27. November 2013
Ich habe den gesamten Tag bei der Kulturstiftung Casa Alemana verbracht. Das was ich als zwei musizierende Vagabunden verstanden hatte, stellte sich als deutlich mehr heraus. Die Vagabunden heißen Ben und Hannes und kennen sich vom Tontechnikstudium in Berlin. Irgendwann haben sie ein Segelboot gekauft und sich in den Kopf gesetzt Musik mit Musikern von überall aus der Welt aufzunehmen. Eine Platte daraus zu machen, ein Buch zu schreiben und einen Film darüber zu drehen. Das ist jetzt zwei Jahre her. Weitere neun Monate wollen sie noch unterwegs sein. Den ganzen Tag haben sie mit verschiedensten Musikern aus Cartagena in der prallen Hitze aufgenommen. In der Casa Alemana. In einem grünen Hinterhof. Auf der Stadtmauer am Meer. Ich habe die ganze Zeit gelauscht, Mikrofone und Kameras getragen und mir die Geschichten der Weltreisenden angehört. Es war ein perfekter erster Tag. Die Jungs sind schon wieder unterwegs. Als nächstes Segeln sie nach Jamaika. Hannes wird in ein paar Wochen nach Deutschland fliegen und ich habe ihn zu einem Studiobesuch bei mir verpflichtet, bei dem er diese wunderschöne Geschichte erzählen muss.
Morgen werde ich dann etwas tiefer in die Stadt eintauchen und auch das erste Mal in den Ozean. Die Katze sitzt mir wieder gegenüber auf dem Stuhl. Ich glaube sie möchte etwas von den selbstgebackenen Plätzchen, die die Eltern meiner Freundin mir für sie mitgegeben haben und die jetzt auf dem kleinen Tisch im Innenhof stehen.
26. November 2013
Ich hänge gerade am Flughafen in Bogotà fest. Mein Flug nach Cartagena hat Verspätung. Das habe ich nun über Umwege herausgefunden. Denn das einzige Gate an dem die Anzeige nicht funktioniert ist meins und was die hier so auf Spanisch erzählen, verstehe ich sowieso nicht. Das wird abenteuerlich werden, wenn sie nicht mal am Flughafen Englisch sprechen. Das ist wie das erste Mal in China sein, nur ohne Schriftzeichen. Wenigstens kann ich mir mit meinen verkümmerten Französischkenntnissen noch etwas zusammenreimen. Die Sonne hat meine Haut noch nicht geküsst. Die Sonne ging schon unter als ich hier ankam. Jetzt ist es Abend. Eine Freundin wird mich in Cartagena am Flughafen erwarten. Wir werden zu Ihr nach Hause fahren und noch etwas essen gehen. Dann wird es spät sein und ich wohl todmüde ins Bett fallen. Ab morgen arbeite ich an den Sommersprossen.
Manchmal bist du beschäftigt. Keine Zeit. Es ist gar nicht so, dass du nicht genug Zeit hättest. Der Kopf ist nur einfach zu voll mit anderen Dingen. Es gibt so Zeiten. In dieses Blog wurde in den vergangenen Monaten wenig geschrieben. Dabei habe ich so viel geschrieben, wie schon lange nicht mehr. Emails. Viele, viele Emails. Auch meine Reise nach Kolumbien im vergangenen November ist in vielen elektronischen Briefen festgehalten. Ich habe mich dazu entschlossen, meine Mails, die ich in Kolumbien geschrieben habe in etwas veränderter Form zu veröffentlichen. Das ist auch der Grund, warum diese Reiseeinträge ausnahmsweise auf Deutsch kommen.
Where do you go for vacation? – To Poland. – Why the hell!
Already before that question I knew why we, a friend with Polish routes and me, wanted to go to Poland: beutiful old cities, hearty food, caring people and some shared history. Seven days, one flight and lots of train rides I am not disappointed.
We started in Krakow. My friend M., who travelled a few days earlier there to visit some family, caught me with her uncle at the airport. He brang us to the city centre of Krakow. The Old town is stunningly beautiful there. Through small streets and alleys lined with colourful, plastered and painted houses you walk Rynek Główny. This main square together with the cloth halles builds the centre of old Krakow. The shops in there are so small that sometimes only one person can stand in a booth.
When there comes darkness in the evening and the lights in the streets arise and lighten the old buildings, Krakow is getting even more romantic. By the way – have you ever seen the sky burning?
Ich kann mich noch gut erinnern, wie ich sie das erste Mal traf. Es war auf den Philippinen und es ist fast dreieinhalb Jahre her. Ich stand mit einer deutschen Freundin im Supermarkt Rustan’s in der Katipunan Avenue. Ich kann nicht mehr genau sagen ob wir über Mangos oder Müsli sprachen, aber wir unterhielten uns auf Deutsch. Sie hörte wie wir Deutsch miteinander redeten und sprach uns an. Sie kam aus München und hatte genauso wie wir vor wenigen Tagen ihre Koffer gepackt um ein halbes Jahr auf den Philippinen zu verbringen. Wir trafen uns am Abend zum Sushi. Ich fand sie sehr laut, aber auch sehr nett. In den folgenden Monaten habe ich mit keinem Menschen öfter zu Abend gegessen. Mit keinem anderen Menschen bin ich so viel gereist. Als das halbjährige Südostasienabenteuer im April 2010 zu Ende war, versprachen wir uns, dass wir uns in Deutschland sehen würden. Obwohl das ja so eine Sache mit den Versprechen ist, haben wir es gehalten. Wir sahen uns in bei ihr in München. Und bei mir in Berlin. Bei Freunden in Frankreich. Und bei Freunden in Österreich. Nach fast drei Jahren werden wir das erste Mal wieder richtig zusammen reisen. Es soll nach Israel gehen. Ohne uns abzusprechen hatten wir den gemeinsamen Plan für die Reise: keinen Plan zu haben. Außer die ersten drei Tage in der Sonne Tel Avivs zu verbringen, den Reiseführer zu studieren und mittags die erste Weinschorle zu trinken. Weil man das sonst nicht macht. Aber weil es gut ist. Samstagmorgen startet der Flieger.
Last week I stayed exeptionally in Manila. But it was not too bad because I was trying to increase my Christmas feelings that are still a long time coming.
On Friday we went to (attention!) a German Christmas Market on campus. The market was organized by the Goetheinstitut and we were lucks cos it took place for the first time.
There were several boothes on the one hand informing about German history, culture and its Christmas traditions and on the other hand boothes with German food like Stollen, Plätzchen (Christmas cookies), Lebkuchenhäuser (gingerbread houses), kandierte Äpfel (candied apples) and so on.
So I bought a Stollen and with just some small help its almost finished by now.
Furthermore there was a German fairytale fashion show and also some fairytales were acted on stage.
In addition Filipino choirs were singing German Christmas songs and bands were playing as well. Sure it was not like an original German Christmas back home at least because it was the first time for me to sweat on a Christmas market, but still it was nice to have some traditonal things and food from home.
In the evening there was an event called ‘Under the stars’ where they had some entertainment on stage and later on they showed a movie open air on campus. We were having a picnic there together with some Filipino friends.
The next day the Christmas marathon went on. Some weeks ago we bought tickets for the ballet ‘The Nutcracker’. But as usual we had a hard time going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) – in the Philippines everything depends on the traffic ;) But lately it was the worst traffic we experienced so far here in Manila and in the end it took us about two hours by taxi to get there. And this was the reason why we were late for more than half an hour.
But luckily the ballet was quite entertaining.
To say it in Tim’s words: it’s crazy! One week after another I can tell that I probably had the nicest experience in the Philippines. And in fact – last week was crazy:
On Wednesday we went to a Filipino restaurant ( and we ate with our fingers – Filipino style), altogether more than twenty people. Actually we rented a whole jeepney for the bunch of exchange students and I can tell, it was till very crowded in there. They had a huge buffet there and I was eating as much Filipino food as I could – ans in fact I liked a lot of things we ate there. Even the chicken intestines!
The other day was a Girls Day – my buddy, some other Filipinas and Judi, Kathi, Yvonne and me went to Greenshills. And since the Ateneans are rich people we had our own driver to bring us there. Greenshills is a huge shopping area where one can find a mall as well as markets. And it is really unbelievable how cheap chEAP CHEAP it is. For instants you can buy shorts for Php 100 (~ 1,50€). Again we had Filipino food in a restaurant afterwards and I think I am really going to like it.
In the evening when we came back from Greenshills there was a party like almost everyday. But for me this night was a special one, not only because our Filipino buddies were joining us for the party.
I ate Balut Balut Balut! Yes, I did it. I ate the crazy half hatched duck egg (halbausgebrütetes Entenei) where you can already see the duck inside. But surprisingly it was not that bad, it actually looks worse than it tastes. And the party kept on being funny, I dunno why but the mood this last Thursday was really really good. And I found myself on a terrasse of a student’s house singing songs in the sunrise while Tim and Charly were playing the guitar – although I was about to leave for the Island of Mindoro six o’clock in the morning.
And here we go! Right after the party and only a quick shower we made our way to the Island of Mindoro to learn diving.
The Island of Mindoro is beautiful, especially its Peninsula Puerto Galera with White Beach and Palms trees all over. We arrived by boat right infront of our Diving Resort AB Wonderdive in Sabang on Puerto Galera. It is a beautiful place right at the beach and the staff is really really nice and friendly.
The seven of us – Josef, Kathi, Yvonne, Nina, Judi, Charly and me – shared a beautiful room with a great view right at the Sea. But in fact we didn’t spend much time there cos we were very busy with our diving course.
After some theoretical part on the first we made some diving exercise in the pool and went then to our first dive in the Sea! It was great. It was amazing. I thought diving would be more difficult to learn but it’s not. It is actually fun and when you are underwater you don’t even recognize the depth.
I saw so many beautiful things: colourful corals, lots of starfishes, sea snakes, sea urchins (Seeigel), sea cucumber, lots of different kinds of fish, shoals (Fischschwärme) and actually all ‘Finding Nemo’ fishes ;)
After this first diving course I am now officially a Scuba Diver. Some of us want to go back to that place in Sabang and upgrade our diving license to an Open Water License. This means that you are allowed to Dive in a Buddy Team without an instructor all over the world!
After I spend two weeks in Manila it was time for me to get out of the city and enjoy the beautiful nature of the Philippines again.
After a struggle where to go – surfing, diving – I decided to join ten other foreign students to a trip to a simple island with no electricity.
We left on Friday evening by bus in direction Zambales and made a stop-over in Angeles. Angeles has a huge entertainment district, which means – strip clubs and whore houses. And for sure we went to one of the strip clubs. But it was not at all what we expected : no naked girls, no pole dancing, nothing. It was actually really boring because there were more than fifty girls, wearing sexy clothes in combination with sometimes sneakers or flip-flops, but noone of them could actually dance. There was no show, no entertainment at all and no striptease. But still white old guys were lingering around with young and petite Filipinas in short skirts.
Afterwards we went to 7-eleven (supermarket) to equip ourselves with food and water for the island and finally we were on our way their, just one more ride by van and boat.
The island is like paradise. There is actually only one family living by the beach and that’s it. There is no electricity, no running water, no cell phone reception (Handyempfang), nothing – back to nature. We were so lucky to go there, cos usually we would not be able to go there. A Filipino local friends arranged this trip to this hidden place for us.
We were sleeping under the sky on the beach. The wood for the fire at night we had to get from the forest by our own. We got some fish and rice from the family there and cooked it over fire and eat it with just our bare hands. And we were swimming a lot in the lonely bay.
The bay of the island is surrounded by huge green mountains and wild nature.
On Sunday we made our way with the help of two local women to some waterfalls. It was so good to take a bath in the natural pool, because we didn’t have a shower in a while and skin and hair felt stiff and sticky because of the salty Sea water. Then we climbed up the rocks of the several waterfalls there ans enjoyed a beautiful view over the bay.
At night the sky was so full of stars, such a stary sky you would never see in a city. And there were fireflies (Glühwürmchen) all over and when you were looking up to the sky it seemed like the stars were moving, but it actually were fireflies.
But the most exciting thing about this trip to the island was THE GLOOMING WATER (leuchtendes Wasser). One night we went swimming under the dark sky. The Sea was black at night, one could just see some reflection of the moon in the water. But when we went into the water and moved ourselves, little spots in the water were starting to gloom. It was like there were stars or fireflys in the water. I have never seen something like that before and it was probably the most impressing and exciting thing I have seen so far in the Philippines! This is something one cannot describe, it is just amazing! Lately on Sunday we had to go back to civilization.
After a little research one the Internet today, Martin found out that what we saw in the bay at night is called ‘Biolumineszenz’. (siehe Wikipedia: ‘Das so genannte Meeresleuchten wird durch Plankton hervorgerufen, zum Beispiel von einzelligen Dinoflagellaten (Noctiluca miliaris), die auf Strömungsveränderungen mit der Aussendung von Licht reagieren. Meeresleuchten lässt sich an zahlreichen Küsten beobachten.’)
I just dunno what to say. I had a great great great week. Actually it feels like there have been weeks since we got to know the other exchange students last friday.
Since then those days we defined by lots of activities and parties besides school. The first party was already on Monday and the party marathon wouldn’t come to an end. I had less sleep this week, esecially because I have classes in the morning. But I survived.
At the moment everyone is in the mood of socializing and finding friends. So we did a lot of things together these days. One of the highlights for me was the tour on Pasig River, the river which is floating through Manila. One has a beautiful view over Makati business district but one can also see the slums and kids are running besides the ferries waving towards the tourists. In some areas the Pasig River is really dirty and lots of rubbish is floating in the water. But still this is kind of interesting for me, because I never saw something like that before.
We are hanging around with some fun exchange students and I can’t remember since when I have laughed so much. For example there is Charlie, a French guy, and he has this really funny French accent when he is talking in English. Well, sometimes he makes funny mistakes, e.g. he pronounces the word ‘beach’ like ‘bitch’ and stuff like that.
Today after a lazy and long breakfast at our place, Josef (Austrian), Yvonne (Austrian), Kathi (German), Charlie (French) and me spend our time in the pool in our condominium (Wohnhaus) watching the sunset. We decided to do that every evening.Next weekend we are probably going to Batangas to make our open water diving license.
Actually besides the parties and the trips there is also university. And I can tell that I really like the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) so far. The campus is really nice and crowded the whole day. The stundents are lingering around in the green spots, the hallways, the cafeterias. It’s a very nice atmosphere and actually the food in the cafeteria is surprisingly good.
I am attending four courses now, which last for three hours each: Performance and Presentation, Feature Film Directing, Visual Thinking for Communication Managers and Basic Video and TV Production. I have a lot of practical things to do, e.g. I have to shoot a short film and an advertisement and I am really looking forward to this.
Hopefully I am going to attend a Tagalog course, the Filipino language, too. But there is no course at ADMU that I could attend. But Sheena, our nice lady from the Office for International Programs is looking for a teacher from the University of the Philippines to give some private lessons for the exchange students.
In one courses, which Judi is also attending, we have to fulfill a personal challenge and document it. I am not sure yet what my personal challenge will be, but I am joining Judith’ challenge: Try as much Filipino food as you can. So we are eating traditional Filipino food and try something new every single day. As far as I can tell the traditional Filipino cuisine is not that bad, but actually there are some things that are really strange to me.
For example this breakfast we ate salted egg with five other exchange students. Salted egg is buried in mudd (Schlamm) and Salt for more than two weeks.
After that it is ready to eat. The taste was so disgusting (eklig) that I could not stand it and had to spit it out. Judi and Charlie we the brave ones to swallow (runterschlucken) the whole bite of the egg.
Tomorrow there are classes again and I have to present my first homework for performance and presentation: I have to introduce somebody else of my class and for sure somebody else will introduce me. So I am really excited what this will be like.