Let’s go to my yacht in the West Keys

2012/07/03 § Leave a comment

For some reason I fell out of bed around 9 o’clock. This fortunate twist of fate gave me the chance to head of in time for a exploration of the Everglades and the keys. The glades really are somewhat of a no-show. I had been warned, but it is true. Spectacular is not the first term that comes to mind. Imagine a really large flat area with some type of gras. Just that the whole thing looks like a field of wheat after a strong summer rain.

Now of course you can undertake all kinds of activities. As usually, if an attraction is not too attractive in itself the tourist industry is quite nifty in coming up with ways of pulling your money out of your wallet. However, been there, done that, did not buy the t-shirt.

Next stop Islamorada (purple island?). On the way some more island of the keys. I did not go all the way to key West. The ride was simply too far for my taste. And as they say, keep something undone so you have a reason to return. I am sure this was not the last Miami has seen of me. Next time I will bring a suitcase of cash. If ya got cheese in Miami you are da big cheese. And that is certainly much more fun in the end.

They keys are nice of course. However, the beaches are not that nice before you reach key west. The keys are more about fishing, water skying, diving, and any other water sport you can think of. You will find some absolutely mind blowing homes here. You can really envy those lucky bastards who have their holiday mansion right by the water, of course including the complementary yacht.

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Party in the city where the heat is on – bienvenido a Miami

2012/07/01 § 2 Comments

If you ever plan to party as if you mean it, come to Miami. There ain’t so much to add to that really. Great crowd last night. You better bring some dough though. Beer tagged at 15 bucks bottom price. Best misunderstanding ever: “I take a beer and a tab-water.” I got a Heineken and a red bull. WTF? I mean, Heineken, that is not even close to being beer!

The ladies, you ask? Well. No words for that. Sure, if you know to party in Scandinavia you may not be too surprised. But for a German there may be a lot to take in. People here sure know the meaning of the term “dress with style”. As always, the German women in the crowd drew attention for a more experimental approach to fashion.

The club made sure that there was some erotic stimulation by “putting up” exotic dancers in every corner. A girl in our group compared the women with hookers. I am rather certain though that she meant the guests rather than the dancers. Getting attention apparently works via buying it. On the other hand, that is not specific for Miami of course.

Say what now???

To my surprise it is entirely possible to smoke at the club. I do not know how they avoid the smell of smoke everywhere, but they do. Their ventilation system must be grade A. The dope they inhale must be grade A too, I am sure. Anything goes apparently is the motto in Miami. You gotta love this place.

Miami the city that keeps the roof blazing

2012/07/01 § Leave a comment

Talking of age. In Miami you are either attractive and young, or rich. Some seem to be attractive and rich, but nobody likes them.

One thing for sure, showing off is compulsory here.

I like it thus far. The beaches are pretty; the boobs are fake, and the weather not too warm. I went to Key Biscayne, a place most tourist will never be confronted with. But locals love it. I really liked it too. There is a lighthouse and nice beaches where you will find families with kids rather than wannabe pornstars and pretend-pimps.

Other than that Miami south beach apparently is the party place of the US. And if this party has a location than it is the hostel in which I reside. The location has a party-centre of course. My bed stands precisely one floor above it. Right above this epicenter of fun, whimsy dresses and far too loud club music. Yeah, talking of age.

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Miami, uh, uh Southbeach, bringin the heat, uh!

2012/07/01 § Leave a comment

The business part of my USA trip ended on Friday eve. I went to the airport in Atlanta in order to catch a flight to Florida. I made sure to get to the airport early, which was a wise decision, considering that I ended up in thick traffic and security checks in the US are notoriously thorough and slow. Luckily my flight was delayed by 3 hours. When we finally arrive, close to midnight already, the shuttle bus to the car rental company was unreachable but eventually picked us up. Fair enough, it was late and sure not much going on any more. Well, actually 6 people were waiting before me to get their car. It took forever- at least I got an upgrade as compensation. Apparently the staff was half asleep already, which may explain why they handed me a broken navigation system.

I noticed that when it suddenly just shut off without ever turning on again. With a little luck I found my hostel. It was already well past 1 at this point. Fortunately I had booked a single room, so the deserved rest was in reach. Yeah, right.

The guy behind the counter sent me off to another building some 15 minutes drive away. Great of him to give me the wrong building number, hence I had to go back again. He then gave me a new address. However, I could not get into the building with the key he had given me. You must love the widespread inefficiency in the US and the abundant disinterested staff: No wait, you don’t.

However, the room was run down, dirty, the door looked as if someone had previously broken in, the building reeked of mold, the taps were dripping, and the atmosphere resembled hotel California, although this is Florida: You can check in but you can never leave. So off I went, back again. This time I was not in the mood to argue about the conditions. I had made up my mind. But since it was past 3 in the morning I agreed to stay in a hostel room instead. A great start of my holidays that were supposed to relax me.

After discussing with the manager I received my money back for last night and I decided to stay in the dorm room. I won’t be in much anyhow and I am so used to this, it does not matter at all. Besides, this way I can at least meet some nice people. Although they are half my age.

Stockholm

2009/08/09 § 2 Comments

The day I arrived at the place I would certainly want to call my beloved home by now, I expected some fundamentally touching emotions. I entered the familiar airport bus, drove by my former flat, drove by yet another former flat of mine and got off at one of the city-squares that had represented the center of my personal universe for some of the happiest years of my entire life.

I expected to be overwhelmed by memories. Some moving memories, causing me maybe laughter of joy or possibly tears. To my surprise there was nothing of that kind, not even remotely- not at all. I admit, somewhat to my disappointment. My friends asked me how it felt to “come home” after these many months, actually even countable in years by now. But I could not report anything unusual. Nothing else than that moving between the parks, channels and bridges was all too familiar. Also, the language surrounding me was tinkling my ears in a familiar way and I immediately was set to auto-pilot when roaming the streets of this breathtakingly beautiful city which I would want to call “mine”.

Stockholm du fria...

Stockholm du fria...

I had some nice barbecues, reunions with friends, almost forgotten friends and rediscovered friends and warm welcome-back-celebrations. We picked up the topics that we had left partially unfinished when I left and it felt all like it had been yesterday since I left. Eventually, while wandering around the pictures and memories of the past crept up on me while they were lingering just around every corner of every street, sometimes dealing me joy sometimes calling for remorse but always with tremendous emotional value.

The summer was unusually generous to us. The perfect Swedish sun was as always in full splendor during the days and the remaining warmth of her playful outbursts more humble during the nights. I watched the boats and ships softly rocking on the waters between Mälaren and the baltic sea, glimmering in brilliant white due to the post midsummer-sun. There is NOTHING as enchanting as a summer in a place where people adore the too few warm days of the year due their notoriously rare appearance! Nothing.

I was walking around with great strides, taking back what was once mine and still belongs to me, and to me alone. I felt like I was showing off the city to myself, and showing myself around the plenty wonderful and very familiar sights of the – this time of the year- touristic areas, trying to spot any significant changes. But there was so pleasingly little in terms of change. Some things in life are pleasantly stable. Just as my love for this city and what it means to me and ever will.

Then, finally, when roaming between goose-bumping beautiful water-ways and medieval buildings, I realized what my initial emotion of almost indifference of being back had entailed. It struck me that it is not what this place gives me emotionally as much as what it does NOT give me. I felt an ease due to a lack of stress and distress that I had been lacking in many places of the world, at least to that extend. It is simply a lack of negative emotions.

A lack of displeasure that creates a feeling that can hardly be described. The love for this town is best described in negatives. Described in what it is not, which ultimately sculptures my personal picture of her and which is an incarnation of pure bliss to me. Not being like ANY other means being truly unique.

It sure is good to come HOME.

Day 260 – 70842 kilometers later…the end

2009/05/21 § 1 Comment

What remains to be said? The moment when this entry is going to go online via scheduled publishing I am expected to touch down in Germany. It is most certainly going to be the most awkward feeling. When coming back from Australia after six months I remember feeling physically sick. I guess it is going to be different this time. I am for sure looking forward to meet friends and family again and slide back into normality, as it is called.

RTWI cannot claim that all questions have been answered that I directed towards this trip. Hardly any for now. But the web that our experiences are, of which we do not always see how they are connected is going to be woven partially in a postlude. It is interesting how things often come together after the fact.

Most people who returned recently struggled with the fact, but that is part of the trip I suppose. But if you really want to know what it feels like to come back from a universe of experiences and seemingly endless possibilities; if you want to know what it feels like to have embraced the world to then dive back into a physical stand-still while mentally traveling on for a while; if you need to know what it is like to make sense of nine months of unprecedented experiences- go on the trip! 🙂

For now, on a different plain, my trip continues all the way to the last stop… 😉

Day 259 – 70482 kilometers later…what was best?

2009/05/20 § Leave a comment

Often people have asked me what I liked best on my trip. The thing is that depending on my mood different things come to mind. I assume that there is no one best thing, just a picture book full of memories. Some more pleasant than others, but sometimes you even hold the nasty, difficult and scary memories of situations very dear. Funny how the “best” does not always equal the most memorable. Sometimes it is the most novel, and that can come in any flavor of emotions.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

When I was laying in bed, trying to sleep I thought back of all that has happened. I repeated the trip in my head, by trying to remember each and every bed I have slept in. I easily got to 91, which means there were likely more than that. These beds are connected to places and people of course (no I did not share my bed with these people, no always at least 😉 ). And so my excitement due to the overwhelming amount of pictures and movies on my inner canvas kept me from sleeping, similarly to the last days before I started my trip.

Before the trip the fantasy of what would happen was intense, vague and blurry. I reminds me of the time back in the days when as a kid you had one of these books to collect stickers of the players of all teams of some football world cup. There was a spot for each player, but you never knew which ones you would be able to get and what exactly they would look like. That was the excitement of collecting them of course, and led to you bugging your parents to buy you more.

Equally the picture-book of this trip, and in a way for many parts of our lives, when we await certain occasions, was laid out in front of me before it all started. Now some of the place-holders are filled, others are still waiting to be filled. Some spots may have to remain empty I suppose, but part of the fun, as back in childhood times is the collecting.

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