Location: Salamanca, Spain
tons has happened ever since I left Malaysia. I wasn´t sure if I should keep updating this travelblog. I have recieved Travelblogs from other friends that I thought were so inspiring to read, so I shall continue aswell. Maybe somebody might get an idea from my journeys, like I get them from others. I arrived in Germany at Munich airport, looking like an alien. Long hair, long beard, thai-pants and a shirt from India. hahaha you should have seen the expressions on the faces of my family members when they saw me. They must have thought: now he is completely insane. I must say it is quite possible. I have clearly learnt that normality is a concept that changes dramatically depending on where you are in the world. It is a concept that your society creates to make you the best possible producer and consumer. What might be completely normal here, might be completely absurd somewhere else. ok so much to that. I stayed at home for I think maybe ten days. Then I was told that I cannot join a class in Salamanca during the month. I would have to start at the beginning of the month because I couldn´t speak a freaking word of spanish. So what to do? I checked the internet and saw that A vipassana meditation course was about to start, made a few phone calls and four days later I was on my way to the Czech boarder. Really, those were some intense 10 days. 9 days without speaking and everyday meditation from early in the morning to late at night. quite wild. After that, I spent another few days in Erlangen ( my hometown) with family and friends. Then it was time for the capitol Big Berlin City. There I spent 2 fantastic weeks with my friends Dave, Simon and Michi. It was so awesome. My parents also came up for a few days to meet up with a colleague of my dad and of course to see their son again. We visited Museums and walked a lot. Berlin is probably the smallest Big City that I can imagine. After coming from places like Bombay and Bangkok, it is like a little relaxing town. I loved it and felt seriously german there. So from there I made my way to Spain. I flew into Madrid and took the train from there to Salamanca. Salamanca is seriously awesome. The city is packed with amazing architecture and students from all over the world. The ambiente is very cool. It was quite difficult in the beginning because as I mentioned I couldn´t speak a word of spanish. I have been here now for a month. I had 4 hours of spanish lessons Mon-Fri. Due to the fact that I turned into such a party pooper I recognised the party potential of this city very late. But WOW is this place crazy. In spain the people party really hard. I can still do it, I just need more sleep afterwards. hahaha Marc do you remember our getting up after 3 hours of sleep after a crazy party night in the mountains. man I don´t think that I can still do it.
So this month is over by tomorrow. I will be taking the bus to Irun on the french boarder on saturday. The following day I will take the train to Oloron de St. Marie. From there I will start the Pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostella. I had several poeple considering to join me. But for some reason I always new that Faith wants me to do this by myself. And so it is. Today my friend Priam decided to start at a different point due to the fact that he only has 4 weeks time. Brother I wish you all the best man. May you find what you are looking for. (Usually people are looking for themselves). Isn´t it funny that people have to walk somewhere to find themselves. Well if it helps: I am in. It will probably take like six weeks or something like that. It will be between 800 and 900 km that I have to walk. Today I am sitting here and laughing about it. I am sure that soon enough I will be cursing myself. At least temporarily.
ok folks so much to my life. I hope that everybody is healthy and happy. I wish all of my family and friends around the globe nothing but the best.
Werner aka .........
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Greetings everybody around the world,
this will be the last diary entry from Asia. Quite a bit has happened ever since I arrived in Malaysia. I will try to reconstruct it from the beginning. I left Bangkok at 3pm after having breakfast and relaxing. My original plan was to take the train to Butterworth in Malaysia. That was sold out, so I took an overnight train to a place called Hat Yen on the Thai-Malay border. I was told that it should be the right direction. I got there next morning. I grabbed my last delicious thai breakfast. A good old Pat Thai Jay and a Tom Yum Jay. It was nine in the morning and I was sweating as if it was getting out of style. I will miss the spices a lot when I return to Europe. I will also miss the indian style of eating with my hands. Of' course only the right hand, because the left hand is the so called poo hand ( or was it only us who called it that way). I love sitting on the fllor. I got so used to it. Maybe when I have an apartment of my own ( one day) I will only have cushions and no chairs. Well after breakfast I jumped on to the bus and another twelve hours later I arrived in KL. hahah when I remember the first time I got there I got ripped off by the cab driver. But now after getting ripped that many times I knew it wouldn't happen again. After making sure that the metre was on I left to meet up with my friends. By that time I had been traveling for more than 48 hours straight. It' s funny how such trips almost become easy. There is no boredom with a good book. By the way Shantaram from Gregory David Roberts belongs to one of the best books that I have ever read. I really recommend it. After meeting with my friends we ended up at a Lebanese restaurant, partying till three in the morning with delicious food belly dancers and special shisha :). That is the way Gentlemen travel the world. Good times.
The next few days were packed with food, yoga and meditation. It is very good that I didn't go straight to Germany from India. I think the culture shock would have been to big. KL is a relaxed and quiet place (at least compared to Bombay). Good to get grounded again. After a few days we left for the Cameron Highlands. Beautiful area. We went on a very nice hike through the jungle there. We also got incredible views onto the hills where they have the tea plantations. I always knew that I would get that view one day. We only stayed for two nights. Then Matt, Joanne and me left for the Perhentians. They're supposedly one of the nicest Island groups in the world. I don't know if that is true, but it definitely is the nicest that I have seen so far. The water was nicer than anything that I have seen in the Caribbean. We went snorkeling with Sharks and gigantic turtles there. There were so many tropical fish there. The water was so blue and crystal clear. It was so beautiful. We loved it. Very good times. Then after three nights we spontaneously left in the afternoon to make it back to KL for the following morning. Unfortunately we didn't think about malaysian holidays. No trains available, and no bus tickets available. Then we were brought to this marketplace where an old lady knew somebody who knew somebody who could get us a bus ticket. We ended up getting driven by car out of town, got onto the full bus and had the luck to find some space on the floor to sleep. not a problem with a yoga mat. It wasn't comfortable but we fulfilled our plan and were back in KL by the morning ready to attend a workshop for manifestations the following day. It was very interesting. many hours of meditation. Our friend and host KB organized it. A few days later Marc and Makiko left for Bali. I stayed here to take over Marc's Yoga students. I never ever would have thought to be a Yoga teacher. Not in my wildest dreams. And here I am in Malaysia. That's what happens if you let faith take over and you just surf the waves of life. I wouldn't have thought that it will be so nice. The people love to relax. The way I get looked at after meditations or classes. It is as if you actually do something good. That would have been something to get such reactions from the passengers while working on the cruise ship. Instead I had some Texas rednecks stuttering in front of me complaining about there " Cruise from Hell" because there were potholes in the streets of Cozumel. While mentioning it, I think everybody should read George Orwell's Down and under in Paris and London. He talks about the question what work actually is. Very interesting. (I think this is the second time I recommend this). So now it is Sunday. Oh by the way, Happy Easter. Matt and Joanne have left for the States. Marc and Makiko will arrive Monday night and I will leave Tuesday morning. I have to thank KB for being such a good host. Letting me stay here for free, inviting me for food almost every other day. He told me about the Buddhist monks who ask for money. They think that they are actually GIVING the people the chance to GIVE themselves. It is more then begging what many foreigners would think. Apart of receiving you also have to be able to give. I thank everybody and everything that made me make it through my travels safe and sound. I thank everybody from home for the support and the nice emails. I never forgot any of you. I thank God for all the things that I was allowed to see and experience. I thank for life and for the sake of living.
I am almost nervous to go home. It is more difficult to return home then to leave. At home the people judge you by who you were. They compare. When you travel the people don't know your past and take you simply for who you are in the present.
So Germany here I come once again.
Werner aka the German aka Ananda and many more
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
I am once again back in Bangkok. It is 8am. I have arrived from Mumbai 2 hours ago. Not all too much has happened since my last update. I'll write the Highlights though. The day I sent my last update my brand new camera got stolen. I think it was almost 1000 pics. So no pictures for you guys. Just use the imagination or check out pics on the web. It was quite a shock first. I got over it very fast though. It is very insignificant in the grand scheme. I also just had to look down the next indian alley to notice that my problem was nothing compared to real problems. It was weird though, when I took my last pic, it flashed my head for a millisecond that it would be the last time that I see the camera.
So much to listening to your intuition. I also went to an Indian wedding. I was dressed extremely fancy. All the indians wore suits and I showed up in this traditional dress. I was also forced to show off my Bollywood dance moves. I have video material of this. I tell you guys, it is priceless. I think it was the next day that I got sick. I think I slept for thirty hours straight. As soon as I felt better I was on the way to Goa with the overnight train. My friend Carl had recommended this beautiful place in Palolem. It was gorgeous. The people there were all very friendly. Two days later my friend Shanti also showed up. But with all my luck I got sick again. I think it took almost 5 days for me to finally move my lazy ass to the hospital where I recieved antibiotics. If it wouldn't have been for Shanti, I am sure it could have gotten ugly. I wasn't eating the entire time. I lost tons of weight and sometimes was too weak to get up to organize a bottle of water. Well when I then got better we left back for Bombay. I didn't want to take the risk of getting sick again and then being alone in the tropics. Back in Bombay it was all about eating and relaxing for me. I really stuffed my face at every restaurant. Very nice. And last night it was time to leave. I want to to thank Shanti and her family and friends at this point for the amazing hospitality that they offered me. I had a wonderful time. India is a very special country with a very deep culture and Bombay is wild and full of adventures and mysteries. I met incredible people and gained fantastic life experience. I thank god ( or the gods) for my safe travels through this crazy place. I miss it all already - Friends and places. I hopefully will be able to return one day. During my stay I had the chance to read Dune. Thanks Matt. It was really good. I had a lot of fun with it. Afterwards I read The monk who sold his Ferrari. I highly recommend that book. Last night I started reading Shantaram. It is a true story. It starts out very exciting. Such books show me that whenever I think my life is adventurous, I haven't seen nothing yet.
So folks I am going to the dentist now and then I am off to Malaysia to meet up with my good friends and original asia travel companions Marc, Matt and Makiko. I think a few more days on the beach would also be good to have. My trip is coming to an end. But I am living a blessed life. I know it and don't take it for granted. When I get home to Germany the preparations for my move to spain will start.
I send my love around the world to all my family and friends.
Werner aka the german aka freak magnet aka Ananda and many more