30 Dezember 2009

in between the years

Shortly after Christmas and all the celebrations I left Bavaria for a trip to the far North of Germany and the beautiful Baltic Sea.


I traveled from Hamburg all the way to the seaside and back again. And while it was unusually warm weather in Munich the Northeast of Germany was caught in ice and some snow.


The charming coastal city of Kuehlungsborn hosted us for one night before we went on in a super fast car to Waren (Mueritz) to visit some friends.


The next day, the numerous little towers of the castle in Schwerin were hidden in fog, and all the trees were wearing white frost and ice covers.

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Back in Hamburg, it started snowing again and the city showed us its winterly face.


Luckily, our hosts had a wonderful and warm home and so we watched the snowfall and the wind from a cozy place in the kitchen.


25 Dezember 2009


I’m back in Europe and very happy to be home!

After stops in Copenhagen and Brussels I finally made it to Munich and enjoyed some pre-X-mas atmosphere, met with friends and family, and got busy with other winter pleasures.DSC09326 DSC09332

I also got lucky and went for a short skiing trip with good friends in a nice little holiday chalet in Austria!


And then it was time for Christmas!

15 Dezember 2009

snowy Brussels

When I arrived in Europe I could feel the winter. And it seemed like the snow and ice was following me around: Bavaria was covered in white layers when my plane landed, and I also saw snowflakes dancing in Copenhagen.

But the real winter wonderland only happened while I was in Brussels: DSC09301 DSC09302DSC09304

In the almost 3 years that I spent in Brussels I never saw that much snow!DSC09309

It was rather extraordinary.

(even though in the end it also meant that my flight was cancelled…)

06 Dezember 2009

Tropical X-Mas Party

The other night, we had a little party at our place.
It was the perfect chance for an early X-mas celebration and to say good bye to everyone before I leave.
We put up some Christmas decorations, lights and even a fake X-mas tree!

For a touch of 'real' German Christmas, we also made some "Feuerzangenbowle":

Hot wine with cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, oranges and lemons, and for the little extra, add some sugar and rum and light it up!

I never thought I would like this kind of drink in the tropics, but it went down surprisingly well....

Thanks to everyone who was there and made this evening a special memory!

03 Dezember 2009

Four Days in Hong Kong

A busy metropolitan, built on a tiny place in the Pearl River Delta, spread out over some islands. After 24 hours in the metropolitan, we'd already taken a boat more than 5 times to cross the harbour.

When the sun sets, the city's energy is on full force and you can feel the place vibrating with all sorts of activities. We watched the famous Hong Kong lightshow and followed the crowd along the water on the walk of fame.

We stayed on a hill with some view over the rooftops of the surrounding buildings. And while we enjoyed the incredibly busy streets on both sides of the harbour, we also tried to find some more peaceful places.

On the peak, a stroll around the Governor's garden and walk up to the highest point meant some incredible views on this almost clear day.

A trip to Lamma island and a hike between the two villages showed us the more rural and simple life a mere 30 minute boat-ride away from the centre with its sky-high buildings.

Back to the city centre, we walked around the central area and SoHo, had some amazing Japanese food and discovered a new favorite drink – Umeshu – before we took another ride on the star ferry to get back to Tsim Sha Tsui.

After 4 days we left Hong Kong, feeling excited by the energy, but also a little bit tired from so many impressions, and went back to Singapore for the final days in Asia.

29 November 2009

Advent Sunday in Hong Kong

we passed this flower shop somewhere in SoHo on our way to dinner,
smelling wonderfully of fresh fir

and we just had to walk in to buy a small fir branch to put in our hotel room

being so far away from home on the first advent sunday we all of a sudden felt a tiny little bit sad and just wanted to have some Christmas atmosphere...

22 November 2009

Weekend Afternoons


I like lazing around in comfy chairs under fans slowly moving the warm tropical outdoor air.
I like reading magazines about this and that, chatting about life and the world, watching other people.
I like sipping my cappuccino, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the ever-busy mall.
I like spending my weekend afternoons here.
Thanks for being the perfect chill-out place, Pacific Coffee Company.

16 November 2009

APEC kills hopes for COP15

Last week Singapore hosted the APEC Summit. US President Obama was there, the Chinese President Hu Jintao was there, some Latin American leaders were there and a lot of ASEAN heads of states and government. A real high-level political meeting with a full agenda. Talking business, trade, cooperation in general and, of course, climate change.

Unfortunately, the leaders couldn't agree on having binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, they agreed on a 'new growth paradigm' and 'enhanced economic integration'. For the COP15 this means that expectations have now officially been slashed, and all we can expect as outcome is merely an agreement on agreeing that binding targets for emission reductions will need to be postponed. What a joke.

Hopefully the 'new growth paradigm' will provide enough money for rescuing all the people affected by rising sea levels, food shortages due to droughts and floods, and any other impacts that human-induced climate change will eventually have on our lives.

Last-Minute Melakka

Having worked on stuff all week I finally managed to finish most things on Friday - and qualified for a treat during the weekend!

After lots and lots of tries we eventually got a room in the lovely Hotel Puri in the heart of old Melaka. And so we jumped on the bus for another journey to Malaysia, explored all the little shops and roads of Chinatown, enjoyed great Nyonya food, homemade apple pie and crepe, and then indulged in a fabulous spa evening....

Can you imagine how super-relaxed and happy you feel after you've been scrubbed with hibiscus, covered in cocoa and bathed in milk surrounded by flower petals?

I had the best night of sleep ever and felt like a new-born baby in the morning - ready to tackle another week of work.

10 November 2009

"you smell of Baliness"

this is what the cab driver in Singapore told us on the way back to the city
I guess he was right...

maybe because we inhaled every single moment during our stay on this lovely island so deeply
maybe because we spent hours in the water, by the beach and under the sun
maybe because of the incense burnt in the many many temples
maybe because we came so close to the volcano
maybe because of the flowers in and around our room
maybe because of the mix of all these different aromas

all of this makes the place so unique
and the island really has its own scent

it makes you wanna stay
and we promised to come back again

for more Baliness

05 November 2009

cheer-up jazz

I had an awful day in the office and desperately needed some distraction


luckily we found a jazz place in the city
where they played great music all evening


while I took these random pictures

also on the menu was some satisfying dinner

and a lot of conversation with my favorite person ;)

(pictures edited with poladroid)

01 November 2009

wenn ich nicht hier bin...

...bin ich aufm Sonnendeck...

oh why can't the weekend be looonger...?

Bye Pulau Rawa!
Terima kasih for being such a cute island!