Category Archives: Leisure

Love Story…

…, noooot 😉 Anyway, three weeks ago, it was a Saturday night, I met Anna. We had some beer and talked about this and that. She’s very interested in Austria and sports. I was very interested in Australia and Aussie slang. And indeed I learned a few new Aussie slang words in the upcoming weeks.

Back to track. I told Anna about my dream to become a diver and this special offer in Glenelg beach. 800 bucks, and bring a friend for free. She was excited as, and instantly decided to do this course with me. Well, that was quick, I thought. Course started on Friday, we met on Monday, Labour Day, for a walk in the mountains. Afer a nice drive, we visited the ‘Whispering Wall’ (you can whisper to each other over hundreds of meters using a huge wall), walked for a few hours in the forest and finally saw two Kangaroos. Neat!

Next day I organized everything for the course. The day after we picked up our learning material (DVD and 200+ pages diver manual). On Thursday before the course we started to learn everything. And on Sunday we passed the exam. Inbetween we had our first pool dives and some class lessons. First part well done.

Second part was this weekend in Edithburgh, a 300 km drive from Adelaide. The group and two instructors met there Friday night. On Saturday we’re all amazed after our first open water dive. After an hour we did the second one, which was even better, we stayed at the bottom for almost 60 min in about 7 m. The main purpose of these and the two following dives on Sunday was to practise skills like: buddy check (steps: BCD, Weight, Air, Releases, Fins) descending(steps: Signal, Orientation, Replace, Time, Equalize, Descend), ascending (steps: Signal, Time, Ascend, Rotate, Swim), buoyancy (which is a bitch! we had dry-suits, which are as opposed to wet-suits completely closed and fillable with air), emergency ascend and methods, hand signals (pretty easy to learn), BCD and weightbelt removal on the surface, mask clearing and much more…

In short, a great experience. Each Scuba Diver takes a certain risk of decompression illness (bubbles of nitrogen in your bloodstream, which expand when you go to the surface and can keep the blood from streaming), which occurs in case of ascending too quickly after beeing too deep for too long. Responsible planning minimizes that risk. Scuba Diving can be learned by everyone, as long as you are physically (the cylinders and weightbelts are heavy on land!) and mentally (know how to plan dives, and don’t exceed your planned limits) alright.

Beside diving I couldn’t keep away from houseparties 😀

Weekend

Had a nice party weekend. Yesterday the AFL (Australian Football League) Finals took place, and people went crazy in the city afterwards. They know how to party.

At first, it seemed like me buying some books in the city and returning afterwards to my place for a nice read. Well, Mike (from Germany) texted me if I’d like to join going to Glenelg for some Frisbee beach session. Why not? So we went there, but it was too windy to play. The guys had some beer cans with them, so we had them near the beach. But generally, beaches are “dry zones”, means alcohol drinking is not allowed there. Right when we opened the cans, a police car stopped by. Officers told us to ex the beers, and they won’t fine us. So we did, and saved 200 bucks each, a total of 800. Thank you guys! Nice one, we thought, and went for a walk, direction city. After half an hour walking and chatting, somebody suggested to go into a pub, so we did, had some drinks and moved on back to the city. There we split, I met with Gavin and Mark (from French speaking Switzerland) in Duke of Yorks, where everybody was dancing like crazy. So I just went crazy too and enjoyed myself and people around me throughout the night 🙂

More pics on facebook.

Morning Hour Has Gold In It’s Mouth

Maybe I should stop translating German phrases into English… Today I got up at 6 am, and that’s very early compared to what I’m used to on weekends. (Not going out yesterday paid off obviously.) So I had the exciting idea to grab my picture cam and go for a run. There’s also another pic, which is more related to my last post.

Partytime With A Burned End

A great thing about living in Adelaide: There are parties almost everytime. At least on weekends. If one would like to get out on weekends, there’s not doubt that somewhere in your area something’s going on. In Adelaide City, Saturday’s the right day to stay awake till early in the morning. You can find a lot of pubs and clubs. But keep in mind to always carry your ID, in my case that’s the passport. Otherwise you could run into trouble trying to get in certain clubs. On my first Saturday night in town, of course I didn’t think of my ID and went to the city, which is a 30 minutes drive with the bus. Btw, public transport drivers in Australia are generally very helpful, as most of Australians are. If you ask for how to get somewhere, they always do as much as they can to guide you. And on that Saturday, I didn’t even had to pay for my bus ride, which is normally about 2 $ for one direction (the main reason was, that I wanted to pay with a 20 $ note and the driver had no change).

So I got on that bus, happy to ride for free, and after half an hour I arrived at a club called ‘Duke of York’. At half past eight, hardly any people were there, so I just made my way to the entrance, where a blonde girl waited for me. “May I see your ID please?” she asked me. “No, you can’t” I thought, I haven’t had it with me. “aahhm… well… here’s my International Student ID. How’s about that?” I asked, trying to look nice and handsome. But the blonde girl was very strict and answered: “I’m sorry, you can’t get in. I’m the manager. You can’t get in without an ID.” Damn it. I knew that it’s usual to carry your ID when going out in Australia, I did it in Sydney before. So I was kind of pissed off. After a few minutes, Gavin which whom I was supposed to meet, arrived and I told him my story, which pissed him off too. Moreover, he started complaining about my sport shoes. (Yes, maybe they look kind of crappy. But so many people weared sport shoes in Sydney, so I thought, well, why not me on a Saturday night?).

As there’s only one bus route I actually know to get from and to the city, I had to wait about 20 minutes for my bus home. Of course I wanted to go out that night, even if I wasted two hours to go home again to get my passport. That was my opinion when I waited for the bus. In fact, back at home, somehow I felt tired and my motivation for going out was gone. So I sent Gavin a message to chancel the meeting, he had some other friends to meet anyway. I felt hungry, put up a nice pot of rice and switched my notebook on. A few minutes later, my mobile indicated a message arrival, in which Gavin stated that they were betting either if I came back to the city or not. Two beers for me were the odds if I came. And I thought: ‘Well, he’s right, it’s my first night out in Adelaide, the club looked nice, I should really go out. And there are those beers!’ So I grabed my stuff, put on stylish leather shoes and a jacket and hurried up to catch the bus.

Beside the fact that I didn’t have to pay for the second bus ride to the city again (AdelaideMetro ftw!), after the first station I recognized it: No passport again! Damn! I was on the last bus to the city, so getting out, walking back, picking up the ID and catching another bus was no option at all. So I did the only possible thing that made sense: Trying to get in another time without passport. But instead with new shoes and jacket.

And guess what: It was as easy as it is for 14 year old teenagers in Austria to get into ‘Nachtschicht’ on weekends. I showed her (that time, it was another girl) my International Student ID again, and everybody was fine. The dance floor inside burned already, music was great and Gavin was really surprised to see me. After the first beers (the local Coopers is really worth a try!) and a nice chat with his friends we all made it to move our bodies to the hottest rythms on earth. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselfs til early in the morning.

At about 4 we (Charlotte, Rose, Gavin, me) decided to leave ‘Duke of Yorks’ to get out for some fresh air. Gavin hunted the whole night for Rose, but Rose played some games girls sometimes like to play. Those kind of games, where several guys are involved at the same time. Those games, were it seems like there’re loosers and winners (stupid, I don’t like those games). And it seemed like he lost (to him, IMHO the other homeboy didn’t had a chance at all!). Anyway, Charlotte (I think that was her name) was still after Gavin. So why not give it a try? They did, and we finally all crashed Rose’s place. She provided us with yummy pasta, and after another two hours we felt kind of tired and went to bed.

Unfortunately, Gavin had to get up at 8 again. Because I had no idea were I was (we went with the cab in the morning) I joined him. His brother picked him up, and after a short visit at his house I was dropped off at a bus station, where I expected a certain bus. Which didn’t show up. After one and a half hour I decided to try another bus, which first took me back to the city where I could take my default bus route home.

Four hours after getting up, I finally got off at my home station 33 (right next to McDonalds) and suddenly (surprisingly) felt very hungry. At that moment, I was thunderstruck! You know that feeling, when you forgot something very important, like an exam the next day and you didn’t learn anything yet? Increasing heartbeat rate and Adrenalin rush! When I was at home the night before, I actually didn’t intentioned to go back to the city. And I felt hungry. And I put a pot with rice on the gas stoven. And I didn’t turn the gas stove off when I left the house! So what could have happened? Either the whole house already burned down and there’s nothing more to rescue or some of my housemates smelled the burned rice and turned the cooker off. In both cases, it wouldn’t have had made anything better if I stressed myself and therefore went to McDonalds for two double-cheeseburger and a coffee.

Back at home, the house was still there. No smoke coming out of the door or windows. Inside it smelled a little bit. And the pot was… well, I bought a new one. Happy that nothing serious happend, I decided to stay at home and chilled with some old-school computer games after a nice Skype session with a great girl.

Around the World

My course of study KWM (Communication and Knowledge Media) could also be called International Communication and Knowledge Media. Currently, a third of students are on their internships, somewhere abroad. UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia, USA. It’s really impressive.

But when it comes to the local time in a particular city, things get messed up quickly. Want to have a nice chat with someone 15,000 km away? Just check the Foxclocks in your Firefox toolbar and you’re ready to go. Configure Foxclocks to show the current local time from as many cities around the world as you’d like to see (btw, I couldn’t figure out a city in Wisconsin, so I took Chicago, seems to have the same local time as Milwaukee).

Inter Rail is great

I can recommend it to everyone. Try to do Inter Rail at least once in your lifetime. It is cheap (159 € student price). The ticket is accepted in every train accross Europe. For some trains (for example TGV in France or X2000 in Stockholm) you have to pay small additional fees. Overall, we paid about 240 € for the travelling stuff, and about the same to cover our cost of living. With that, we enjoyed ten days in Stockholm, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris.

Sweden/Stockholm

  • 24 hours by train
  • visited Mario and Dominik (doing their internships in Stockholm), stayed at their place
  • most beautiful girls ever seen
  • most expensive beer ever drunk (about 6 €!)
  • most disgusting beer ever drunk
  • Sweden has beautiful landscapes
  • in summer sun starts shining at two or three in the morning
  • this is when most pubs close their doors (3 a.m.), even on weekends
  • 4 a.m.: McDonalds still open
  • public transportation is expensive (20 € for three days)
  • Tunnelbana is their Underground
  • missed our first train to Berlin

Germany/Berlin

  • bigger than supposed
  • stayed at a parents friends place
  • prices compareable to Austria (although I got 3 portions of normal icecream for 6,5 € at the Central Station)
  • unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to go out for party
  • it’s hard to find a normal super market
  • can’t imagine to live there, would have problems to adapt my talk

Netherlands/Amsterdam

  • lost my orientation a few times
  • coffe shops close at 1 a.m.
  • stayed at a CouchSurfers place 20 minutes with tram outside of Amsterdam; Jacqueline gave us a lift to a beach near Haarlem
  • met a guy at the beach who took us back to our place afterwards
  • beautiful train station from the outside
  • a lot of people everywhere
  • you can buy every imaginable drug in the redlight district possibly
  • yes, there are women standing behind glass windows, wanting you to get “private” with them
  • city of the bikes

France/Paris

  • big and beautiful buildings
  • way too expensive (restaurant: 5,5 € for bottle of water, 11 € for lasagne, 12 € for pizza)
  • you must be crazy to stand in line for the Eiffel Tower
  • it’s great to stand in front of the Eiffel Tower, just too impressive
  • had only half a day there
  • stayed at a hostel for 28 €/night/person

Next time

  • I’d try to do a bit more planning, like what to see and do and how to get there.
  • I would try to get in contact with CouchSurfers earlier, because it’s just the best way to explore a city. Inhabitants can show you around and advice you what to do and see.
  • Moreover, I’d stay longer in each city and overall, maybe a month overall.
  • It was great to wash our clothes at Jacquelines place, otherwise I would have ran out of shirts and shorts.
  • Finding a super market is the cheapest way to live.
Just before Stockholm

Just before Stockholm

Mario, me, Dominik in Stockholm

Mario, me, Dominik in Stockholm

On the way to the old town, travellers and interns.

On the way to the old town, travellers and interns.

On the ferry between Sweden and Denmark.

On the ferry between Sweden and Denmark.

Brandenburger Tor

Brandenburger Tor

Breakfast in Berlin at Dunkin' Donuts

Breakfast in Berlin at Dunkin' Donuts

View from the Berlin Cathedral, TV Tower, Alexanderplatz

View from the Berlin Cathedral, TV Tower, Alexanderplatz

Lots of tourists in Amsterdam.

Lots of tourists in Amsterdam.

Beach in Haarlem.

Beach in Haarlem.

In Amsterdam there's water everywhere.

In Amsterdam there's water everywhere.

Seine

Seine

Huge buildings in Paris.

Huge buildings in Paris.

Impressive.

Impressive.

Tour de Europe

Will be off until next Sunday touring through Europe with two friends. If you know a place to sleep in Berlin or Amsterdam or Paris, please contact me 😀