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Updated: 2014-10-05T02:53:21.611+02:00


Watch and worship


Martin Parr - definitely one of the biggest inspirational institutions in modern photography. Humour, colour, Britishness. And, his work bears witness to both social empathy and analytical insight – spiced up with a proper pinch of irony. Stunning, simply stunning:

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Weihnachten - Christmas - Święta Bożego Narodzenia


(image) klick on the picture to enjoy it in full size. Anyway: merry christmas, fröhliche Weihnachten und a happy new year!

Back and Beautiful


I have to apologise for my incredibly long absence...digestion problems with all the experiences from lovely Greece, I guess.
As a little excuse u might be interested in seeing my latest single shot movie. Dedicated to all the cheap petrol stations and our beloved neighbouring country - glorious Luxemburg:

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3h 48min


Keine Erklärungen, keine Kommentare, kein Gesülze. 3 Stunden 48 Minuten Saloniki. Zwei ‘digitale Filme‘ a 36 Bilder. 72 Aufnahmen. Im Durchschnitt alle 3,17 Minuten eine. Aber was heisst schon Durchschnitt. No explanations, no comments, no drivel. 3 hours 48 minutes Salonica. Two ’digital films‘, 36 pictures each. 72 images. One every 3.17 minutes, on average. But what’s average anyway?16:4416:5016:5216:5616:5716:5817:0017:0417:0617:0717:0817:0917:1017:1117:1317:1517:1617:1717:1817:1817:1917:2017:3017:4217:4417:5918:0218:0518:1118:1618:1718:2118:2418:2918:2918:3118:3418:3518:4018:4218:4418:4418:4518:4518:4518:4619:2319:2419:2519:2719:3119:3219:3419:3919:4019:4619:4919:5219:5419:5819:5819:5919:5920:0720:0920:1120:1320:1420:1920:2620:2920:32[...]

Viva Polonia, Part II – Krakow calling


It wasn’t exactly the original Polski Fiat……but still a Fiat Sienna being our vehicle for the 330 km ride to Krakow. Obligatory stop at a picnic area near Sławkow. Delicious home-made sandwiches and coffee included. After 4 hours and 50 minutes we arrived in the city on the river Vistula… …which welcomed us with some tempting offers. What a house! Całodobowy = 24 hours shop. Nothing staged. Magic moment. These chalk drawings on the wall you could find spread over the whole area being part of a campaign of artists and students to remind people of the former vivid Jewish culture here. ‘Sketches from History’ was the campaign’s/exhibition’s name. I can only recommend to click on the picture and read the text of Chris Schwarz, director of the Galicia Jewish Museum. Jola trying to find our way in front of an Italian ristorante with a morbid appeal. Kazimierz has once been the centre of Jewish life and culture in Krakow. The remnants you can still make out sometimes despite the rigid ‘thoroughness’ of the Nazis. Nostalgic little shop windows try to resemble the times when two cultures (Polish and Jewish) used to live here side by side. (Siwucha, the left bottle, is supposed to be the best Vods according to Jola’s mum). On Szeroka, Kazimierz’ main square/street, there are quite a lot restaurants serving traditional Jewish dishes, little shops selling Jewish things or music-bars hosting Klezmer bands. The Hebraic sign here says: ‘Klezmer Hois, Krakow Ulica Szerkowa No. 6.’ Polish flag – Jewish-German Name. Kazimierz is a really atmospheric district but somehow it seems to be rather a facade set up for tourists than a true centre of Jewish life. Or why is it that it took a Hollywood movie (Schindler’s list) having been shot there not earlier than 1993 to revive the spirit of the district? They say in modern Krakow (733.000 inhabitants) there are (‘optimistically counted’) about 1.000 Jewish people living. Before WW II about 20 percent of Krakow’s population was Jewish. This is Remuh Synagogue, the only one still holding services in Krakow and southern Poland. About 150 Jews are registered here. Nearby there’s one of the eldest Jewish cemeteries where some famous ‘Wunderrabbis’ are burried. Amazingly enough many of the gravestones survived the Nazi terror. Still, the gravestones are no longer fitting the graves beyond them as they were all knocked over. It’s a Jewish tradition to put stones and little notes (with prayers?) to the graves in memory of the dead. Men are obliged to wear Kippas. Actually my first time. Women just have to be dressed ‘appropriately’. Studying in the sun. Krakow has an old-established university (Jagiellonian University) and a vivid student community what is easy to sense walking through the streets. And of course a vivid street art community. Old style meets new style. Pump it. Looks like a typical street impression of Berlin. If there wasn’t this little Polish flag in the background. Sticker on street sign. ‘Neo-Imperialists’… …following the signs. Polish red-shoed birds and… …Polish skaters crossing our way to Wawel… …where Poland’s top touristic sight is situated: the famous cathedral and the King’s Castle. During WW II the Nazis chose this stunning place for their headquarters. That’s why Krakow luckily, and as one of the rare examples, wasn’t destroyed. Unfortunately we couldn’t enter the holy royal halls as all the guided tours were overbooked (no wonder, it was the 3rd of May – Poland’s National Day). Nevertheless we saw horse-riding heroes. And I could enjoy the view on the Polish pride anyway. Anti-fa(shion): ‘I’d rather go naked than wear Thor Steinar – kein Naziladen in der Talstrasse oder anderswo!’>> Saluting Hamburg St. Pauli. Hutmode fuer die Dame – hat fashion for ladies. Hutmode fuer den MANN – hat fashion for gentlemen. Brama[...]

Viva Polonia, Part I - Hello Warsaw


The one or the other month passed since I’ve been to Poland. Nevertheless I’m still digesting the rich impressions this vast and vivid home country of my girlfriend Jola made on me. People told me Warsaw was a grey and rather ugly town without any special character or flair. They couldn’t have been more wrong.Only when I came down with my Norwegian Air machine I was surprised not only about the fact that they have their airport directly in the city but also about the many green spots I could already make out from there. The next days would prove that Warsaw sure enough has a special character – though one which is not so easy to put into a single crunchy nutshell.It’s right, you certainly feel the disunity of the Polish capital resulting from its changeable and troubled history but I wouldn’t count that as an argument against the character of a city. It’s a shame that Warsaw had been mainly destroyed by Nazi-Germany and thus was not only deprived of its architectural beauty but also of a great amount of its inhabitants who used to form its cultural backbone. And it also fills one with consternation that the city – as the whole country – had to live another 44 years under the oppression of Soviet power. But it’s also very encouraging to see how the Polish people managed to rebuild great parts of the city after WW II and how elegantly they managed the change from communism to democracy after 1989.Now, in the year 2007, Warsaw is a city with many faces and many facets. Wedding-cake style meets Socialist Realism meets Postmodernism. Sober main stations meet megalomaniac Stalin-‘presents to the people’ meet capitalistic shrines to consumerism. It’s a city which breathes in the fresh air of modern times through old and dusty lungs. I’m grateful that I could spend some time there and I say thank you to my capable ‘tour guide’, Jola Szymanska and her friendly family who allowed me to stay in their house in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, some kilometers away from Warsaw. Fresh like springtime – passenger Kreg in the on-board toilet. Had a twelve hour train-metro-bus-walking- journey to Athens before lift-off……and saying good-bye to Greece for thirteen days. The first impression of Poland’s capital: hazy but much greener than expected. Here we are. 12:35 local time, after 15 hours I had it red on white. No, this is not Jola’s home. It’s just a Meble-shop in the suburbs of Warsaw. Die Platte lebt! Yes, these are Jola’s parents (Janina and Tomasz), her sister Ola took the pic, Ania was absent.This nice ‘Fisher-Price-memorial’-train brought as many many times to Warsaw. Jolanta Katarzyna Szymańska on the way to Warsaw-City... ...and myself on the way to Warsaw-City I can't help it. Sometimes I just have to push the button. Meaning main station. Jola near the same… …where you can directly step into one of these ‘capitalistic shrines to consumerism’… …called the Arcadia or the Golden Terraces. I don’t know exactly why cause I didn’t see anything golden. Amazing architecture though. And the way to the bathroom was quality, too. Right next to it you’ll find a parking. And the highest building in Poland: The Palace of Culture and Science (231m). Nearby a graffito: ‘Alkhol wisniowka zgłada polaky’ meaning sth like ‘Alcohol destroyed the Polish soul.’ Which people can buy here for instance. And then spray ‘Punk Rock’ on the wall of the Palace of Culture and Science. Where loads of Polish families gather for some weekend activity. The palace was meant as ‘a gift from the nations of Soviet Union’ (Stalin so to speak) to the Polish society in 1955. In less than 20 seconds we were catapulted to a height of 113m thanks to one of the 28 high speed elevators (the original Soviet ones have been replaced in the nineties by ‘modern devices from Western Europe’). The interiors of the Palace are mul[...]

μπουζούκia dass' kracht


μπουζούκia (bousoukia) is the Greek word for a loud and crowded place where the bousouki, a mandoline-like instrument with a nice and strangely shaped body, is played. Well, amongst others...for instance the g...but I was talking about nice bodies and that's where the singers or let's say "singing dancers" enter the stage. But I won't bore you with waterless words but water your mouths with moving images:

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Not so bad, is it? I mean the place to celebrate a birthday at. Oh yes, I forget to mention: we, that is a bunch of 15 mainly German people, went there to celebrate Sandor's birthday. He's a real "Berliner Schnauze" and now 24. Here's his personal "Geburtstagsstaendchen" (or birthday serenade as poor Englishmen would say):

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These bousoukes look funny, no? It might seem strange that people throw things at our charming entertainer but if you know that it's flowers they use for it (five Euro a freshly picked tray) then you 'see how the cat jumps'...
I'm sure you cannot wait to find out about the exact name of the place, the entrance fee, the opening hours, and the liter-price vodka but I'm afraid I cannot help posting a video with naked tits first.

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Name: Mouses; Entrance fee: 0 Euro, table-reservation mandatory; Opening hours: don't go there before 12, better: 1 - don't leave before 5, better 6; Vodka/Whiskey: 60 Euro/liter; soft drinks, salted nuts and sliced fruits: free of charge.

Bottom-line: in favour of experiencing a smashing night full of atmosphere, modern and traditional Greek music, hot dancing, cold drinks and bare boobs (no guarantee!) without spending more than 20 Euro each (on weekends more)??? Consider coming to Saloniki, to a bousoukia of your choice!



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March 25th 1821 marks the day Greek people started to revolt against the Osmanic occupation which finally came to its end in 1830. They still celebrate this day with a lot of temper and pride - though their football team just lost 1:4 against Turkey the other day...

Lammfromm hin, lammfromm her - Ostern auf Griechisch


Liebe Freunde der dicken Eier,

Euch allen ein knackiges Osterfest! Ich hoffe Ihr findet die Zeit zum Feiern. Hier in Griechenland wird bis heute Ostern nach dem alten (julianischen) Kalender berechnet und nicht nach dem gregorianischen - wie sonst üblich. Kauzigerweise fällt der Termin dieses Jahr jedoch auf den selben Tag, den 8.April.

Die Uni schließt zur Feier des Anlasses für zwei Wochen ihre Tore, die Menschen backen "Tsourekia" (=Hefezöpfe) und färben Eier rot; rot als Zeichen des Blutes Christi und zugleich als Farbe der Auferstehung. Die werden dann in der Osternacht aufeinander geschlagen und was davon übrig bleibt, wird als Symbol des neuen Lebens gewertet. Wenn dein Ei nicht zerbricht, gilst du als besonders gesegnet. Soweit die Liturgie...

Ach ja und Samstagnacht wird dann die Auferstehung verkündet. Natürlich in der Kirche. Dazu die Griechische Botschaft Berlin:
"Gegen Mitternacht gibt der Priester den Christen das Osterlicht, und kurz darauf nach dem Evangelium verkündet er die frohe Botschaft: 'Christus ist auferstanden.' Diese Botschaft geben dann die Christen untereinander weiter. Der eine sagt: 'Christus ist auferstanden', der andere antwortet: 'Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden.' In einer Atmosphäre der großen Freude umarmt man sich, küsst man sich."

Danach geht's nachhause, wo die so genannte "Magiritsa", eine Suppe aus Lamminnereien, Reis, und Lamm, schon auf dem Tisch dampft. Man sieht: DAS Schlachttier schlechthin ist das Lamm. Wobei ich mir als nichtgetaufter Vegetarier schon die Frage stellen darf, warum ausgerechnet das bemitleidenswerte Jungtier als Symbol der Leiden Christi herhalten muss, nur um dann paradoxerweise – lammfromm hin, lammfromm her – auch noch geschlachtet und gefressen zu werden. Ja ja ich weiß, mit Logik kann man da nicht ran....

Wie auch immer, Ostersonntag gehen dann noch mal alle in die Kirche zur "Vesper der Liebe" oder auch "zweite Auferstehung", wie man sie so schön nennt. Zum Ablauf danach noch mal der Botschafter aus Berlin: "Der Rest des Tages wird im familiären Kreis groß gefeiert. Man isst, man trinkt, man tanzt, man singt. Spezialität des Tages ist das Lamm. Wo es eine solche Gelegenheit gibt, brät man das ganze Lamm am Spieß."

Und wo bitte böte sich nicht die Gelegenheit? Wenn die Griechen nur halb so erfinderisch sind wie bei der Parkplatzgewinnung, dann bin ich jetzt schon ganz heiß auf den Anblick der Straßen Salonikis.

Ich komme nicht umhin, aber die ganze Geschichte erinnert mich die ganze Zeit schon an diese grandiose Szene aus "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"! Und damit sag ich Servus und frohe Ostern allerseits...:

Tante Voula: "Was meinst Du damit, er isst kein Fleisch?"; Totenstille im Raum, sämtliche Mitglieder der Großfamilie starren Ian entsetzt an; Tante Voula: "Und wenn schon, dann mach ich eben Lamm!"; erleichtertes Aufatmen geht durch den Raum, die Gespräche werden fortgesetzt.

Zoom in


People, I know, it's been a pretty long time that I posted some substantial stuff here and I'm not sure if this here now will bring a change. Anyway I thought it's a good idea to give those of you willing to visit me a better impression what's waiting for them. The focus is on my home and a visit to its roof.thessaloniki, greece, from 5,51 km hight 1,44 km hight; kaftantzogliou stadium/home of iraklis fc (ri.); strange round silver building: faculty of education/aristotle university483 m, white & big: our roof in the district of 40 ekklisiesby the way, we got the highest lada concentration in town (4 around our house!)the rumanian motherfucker I'm staying with, cool guy thoughour snowy rocky mountain04/03/2007, 6:00 pm04/o3/2007, 6:01 pmsome days later - and a completely different lightour landlady nora (born in vienna, raised in munich, half-greek though) and alexquite common here in greece: energy generation via sun (no wonder, they got a lot!)well, you should know the protagonists now...(sorry for not showing my female flatmate but somehow I gotta keep up the tension)[...]

Ins Kino gewollt, geweint – Filmfest in Saloniki


olympion-theater, aristoteles platz, ohne tränengas, mit skulptur und skaterfestivalgelände im warehouse-areal (6 kinosäle, ausstellungsräume für videokunst, kino- und fotografiemuseum) gummistiefel-chic – boxer-blick, warehouse no.1 geschäftiges treiben vor gepunktetem eingangstor das griechische besucherpaar als solches, modisch immer ganz vorn mit dabei plakative internationalität von deutschland bis tschechien: wenders, salles, ceylan, svankmajer großmutter wenders im dialog mit holzfäller salles (central station, motorcycle diaries, etc.) donata wenders (li) mit weißhaarigem kauz, festivaldirektor und gemeinem fußvolk andächtig lauschendeine prägende erfahrung, die wim bei der fragerunde mit griechischem publikum machte, lässt sich so fassen...:warum sollte man einen griechischen filmkritiker keine frage stellen lassen...?1. er wird auf griechisch fragen und mehr als 5 minuten für die formulierung brauchen 2. er wird sich dabei mehrmals selber widersprechen und die berechtigung seiner frage(n) in zweifel stellen, um schließlich3. die frage(n) selber zu beantwortenwenders mit griechischem filmkritiker-nachwuchs, blonder assistentin und freundlichem griechischen koordinator (re) buena vista angel club I: im hintergrund salonikis wahrzeichen, der weiße turm!buena vista angel club II: “filmfestival? welches filmfestival?” “kitchen-bar” nebst ausstellungsräumen, kinosälen, publikum und rollerfahrerseemannsgarn am partyboot bei spiegelglatter see weltberühmt und hell erleuchtet: paraleia – boulevard am großen weiten nass sorry, today in deutsch...:jaja, die lorbeeren sind gepflückt, der sekt ist gesoffen, der gewinner längst besoffen ins hotel zurück getorkelt. das 47. internationale filmfestival thessaloniki fand schon im november 2006 statt und ist längst gegessen, was mich nicht davon abhalten kann, hier ein paar olle schoten wiederzukäuen.alles begann am 17. november mit einer tränenreichen eröffnungsgala im altehrwürdigen kinopalast, olympion genannt. tränenreich weniger wegen des rührseligen eröffnungsfilms (’the queen’) oder wegen der nichtergatterten eintrittskarte – tränenreich vielmehr aufgrund einer reizenden wolke, die flächendeckend über der stadt waberte und selbst dem hartgesottensten macho-griechen die tränen nur so aus den knopflöchern schießen ließ.der 17. november gilt unter einheimischen studenten erstens als gedenktag irgendwelcher fataler studentenaufstände von anno tobak, zweitens aber – und das is doch viel wichtiger – als allgemeiner randaletag. vorlesungen werden nicht gehalten, weil sie eh keiner besuchen würde, büchereien bleiben geschlossen, weil eh keiner lesen will, mensen bleiben zu, weil eh keiner hunger hat auf essen. großer appetit besteht allerdings auf eine gehörige portion ’rage against the regime’, molotow cocktails inklusive. also wird das campusgelände, das sich über halb saloniki erstreckt, vorsorglich von der polizei mit rotweißem absperrband versehen. und wenn’s dann dunkel wird und die jungs mit den sturmmasken zum katz-und-maus-spiel anrücken, dann wird auch nicht weiter mit reizgas gegeizt.dem autor dieser zeilen blieb folglich der allererste film auf der leinwand erspart, was zu verschmerzen war – das wahre spektakel tobte ohnehin auf den straßen! was die internationalen gäste mit sicherheit genauso den darauffolgenden neun tagen verlegte sich das spektakel wieder ganz auf die leinwände der teilnehmenden kinos. schlanke 35 euronen brachten mich in den besitz einer ’cinekarta f’ und dauerhaften zugriff auf die tickets meiner wahl. zu sehn gabs nicht nur brandneue kinoware, sondern auch griechische autorenfilme der 60er jahre in unverblümter manier und körnigem schwarz-weiß (wie etwa ’mehri[...]

mi casa es su casa


(image) basement, baby, we're lviving in the basement

(image) these guys like it warm and cosy

(image) unfortunately my darling isn't always "available"

(image) alex, rumania, professional vacuum cleaner

(image) may I introduce? the silly walking dog

(image) if there wasn't a damned house in front of ours we could enjoy this!



I felt it straight from the beginning there was something in the air that day… …in this absolutely strange city. my accomodation wasn’t what I had expected… …so I strolled along the streets where I met this guy… …and his white car. somehow he got me wrong since the place he told me to go for some entertainment turned out as a flop. thank god I ran into kosmas deli… …where I joined some polish people drinking dutch beer… …and more… …and more. the following day I was surprised waking up in some bushes near the sea having not the slightest idea what had happened the night before… …only after some walking the pictures slowly came back…: there was this man… this dog… and this girl… …who wanted to be famous… …and thought about starting a war…nobody could tell me why but… the whole city got nervous and people started to pack up things in panic… whereas suddenly the presence of priests was highly in demand again……as well as of other spiritual leaders. for a second I was tempted to call someone at ‘1057’ but… …then these fighters came along my way and I lost my faith in such authorities. gladly enough two more trustworthy guys on a mission from god told me to see their "contact person for special matters" whom... I would recognize by his special appearance. so I went to this obscure place they spoke about… …where I ignored all warning signs at the entrance and……was grabbed and torn into a hell of a nightclub where… …a bearded man played radical records besides a bottle of dutch beer what … …made people drive crazy. in the last corner things got even more mixed up but… …I quickly realized this was the place of my “contact person for special matters”, puma lou… …who knew nothing about a forthcoming war but still showed me the way to “room no.64”……where a bewitching spanish fortune-teller gave me no advice but some strange looking thing to eat… …after that things weren’t like before… …I had visions of a land where power belonged to Ford GTs……and beasts lived together in peace and harmony… …and men were no more than dull puppets. some hours(?) later when I had found my way to the bathroom and looked in the mirror I was afraid of……losing my had but…. … as you can see I was lucky and well-off enough to tell you all this…![...]

polish for beginners or: my stay in athens


arrival 10:40 p.m., temperature unknown but supposedly higher than in salonikithree streetgreeks, viewed from polish guys' balconya (formerly nice?) pension near ralf's apartmentmassimo, manuela and a smileanna and the real greek (we used to travel a lot by bus)jola and the national parliament (built by bavarian king otto I.)jola, manuela, anna and massimo at syntagma squarecookie-eating jola on steps of syntagma, our common meeting-place"lubje twoi uszme!" (sorry jola for my crappy phonetic spelling)berlin-baggy girlwaiting for the bus, part Ithe crew in the mirroranna's taking pix...juxtapositionolympieion aka temple of zeus, biggest temple in ancient greece (108 x 41 m)view from olympieion to akropolisjola, the temple of zeus and the sunanna, jola, massimo and of course: some columnsstranger taking strange pictures of columnexotic palm - hellenic flagsweet jola on holy ground, back: akropolispolnische reisegruppe15 of the original 104 columns of olympieion remainedhadrian's arch (131 a.d.) and graffiti (2006 a.d.)waiting for the bus, part IItiny little one-eyed cat saw this "pray - berlin gate"(??)-poster on the way to akropolispaparazza annaunderground revolt ("mcdeath")one...two...three!almost on top of suddenly meet this theatrethere's a lot to see and discover...for example this...the so-called parthenon which......was erected (447 - 438 b.c.) in honour of pallas athene parthenosmodern waste-bin near not so modern templeionic columns are considered as "female" because of their swung capital you might see here..!?dramatic clouds over dramatic groundsone of the german occupiers taking overexposed photosralf/germany, manuela, massimo/italy and the polish ladiesdear famous lykabettos hill (277 m), I'll climb you for sure, too!another crazy german tourist shooting crazy picturesworld-famous parthenon againmicro-macro-metropolisnot only greece is beautifulgreek punk's not dead!!!missing nose - happy thoughmoschoforos (570 b.c.): symbol "of the special bond between man and beast"who's gonna answer the phone, huh...?nice girls do deserve......nice views!anna and the perfect posebone-resting bunch of erasmus studentsda freut sich einer!?suprisingly enough athenian student's restaurants offer vegetarian meals!panathinaikon stadium (aka kallimarmaro), only stadium wholly made...... of marble. 1896: first modern olympic games took place here......the inner circle is 204,07 m long and 50.000 visitors can have a seatolympic sports at ancient agoraasia, prima ballerinatheseion, temple of hephaistos, best preserved temple of the agorastone in green grass before hilly greek landscapesee description abovespare time people on a hill (dedicated to andreas gursky)modern architecturemodern iconographygrey-old architecture - brand-new automobiles watchdog watching entrance of agora museumgrave offerings, so-called pyxides, older than anyone can imaginestylish ancient flacon (no joke!)silly boyserious girldoric temple of hephaistos (449 b.c.)obscene nudist in parkjapanese couple standing the rainwanna buy umbrella...?chic shoe living statue on balcony of famous grande bretagne hotelit's right: sometimes there's something fishy in the air......that's why some athenians sometimes go a little mad"lippon" (at the national parliament)before returning we had a quick look at the oldest cemetery in townlooking out and looking back >>In the beginning there was a train. Again. However, this time my destination was the place where you can meet the most Greeks in the world, the place where our European culture has its roots, where theatre was born and democracy first saw the light of the day. Right: I’m talking of the “mother of all cities” – the metropolis Ath[...]

deutsche kolumne I


liebes zurück-, pardon, daheimgebliebenes volk, diese zeilen sind nur dir gewidmet und sodann in (mehr oder minder) gutem altem deutsch verfasst.sie sollen dir helfen, dir ein besser bild zu machen von fremden ländern, fremden völkern und deren fremden sitten. in unserem falle soll die rede sein von den hellenen: sie sind ein recht eigentümlich volk mit derlei kauzigen gepflogenheiten, welche im folgenden ins rechte rampenlicht zu rücken des autors aufgabe sei:1) es gibt keinen ort, der nicht dazu geeignet wäre, ein auto abzustellen2) die wichtigste funktion eines autos ist die hupe3) die unwichtigste der blinker4) das erste wort, das einem jüngling über die lippen geht, heisst „malaka“5) das wort „malaka“ muss nichts böses bedeuten6) das wort „malaka“ muss nichts freundliches bedeuten7) alles was gegessen werden kann, wird nach gewicht verkauft – egal ob salzwasserfisch oder honigmelone8) klopapier landet (in aller regel) nicht im klo, sondern in einem eimer daneben9) das wort „mülltrennung“ muss erst noch erfunden werden10) das wort „nichtraucherzone“ ebenso (siehe punkt 14)11) es gibt 20 verschiedene sorten feta, dafür aber nur eine oder zwei sorten "gelben hartkaese " (gouda oder edamer) - unglücklicherweise jedoch zu preisen, zu denen sonst seltene edelmetalle gehandelt werden12) ein „stinknormales“ deo marke nivea kann schon mal 5 euronen und en paar zerquetschte kosten13) eine keilriemenreparatur kann schon mal 380 euronen und ein paar mehr zerquetschte kosten14) ausser in unmittelbarer nachbarschaft einer zapfsäule ist rauchen geduldet und erwünscht (einzige ausnahme: IKEA-restaurant)15) ein busticket für die ganze stadt (flächenmäßig äquivalent zu stuttgart!) kostet 25 cents und kann 70 minuten lang in vier unterschiedlichen bussen genutzt werden16) eine griechische viertelstunde entspricht nicht zwangsläufig der dauer einer deutschen viertelstunde17) der polizei ist es nicht gestattet unaufgefordert das universitätsgelände zu betreten (bist du auf der flucht, ist der campus also die erste adresse! was die hohe anzahl an assi-gesox erklären könnte...)18) griechische frauen haben fantastische beine und zeigen diese auch reichlich gerne19) „warme küche bis 23 Uhr“-aushänge würden zum entzug der konzession (falls vorhanden) und zwangsläufig zum ruin einer gaststätte („taverna“) führen, weil:20) der grieche/die griechin pflegt am wochenende auch mal um halb zwei abend(s) zu essen21) der männliche grieche als solcher kann weder kochen noch abspülen – die weibliche griechin als solche stört das wenig (bzw. wundert sich sehr bei abweichendem verhalten)22) „ordentlich eingeschriebenen“ studenten stehen täglich zwei warme mensa-mahlzeiten zu (keiner kontrolliert jedoch ob man „ordentlich eingeschriebener“ student ist, bzw. ob man bereits dort gespeist hat – was die finanzielle schieflage öffentlicher bildungseinrichtungen zumindest teilweise erklären könnte...!?)23) der begriff „vegetarier“ existiert – wenn überhaupt – nur als schimpfwort24) „siga-siga“ gilt als (in)offizieller leitspruch aller griechen und will soviel sagen wie „immer sachte mit den jungen fohlen“25) die verinnerlichung von punkt 24) ist für ein glückliches fortkommen in griechenland unabdingbar!forstetzung folgt...[...]

sofia surfers


It was Wednesday, September 27th , 10:45 p.m. when I decided to join a group of Erasmus students heading for Sofia, Bulgaria. Asia (Polish shortname for Joanna) had told me during our shop and lunch trip through IKEA that they would meet at the central station at 11:30 p.m. “They” here stands for Asia (Poland), Elena (Cyprus), Sonika and Joyti (England) plus Sarah and Maria (Germany).M-hm, only girls! But this wasn’t the (only) reason for making this decision but my long lasting wish to see the homecountry of my sweet friend Miladina Mincheva (what a pity we didn’t manage to go there together, Mila!?). The round ticket (Thessaloniki – Sofia and back) was 25,60 €, obviously very cheap for two seven hour rides – especially if you compare it to German conditions, the train was quite full, obviously very old and dirty – especially if you compare it to German conditions.Actually it was a former Bundesbahn-train (“Zugtüre nicht während der Fahrt öffnen“, etc...). I suppose they sold it 30 years ago. German engineering never dies…!? Anyway, we had our seats in direct neighbourhood of the “Plumpsklo” (sorry, don’t know the English word for this ancient type of closet) what wasn’t really beneficial to the “odour” in our cabin…somehow we got “used” to it.Approximately five Heinekens and three hours later we arrived at the border where we were first checked by Greek officers and then by Bulgarian authorities. What here sounds like a springtime walk in the park was an almost three hour lasting procedure of showing the passports, wondering why they took it away, wondering why the train started to go forth without having our passports back, wondering why it suddenly stopped and went back…and finally feeling relief receiving our passports and being allowed to enter the homecountry of Krassimir Ballakov in the end.If anyone of you knows the movie “Top secret” – it was exactly like the scene when Nick Rivers enters the GDR being checked by East-German authorities. The only difference is that this was reality and I wasn’t supposed to laugh – what wasn’t that easy all the time (remember the “approximately five Heinekens”?).When we passed the outskirts of Sofia we went by some really depressing areas looking like third world slums: little rotten shacks, garbage all over, poor children sadly waving at us. It’s hard to imagine that people (mainly Gypsies, I suppose) manage to survive in such disgustingly unhuman circumstances. Somehow you feel guilty being able to spend money for traveling abroad and then seeing all this poverty and pain…they must feel like animals…and we were the visitors of the zoo.Half an hour later we arrived at Sofia, central station and the lady of the youth hostel kindly welcomed us to Bulgaria. I didn’t sleep a minute in the train (thx for the nice conversation, Elena!) but the hostel’s typical Bulgarian breakfast (buttermilk and sth. similar to a croissant plus tea) brought me and the others back to life. After that we started to discover the city by foot. We saw orthodox churches, unorthodox statues, many old buildings like the national opera, tiny little streets with tiny little shops, bigger streets with bigger shops (especially shoe shops >> six girls!!!), and had a nice lunch in a small Bulgarian restaurant (really cheap: for 10 Leva you get a very rich meal including drinks = 5 Euro!).Thursday night (after a little too long lasting “nap”) we first went out to get some food (at around 2 a.m. it isn’t that easy in a former socialist country!), had some pizza and finally found a nice club-lounge called “Briliantin” where we couldn[...]

hanging out with the girls


motto of the niteuk-girls sonika and joyti (ri.) and amstel canfrench oceane and lithuanian ksenija and some boozesonika ("don't forget the vods!") and lea (from munich)getting in the right moodpriya, sister of sonika, visited thessaloniki for some daysextreme biking on campusfixing the shoeswhat a couple (don't get nervous, manu!)the place to be (after the campus party)crowded dancefloor at 'the residents' kreglinger's paradise (next to me: eleni from greece)victoria (lithuania) having fun, toowithout wordsparty crowd: joyti, sonika, lio, christina, elenilascivious ksenijashow me ur teeth!poli kala!dance, malaka, dance!her favorite gesturelithuanian girls unitedheineken in good companyjoyti doing her daily prayerseverything alrighteverything not alrightfinal shot (around 5:00 a.m. perhaps)[...]

between heaven and earth or: the trip to meteora


pictures first this time...:entrance of philosophy faculty (little stickers say "enoikiazetai" = room to let!)our bus...and a weird greek on his vespa>> you are here [...]

trip to sithonia/halkidiki


it was friday and saturday would be free, so anka (the polish girl from vienna), ksenija (the lithuanian girl from lithuania) and me decided to drive to the second finger of halkidiki: sithonia. so we did and it was a really hot trip! here’s the short summary:got into car – got into darkness – got lost in some david lynchish landscape – luckily found the way out – luckily found a paradise-like beach called ‘goa’ – had some dinner – had some drinks – listened to radical electro music – listened to the sea – slept or better didn’t sleep in the sand – watched the sun rise – went for a morning swim – had a little feta breakfast – had a little nap in the shadow – again went for a swim – packed our things – started the car – drove some miles – couldn’t drive on – called the ADAC – waited for the car service – waited for the car service – waited for the car service – went to marmaras with mr. car service – drank an amstel beer with mr. car service – took a 40 euro taxi to thessaloniki.that’s it. meanwhile (a week later) the mitsubishi service managed to order the spare parts. we’ll see how long I will be driving this silver ford fiesta the ADAC kindly rented for me. for free of course: I’m really glad I signed this ADAC-plus-membership some days before my departure to the way: they said the fan belt (‘keilriemen’) and sth. was broken. so I’ll have to spend 400 euro. anyway: the trip to sithonia was worth it! don’t believe me? see this:[...]

funky called vergina


another bright shiny sunday and the erasmus gang had the pleasure to visit the archaeological area of vergina, the first capital of the macedonian kingdom. it was put on map when the archaeological excavations brought to light the acropolis, parts of the city’s walls, the palace, the temple and the cemetery in 1977/78.our greek guide first showed us the excavated ruins of the ‘palace of aegae’ – quite a nice little ‘cottage’ as it seems – with a fabulous view over the surrounding landscape. philip the II. (father of alexander the great) used to stroll around these walls before he was assassinated by one of his bodyguards – on the way to his daughters wedding party (what a day!?) near the amphitheatre – which was our second point of interest.somehow these old times sound like the perfect shakespearian drama. with a lot of betrayal, brutality and blood. (by the way: no one knows why the king has been assassinated as the assassinator was assassinated right after the assassination! our guide presumed that the king’s wife might have been involved…for further information see shakespeare: “frailty thy name is woman”!??)so we had a look at the monumental royal graves which are the final resting place for the murdered king philip, the murdered 13(?) years old prince and the body of a woman presumably the wife of the king. no cameras were allowed there, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to show you any pictures. but I can tell you it was a lot of gold, silk, ivory and other valuable stuff. that is why some grave robbers were really mad about ‘visiting’ this place. and that is why there were found some more than just the royal bones in these graves in turn. apparently it didn’t pay off for them!for us the visit certainly paid off. we can now better imagine what these ancient macedonian times looked like and how the people then used to admire their great leaders.after the visit to vergina, our busses carried us to st. nikolas of naousa which is a bright green place in the middle of the woods with a lot of little rivers and plane trees. of course there were some little taverns, too, where we sat down and had our desperatly needed lunch and amstel beer. not to forget: in winter there’s a lift nearby to reach the 2005 meter high ski area. preferring watersports I don’t think I will be using it…here now the pictures...:[...]

dormitory k. matsi 7


roof of k. matsi street 7, left the stadium, sea in the background(!)
(image) outer k. matsi street 7, I'm staying in the basement
(image) thank god I got a "makro"-mitsubishi trunk: food for turkish nite
(image) good girls preparing delicious meal for turkish nite
(image) lituanian ksenija proudly presenting essential greek stuff
(image) heimatgefuehl - maybe sometime we'll have a german nite as well

thessaloniki beach



retrospection: roadtrip I


Indeed, I survived the roaring roadtrip and the first days in greek successfully. Although the ADAC-information concerning autobahn fees aren't worth the paper they're written on (serbia alone fuckin charged us about 60 euro!!!). They really met their image of "yugo-betrugo"! At least the car was still outside the motel in ruma when we woke up the other day. We had a great time in Makedonia: it's really a nice country - not only to drive through but also to rest. We did so at a ravishingly beautiful place being at the top of a wooded canyon. The corresponding beer was called 'Ckohcko' and tasted much better than it sounded. Miamiam!
After having crossed the border to Greece we had to drive about 1 4/5 hours to reach our very point of interest >> Thessaloniki! so we arrived at about 6 p.m. local time. Unfortunately the tourist info had closed at 2 p.m. so we had to find the way to my dormitory on our own. Difficult difficult! No map knew a street called "K. Matsi'. Finally, after having asked two thousand very kind but very unhelpful inhabitants we met a taxi driver (in a hospital) who helped us out. Thus we managed to be at the dormitory at 8 p.m.! What a relief.
Enough of bothering you, dear blog visitor, with detailed road trip anecdotes. Let's skip to some visual food. Lookie lookie above!

retrospection: roadtrip II