Friday, April 28, 2006

Crazy Germans

Well today we went to Gnosa for breakfast... my most regular cafe here... was nice to order once again in German (even if I ended up with only one fried egg when I ordered 2.

anyway.. We walked around the city.. Looking at all the new things they have built for FIFA. oh my god, we thought that there was a lot done for the Sydney Olympics and all the ads were Olympics.. Well magnify that about 100 times and that's what they have done here for FIFA. Every 2nd ad has something to do with football and they have goal posts all over the city.... and a big one, lit up in blue lights, in the middle of the lake here.. and apparently they will point green lasers though it for every German goal scored. Also they have this train ticket you can buy that will be valid for a long as Germany is still playing into he cup. And you can travel anywhere in Germany with it.. and if Germany wins, the ticket will be valid for the rest of the year.... amazing.

anyway.. We picked up a friend of Andreas' and went to sit by the lake, and eat ice creams. mind you its freezing cold today.... about 8 degrees, and here are all these germans sitting outside in this huge cafe by the lake, like it was mid summer, eating ice creams.. crazy !

tonight we go to Stens place.. to surprise all the other germans I know, although I think it is going to be a bit hard to understand all the German being spoken when everyone is talking so fast all together. but ill try.. and if I fail... ill just get pissed on German beer ! easy.

I have gotten andreas addicted to Little Britain... its so funny to hear him come up with al the english sayings that we in australia also did when it first came on...

anyway... must dash.. got to practice my German linguistics.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

ich bin in Deutschland jetzt

well.. my last day in Amsterdam went so quick. ran around i the morning buying souvenirs and crap... and then met up with Ognen to spend some time with him before i left. he was so sweet and helped me carry my bags to the tram.

started using the trams this trip...usually i walk everywhere ut got over it and now i know how easy it is to get the strippinkard so i felt like a local.

anyway, got on the train from Amsterdam to Osnabruek and all the first clss seats were saying reserved except for 1.... only no one came and sat i them so i was sitting inthe worst seat for nothing. but at least i got to practice my german on the train. changed trains in osnabruek like a seasoned pro... but the train from there to Hamburg was very full..and i had to sit squished in with all my bags, opposite this strage german man who was talking to himself for over a hour and kept making snorting noises.

getting off the train and walking through the train station felt so weird....was like coming home.. and yet like arriving ina foreign city... i think i have been here so much that it doesnt feel like a holiday but rather like a 2nd home. of course the first thing to do in hamburg is to eat a hamburger so we went to mcdonalds (fur ein notfall cheeseburger) for dinner and then to andreas' house to sit and labetasche (chatter) for hours until we both fell asleep on the sofa.

we both think its so strange that me being here just feels so normal.. like i have only returned from a long holiday and that it is normal for me to be here.

already we are playing the shultz game... where if someone burps you must put your thumb on your forehead or you will get slapped on the forehead.... its a teenage game that andreas and i always play. he hates it but he taught me so........

today andreas has a holiday day so we are going to eat in the first coffee shop he took me to the first time i was here, (Gnosa... ja, kannen sie es glaben? ) and tonight is dinner with his friends who dont know i am here yet.

Deutschland.....Ich Bin Zuruck !!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

step one completed

well.. step one of Dan's 12 step program is complete.. i leave amsterdam today (boo hoo) and travel by train to Hamburg.

still calculating a way to be able to stay here..... if i can find the right job that pays enough to be able to send money home to mum, then i might do it... if only to stay for a year. im working on it at least.

well i have until 3pm in this city..which is cold, overcast and raining... but hey.. its amsterdam so who cares....

meeting ognen again today for a coffee before i go.. not looking forward to packing tho.. seems i have a few more items than when i arrived.. how will it all fit

i have added some photos to Dans online photos.. the link is on the right

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

clubbing (rotter)dan

Well well well what a ball i have been having.

Met a guy called Ognen who took me out clubbing in Rotterdam. we went to a club called The Betty Ford Clinic, which is held on the last sunday of every month. so really quite lucky to have seen it.
the picture above i took with my camera at the club.
the place went off!! it was huge and would be on par with a sydney dance party. the upstair oom was the size of the dome and downstairs was the size of the main area of ARQ.

anyway, they had this strange thing where you buy tickets for drinks at one counter, and then go to the bar with your tickets. the tickets cost 1.10 euros each... and 4 tickets gets you a beer, 6 got you tequila etc. so i had about 5 beers, 2 tequilas and a mahito. so needless to say i was rather tipsy, but danced the night away.

we left the club at about 2.30pm and went to the metro.. we ran down the entrance corridor to only find that the station was closed and the barricade doors had shut. we went back up the escalators to the street level to find the roller doors there had closed behind us. so we were trapped there. had to climb up o this ledge and climb over this wall to get out.. had visions of falling and being splattd on the station entrance below... thankfully i made it.

we had to walk all the way back to the rotterdam main railway station to catch the train back to delft where Ognen lived. so got a bit of a tour of rotterdam while i was at it.

stayed the night at ognens place and then caught the train back to amsterdam in the we woke up at 12ish.

spent this afternoon recovering form a nght of drinking.... only way to do that was to have some more beer. i think i have drunk more beer in the past 3 days than i have inthe past 3 months. but hey....when in europe...

went to dinner at wagamama and lo and behold, the waiter was the guy i shared a room with in berlin, when i went there with david, tomi, frank and eduardo a few years ago and met andreas. so was good to see him again.. and to find out that frank has moved back to paris and that david and tomi are somewhere in barcelona.

jen has just left to go back to london so its just Jon and i now. going to go to a cafe for a bit and chill out.

im spending a lot of time thinging of how i can stay here.. i feel so at home in amstrdam.. and now i dont have a job back home, im really feeling this is my one opportunity to do as i have dreamed of most of my lfe.. but its the whole working visa thing that im not sure on. maybe i just need to find the right guy to marry.. hahahah.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

get your freak on

well.... and they said it could never be done.

went outlas night to a straight jazz/funk/RnB/Hip hop club.. yes matt and alex.. i was in a straight club!!! had a great time. my friend Jon was amazed that not only was i keeping up beer for beer but i was drinking them quicker than he was. saw 2 guys there that were just totally the hottest guys i had seen all day.. and neither of them fitted my usual types.. go figure.

had to augh we were on the dancefloor and Jen and i were thinking.. gee this song sounds like a remix of Joan Jetts I love rock and roll.... turned out it was, and we just went off !!

got home at about 2-2.30 and being rather tipsy i fell asleep rather quickly.. bt then woke up at 730am bugger.

its freezing cold here but at least today the su is ut so might warm up as the day goes on. heres hoping.

Fetish Dan

well..didnt i arrive in amserdam at the right time... this week is Kink Week here. just found THE best clothing shop in amsterdam full of fetish and goth wear. so couldnt help myself and bought some way cool clothes. got two vests (both like flak jackets.) a nice pair of punk shorts... and a tshirt that h strappy ring harness things on it.

Noice Kimmie !!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

London To Amsetrdam

Hahaha.. I spoke too soon. The London to Amsterdam flight was the flight from HELL!!!!
Picture this…. I get n board the aircraft, tired from the 32 hours I have already been travelling.. The migraine is just bearable, ut I thnk its only an hour flight so ill be fine. I discover that my seat is in the 2nd last row. And joy of joys, I have two 2 year old girls in the row behind me, a passenger fails to board, so we have to remove his luggage…the twine brats are screeching and screaming at the top of their lungs, their piercig sirens are cutting through my head like red hot pokers in stereo. We are delayed on the ground 40 mins, and they are screaming for the entire 40 mins. one of the twin girls cannot decide where she wants to sit. With Dad who is sitting in the window in the row behind me, or with granddad who is sitting on the aisle directly behind me, or with mum who is sitting cross the firebug behind me.. So this little she-devil is pushing past granddad and knocking my seat even 2 mins. (PLEASE !!! Someone kill me now)
Finally we startt o pushback, and the twins must be strapped in… this just encourages them to both howl and cry…at top lung capacity… they were so loud that the flight attendants had to turn up the safety demo volume just so we could hear.. (my head is about to explode…!!)
I resign myself to the fact im going to be in agony for his trip, and set about trying to meditate and try to drown out the toddler harpies. (with only marginal success)
Finally I land in Amsterdam… only to have the luggage carousel jam and luggage spews all over the floor. They ix it, but don’t clean up the bags laying on the floor, so I have 1 bag, but the ther hasn’t appeared. Thankfully after 15 mins decide to go check the pile of bags on th efloor..and hooray my missing bag is there (thank god)
So when I finally got to Jons place….and met his friend Jennifer.. The result of being on my own for over 35 hours kicks in and I start talking at 100 miles and hour…i
Had ½ a beer and decided that alcohol at this point was not a good idea. I had a blissful shower..and hey.. I didn’t get stuck in the shower cubicle this time. We set out to g drinking on the town for the afternoon (well Jen and Jon did….thinking of changing my name to a “J” Name to fit in what about Jack…Jordan…Jared ??) I decided that coffee and coke was good enough as I had to stay awake until at least 9pm.
By 8 pm I was fading fast and so dragged them to the supermarket (before it closed) to buy supplies so I could cook breakfast)
Go to love impulse buying. Jen grabbed some lollies from the cash register counters..only to discover when we got home and she shoved one in her mouth, that they were cough lollies.. Hahaha
Managed to stay awake until 9.30 and then crashed like a log. Slept 12 hours !! Wooo hoo!!
Out to face the bleak and cold day (yesterday was so warm.. Today is freezing!! )

Sydney to London

Well.. Here I sit at Hong Kong airport. Wow this place is huge. Typing this on my new laptop, which I haven’t had the chance to use on the first flight, as there was no in-seat power. But did buy an inseat power adaptor at Sydney airport for the next flight so that from now on I will always have one and can also use in cars…should I ever need to use the laptop and drive at the same time.
Had 4 ciggies already in the space of an hour. Staying close to the lounge so I can go have 2 more before boarding, was so surprised by the Qantas economy.. They had video on demand and so I watched movies and TV shows all the way. Bought a pair of cheap noise reducing headphones.. Man I never realised how loud the jet engines were until I turned those on. You cant hear the plane at all and the movie sound is crystal clear. Also means I can use with my laptop too.
Anyway, as per usual, seated near all the weirdos. The girl in front was pissing herself laughing most of the way. I reckon she was also watching Little Britain series three. Fuck that was funny.. Had not seen it before. Thought Ting Tong from Ping Pong and Bubbles were my faves this go round. Then watched most of series one of Ab-Fab.
The woman next to me played solitaire for 7 hours and only got up to got the toilet just before landing.. Man.. A woman that can hold it for 8 hours.. Who would ever have thought.(even I went twice) ..
The guy behind me was playing Madonna in his headphones soooo loud I could hear it in the row in front… (Sue….. I so was thinking of you…… especially when he started singing it out loud! Funny how people forget where they are)
The fussy old Italian couple across the aisle kept playing musical chairs. And the old Italian man actually sat sideways in his chair for at least 10 mins and just stared at me.
On the plus side, the immigration guy (Gavin) at Sydney openly flirted with me. What a shame I was leaving the country eh/ he was totally a babe, muscles and tanned and well, best I stop there or ill get all worked up.
Well.. We board in an hour.. And I have a 13.5 hour trip to London ahead of me. Luckily I haven’t slept yet so will play a little Sims2 and then take a sleeping tab and knock myself out for at least half of that. Shall sign off now and will continue this from London.

Well.. Arrived in London, sitting at a restaurant at Heathrow…..enjoying (somewhat) my first of many meals alone. Arrived here with a whopping migraine… thank god there’s a chemist here. Have taken 2 ultra strong pain killers..lets hope I don’t fall asleep somewhere.. Tee hee.
Anyway, the flight from Hong Kong went pretty quick. I started to watch just one movie…. Transamerica (great movie by the way, hope Felicity gets an award for that) but fell asleep before it finished. Woke up with only 4 hours to go, so played a bit of sims and watched a bit of star trek on the laptop.. God I m sooooooooooooo happy I had it with me.. We landed before I knew it.
The most frustrating thing is I know it is only really about 30-40 mins flying time from here to Amsterdam, and yet from when I landed I still had about 8 hours until I get out of the airport at Amsterdam. (godverdammer!!)
If it wasn’t for the headache, I’m sure I would be checking out he spunks here.. Although have seen a few that I would think…oh my god what a hunk…but head too busy pounding and stomach churning.. Although I must admit, took the tablets about 20 mins ago and already feeling a bit better. Never know I just may find something to amuse my time with here at the airport.

You know you have arrived in Europe when even at the airport, you are asked if you want smoking or non smoking in the restaurant.
Already trying to think in German and Dutch to practice. Thank god for Madonna, I can now say ‘I’m Sorry” in Dutch too. So can add that in front of my “I don’t speak dutch” since everyone there assumes I’m dutch… I have been told that in Amsterdam if they hear you speak English they will automatically switch to English, but not for me.. I ask in English and 7/10 times they will respond to me in dutch.. I’ve been told that I could pass for dutch or German or Slavic…. So hey it’s a compliment I reckon.

Can hear some Americans behind me ordering breakfast…. What on earth is a breakfast burrito ? Only in America I can say (speaking of which saw 2 beautiful American punk/skater boys at HK..think ill enjoy america a lot.
Oh well.. 3 more hours until we board the flight to Holland. It always makes me laugh that where the plane lands there is closer to Rotterdam than Amsterdam and the last 20 mins of the flight is actually spent driving back to the terminal.
Just called a mate Alex back in Sydney.. He just got the job of his dreams.. Im so proud of him. Not sure how the test team will cope without him, as he was the only other person there with test experience… and just found out the person who is taking over what I did (form Brisbane) is going on holidays during the test cycle.. I cant believe the unprofessionalism.. But hey.. I can just not worry.. But cant help it. I still even now care deeply for the project and even now feel frustrated at whats going on there even though I no longer work for them. (yet again, flight centre let go the people that actually really care about the work and the company and take a personal pride in making it all work. Let it go Dan, let it go)
Anyway.. Will end up here and let you all know how I went getting to A’dam later.. Schipol Airport ALWAYS has funny stories….. Hoping to have at least one since nothing exciting has happened so far.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

what a friend we have in J....oseph.

well.... amazingly i manged to get totally everything bar pic up my ticket today. so shall hop to the city in the morning to pick it up.

THANK GOD FOR JOSEPH who really saved my bacon today and ran me around from mall to mall to get all that i needed to get. im now armed with games galore on the laptop, to while away the long hours at airports...if i can find a suitable power outlet to use (hoping they have power on the flights too.) and have packed DVDs to watch (coz the plane movies are usually so boring..execpt this time they have Brokeback Mountain showing on QF so ill watch at least that)

got dvd of Little Britian and toothpaste for Andreas. But can you believe no shops in Sydney sell Aussie Bum Swimwear...sorry Ollie.

ran to doctors to get scripts for sleeping tabs, for the flights

got space bags to pack all my clothes in. well i think i am getting slightly better at packing although i just know i over packed. 2 pairs jeans, 2 cargos, 2 shorts, 2 pairs shoes, 6 socks, 12 t-shirts and 2 long sleeve undershirts and 1 pullover and a thin jacket.... since i recon i will prob by some stuff overseas i didnt want to take too much.

bought a crumpler laptop bag... almost fainted at the price but hey, i think it will be worth it.

thankfully i didnt have to go to the interview today or i would never have got eveything done. but they have expressed genuine interest in me and want to interview me the first business day after i get back.. so hey, at least i look good on paper. and i know i can handle any job they throw at me.

going to dinner with friends tonight as a farewell kind of thing (basically Paul and Joseph thought i shouldnt dine alone on my last night...which is really sweet. and Joseph and i think Danny will see me off at the airport. (nothing worse than going to the airport alone..although i usually cry at the airport, but its been bob usually seeing me off.. going to be a little weird this time.) couldnt help but think of Bob when we were at Bondi so many memories of Bob relate to there. (yes im moving on..stop nagging)

Joseph and i counted how many spunks we saw today at eash shopping centre... im worried why my count was way higher than his???? in Bondi Junction alone, i got up to 36 and he was still around 14 or so. eek!

have basically vaccum packed all the clothes.. have a fair idea about toiletries, but really i can buy what i need there.

debating on whether to take my roll along cabin bag as well as the crumpler bag.. but i think i can fit all i need in the crumpler which means if i buy too many clothes i can just get one overseas.

well.. not sure if i will write more before i go.. but will be definately writing blog stuff down so i can pour the adventure onto the internet when i can.

next stop - AMSTERDAM !!!!
(i cant believe my total journey time is going to be 32 hours. 8.5 to HK, 13.5 from HK to LON and 1.5 to AMS. add in all the layover times and its 32 hours. im going to go crazy! maybe i will have a shower at HK to feel fresher.)

remember y'all..... ik sprakt geen nederlands, and ik bin niet me frau pederson !

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mayhem and Madness and Unexpected Stress

Sigh, nothing goes to plan does it.

went to book my trip today.. hoping to leave friday.. all flights booked out for at least a week, via all possible routings, exept via Hong Kng on this Thursday.. so 24 hours less to get ready and get packed an dbuy all the things i need to.

plus i have a recruitment agent putting me forward for a job for when i get back, lord knows how i will find time to run around tomorrow and get all my supplies, basically pack my bag, and do a job interview. sigh. just as well i am used to multitasking.

the prob is that i need to get my eurail pass and NO ONE at Flight Centre Corp knew how to book one and get it there in time.. so now i have to get the pass delivered to Amsterdam and hoping that it wil make it in time.

anyway... im booked to leave Sydney on Thursday so will need to be at the airport at 11ish in morning. 2.5 hours connection in HK and then on to london.. at least i got a premium economy seat from HK. however..... the 5 hour layover in London waiting for the Amsterdam flight is prob going to do me in. although im sure i have done this layover before.

its very exciting but at the moment im just stressing more than getting excited.. i mean its only a trip to Europe, not like its the first time.. i usually only get excited in the trip to the airport.

im sure im going to have multitudes of amusing stories about my trip.. usually i find all the little hassles and annoyances of the upmost amusement.

Look out world ! Here i come!

well.... today folks i get to go buy my ticket.

bastard ex-employer..... they made me redundant 2 weeks before i got 5 years service, and theres nothing i can do about it. oh well.. karma will win in the end.

so my basic itinerary is set. although i will just book the first flights and the rest will be open dated.

Sydney - Amsterdam on BA
use my train pass to go Amsterdam - Hamburg - Berlin - Zurich - Milan - Venice - Rome - Hamburg
then fly to London, then fly to Washington DC and then spend a couple of days in San Francisco before heading home. im deciding if i should stop in Auckland on the way home to go speak to a prospective employer

Stay Tuned for updates on where im up to.