Monday, July 31, 2006

Lost in familiar surroundings

The freedom of wandering aimlessly comes at a price,
Sometimes you can become lost.
The way ahead seems so sure,
and yet you walk on unsteady ground.
Behind each newly familiar face
lies indeterminate depths of trust and reality.
Words so often spoken sound hollow
when the castles in the air dissipate
into the substance from which they came,
like so many of lifes other illusions.

But with each misstep comes a new knowledge
And a previously unused part of yourself
Begins to grow and blossom
Like a new leaf in the early spring
The branches grow and the tree strengthens

The road ahead is always an unknown path
and the journey is always fraught with experiences
all of differing intensities and emotion
and its how we react to them
which make them good or bad.

The journey is always a road of discovery,
of self, and the world around us.
Sometimes you find yourself
in place you least expected

Saturday, July 29, 2006

i lve it when a plan comes together

well.... slowly but surely the plan for the rest of the trip is coming together.

next week i have rented an apartment in Hamburg for a week. this gets me to CSD in Hamburg. but th efollowing weekend is the big leather party f hamburg.. i was here for it last year.. and everyone is saying to me i must stay for it.. so i dont know.. anyway... if i do, then straight after i will travel down to zurich... and then from zurich ill go direct to washinton, as looks like things in Uk are not panning out so will more than likely just fly right though.

arriving in washington DC on the 31aug...and chris is coming to pick me uip at the airport, and we have decided that we will drive back to his place (3.5 hours drive... one way.. poor guy he has to do it twice in a row) and then he will work the next day.. and then be able to take 1 week off so i can see a bit of the surrounds with him. the rest of the tim ein the states is a bit undecided.. but i guess ill need to make some plans before 31 august so when i change my ticket to fly out of zurich, i can make any other changes then.

well.. its now comingto august.. the wasp season. last night was the first night the wasps started coming round.. and of course... naturally.. i got stung twice... right after bert is telling me hes not been stung in 20 years.. and that they dont sting you if you ignore them.. however i moved my arm against my stomach and didnt realise a wasp was on my arm.. so copped a double sting. ouch. weird that it hurts like heck but is bearable.. just annoying really. i thoughgt i was allergic.. based onwhat happened when i got stung by something on the hand in australia.. but ooks liek that probabaly wasnt a wasp then.. as my arm hasnt blown up like a balloon.

anyway.... still having fun.. was great having some space and a place of my own this week, and will be having that again next week.. just a brief pause in the chaos that is Dans life.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

forgotten faux pas

oh a friend has just reminded me of some amusing faux pas that i have made recently.

in my eagerness to speak german, sometimes i speak a little too fast for my own good.

like the words switzig and spritzig.. one means sweaty and the other means to cum.. and the other day i think i said i was cumming instead of i was sweaty.. hahaha...luckily i was among friends

and the word for humid and the word for gay are sooo similar that its so easy to get it wrong for a non german they are both spelt the same..... schwul but i think one has an umlaut over the u which make it a different sound.. so of course i am often saying its so gay or its so humid.. and getting it wrong

oh well. the fun of learning a new language

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Livin in Hamburg

Coz its the place, where my heart belongs.
(according to the song)

Well.. had an absolute ball at Berlin CSD.. well i was rather subdued but then i wasnt in the mood to full on party party party.. so managed to get myself rather tipsy but pleasantly so. the parade, by the time it got to us in potzdammer platz has been travelling for 3.5 hours so perhaps this is the reason i thought the people on the floats were all just standing around on a float looking at the crowds with either disinterest or smiling and drinking.. but hey.. they were probably well over it by then, and it was mid 30s in temperature. but that doesn tmean i didnt enjoy watching it or that the sights were out of this world. of course, some of the men were just phenominal... ok we have good looking guys in sydney too. but i think some of the guys here have a certain style and look we just dont have in sydney and man oh man.. its enough to make you go ga-ga. i didnt really get any good pics of them, but did manage to get a few cuties in my pics, on the floats... of course most fo the hotties were in the crowd.

i thought sydney Mardi gras was big, but this was amazing.. the parade route itself takes about 4 hours to complete, if not more and the parade was onhe ende... (without end) so we went and grabbed a bite to eat when there was a big break in the convoy... at the australian restaurant in the sony cenre at potzdammer platz.. not that theres anything particularly australian about it. you could think that just because you serve fosters, have a few australian wines on the menu and have a dish made from kangaroo and one made from crocadile, that youre totally australian, but i find it takes more than calling something sydney fish and chips, (which by the way is not specifically prepared in an australian way) not when you have so much fish and chips here in the north and its was pretty much the same as here, and not how we would get it back home. anyway.. its become a bit of a tradition that i eat there every time i go to berlin, so why not.

have made my way to hamburg for my week alone in andreas apartment. have really been looking forward to this.. not that i dont like staying in lubeck or being in zurich, but after 3 months of not having any space to myself, and every night theres someone there or every day there someone there, and coming from a life where i do enjoy spending some time on my own, and living independantly, its hard to go from that to 3 months non stop of not having that. also it gives me a chance to catch up with my friends in hamburg, as having been in lubeck and travelling prior to that i havent really had a chance to see anyone from here.

did my first shop today for food.. my shop.. for me.. its a little pice of home life and gives me the glimpse of what its like if i lived here...normally.. and not staying at a friends house.
ive been so lucky that i have been staying with such nice people that not having my space hasnt really been a problem anyway.... im going to miss spending evenings on the terrace in lubeck, drinking wine, watching the twilight dance on the lake, and when the sun is finally away, the dancing lights of the fire jugglers across the other side of the lake.
every night there seem to be this tribe of friends that gather,and in the early evening you can see 3 of them practising twirling sticks and stuff, and at night they do fire twirling, it looks spectacular. im going to have to go for a walk in the park at night and go see who they are because for months now they have created such a show for me and when i thnk of lubeck thats one of the memorys that will stick the most.

im beginning to worry about how much im drinking.. since at home i drink next to nothing, but must admit.. have been drinking wine or beer nearly every night.. so this week i will try to abstain as much as possible, barring social events and even then, only 1 or 2 at most..but hey, im on holiday and so having 3 glasses of something in a night isnt a killer..

this week have to make plans on what to do frm next week on. i have 35 days left before my flight to USA.. and i am not staying in hamburg for it.. sadly.. however, Andreas isnt really the person i thought he was, and things arent going all together smoothly, so just tryingto decide what the best, cheapest and simplest thing to do.. pay a ticket upgrade and travel earlier.. rent a room or stay in a cheap cheap hotel in hamburg, spend some time in lubeck, spend some time in zurich, go travelling again, or a combination of all. if i go travelling again i do that the hassle of draging all my luggage with me.. well its not bad, a backpack, a laptop bag and a small suitcase on wheels. also seeing if i can chance my ticket to fly to london from zurich instead of from hamburg since i more than likely wont be here. then gotta figure out am i going to london and if so how long for, and that will depend on the flights i can get too. as thats not yet booked.

so lots of thinking but having a really having the experience of a life time, and something i have dreamed of doing for as long as i can remember, and never actually did it. its a once in a life time opportunity that i have kept turning down and kept making excuses not to do, and this time im not letting it go. im really actually living here.. even though its totally temporary, i can get the feeling of it and can say i have done it,

in the mean time, i have posted some pics from CSD berlin, total cack !

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wir Fahren nach berlin - Really !

well.. we are actually driving to berlin today.. its CSD (gay pride) in berlin this weekend so we are renting a car.... there are 3 of us going and bert only has a 2 seater BMW cabriolet so we need another car..

a friend of berts of zurich is visiting.... we call him Mutti (mother) he is entertaining to say the least.. i think he would make ru paul look butch.. but a really nice and heart of gold kind of guy.

was a bit concerned last night, sitting on the terrace, surrounded by candles... drinking wine and listening to edith piaf and doris day... that my manhod was evaporating.. but im sure im man enough to be able to do this, and not have my masculinity threatened.

got to try and figure out what to wear... after all it is csd in berlin so have to look berlin style i guess.. bit worried aboout what mutti is going to wear.. i think the skimpiest black shorts.. a tight black top... a dog collar, wrist restraints, and a huge orange chiffon sash.. hmmm.. ill try to take a picture so you can all enjoy the view.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Long Overdue

yeah yeah i know, i havent written for a while.... well its only been a week but everyone out there in reader land is telling me off for not saying something.. gosh who wud have thought someone actually read this crap.. hahah

ok.. i have a weeks worth of news to catch up on. and i have a few emails to respond to so i thought best to write this first so i can tell all the news at once, then will get back to you guys via email

last saturday was the birthday party of andrea's sister. her 30th...which if you are not married is the equivalent of our 21st. it was aslo the night of germanys last game.. so had to go in my german team shirt.. got points for that one i think.

they have this strange ritual where if you turn 30 and are a girl they make you dress up as a cleaning lady and clean some doorknobs that are attached to a block of wood, with a toothbrush.. and the doorknobs are covered in all kinds of crap. aparently if you are a boy, they scatter beer bottle tops onthe ground and you have to sweep them up into a pile, then everyone kicks them all over the place and you have t sweep them up again (repeat until everyone is bored)
no one can tell me why this happens or why on your 30th but was fun to watch.

the party was at a sports club, was kind of like a big bowling club...without the pokies. and at game time the whole party stopped to watch the football.. alas no chanting..
ended up drinking way too much... was free beer and spirits all night and we kept switching from beer to vodka.
ended up being dragged to the dance floor by a rather drunk german girl, who insisted on dancing close in something that resembled a salsa... (wasnt easy since she was a little tipsy and standing was even difficult) but a really sweet girl... aparently she had taken a shine to me.
then about an hour later it all came ut that andreas and i were gay.. which then we became the celebrities of the party.. not that i wasnt being the "exotic australian who can speak a little german' anyway.. repeatly i was dragged to the dancefloor by this girl.. and everytime i tried to dance solo i got the sign from her to put my hands back n her hips..
did manage to get in a dance with andrea's sister which was a reprieve.

once the booze set in nicely i was talking merrily away to all and sundry.. in german.. and understanding all that was being said to me.. amazing what a few drinks will do.

oh god... then abbas "thank you for the music' came on.. so andreas, his sister, and a guy called christian and i got into this chorus line thing...complee with kicks.. and andreas and i started singing it.. loudly.. in german... well.. to top it off, i believe there is video footage of it... how embarrassing. thank god ill never see it.

got told the next day.... by andreas, that the drunk girl had said the next morning to his sister, that i was a very erotic dancer.. and that she was a little in love with me, and that i coudlnt have been totally gay..because she is sure i was a little in love with her too.. and that andreas' sister also thought i was a very erotic dancer... (sheesh, cant german men dance or something.. not like i was doing anything special)

after the 4 am.. we went to a local gay pub.... well picture this.. its a town with about 200K people... they have only 2 or 3 gay bars anyway.. its 4am.. this should set you up for what kind of place it was... hmm. wasnt very pretty but everyone was having fun which is the main thing. did get to meet a real Baron there (aka The baroness) who bought andreas and i a drink of sparkling wine... oh man..big mistake for the hangover the next day) anyway... the music.. well.. it was a counrty town disco.. but did manage to drag andreas onto the dancefloor for one song (shakira's hips dont lie) since it was the only decent song that came on... it was the first time andreas had danced there. and he lived there for 15 years.

to say i had a hangover the next day woould be an understatement.

drove the 2.5 hours back to hamburg.. and watched the final together... wasnt the same without germany.... then marius was arriving from zurich.. he had a few days off during the week so decided to have a get away in hamburg.. got to love that they can do this..
was late getting t the airport.. as the tv teletext aid the plane was 20 mins late.. only it wasnt..

spent 3 days showing marius a bit of hamburg.. all my fave places.. and was really weird to show smeone a city that you dont live in.

called my mum on the tuesday... was the first time i had turned on my australian mobile in over a month..and of course since i hadnt written in the blog much she was all worried about where i was.. since i had originally planned ot be home by end of june.

oh since on the subject.. heres the bad news..... i cant get on a flight from london to washgton until...wait for it.... 31 august.. FUCK ! all flights are full for seats on a round world ticket.. so im kinda stuck here.. ok i could pay heaps extra and get out but not willing to do that, so stuck.. not that its a bad thing.... but sorry for all those waiting for me to get home.. looks like mid sep is the date. once i am in washington, im about 2 weeks from home. will spend about a week and a bit with Chris in Virginia.. and do 2-3 days in San Fran then im home. im trying to get onto an earlier flight if i can.

things have been a little strained with andreas.. so i have been staying a lot in lubeck... thank god for bert. he has become a real freind and i dont know what i would do without him. next week, andreas goes on holidays to denmark for a week and i am going to stay at his place for the week, alone, in hamburg.. then when he comes back... he and i are basically going to say goodbye, and ill move on.

i have a couple of options open to me in that i can find a cheap apartment or room to let for a month until the flight to UK/Washington.. or i can try to reroute my ticket to fly down to zurich again, and then form zurich to london and then onwards...... switzerland is really really expensive so i have to think about that as in how long is feasible to stay there.... of cource marius lets me stay at his place, but cost of living is the problem.. but wil be so great to spend more time there before i go back.

anyway... marius in hamburg.... managed to go to Hamburg Dungeon... kind of like the one in london.. with actors telling the morbid side of hamburg history, with special effects and a log ride/water rollercoaster at the end.. well if you can call it that.. but suffice to say, i was pretty scared on it. since i dont like roller coasters to begin with.. ut actually afterwards wasnt at all scary.. just the anticipation was scary.

then, on sunday, went to friends of berts for breakfast..and they were all prepared to speak english.. only i wanted to do it in german.... its going to be very very stange to not speak german when i get home.. will have to find me a friend i can talk german with i think so i can practise.

then sunday afternoon we went to a hamburg gay street party.. only a little one.. and had a few beers with merlin there. again, dan was tipsy.. have learned to drink on this trip, but dont think it will be a habit ill be keeping once back.

well.... have to dash.... will write back to those waiting responses.. and advise on what my travel plans are, once i figure out the mess... basically just waiting until the week in hamburg is over before making any firm decisions on where and when..

dont worry, im safe and sound. .and have real friends here to help me if im in trouble.. which im not.

all i can say is.... MAN is it hot over here... and no Air Con!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ohne Italia wir fahren nach berlin

oh, das schade.. i cant believe we lost.

hers me, in a german football shirt, flag tattoo on my face, german flag in the boot ready to drive with the flag waving..and we lost in the final moments. it really is a pity.

ive been told today i will see the true face of germany. with everyone not happy and angry, but i refuse to believe that the germans will be bad sports. Germany is already the winner by having hosted such a good event.. so im hoping they would be like australians and take the defeat with good grace. i guess we will see today. i hope the national pride thing continues after the games.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

hold the thumbs

well the day has arrived... Deutschland vs Italy... playing for the finals.

hold the thumbs ! Daumen drücken (the german version of crossing the fingers)

i think the whole country will be holding its breath today.

funnily enough... germany has never won against Italy. but the game is in Dortmund and germany has never lost there. so today something wil change.

interesting bit of trivia... the 3 years germany has won. 54, 74 and 90. aparently 54 x74 - 1990 = 2006

but there was a wild bear in germany that they shot recently, and since the bear is the symbol of berlin, they say they have cursed their team

so what will happen is anyones guess. but...ICH BIN VOR DEUTSCHLAND !!!!

schwarz und weiß
wir stehen auf eurer seite
und wir holn den sieg mit euch
'und wir holn den sieg mit euch
jetzt geht’s los!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Schwartz Und Weiss - wir stehen auf eurer seite!

Well, the Weltmeisterschaft (ok world cup to the rest of the world) is really hotting up.

funny german observation... here its called WM (weltmeisterschaft) and in english its WC (world cup) but for germans a WC is a toilet.... amuzing

Next round Italy vs Germany and the winner is in the final i think. but there is also france, Brasil and Portugal in the semis so i am hoing its not Germany vs Portugal.. ill be in trouble then.

anyway.. the most exiciting thing about being here, is experiencing, that for the first time, the german can have and show national stolz (national pride) for the first time in 60 years. its a new era for germany and to be able to see this awakening is beyond price. being the big german fan that i am its great to see germany finally seeing that they can be proud to be german and of what they have achieved over the past few years. ok, being an auslander i can never understand what its like to be ashamed of my country, or to have 3 different countries in the past controling my country so much, or to have to go thru the hardshps of reunification of DDR but in the last 15 years since germany has once again regained control of itself, its amazing to see the pride now start to emerge. And the games have been so free of racism and the germans really have opened they doors and hearts to the world.. so i think regardless of who wins the final game, germany is already a winner in my eyes.

anyway enough soap box.. last night i went to a birthday BBQ by the alster lake for Tom. ok, why i was particularly invited im not sure, as i have only met him twice, but Bert says its because im becoming part of hamburg, and that im not traipsing around like a sex tourist and have gained a little respect for having so much love for Hamburg and have bothered to learn the language.. ok so my understanding of german is a bit hard when they speak so fast and slur all the words together but when one speaks slowly to me in can understand most and when anyone speaks english to me ususally reply in german

the birthday BBQ was a bit like the Who's Who of trendy Hamburg.. well i thought so anyway. and sitting by the lake..... it didnt get dark until about 10.30 which is really weird to experience.. since at home even in summer its around 9pm when it gets dark. Met a new frirend of Berts.. (well hes not new to bert but new to me) yet another andreas.. im sure its their version of john because every second person here is named andreas.

have zapped up some pictures of the alster and the beautiful view from the picnic on my online photos

Saturday, July 01, 2006

BERLI!N BERLIN! Wir fahren nach berlin !!

Well... what a fucking experience that was ! WHOOOOR !!!! DEUTCHLAND>>>DEUTSCHLAND>>>>DEUTSCHLAND

well.. being the doofus that i am.. totaly forgot this was the quarter finals not the 8th finals. this was germanys game to enter the semis. well.. wanting to support th elocals.. what was i to do, went and bought a gearman team offical shirt.. (great memory keepsake) and after the 1st beer was down, i was well in the mood.

the train to the fan fest was just crazy... people already drunkand singing.. and so many of then young. Says grandpa dan.. hahaha by the 3rd beer i was well tanked and enjoying it a hell of a lot more.. i was chanting along like a local! it was unbelieveably hot.. and took over 30 mins at the bar.. to which you culd really only carry 1 drik at a time and actually do anything... and we were smach mang right in the middle of it all... miles away from any drink or food stand.. but really part of the atmosphere... anyway.. by the end of the 90 ins it was tied and they had to go into another 30 mins... oh my god.. the back is hurting already and im dehydrated from standing around in the sun for 3 or more hours in the same spot.. so when they went into 11meter i was getting a bit light headed, so squatted just to rest the legs and missed the last 5 mins.. hahaha. but just couldnt summon the energy to be jumping around. was funny when germany struck the first goal.. all the dust up in a huge cloud went flying.

a big drink of water and i was reenergised.. and the ride home on the train was full of songs and merriment.. walking along the street with al the cars honking.,. i was sticking my hand in the air in the international bad rock sign and cheering at them. like a real hooligan.. well i was in german team shirt.. so i just looked like a local.. hahahaha. ECHT COOL !!!

back home now and very much enjoying a sit down.. was too crowded and hot but man it was fun and woudlnt have missed it for the world.

threw up soome pics on my online photos to show the madness of it all. and here was i, right in the middle of 70, 000 screaming foot ball fans.. (LECKER!!)