Going back

I’m at Vienna airport waiting on my flight to Bangkok and I realise I owe a lot of posts… There hasn’t been internet nor time. Needless to say, Ingrid’s new place looks and feels like a home. I have to say that, I built most things there hahaha
It’s so hard to leave the little dear. We just keep repeating that it’s only for now, we’ll see each other soon. My eyes are peeled for that next cheap holiday.
I have €2 and 1c in my pocket, so the bugdet was pretty much spot on except for presents I couldn’t find. Not much to get in an airport for that amount of money either. I was fantasysing about giving the euros to my niece, the Australian dollar tanking and she being very rich. It’s funny what stories you invent to keep yourself deluded and occupied.
I’ll see if I can post again from Bangkok. At the moment I’m expecting to be at my parents house around lunch time Sunday. Not sure if they are meeting me at the airport, or if I’ll call them from Springwood station.
Until Bangkok or Winmalee! Stay safe.

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The Move: A Tale of Unfortunate… something… not disaster though!

Here’s basically the run down.

We get up early and get the rental car and return with a half hour to spare before the removalists are booked to turn up.  Using that time we pack all the things we want to take with us, easily broken stuff and other essentials into the car.

20 minutes before the removalists are due to turn up we receive a call.  Their vehicle won’t work and they are still at their house/depot/somewhere not of use and it’s about 2 hours away or further.  They claim they’ll be here around midday to 1pm.

We go to Pizza Hut for lunch, distracts us from crappiness.  Pepperoni pizza and some other one with rocket on it, pretty good.

12:30pm and we’re back without having heard from them, Ingrid calls.
Here’s a paraphrased and heavily made up version of dialogue:
“Hey, are you nearby?”
“Ummm… are you busy tomorrow?  Why not move tomorrow?  It’ll be a nicer day, Venus is in the removalist quadrant of the cosmos which will increase our efficiency by 11 times, also the truck still isn’t going.”
“Sure thing.  You’ll pay for the rental car and accommodation I assume?”
“Umm not that we were planning on doing, not exactly no.”
“Well then you’ll be here.  Today.  You’ll move the stuff.”
*ends call*

Ingrid calls the company of the removalists and they organise some other guys to come, they will be at the apartment by 3pm.

3:30pm and Ingrid calls to ask where these new removalists are.
“According to our system they are out the front.”
“So why aren’t they ringing the bell?”
*Goes out to get them*
Turns out that they hadn’t been given Ingrid’s name, phone number nor her actual address, they say they had been circling the area for some time.  Nobody knows what they would be looking for without those details though.

5pm things are packed and we jump in the car to drive to Wilhelmshaven.  It would have been later if Ingrid and I weren’t doing their job with them. The removalists, having worked other jobs earlier in the day, are required to have an hour break.

9pm We arrive, have dinner, cant remember what… might have been leftover pizza…?  We wait.

11:30pm  Removalists arrive.  Some neighbors complain and threaten to call police on a few different occasions, if they had helped it would have been over quicker…

1-2am The bed is built and we sleep.  Big days ahead.

Get moving

Today is the day.  Assuming everything has worked out, we’re packing the car, the removalists are packing the truck and we’re on our way to Wilhelmshaven.
If I’ve not written in the last few days, it’s because we have been consumed by putting things in boxes and labelling those boxes.  If I don’t write for a few days, we’re still busy getting everything out of those boxes or maybe there’s no internet yet.

 

Lots of love to you all,
Nathan & Ingrid

Berlin to Hamburg

We hired a car, a Ford Fiesta, there was a little bit of an issue with adding costs for the ability of me driving (my travel insurance covered driving) and the only car they had was manual.  I got to drive up to 180 km/h!!  We weren’t sure that the car would make it, but I had to test, of course I had to try.  Ingrid had to handle the driving in the more crowded areas because I wasn’t confident with the gears, as we got closer to Hamburg, it’s about a 2-3 hour drive from Berlin, I panicked as we approached a round-a-bout, managed to make it through, but then stalled it as I was pulling over.  We got a perfect park near the room we were staying in.  We could not believe our eyes though.  Attached to the building of the room we were to sleep in is a bar, maybe a nightclub, called

S.L.U.T.

Our internet research tells us that this club is for gay men only, it doesn’t open until late and closes at 7am in the morning.  We were expecting this to be a huge issue, with lots of gay men making noise, while we need to sleep to have the strength to deal with a pretty decent drive (at least another 2 hours to Wilhelmshaven) and then a day of Real Estate Agents (aka scum).
We never had any trouble.  Ever.

We went out on the town of Hamburg Sunday night, looked up where to go online, ended up in an Irish bar that has live music.  This was just off the “Kings Cross” of Hamburg, the main drag called Reeperbahn.  The similarities with Kings Cross was amazing – prostitutes, transvestites, the guys out the front of strip clubs that expect that their talking to you will convince you to enter their establishment… sex shops next to kebab shops… this area had it all.
Anyway… back to the tale.  The Irish bar had a New Zealand Maori, play acoustic covers until about 1am.  There was only the two of us until 10pm and then, as the guy set up to perform, it began to pack out.  It was amazing to see.  A stag night was taking place, which improved the atmosphere immensely.  They were singing along, dancing with each other and chugging their drinks.  There was this German lady who was dancing with as many men as possible, even though her boyfriend (or who we assumed was her boyfriend) stared anger at her.  Once the stag left, there weren’t so many guys left, Ingrid and I were dancing and then I felt these extra hands… Ingrid and I moved away.  This lady then proceeded to tell me it’s ok, because I’m the only man still dancing, I said it really isn’t ok.  She then talked to Ingrid, then left us alone.  We finished our beers and left when the guy played a song we didn’t care for anymore.

The next morning I noticed some differences between Berlin and Hamburg.  Hamburgers don’t have beers constantly, outside most establishments in Berlin there’s always a group drinking beers, business men and homeless alike.  Hamburg is like cafe obsessed, everybody is sitting around, watching other people and sipping their latte.  It looked like the no alcohol signs on public transport is followed and there really aren’t so many broken beer bottles around.  Ingrid also said that people seemed a little more polite and friendly to each other.

Wanna get physical…?

We’re both quite sore.  Ingrid had the need, the need for jogging speed.  She hadn’t jogged in a long time and I pretty much loathe that mode of exercise.  Don’t get me wrong, if I’m running from predators, or chasing down prey, I’m completely fine with moving those spindly legs of mine in a lazy version of a rapid speed.  Running for the sake of running though, is one of the most boring things I can ever think of, even if the scenery is pretty.
So we went for a walk first, I assumed it was meant to be brisk, so we’d warm up and start those pistons firing.  We actually walked for quite a bit and got to a park.  This is where the action would take place…  THERE ARE RABBITS!!  After doing a lap, we even did some sit-ups, squats and lunges.  Ingrid wasn’t keen on getting into burpies… hahaha!  One of the trees we were lunging between had a rabbit’s head rotting near it, the ears were a few metres away.  I was crowned king of the park and given a key to the universe.

To even things up Ingrid wanted to go swimming.  German swimming pools require you to shower before you can bless your body with their anointed water.  Naturally there were problems with me and getting a shower, seemed like everywhere we looked it was taken, locked and not to be used.  I went to the sink and wet myself, hobo-style, just enough to create the impression that I’d had a shower.  It didn’t seem like anybody cared anyway.
Ingrid is quite a good swimmer, she does many laps.  I pretty much just paddle…  For every 2 laps she did, I’d eventually do one, just the lazy strokes.  It felt pretty good afterwards, muscles that are seldom used were argued back into action.  If I can get my lazy bones into some kind of routine, I’d like to consider swimming.

All that sounds pleasant dear reader, no?  It appears to have had it’s toll, poor Ingrid has had leg problems, which came out in a fairly big way on our way home after dancing at a rock club.  The rock club is more often than not a swingers club, they have a pool and all kinds of semi-erotic artwork on many walls.  We watched two bands play, an English band that I believe is still in their very early live career, they did all the cliches: asking for people to come up the front, asking for people to make noise, asking for people to meet them at the merch table, reminding people that this is their first time in Berlin, that this is their new song, that they are going to play an old song, like their facebook.  Their music was a bland pop/punk/rock hybrid that was played well, at one point I was thinking that this song they are playing is so generic and by the book that all it needs is a breakdown… sure enough, they delivered.  That was kind of annoying, but nowhere near as bad as the second band.  They played covers, in their own style, a kind of glam-rock thing and by ‘played’ I mean that they figured out ways to avoid playing as much as anything.  Their outro, where they are playing all things at ones to then end on the final “duhnnnn” went for at least 5 minutes.  Obviously bands can do what they want and people might like it, but yeah, I’d much prefer a band to play their set, keep banter to a minimum and if they are good, people will show their appreciation.
Boy that got off topic!  We were dancing a bit, went to another room and Korn was being played by the DJ, danced to that, went to another room and The Offspring was being played there, danced to that, did another lap and then left to see about getting home.  Just as we got to the station the final train left.  Of course it did.
There is a night bus, due in a half hour.  Neither of us had eaten since lunch, well, excluding some sneaky pistachios.  I insisted we find some late night something.  Ingrid had a Halloumi roll, like a falafel one, but with halloumi instead of falafel, I had a falafel kebap-thing.  It was on a  different bread, like a mix between a pita pocket and the end of a multi-grain loaf.  I didn’t have chilli sauce, just garlic and it was alright.  We were early for the bus, the bus was late.  At some point while walking for transport Ingrid’s leg gave her grief, she couldn’t walk so well, but she’s a brave little trooper and we made it home.

Make sure you stretch, warm up an warm down and have appropriate foods.

And you can Whatsapp me on +4915213160782

The things you think about…

We’ve been on a boat that showed you a different view of Berlin, we went to watch A Clockwork Orange at the outdoor cinema, we saw some jazz group…  What I want to write to you about today, though, dear reader, is a play we went and viewed.

I don’t know that I’m aware of the title of the play, I do know that it was at a place called Gorkie…  I’m sure you could find out if your internet detective skills are of any chop.  Anywho…  This play featured 5 women, all dressed in white, thermal underwear and white heels.  Quite quickly they remove their hair, all five have shaved their heads (or at least that’s the appearance – I’m quite certain and I think that Ingrid agrees, that there were caps involved).  I’m told they were originally covered in some black clothing too, before the white thermal underwear – burqa-esque.  So it’s a revealing, a protest, a removal of a disguise or covering, a baring of truth..?

The stage is divided into 6 rooms/cells in a 3 x 2 pattern, 5 of which are painted blue and one in the center of the upper row is white.  Just because it will take space, I’ll lay it out thus: b = blue room, w = white room.

b  w  b
b  b   b

The women all tell individual stories about how true to their faith they are but that they may do some things that really test the hypocrisy of their religious system.  Each story interrupts another, sometimes 2 women are on stage swapping sentences.  Oh!  The play was in German, but they had a projector in English.  Thanks Germany!
One lady was in a wheelchair, her story mostly about her lust for her carer and the limited pleasure she was excited to be able to give him.  The stories were all kind of similar in this way: one lady flirted with a boy in a store, told her parents, he had to come visit them, nothing happened and he lost his nerve – another lady went ‘through’ nice boys, using them for a place to sleep, for food and comfort.  You get the drift eh?

A lot of the play was these women asking rhetorical questions of the audience, who-ever they may be, whatever background they are from.

Occasionally the stage would go dark and the white room would light up, a pure, sterile white room, with an ominous drone emanating from the speakers.  It almost pulsed.

There was a party afterwards, because the night we attended was the last night.  I’m surprised that Ingrid’s younger friends weren’t excited to join.  We went home.  So many things to think about, it’s exhausting.

Two Airlines

G’day!

I’ve been a bit slack with updating this, it’s true.  It’s been fairly non-stop since landing in Berlin, I’m sneakily writing this while Ingrid creates some culinary masterpiece 🙂

My flights over were quite good, naturally there wasn’t much sleep to be had, but I’m safe and have all my things, which is the important part done.  I will now make comment on differences between airlines, prepare yourself as I expose all!

The food on Thai Airways was really good, easily the best I’ve had from an airline.  The first meal was a lamb curry with rice and it was hot upon serving (which is fairly rare, normally you get some kind of tepid serving temperature), the rice was perfect and the taste was there!  I enjoyed it so much that I was looking forward to the next meal they would serve.  I’ve taken to drinking red wine on planes to try to get me to sleep, Thai airlines do not offer red wine, or any wine at all for that matter.  So I tried a combination of water, beer & whiskey – as recommend by no experts anywhere.  After doing some reading, I eventually looked to the onboard entertainment.  I’ve never experienced this before, but I smashed some of their computer games: finished them and got a huge score!  I actually got bored of being so good hahaha  I watched the movie Birdman.  Some of you might be aware that I was very interested in watching this film at the cinema when it was out, but in typical fashion, I never make it to the cinema while a film is on that I want to watch.  I’m pretty happy I got the chance to on the plane.  Even the edited for flight version was really, really good.  I’m still thinking over so many aspects of the film, good job to all!
Ok, so that’s done, I land in Bangkok and have like 6 or more hours to kill, without more than Aud$7 in my wallet.  I was constantly reminded that this airport is “the largest in the world”, with “more shops” etc etc. I do some laps, it’s all the same boring airport stuff: watches, perfume, alcohol, tobacco, phones, phones, phones and their covers…  Like most Eastern airports, this one has nice curves, they had some flower displays set up, a golden temple thingy and generally not enough displays to tell you where you are actually going.  The wifi is free for 2 hours, I whatsapp Ingrid for a bit and then decide to go for a walk, looking for my gate, assuming I could then whatsapp from there, that was a bad idea.  Didn’t work, the 2 hours were up and I just had to do something for a few more hours until my flight was announced.

Austrian Air is a bit of a different beast to Thai.  They do have wine, they don’t do rice.  Actually I felt I was forced into only one food “choice” in that they wouldn’t say what else I could choose from.
“Would you like chicken with mash?”
“What else do you have?”
“Chicken with mash….?”
“Do you have a vegetarian option?  What about beef?”
“The chicken is nice.”
I ate the chicken and it was ok, very bland, especially compared to Thai Airways food.  I read in their magazine that altitude effects your taste, that things like salt & pepper, as well as some spices, are weakened by the pressure they have to keep the cabin at, whereas things like acidity are almost always the same.  It’s why their wine is the way it is, the flavour stays truer regardless of altitude.  So I had a few wines.  Still couldn’t sleep.
I watched the final Hobbit film.  That whole series was a waste of time.  It really felt like the Days of Our Lives of Tolkien.

Final journey, I started to think about my luggage, which was supposedly checked the whole way through to Berlin, I really hoped it was.  When I was standing at the baggage claim, waiting, waiting, waiting, watching so many other people’s bags come and be collected, I started to get a little nervous.  There was a guy next to me who seemed intent on completely blocking any view I could have of any bag, that the nervousness really made me a little aggressive – if only he knew the things I was thinking…  the bag arrived.  Ingrid was there, I swear she looked at me as I came out, but as I approached she was keeping it cool.  Somehow she hadn’t seen me and I managed to give her a surprise kiss!!