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  • Let’s Party

    November 7th, 2010

    As already mentioned this weekend was characterized by Party… Nevertheless I took some photos which aren’t too bad…


    International Toilet Day

    November 1st, 2010

    Today is my personal international toilet day. Not only because my day starts normally with a small pit stop on this location but also one of my main working task was related to this topic. Maybe not all of you know, the Department I’m working for is TBCED2 – yes this is how Airbus people introduce themselves. For the rest of mankind it means: Research & Technology Department for the Cabin section. So I’m related to all research for stuff which you as a passenger can see or even better touch.

    So, as you can easily imagine, toilets on an airplane have also to be developed and this is not less important than e.g. the engines.

    Failure on the engines => people pee themself and emergency landing!
    Failure on all Toilets => people pee themself and emergency landing!

    So same same but different!

    In a few weeks, there will be a big meeting some project leaders present their research status – amongst others one of the toilet topics. The point I’m interested in is the exact timing. On such whole day full of meetings the agenda shouldn’t be too boring. So the question was – is toilet an interesting topic or not? So my colleges ensure me toilet topics are the most interesting topics at all. As a conclusion of your discussion: Everybody feels like an expert on this, it isn’t long time ago that you used one and last but not least you can argue with: This is SHIT!

    Needless to say, this is not enough for an international toilet day. On my way home I read in my book (First-Time Around the World) the toilet chapter *g*. I’m sure some of you remember our special moments related to this subject. In the book the author divided into squatter, almost-western and Japanese toilets. In my opinion “no toilet at all” is missing! For the people how have some problems to imagine this types I will try to explain the context in an engineering way…

    Something totally new for Europeans but I guess at least two billion people use this daily. The idea with these is that you squat over a hole a try to hit your target like a 52-bomber. Sometimes there are special marked areas on the left and right site you can step on. Biggest problem during the first experiences is keeping the balance. Falling back or frontwards is not recommendable. Of cause, you should also hit the target, especially the man should consider the blowback – aktio = reaktio! If you think this sounds challenging – imagine it is totally dark and you have another flashlight in the other hand 😉 and after managing all this complexities you try to find the toilet paper. Now it is the right moment for one bad and one good news! Bad news – there is probably no paper  at all. Good news – the people are not that dirty and developed another method. Look at your left hand, if it is empty you are well prepared. May I shortly introduce – your new toilet paper. No I’m not joking, there should be also a bowl of water which you can use to clean your hand afterwards but please don’t expect soup! So now you learned why no one in India touches people with the left hand. Welcome to real life 😉

    Picture from funnyfartsoundsAlmost western:
    Sometimes it happens that you enter a toilet and you see a toilet bowl. First impression: YES WESTERN STYLE but if you look closer you notice that the person which installed it was not that professional of even worse some people tried to figure out if their head or the bowl is stronger. Both possibilities head to even more complex squatter. Now you have to stay, hit the target and watch out that you don’t get injured by sharp edges. Beyond that, the problem with the toilet paper will remain. Often you get the possibility to use newspapers (not that bad) or even worse magazines. The glossy pages may look better but cost you hours to clean yourself. So the best tip – bring your own toilet paper!!!

    Japanese toilets:
    If you think of the direct opposite of the just explained locations you have a Japanese one. This high-tech monster has often more wires than your computer and more buttons than you remote control. The high end version has internet connection, heated toilet seat, water cleaning system, air dryer, music box, massage functions, emergency button and automatic open/close function – of cause all managed by a remote control. My first experience with this high-tech machine was, how should I say, refreshing. I was well prepared, not shocked by the number of buttons but still searching the right one – the flush button. So I stated to push the biggest one – and heard a flush sound – first thought – YES I MADE IT – second thought – maybe not there is no water coming *arg*. Next one was the massage function – not so easy to find the stop buttons so before I found this one I activated the water cleaning system. I heard a hydraulic sound and felt seconds later a very very very stong water jet trying to enter my ass. I think was never sitting this concentrated and straight on a toilet. Afterwards I was lucky and found the air dryer but still no flush. After some more massage and some music songs I had to give up – went to my office and asked one of my colleges: HOW IS THIS FUCKING TOILET WORKING – maybe I asked more gentle but this is what I thought.  (The flush button is often a lever behind the toilet lid)

    No toilet at all…:
    I’m sure all people being with me in this moment can remember the situation in Namibia. We are in the middle of the desert and the truck stopped. Through the speakers we get the message – toilet stop. I turned left – no toilet – I turned right – no toilet, hmm maybe behind a bush??? Hmm there is no bush – turned left again – hmm still nothing. Door opens and our drivers explained in short words: Girls on the left, boys on the right. I have to say, it was not easy in the beginning but after some stops I got used to it. Anyhow there are some more things to mention. Sometimes girls haven’t the same understanding of left and right. So it can happen that you are a little bit faster than the others and you have the great idea to catch you small camera and go to the backside of the car to make some nice and innocent landscape shots. What I had to see there was not exactly what I expected. Life is not easy – but brutal. Another good tip, especially for the girls – if you have to go to a toilet which is more or less a hole in the ground in the middle of nowhere and there are mosquitos around – they won’t be as gentle as I was – they will bite you – some of you up to 50 times in one butt!

    I’m sure all of you have special experiences which are related to this topic too – so plz use the comment function to share it ;).

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    October 31st, 2010

    After a shitty weekend with sore throat, a lot of rain, no macbook air in the shops and too much time, I decided to pimp this site a bit. So I solved a few problems Firefox had with my blog, add some new features and add some more pages with hidden links (Tip: maybe you should search in the top area). I hope you had a better weekend – and if you have any Problems with the blog, plz let me know – I will try to solve it during my next cold ;).

    PS: Looking forward for letters :).

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    October 28th, 2010

    Is it normal to miss people who were only a few weeks a part of your life? Since I’m back from Africa a lot of my friends talk about the “New Sven” – a changed person.  Yesterday, I read in my new book – maybe the first one after years which is not 100% non-fiction book – about travelling alone. Why travelling alone and what this means. In a lot the author wrote I can find myself and after thinking a little bit about the whole thing it’s no rocket science ;). What we single travelers really try to find is simply ourselves – that’s nothing new but do you/we need loneness? The only thing I need is to be separated of my daily friends. As long as anybody remembers you to your normal life – it is much more complicated to do the next step. The big problem gain on you. after you did these steps, you have to go back “home”. Everybody recognize a change but nobody is able to understand it. There is nobody smiling if I look to the sunset and ask yourself where this Ausi with the gloves is now, nobody gives you a hug because you are swearing: “fucking …”, no tent-rules at all in your room, no totally crashed people sitting/sleeping next to you in the morning – opening one eye and give you a smile, no one trying to jump earlier than you into a pool, no dilemmas in the evening, no Americans  you would cross the dessert for or even invest a 1min healing hug, no Ausi drinking you under the table with a simple smile, no 40min for a milk shake and angry people waiting for you in the truck but excuses you everything after a honest sorry (I was so proud Daniel), no one giving you a dressing-down if you are depressed and tried to escape from the group, no bunnies and shorts ;), no lost glasses and you give a shit, no 4:1 and you are still in Africa (our moment Ali), no little girls who make you losing your heart to her with the most beautiful smile ever, no airplanes with totally finished tires, no soooo much more moments… After so much intense situations I think it is totally normal to miss an environment which understands you 100%, which loves you because of all this and not in spite of your trip.

    The big question for me is now – Would I do this again or give up parts of it but having people at home who can probably understand at least a part of your trip? The answer today for me: YES travelling alone, which ends up with a lot of new friends, is my way of traveling. Definitely, distance is a big problem for these friendships but my most intense friendship started also with some distance and will survive equal how many km or miles will be between us.

    @my Africa family: Hope this memories bring a smile also on your faces – would love to get a picture from these – and I promise I will try to MAKE this picture someday myself. First step will be a hug from my potential daughter for swearing…

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    London – I’m coming…

    October 23rd, 2010

    … soon. I got today my holiday acceptance – so next step will be booking a flight. I’m not really sure if I should use one of these cheap airlines or my “good old home sweet home” Lufthansa. But I should be able to solve this problem for my own. What’s not in my hands – how many people coming with me! Jade and Laura already promised to amuse me. I hope to see also Alfie, maybe Elli???, maybe Christina??? – Chris what’s up in Frankfurt??? (Haste Bock mitzukommen?)… I’m very sure to have an amazing week with a lots of hugs…

    Last but not least I promised to cut the picture from the post below a little bit more and here is the result. Also not bad but I’m not really sure if it is better – decide for yourself.

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    Golden Section

    October 17th, 2010

    Do you know the feeling that something is not right but you don’t know exactly what it is? I had this feeling concerning one of my best African pictures. Now after hours of work I’m finally happy with the result. The solution was too obvious that I’m not hit on that earlier. With a consequent implementation of the golden section and symmetry the image looks much better (in my opinion). The two hours in PS painting a continuation of the sky was mere child’s play ;). So plz let me know how you think about the new one (left = old, right = new):




    October 16th, 2010

    Hey everybody,
    today my Africa fever appears again. The reason for this is Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach. These two Canadian guys decided to travel 1 year around the world. Due to Scott’s job as a film producer they decided to make a documentary about their adventures.

    People like me, who have more wanderlust (*g* German origin) instead of home sickness, have to see this series. The pictures, the 2 guys, the music and of course the countries are unbelievable amazing. It is definitely the best travel documentary I’ve ever seen. If somebody could see this without thinking about doing the same, have serious mental problems. So check out the Website and try to see at least the first season.

    I’m watching now the second season and the episode today was about Zambia. The Vic. Falls, the laughing kids, animals and like us the wild water rafting… everything comes to my mind again. I miss Africa, the people, the sunsets with Graeme, the fun with all my girls, my tent with the tent rules and of cause our “matratzen”, the truck, Melissa’s happiness, my perfect British couple (love you both (22.01.2011)), my Norwegian Angel, even Daniel’s questions ;), of cause my Canadian man Tam, Ellis shorts, the sweet smile of Laura, CHRIS (maybe you can join my trip to London), ……… so much more AND last but not least my Streifenhörnchen and NO I do not know where she is right now ;).

    So let me end with a quote from Scott: “One day I hope to say that I’ve seen the world but that day is not here yet!”

    OH only 1111 days left :). Hmm maybe I should start packing ;).

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    Panoramic view

    October 10th, 2010

    As I promised – the HDR panorama picture is finished. No not the red one on the left site. This was a snap shot 5min ago out of my window.
    Before you ask – yes I love this view ;). So if you would like to enjoy this too – feel free to visit me.
    Apart from that, there is nothing import from here. Had another sunny day without rain – couching on my balcony on a “matratze” (insider @ Graeme) – dreaming about traveling the world and of course about my africa family. What causes a little bit of sun and a certain music album is amazing.


    Family Trip

    October 9th, 2010

    Unreal but true – it is sunny in Hamburg. We had a complete day without any rain. Sounds like a good opportunity for a new testing of my 70-200 lens. First of all – after the small residence into the camera clinic is the lens as sharp as my Japanese knifes.  

    As four years ago – it takes less than 5min with my cam to be the vocal point of my environment. My daily statement: at least 50 people talking about cameras, 2 times dope offers, one camera guidance for a backpacker and one offer from an art student to work with her – she was a little bit disappointed that I have to “build” Airplanes in the week. *g*

    However, I take a couple of pictures – amongst others my first panoramas with a tele lens. Not so easy -but panoramas with more than 120Mpixel is something to be said for that. Two examples you can see beyond – I hope I will finish a HDR Version tomorrow.

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    Back to rain…

    October 2nd, 2010

    Hey, I’m back to Hamburg again and get finally some sleep. As I mentioned before the night before leaving was very short (3h) and the night in Toulouse was only 30min longer *g*. Teambuilding was a great experience – I got to know almost all of my colleges, tried to speak some French and had a lot of fun. Of course, there was also some work to do – e.g. small groups had to make a presentation about e.g. schedule management (in my case). Doing this was a lot of fun but similar to school, university… nobody wanted to present the stuff in front of all colleges and even worse on the next morning in front of the colleges AND some high level Airbus people. In the End I had to do it… even though I was probably the last in bed and the first out.

    The big party in the evening started with bowling and a lot of finger food. I think it takes me at least 2 hours to be full (only food no alcohol). Afterword I tried to convince my colleges to go to a night club but with only a little success. The entire French girls pass with the excuse they would be too old. I don’t get it how girls in an age of 25-30 could be too old for a party but well I found 2 French boys, one Austrian girl and half Kazakhs and ME. We started with a visit in a small pub and pushed along to find a night club – but as I always say – Toulouse is a village… No nightclub was open… and after the half Kazakhs wake up in the car and started puking (YES HE STARTED INTO THE CAR) this part of the evening was over. My Austrian college and I ended with 2 small bottles of wine in the hotel after getting the really drunk college to his room.

    Next day arriving on Airbus the story about our college – sick as a dog – was dispread all over. The poor guy looked as somebody near to death and to top it all off he had to run every n.s. 15min to the toilet. This was fast-paced to a real running gag amount all of us *g*. So epically on Fr. we all had a lot to laugh… Sometimes it was really hard to not pie myself…

    The day ended with a flight back to Hamburg over Amsterdam (of course Business *g*) where I get the best food of the whole 2 days…