Monthly Archives: February 2007


Already in South Africa, I had my umbrella with me only to discover that it was useless. Today the same thing happend in Brussels. The wind is so strong that the umbrella is more dangerous than usefull. If any of you is interested in knowing what the weather looks like today (and throughout the year), here is a link to a web cam.


Connection 56k

As soon as I have an Internet connection faster than a 56k Modem can provide it (preference: DSL), I gonna put some photos of South Africa on the site. Promised 😉


I know that this may seem somehow weird but I would like to have some Cyborg abilities. Just to mention a few I would love to have a tool installed in my brain which helps me to find a word in a document immediately like the shortcut Ctrl/F is doing. The shortcut Shift/F7 ; finding synonyms for a word (aka Thesaurus), would also be helpful.

But even if this very small list could be extended, I think that the best of all would be to have a kind of Ecs or Exit key. Whenever I am working on the computer and something goes wrong, my fingers are finding their way to the Escape key. This moment of relief when I discover that everything is just as before and that my doing has not caused any problems, is so… relieving.

There are moments in life when such a key would do wonders, wars and misery could be avoided and a lot of shameful situations titled with the thought: “What the h*** have I done?”

Pure beauty

I have lived there, three years and nine month. With ups and downs. Grenoble is not a beautiful city itself but the surroundings are spectacular and in my memory it will always be a good time.


Le Rabot

La Belledonne

Special thanks to Adela for the photos.


Being told by two people independently from one another that I speak English with a South African accent.


  1. Yesterday, I arrived in Brussels. The weather was awful – grey, giving absolutely no sight over the city. And I was in the 24th floor of the EU-Tower, place Madou.
  2. Today, the sun was shining so brightly that I was getting a feeling for spring. But, even when the sun is shining, Brussels is a quite ugly city. Even the inhabitant admit it.  
  3. However, I think I gonna like the people here. They are very talkative. It’s very easy to get in touch with people and I like it to listen to all the languages you can hear in the streets.
  4. As if to prove this post, I have been asked three times for directions. I don’t know if this is normal in Brussels or if it is me…
  5. One thing which is in Brussels like in South Africa is the traffic. Cars have the priority and you better make sure to stay out of their way. I once read that Brussels is the worst city in Europe when it comes to driving because all the different nations with their different driving styles (German, French, Italian, boring, crazy, etc.) are coming together here.
  6. After four years, I finally have a new mobile phone.
  7. And, Àhm, just in case that one of my dear readers is Belgian or has some connections to Brussels, I am still looking for accommodation (furnitured room, not more than 300 euros, not more than 30 minutes from the EU institutions). Anything?

New and exciting places

Belgium, la Belgique, Belgien

Brussels, Bruxelles, BrĂŒssel

What do I know about this place: chocolate, beer, chips, EU, …., not much.

I think I gonna like it, especially the first three points 🙂

“I am not from here”

I do not know what it is but I must have something in my face or in my way to move which makes people asking me for directions.

I am asked always and everywhere. And especially when I am in a city for just a day. Seriously. I have been asked in London, Lille, Cape Town, Berlin, Berlin, Berlin (lot of tourists), Grenoble, Paris, and so on.

I can even see it when people are looking for someone who might be able to give them directions. They look, they see me, they ask me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining (nein, Maria, wirklich nicht) but I am wondering what makes me look like someone trustworthy and well informed about the place…

Actually, I think I like it.

Media in South Africa

This post is written due to the huge demand (one email).

To make it short: Media and especially TV in South Africa are bad. Like really, really bad. There are four major broadcasts: SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and, no not 4 but E-news. The best news are from e-news. This is according to a friend of mine because I could only understand the English news and not all the other ones (Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho aso.). These news are ok but made for an average attention margin of not more than one minute. At least, I learned a bit about South African policy, government and the differnt problems like to corruption, bad government and violence. Good news do not seem to exist…

What else? If one is fund of soap operas, South African TV is close to paradise: Bold and beautiful, Young and restless, Backstage, Scandal, Generations and much more are on the air every day. For someone like me who hates soap operas, madness lays in the remote control…

What else? Sport as much as you want: golf, cricket (even the five day matches), soccer, wrestling, rugby, everything, too much.

What else? If you have missed the eighties and nineties when it comes to English/American movies than you have pretty good chances to catch up. I watched some “Denzel Washington” movies even if I missed the one which seems to be THE “DW” film, i.e. “John Q”. I watched some more movies, not always the good ones, but all with the excuse that it would improve my English.

What else? …. Nothing. Happy to be back in Germany, to have my guitar back, to be able to go out whenever I want without needing a bodyguard and to do whatever I want.

Body feeling

There are more than just a few different points between South Africa and Europe and not all of them are in favour of SA. But there is one point which I felt was very interesting and agreeably different: the body feeling.

I speak of women and the way they see themselves. I know more than one (German/French) woman who is not happy about her (perfectly normal) body. Why? Because of advertisement, imagined and real social pressure to be slim and perfect and the own feeling of not being slim/good/intelligent/perfect enough. They are intelligent enough to know that they should not surrender to this pressure but… We know the result.

The body feeling of (black and coloured) South African women is in a sharp contrast with the European one. Even if they are sometimes not happy with their weight, they are just as they are. Dancing on parties, wearing the clothes they like, and probably thinking much less about all this “issue”. It helps of course that most men also prefer if their women are nicely build to put it that way.

During my time in South Africa, I really learned to appreciate this naturalness and self-confidence the women there have and which stands in such a nice contrast to the doubts and the self-flagellating here. Amen.