Friday, March 4, 2016

Good to be back!

It has been about three and a half years since the end of my legendary gap year in Hong Kong. But guess what: I am now back in Hong Kong and I am going to do two internships of a month each at Prince of Wales and Queen Mary Hospital.

That is why I thought I should try to reactivate this blog and write about my experiences of "living in Hong Kong" mainly to keep family and friends updated on what I'm up to here in Hong Kong.

So, during the next two months I'll try to post some articles and pictures about what I'm doing and my perspective on rapidly changing Hong Kong.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Life beyond Hong Kong...

Actually I just went to my blog to change some settings concerning the comments, because the amount of spam has increased lately. Somehow I felt compelled to write something. Probably due to the fact I haven't written anything down since I got back here and out of pure nostalgia for my days in Hong Kong.

What should I write about? I'm pretty sure that nobody who knows me is reading that blog anymore, so I could actually write about anything. Well. I should definitely not write about too personal stuff, because it is very easy to find that blog on the internet and link it to me.

I can update you, whoever you are, about my life. Of course my Cantonese hasn't made almost any progress since I'm back, which is makes me quite sad. It is just that my life here has absolutely nothing in common with the life I had in Hong Kong. I miss this life incredibly much. I was a whole different person there. Here, I am almost back to my old self, I had a crucial incident that showed me in a very obvious way that I have to try hard to include all the traits of character I developed in Hong Kong in the person I am here. Anyway, I think that I am still changing a lot mainly because of what I do know. Since about a month I am undergoing a training to be a paramedic. Right now I am doing an internship in the university hospital of my hometown. I am assigned to the anaesthesiology department. I really love the work I am doing, mainly assisting the anaesthesiologist in preparing the patient for surgery, connecting him to the monitoring, laying a needle and putting the patient to sleep. Then I get to watch the surgery after which I have to assist again to wake the patient up.

I have been doing this since a week and since the first day I have been really surprised how much I like this kind of medical work. Now I am really, really sure that studying medicine will be absolutely the right thing for me.

As I have to get up quite early for my job, I should better finalise this article now. I should really start to write a diary again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Well, officially this blog has now come to its end. I am back in my hometown, in Heidelberg, Germany. Nevertheless I will not take it down and I might even post some more photos and stories of my trip in South-East Asia. I can also imagine using this blog if I ever feel the urge to have a kinda public platform to share stuff I might write.

Despite having announced so in one of my former posts, I won't start another blog about my life in Heidelberg in the near future. It is just not worth it. The amount of energy, time and work you need to put into a blog in order to have more output and benefits than just positive feedback exceeds my resources in the moment.

It is a very funny feeling to come back home after a year. Especially because I lived somewhere utterly different from my home. Heidelberg is a very beautiful, very calm, very peaceful and very picturesque little university town in South West Germany. Very, very different from the buzzing streets of Hong Kong. It would be very difficult for me to decide which world I like more. They both have their ups and downs, obviously. Here, I am still relishing the quietness and the fresh and healthy air. In Hong Kong I was throwing myself in a very active, very exciting and diverse life, just because there are hundreds of opportunities to do stuff.  To adapt a similar lifestyle here in Heidelberg is going to be quite difficult. Nothing has changed back here, but it still feels different somehow.  I have changed.

I really think I will keep this blog, because it is a good opportunity to practice my written English a little bit.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Confessions of a lazy travelblogger...

It has been a while since my last post. Considering the amount of photos I took, the experiences I made since then and the fact that I can spend my time in a lot better way than sitting in front of a computer, it is almost impossible that I catch up with posts. Nevertheless I want to give you a short update. Very early this morning I arrived in Nha Trang. The last few days I spent in the beautiful city of Hoi An, where I purchased a big amount of tailored clothes. Nha Trang is mainly dominated by its vast beach and its endless choice of activities such as surfing, sailing or Scuba diving.

I can't believe I am already traveling for two entire weeks. Time is just flying. So far, I enjoyed every day to the most. Especially since Hoi An my trip has gained a very relaxing aspect, because I started to go the nearest beach on a regular bases. I can only fully recommend to follow my footsteps and travel through Vietnam. The weather is just perfect at the moment. Vietnam is an utmost stunningly beautiful and interesting country. The food is simply fabulous. Fresh. Healthy. Tasty. Vietnamese people are very friendly and they seem to smile a lot more than people in Hong Kong or Germany.

I could stay here for a lot longer...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sightseeing in Hanoi

I am now in Hue, and yes I couldn't keep up with my blogging... Anyways, as I have to get up very early tomorrow for another tour and as it will be my birthday, I won't have to much time so I'll just post some more or less random photos I took in Hanoi.

Hoan Kiem Lake, in the middle of Hanoi. Around this lake stretches the old town.

Bun Cha. One of many, many really delicious vietnamese dishes.

Hao Lo Prison. Once a prison in which the French colonists contained Vietnamese revolutionaries.

And then used by the Vietnamese to accommodate the American soldiers captured during the Vietnam War. Therefore also known as "Hanoi Hilton"

Cathedrale de St. Jean, biggest church in Vietnam. Ten percent of the Vietnamese are actually catholic.

Waterpuppet show, a traditional Vietnamese kind of performing art developed by rice farmers.

Place de l'opera.

One of the highest scholars of the Temple of Literature, who became so famous that he is being worshiped today.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The final place of rest for "Vietnam's uncle".

Inside of the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exploring Hanoi

As I had announced yesterday, I was exploring Hanoi by bicycle today. I went to some of the major sights, such as the History Museum, the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Monument. It was a really special experience to become part of the traffic here in Hanoi. I'm still fascinated by the fact that it works out somehow even without the slightest hint of any rules. Everybody seems to drive the way he likes to, but in fact I think everybody is very aware of their surroundings and as most of the people do not drive to fast, there are almost no accidents and it is actually kind of safe to drive in Hanoi...

Tomorrow I'll take a tour to Halong Bay, which will take three days, so most likely you won't here from me until after then!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vietnam. Hanoi. The first impressions.

This morning at around nine I went to the Langdong Bus Station. After literally the first second I had arrived there, an American woman who happened to know Chinese came darting up to me and asked me where I want to go and if I needed help. I was just able to say: "Uhm I'm going to Hanoi...", and she was running towards the counter and skipping a really long line. Within thirty seconds she got me the right ticket of a bus which was leaving ten minutes after. After handing me my ticket I could barely say thank you and with a: "No worries, I'm glad I could help", whilst handing me her card, she was gone already. Sometimes I really do ask myself why I am that lucky.

Then the bus began heading towards Vietnam. The ride was quiet and comfortable, actually I slept the first three hours. After about three and a half hours we reached the Vietnamese border. The border crossing is very interesting, because I really felt that I was passing into another world. The Chinese part of the crossing is huge, very modern and perfectly organized, e.g. there are lanes for Chinese Nationals, Foreigners and Groups. After passing the passport check there is a security check with the most up to date technology, x-ray scanners and stuff. Then I exited the Chinese border control building and I was being picked up by a really tiny bus which is more like a golf cart. This cart drove the Vietnamese border. A good way before the bus actually reached the border, all the passengers were being dropped off. It was such a wonderful feeling actually walking across the border, which was really like you imagine a border to be like. A wooden, red and white painted turnpike and a tiny house with a very sleepy Vietnamese soldier right next to it. After this soldier took a quick look on your passport, you actually proceed to a tiny building where the Visa is being controlled. It was really interesting to see that the passports of the people who happened to have forgotten some neatly folded banknotes in their passports got processed a lot faster than the others... Fortunately I discovered that being a westerner is still a bonus in Vietnam, so I didn't have to wait for my passport long as well. After walking past the 100% analogue security check of the Vietnamese customs (they ransacked some people's luggage...) without having to empty my whole backpack, I was officially being on Vietnamese soil.

Another bus picked me up and departed towards Hanoi. I happened to sit next to a very nice Vietnamese woman who taught me some survival Vietnamese during the four hours it took to get to Hanoi. Despite the fact that the countryside of Vietnam is quite similar to the one I saw going through China, it was very different. There are no Chinese characters, but roman letters everywhere, so reading is actually possible, but I think, right now I still understand more of the Chinese characters than of Vietnamese. Hopefully that will change soon. The houses are very different as well. More beautiful, a lot better kept than in China and just different.

Finally, the bus arrived in Hanoi. Until I arrived at the hostel I was just amazed by so many things. Actually I am still amazed beyond limits. The reason for that is, that I actually had no image of Hanoi at all and I was just blown away. Blown away by the amount of motorbikes swarming around, blown away by the beautiful old city, by many buildings in colonial style, blown away by the buzzing life on the street.

Right now, I am still amazed about how fast I got off the bus, took my backpack fought all the moto and taxi drivers off, who were asking astronomical prices and managed to find a legitimate taxi which took my too the backpackers hostel in Ma May Street in less than fifteen minutes and for about a Euro. Yes, the local currency is funny. Right now is the first time of my life I'm actually a millionaire! But only because one Euro is about 30.000 Dong...

The hostel is packed with western backpackers who are socializing the hell out of each other in the nice bar area at the bottom of the hostel which offers western standard dorms and facilities for a real bargain. I guess it will be pretty loud at night because of all the party people, but I'm sure I can sleep anyways.

I just dropped off my stuff and then went for a stroll in the surrounding parts of Hanoi. Here are the results:

View from my room.

On the street.

The Backpacker Hostel.

The bar inside the hostel.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nanning, a city of China, a city of contrasts.

As I said, I explored Nanning a little bit more yesterday evening and I found a really interesting quarter. This quarter, which is right next to the inner city consists mostly of very old very run down buildings, some of the are already falling appart. The interesting thing is, that there are super modern skyscrapers right next to it. This shows one of Chinas most fascinating aspects: China is a country of many, many contradictory, but coexisting things.E.g. it is the "Peoples Republic of China" and thus should be communist or at least socialist, but in fact the existing economy is one of the most capitalist in the world. Furthemore, the most modern stuff is coexisting with thousand years of tradition. In the following photos I tried to capture those contrasts.

Gambling Chinese People

Old and New, New and Old and the nature in between.

Yong Jiang River, the river which flows through Nanning

People bathing under the bridge