@! d off, to say the very least. We finally make it though! Needless to say, it was shower and beddy-bye!
From 1997 to 1998 I worked in Japan as an English teacher, first in a place called Tsuchiura(about 60 kilometres south-east of Tokyo) and then in central Tokyo. My dearest friends were, without a doubt, made when I worked in Tsuch…

Destiny - seeing Michaela in Germany after 18 years.

I cannot recall at what point we decided that we would visit Germany, or to be exact, visit one of my dearest friends, Michaela. Michaela and I met in Indiana in the USA some 18 years ago, way back when I worked on a summer camp in Indiana. We hit it off from day dot. At the time, Michaela was 19 years old and studying to become a translator. Apart from her effervescent and bubbly personality (you can just imagine how we were drawn to each other), I was stunned at how well she spoke both English and the point where I felt her Italian was better than mine! This was the beginning of a very special friendship! I would go and visit her in Germany a few years later, in 1992, but after that it was letters (which eventually morphed into e-mails) and the occasional phone call. Communication was not always necessarily frequent, but we never lost touch!

Before I left Australia, around a year ago, I called Michaela and told her of my forthcoming trip around-the-world. I also told h…

Our even briefer flirtation with France.

We were arriving to France on the evening of the 1st of August and flying out to Germany on the evening of the 4th. That really was not going to give us much time in the land that made baguettes and camembert cheese famous , but we were about to give it our best shot. It's the only way we know how!

We were so relieved to see Eva there waiting for us. It had been hard yakka, the last 24 hours! Eva is a lady that we met in Mexico a few months earlier. Alex and I were extremely impressed by the fact that she was travelling alone, and doing things that "people of her age" often don't do. I had looked at Eva, and figured, as well as hoped, that down the line, I would be doing exactly the same thing as she was.........still travelling!

Before we knew it, we had bundled all of our luggage into her car, and were on our way to her house. She lives in Chilly-Mazarin, some 17 kilometres south of Paris, and only some 7 kilometres from the train station where we were being picked u…