Donnerstag, 16. Oktober 2014
Community farming in South Africa
I have meant to post a few pictures from my trip to South Africa for a while now. As always time is the issue.

Anyways - I met these ladies in Nelspruit in South Africa's East in June. They are members of SOS Children's Villages Family Strengthening Program where they receive support to be self sufficient. Plus training on child care, children's and women's rights, health, etc.

Many grandparents nowadays have to take care of their grandchildren as mothers and fathers die from AIDS instead of receiving support themselves.

These ladies here set up a vegetable business. They received property and a grant to buy seeds and equipement. Here you can see them taking care of the ir tiny farm.

Farmer in Nelspruit. (novala

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Montag, 14. Juni 2010
Bullshit Bingo - Soccer Edition
It's Soccer World Cup. Germany is in it. As in any soccer cup, no matter whether world or Europe, the news about games Germany is involved is predictable. It's the bullshit bingo of soccer. Write a list containing the words "Blitzkrieg", "Panzer", "enemy", "machine", "overrun" ... Tick those you read in the soccer news. The one who finishes first wins the business edition.

Examples from the match Germany - Australia, 13 June 2010. (Source: Spiegel Online)

Southafrica. The Star: "German Blitzkrieg dumps Socceroos."
Serbia. Blic: "Panzer humiliate Australia - German machine."
Serbia. Press: "Powerful Panzer show the best game of the WC so far."
Spain. La Stampa: "... A multiethnical Panzer with excellent feet."
France. Libération: "The German overrun them all, with Özil as the hub who is shooting missiles in all directions."

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Mittwoch, 30. Juli 2008
I LOVE Germany
At the airport in Brussels yesterday morning, the guy at the check-in almost fainted when he heard I am from Germany.

"I LOVE Germany!"
"Seriously? You are the first one telling me so. All I usually hear is how awful we are."
"No way! Germany is so cool! Munich, Berlin, Hamburg ... great! And when people tell me they don't like Germany I asked them if they have actually been there. Most haven't."
"Most Austrians hate Germany and the Germans."
"Ach, AUSTRIA! What a boring place."

I don't agree with the latter, but for the rest he made my day! It was a totally new experience not to be bashed for my nationality.

Anyhow - greetz from moose country Canada.

They served pangasius fish in the plane. When did pangasius actually come into fashion? You get it everywhere nowadays.

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Montag, 16. April 2007
1 Click Away: Translate Your E-Mail
"You can now send emails in different local dialects! Having written your email, you can choose a translator which will magically convert your message into the accent of your dreams! It's completely FREE and requires NO sign-up or registration!" --> Go to and use the Chicken Run Yorkshire Translator, the Cockney Rhyming Slang Translator, the Irish Translator and many more.

Thanx, Martin!

In case you want to speak Irish instead of writing it, you can still go for the instant accent mouth spray.

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Sonntag, 11. März 2007
"Home is where you don't have to explain yourself"
When you know each single kilometer of your trip personally and by first name, the 700 of them build up to be a real drag after a couple of years. But they endow me with time and patience to listen to longer features on Ö1, Deutschlandfunk, Bayern 2 and MDR Kultur.

Tankstelle. (novala)

I was about to leave the A9 near Hof towards Regensburg when Deutschlandfunk broadcasted one sentence entirely and exclusively for me. "Home is where you don't have to explain yourself." (Zu Hause Heimat ist, wo man sich nicht erklären muss.) Forgot the author, forgot the context, will not forget the quotation. How come it took them so long to broadcast this.

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Dienstag, 27. Februar 2007
World of Courtesy: Berlin Beats Vienna ;-)
A friend of mine had enclosed two editions of Reader's Digest in my Christmas parcel and I finally had a look at the magz. Being not much of a mag readerella it was more a less a courtesy to flip through them. But, then, hooray, an article exactly on courtesy including a test. RD ranked 35 cities from most corteous to least corteous. See where Berlin is and see where Vienna is. And this is - promised - the last time I am mentioning the infamous ball incident.

"Consider that in one recent survey, 70 percent of U.S. adults said people are ruder now than they were 20 years ago.
Is it really true? Reader's Digest decided to find out if courtesy truly is kaput.


Courtesy. (Reader's digest)

We sent undercover reporters -- half of them men, half women -- from Reader's Digest editions in 35 countries to assess the citizens of their most populous city. In each location we conducted three tests:
  • We walked into public buildings 20 times behind people to see if they would hold the door open for us.
  • We bought small items from 20 shops and recorded whether the sales assistants said "Thank you".
  • We dropped a folder full of papers in 20 busy locations to see if anyone would help pick them up." [Read full description]
Zagreb residents - btw. - "were world leaders in helping with dropped papers".

Courtesy ranking. (Reader's digest)

For the online-test addicts among you: Quiz: How Polite Are You?

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Dienstag, 2. Januar 2007
Military Dictionary
Military Dictionary. (amazon)

Never knew things like that were available at amazon. But do we still need that?

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Sonntag, 3. Dezember 2006
Home is where my laptop is
What more does it need. And wifi.

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Freitag, 1. Dezember 2006
Headline Needed*
"So when you travel in your spare time - where do you go?"
"Well, Serbia - I love going to the Balkans."
"Where is that?"
" ... former Yugoslavia ...?!"
"What is that? Kind of a resort?"

*The reader who finds a proper headline for this blog entry wins a Punsch in Vienna. Transportation excluded.

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Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2006
One Day in History: What Are You Doing Today?
The British campaign "History matters" wants to collect your stories: What are you doing today? "It is all about raising awareness of the importance of history in our everyday lives and encouraging involvement in heritage in England and Wales", the website says. "Our goal is to build public support and interest in looking after our history and heritage - today and in the future."

While history matters also in other parts of the world, let's make history together with the British on 17 October "by taking part in the biggest blog in history".

This is how it works
"'One Day in History' is a one off opportunity for you to join in a mass blog for the national record. We want as many people as possible to record a 'blog' diary which will be stored by the British Library as a historical record of our national life.

Write your diary here reflecting on how history itself impacted on your day - whether it just commuting through an historic environment, discussing family history or watching repeats on TV."

A day in the life of
Dips the toe into the warm water of the Adriatic sea, takes a deep breath and lets the waves peacefully rock her air-mattress. Life makes you feel home when it's sunny and warm and you can hear the mermaids sing.

The alarm clock crows her into the day. It's bad hair day, but luckily not Monday. Locks the door twice, goes to work. Talks to the birds in the park. Birds answer krah-krah and lift their feet. First frost is covering the grass. Survives crossing the main street and enters the office through the back door.

Grabs glas of water while laptop is booting and asking herself what to do with the rest of the time until laptop has finished. Takes off to the Adriatic Sea for 10 more minutes. Checks e-mails, declares the day unbearable, walks downstairs to see if N., her friend the kitchen lady, is around. Pours a cup of the best coffee in town and plans the next trip to Sarajevo and Montenegro with a stop-over at N.'s parents.

9.15 h - live meeting starts. Fights with Live Communicator. Again and again. Trys to prove herself that she can do 4,5 things at the same time like the girl in the ad. Fails.

11 h - calls the co-operation partner who is mad at her because she messed up. Blabla this, blabla that. 30 more years until retirement. Should have, could have, would have. Mea culpa.

12.30 h - converts to catholicism to shuffle off guilt faster.

12.35 h - walks to restaurant to grab some food. Restaurant burning, no food (except well-done meat), but 13 more e-mails in the meantime. Do this, do that, report this, explain your objectives there, what are the metrics.

12.40 h - wants to eat some more of the green grass on the other side.

12.41 h - thinks the 80ies were for sure not a very fashionable decade to live in. Even the ears shrunk from all the junk sounds.

12.42 h - does yelling at your boss might influence your career?

12.43 h - gets promoted to senior advisory board and spends the rest of the day on the air-mattress.

12.44 h - sigh.

Eventually goes home singing Annie's "tomorrow, tomorrow, there will be another day ..."

And what are YOU doing today?

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