Month: November 2013

When the penis won’t go into big noodle (which means don’t add peanuts to the big noodle dish)

When in Chiang Mai learn to cook Thai style – that was on top of my bucket list for Thailand and we probably found the perfect and most hilarious place to do so: The Organic Thai Farm Cooking School, a couple of kilometers outside of Chiang Mai with their own veggie garden. We started the day on a local market, learning about different kinds of rice, sauces, vegetables and other ingredients. Once we arrived at the farm we took our taste-buds to the garden where we were allowed to eat from every plant, fruit, herb – often with interesting facial expressions. We had all chosen the dishes we wanted to learn in advance and having all the ingredients prepared on our cooking stations it was easy to dish them up into tasty curries, pad thais and coconut milk soup. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves: It was still our little group of funny Upper Austrians so the laughing kept naturally going all day but the real highlight was our fantastic cooking teacher Embee. Apart …

Book recommendation: Do you want to be normal or happy?

On my 29th birthday I hiked up our local mountain with my Mum and during our well deserved lunch at one of the huts she pulled out this book as a present. What a good match – already the title made me smile. I read it during the 2012 New Zealand road trip and recommended it to Maggie who took it with her to Australia. When visiting her in Maroubra this year the book found its way back to me exactly one year later. Reading it again in Thailand wasn’t as mind-blowing as the first time but a good way to re-assess my happiness, to look back and see what a long way I’ve come during the year that has passed and get the bigger picture again. So if you’re still looking for a last-minute Christmas present – I can absolutely recommend this one (apart from the paragraphs where he advertises his multiple side-products such as CDs).

A week of peace in Chiang Mai

Our destination in Northern Thailand has been a heaven of relaxation so far: A clean room, good food and incredibly cheap massages – exactly what I needed after busy Bangkok. We stayed on the usual tourist paths during the first days but as soon I explored some neighborhoods outside the traditional city centre I came across a completely different, more modern style of a Thai city. Pedaling through the Western and university districts I stumbled across the Chiang Mai Academy of Ballet – an adventure in itself, and close-by were the departments for Art and New Media – a heaven to explore if you’re interested in those kind of things.

Get me out of Bangkok, please!

Whenever I arrive in an Asian capital I am immediately struck by the busyness, the noise and dirt of those giant cities. Same thing in Bangkok: It is hot, steamy, loud and I constantly feel threatened by a motorbike. I have to admit it stresses me and I can’t wait to get away from here (we also came across some major demonstrations in the centre of Bangkok and only then found out that the Austrian foreign ministry had issued a travel warning for Bangkok). How come I talk about we? It turned out that my Austrian friend Maggie flew out of Sydney the same day as me and although we were not on the same plane we almost simultaneously flew from Sydney to Bangkok. And since we’re both not huge Bangkok friends we decided to get out of here as soon as possible. Thailand’s South is currently flooded my massive rain falls so Maggie will show me her beloved Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, hoping that the weather will improve in the South. Two of …

Beaches, Books and Blisters at Bondi

When I go traveling to places I have been to before my travel style somehow reminds me of a dog who’s coming home: I need to go to all my favorite places and check they’re still there. So when in Sydney I felt like I had to visit some places that meant so much to me when I was there in 2011. Back then, I had spent a considerable amount of time in Coogee – the Beach between Maroubra and world-famous Bondi. Since I stayed at Maggie’s in Maroubra Beach I thought it would be a good idea to do the cliff-top walk that stretches all along the coast from Maroubra to Bondi, passing through Coogee. It actually was a good idea, doing it bare feet not so much. Two days earlier, during my last surf in Piha, one of my board’s fins had cut my left foot and the wound still hurt so much in my sneakers that I had to take them off half way during the walk. That wound immediately hurt less …

Austrian-Bavarian Expat meet-up on a Sydney rooftop terrace

Just before flying to Australia I saw that an old friend of mine also happened to be in Sydney for work. Natalie and me had been sharing desk, lunch break and our bosses’ mood swings while we were both interns at BMW Group, back in 2006. We agreed to meet up close to Circular Quay and it soon turned out that my Austrian friend Maggie would meet some girls for her Sydney farewell that same night. As soon as Natalie and me had caught up on our lives and adventures since BMW – over a very experimental and spicy Mexican dinner – we joined the Austrian girls on the Glenhouse roof top terrace. What a location! Very hidden in the Rocks but once you’ve found it the views over Sydney harbour will take your breath away. But what really kept my breath away for the whole evening was the crazy laughing going. Since all of us live out of our Bavarian or Austrian comfort zones for a while (whether in Sydney, New Zealand, Hong Kong …

When you’re not allowed to wear your ski boots on an airplane….

Just when I thought I had learned all the life lessons New Zealand had in stock for me it presented one last one – an obvious one though: Never exceed your airline’s weight limits when it comes to your luggage. Or rather: Don’t rely on having a handsome guy at the counter who will just check in your excess luggage just because you’re blonde and a ski instructor. There might only be dragon-like old women instead who are pretty unimpressed with your excuses and flirt attempts…. Anyway – here’s the story: When I had booked my flights to New Zealand in spring I paid a decent amount of money to be allowed an extra 16 kgs in my ski bag – which had worked perfectly fine on my way here. On my way back I had repacked my bags slightly different – putting most of my stuff into the ski bag to the point where I almost couldn’t carry it any more and downsizing my big suitcase to a more Thailand-friendly small backpack. In theory …