Tag Archives: life

Berlin – a guest post from my friend John

What John, my friend from Pennsylvania, USA, has to say about the beautiful city of Berlin, and why he has chosen it as his home:

“Berlin. You just say the word and the preconceptions swirl in. David Bowie, the club scene, the Führerbunker, the Wall. For Berlin, history has been hidden beneath the surface, but it is lurking only just beneath if you care to look for it. Berlin is as much still an idea as it is a city. Each neighbourhood (or “kiez” in German) has its own feel to it and its own “kiezkultur”. Whether it is child-friendly Friedenau or artist centric Kreuzberg, Berlin sometimes feels more like a Pandemonium than a capital city.

Berlin is a kaleidoscope not just its apartments and in districts, but in foods and languages. German still dominates many businesses here in Berlin, especially outside of the start-up scene. But English dominates the streets in many districts. French, Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Russian all have their communities and sometimes entire districts. Hipsters have infiltrated most parts of the city, nowhere is truly safe from them. The food likewise comes from all over the world with specialities in Mexican, Indian, Indonesian and Turkish foods on top of the Döner and Currywurst that Berlin is perhaps best known for.

The stereotype of Berlin also relies on its jobless, artistic cool. The division of Berlin kept companies and many people out, keeping rents low and government aid high. While this has largely persisted during the long and expensive process of reunifying the city (and the country), Berlin’s cheap rents have encouraged many young entrepreneurs from across Germany and Europe to make Berlin their home. The rush of new faces into Berlin has raised rents, but the artists are not leaving without a fight. Berlin has never been without its strong counterculture to the Prussians living around it – not in the 30s before Hitler and certainly not today. The art seen will remain and will evolve. And in the meantime, the artists will have to share the city with the yuppie businessmen and government ministers. Berlin is in its own way all things to all people.

Berlin’s incredible variety, its opportunities and its cost of living drew me, and many others, to the city. Moving to Berlin is a chance to live in many cities all at once; each neighborhood and community can seem a world apart.”

John and me
John and me
Molecule Man, Spree River
Molecule Man, Spree River
Berliner Fernsehturm
Berliner Fernsehturm
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Life

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” (Hans Christian Andersen)
Don’t you agree?

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“Sadece yaşamak yetmez,” dedi kelebek, “günışığı, özgürlük ve küçük bir çiçek de gerek.” (Hans Christian Andersen)
Öyle degil mi?

(The photo was taken in Malatya, Turkey.  |  Bu fotoğraf Malatya’nin Kızılçukur Köyünde çekilmiştir.)

 

“Every person counts” — Epic Arts Café in Kampot, Cambodia

Looking for a good place for breakfast in Kampot – a lovely riverside town in South Cambodia – we came across the Epic Arts Café. This is a very special restaurant: many of its staff is disabled or deaf. It was a highly interesting experience and we truly enjoyed our meals. I even learnt some Cambodian sign language.

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This is definitely a café worth visiting if you’re in Kampot!

And if you would like to see some of this lovely people dancing, check out the video below. I’m sure it’ll make you happy. 😉

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“Her insan önemli”

Kampot, Kamboçya’nin güneyinde, nehir kenarında kalan, güzel bir kasaba. Kahvaltı etmek için iyi bir yer ararken Epic Arts Café karşımıza çıktı. Epic Arts çok özel bir yer: Personelinin birçoğu engelli ya da sağır. Bu lezzetli kahvaltı son derece ilginç bir deneyim oldu bize. Hatta biraz işaret dili bile öğrendim.

Eğer olurda Kampot’a yolunuz düşerse, bu café’ye kesinlikle uğrayın derim.

Epic Arts Café’de çalışan bazı insanları üstteki youtube klibinde izleyebilirsiniz. Bu güzel insanların dansı sizi, şarkının adı gibi “happy”, yani mutlu, edecek kesin. 😉

Here you’ll find the best pancakes in Koh Phangan ;) *Lexy Pancakes*

“I think if you travel to a country, you should know / learn something about that country’s culture and history …
In my eyes travelling is a gift. So you’re very lucky! For most people in Thailand travelling isn’t easy or even impossible for several reasons. But I am very happy to meet many new people from all around the world in my pancake shop.”

Thanks Lexy, it was great talking to you!! And my Nutella pancake was amazing! 🙂

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“Eğer bir ülkeye gidiyorsanız, o ülkenin kültürü ve tarihi hakkında bir şeyler öğrenmeniz gerektiğini düşünüyorum …
Benim gözümde değişik ülkeleri gezip görebilmek bir hediye. Yani çok şanslısınız! Tayland’in insanları için çeşitli nedenler yüzünden dünyayı gezebilmek öyle kolay değil, hatta bazen imkansız. Ama benim krep dükkanımda birçok insanla tanışma fırsatım oluyor, bu yüzden çok mutluyum.”

Oh Sri Lanka! :)

Our days in Sri Lanka went by so fast. We started our tour in Negombo, with our lovely host Dennis, who was ‘virtually’ with us all the time. 🙂 After that we have been to Sigiriya, Pollonaruwa, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Uda Walawe, Tangalle, Weligama and Hikkaduwa. In this final post about Sri Lanka, I would like to mention all the little things that I noticed in this lovely country but never took the time to explicitly write about.

– Rice and Curry –
A random conversation, I had with a child in Tangalle:
Child: “So, what do you eat for breakfast in Germany?”
Me: “Buns, bread, butter, jam, ………”
Child: “And what do you eat for lunch?”
Me: “It depends. For instance: pasta with different kinds of sauces, maybe with some meat or fish, ………”
Child: “And for dinner?”
Me: “Similar to lunch or something lighter like salad when you had a big lunch……..”
Child with a desperate looking face: “And when do you eat rice and curry?!?!?!?”
🙂

Rice and curry is a, or let’s say THE traditional meal in Sri Lanka. When it is prepared well, it looks like this:

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– Waving children –
In an earlier post, I mentioned all the people waving at the passing train. But that’s not all about waving and Sri Lanka. In almost every city that we visited we found some little friends, mostly neighbors, waving at us and screaming “byeeee byeeee byeeee byeeee” whenever we walked by. Here my favorites from Weligama:

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– Traffic –
The traffic in Sri Lanka was very chaotic – at least compared to most European countries. Nevertheless, luckily, we’ve never witnessed any accidents. This might be linked to the extremely high amount of tuc-tucs that can’t drive very fast… It’s definitely not linked to the amount of traffic lights, as, during my whole stay in Sri Lanka, I saw maybe six of them (maximum!). 🙂

– Turtles –
One of my highlights was swimming with sea turtles in Hikkaduwa. And the best part of this: I didn’t meet those lovely animals in a swimming pool or anything like that, but in the ocean, freely swimming around.
By the way: Did you know that turtles can get up to 200 years old?!

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– Internet –
I really need to say this: The mobile internet network in Sri Lanka is so much better than the one in Germany! You’re literally in the middle of nowhere and your mobile phone shows ‘4G’! Amazing! 🙂

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Sri Lanka’da günlerimiz çok güzel ve hızlı geçti. Turumuza Negombo’da, güzel ve misafirperver arkadaşımız Dennis’in pansionunda başladık. Sigiriya, Pollonaruwa, Dambulla, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Uda Walawe, Tangalle, Weligama ve Hikkaduwa adlı şehirleri gezerek Sri Lanka turumuzu tamamladık bugün. Bu güzel ülke hakkında bu son yazımda, Sri Lanka’da fark ettiğim ama yazmak için zaman bulamadığım küçük şeylerden bahsetmek istiyorum.

– Pilav ve Curry –
Tangalle’de bir küçük çocuk ile benim aramda geçen bir konuşma:
Çocuk: “Almanya’da siz kahvaltıda ne yersininiz?”
Ben: “Ekmek, tereyağı, reçel, ………”
Çocuk: “Öğle yemeğinde peki?”
Ben: “Duruma göre değişir. Örneğin: Makarna ve yanında bir et veya balık türü, ………”
Çocuk: “Ve akşam yemeği?”
Ben: “Öğle yemeğine benzer. Yada büyük bir öğle yemeği yemişsem, salata gibi küçük bir şey olabilir ……..”
Çocuk, çok üzgün, ve yıkılmış bir şekilde: “Peki ama pilav ve curry’i ne zaman yığıyorsunuz?”
🙂

Pilav ve curry Sri Lanka’nin en geleneksel yemekleri, ve eğer güzel hazırlanmışsa üstteki yemek resmine benzer. Ortada büyük bir tabak pilav ve yanında değişik sebze ve et yemekleri olur.

– El sallayan çocuklar –
Bir önceki yazılarımdan birinde, geçen trene el sallayan insanlardan söz etmiştim. Ama, Sri Lanka’da, el sallama konusunun dahası var: Hemen hemen her gittiğimiz şehirde, bize ne zaman evlerinin yanından geçsek el sallayan komşu çocuklarla karşılaştık. Birde “byeeee byeeee byeeee byeeee” diye arkamızdan çığlık atamaları çok şekerdi gerçekden.
En çok sevdiğim ‘üç küçük arkadaşımı’ yukaridaki resimde göre bilirsiniz.

– Trafik –
Avrupa ülkeleriyle kıyaslarsam – Sri Lanka’nin trafiği çok kaotik bir şey. Ama bütün bir ay içinde çok şükür hiç bir kazaya tanık olmadık. Belki bu Tuc-tuc adlı üç tekerlekli araçlara bağlıdır: fazla hızlı gidemiyorlar çünkü. Trafik ışıklarının sayısına bağlı olmadığı kesin: düşünüyorum, düşünüyorum ama tüm Sri Lanka’da en fazla altı trafik ışığı ya gördüm ya görmedim. 🙂

– Deniz kaplumbağaları –
En güzel ve aklimda kalan şeylerden biri Hikkaduwa’da deniz kaplumbağaları ile birlikte yüzmek oldu. Ve bunun en harika yani bu güzel yarattıklarla bir havuzda degilde, tesadüfen denizde karşılaşmamiz oldu.
Bu arada: Deniz kaplumbağaları 200 yaşına kadar yaşayabiliyor – bunu biliyor muydunuz?!

– Internet –
Söylemeden geçemeyeceğim: Sri Lanka’nin mobil internet bağlantısı çoğu Avrupa ülkelerinden çok daha iyi! Süper gerçekten!

Chandrika from Hikkaduwa

I really enjoyed staying with Chandrika in Hikkaduwa. She was a great host, and I will miss our ‘evening chats’ about Europe, India, family, love and various other topics…

Chandrika:
“I was born and lived in Mumbai, India, for 20 years. After getting married, I returned to my home country Sri Lanka and started this guesthouse here in Hikkaduwa with my husband. More than 30 years past and I am still enjoying having many people from all around the world here.
Even though the sea is right on my doorstep, I don’t have the time go to the beach very often – but that’s totally fine with me. The source for my happiness are doubtlessly my children.”

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Chandrika’nin pansionunda kalmak çok zevklidi. Akşamları beraber oturup ‘dünyanın hallerini’ konuşmayı özleyecegim…

Chandrika:
“Mumbai, Hindistan’da doğdum ve büyüdüm. 20 yaşında evlenip kendi ülkeme, yani Sri Lanka’ya, geri döndüm ve eşimle beraber Hikkaduwa’da bu küçük pansionu açtık. 30 yıldan fazla zaman geçti ve ben hala dünyanın dört bir yanından insan ağırlamasını çok seviyorum.
Deniz kapının önünde olsa bile, çok sık plaja gidemiyorum – ama olsun. Benim mutluluğumun kaynağı çocuklarım.”