Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mosquitos are our teachers.

When anything goes wrong in life, call it your teacher. If a mosquito keeps biting you, call it "Teacher Mosquito".

...from Teachers from Hell, a talk by Ajahn Brahmavamso from the 29th of November 2002. If this doesn't play automatically on your computer, try and download it. Thanks to Ajahn Brahm I don't get agitated at red traffic lights anymore, and last night when I spilt all the freshly-washed cutlery into the dirty sink I barely even reacted. haha.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Using Google Maps for travel research

View Eur - Berlin in a larger map

Hello! In about 4 weeks I will be going on my first trip to Europe. This is exciting lah! It will begin with my brother's wedding in Cyprus, then to Hungary to meet relatives, to Ljubljana and Bled in Slovenia, then to Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Jungfrau region in Switzerland, Barcelona, Vitoria (to check out my other ancestral past), Madrid and Marrakech (Morroco). I can't believe we'll do all of that in 9 weeks!

I have already started planning and thinking about where to go. When I travel, I classify my planning into three modes: A) Natural appeal, B) Traditional/conventional tourist mode, or C) specialised Subcultural/urban. If I travel somewhere in Australia, it's either for the natural appeal, or the urban spaces in Melbourne. In Kyoto, Siem Riep/Angkor Watt, Luang Prabang I was in conventional tourist mode. In Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya I was interested in the subculture in Koenji, Shimokitazawa, Akihabara, Ameri-Mura, Ose.

This Europe trip will be an interesting mix of the natural, the conventional, and seeking out the interesting urban spaces. Above, you can see what I've been doing for the city of Berlin. We will only be there for 4 days... So I want to know where we should go. One of my favourite things to do, for visiting cities, is to find out where the arty/alt streets/districts are, and then just wander around there. The atmosphere is the destination. So I have been reading about Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg & Friedrichshain. I was quite please to find that the hostel that I booked is actually in Friedrichshain. It was a bit cheaper out there, but at least it'll still have some interesting cafes etc.

By the way, my colour coding for the map above is: Green = vegetarian places. Red = Sites of interest. Blue lines = streets for wandering. Purple = accommodation.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009