Archive for the 'Video' Category

Liebling, die Gartenbank wackelt…

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Monday, March 3rd, 2008 Latitude: 19.8605N Longitude: 102.233E

Motorcycling Katmandu Valley II

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Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 Latitude: 27.773481387145207N Longitude: 85.27450561523438E

While I am already back in Germany, I still have a lot of movie clips and pictures left from my trip to Nepal to share. So here’s some notes and a little clip from my last full day in Katmandu. We stopped working on Friday and I had been able to again organise a motorcycle to go for a day trip the next morning, swapping the noisy, chaotic city for the beautiful mountains surrounding the Valley.

This time around, I was lucky: I had found a dirt bike, a 185 cc Honda. Much more comfortable for my size and also feeling safer in the traffic of the Nepalese capitol as you generally sit more upright. I started off from the hotel and payed a second visit to the Boudha Stupa, the huge Tibetan-Buddhist sanctuary on the north-east of the city. From there it was back on to the infamous ring road. After almost a half circle around the city, I turned right onto a road leading into the mountains. Immediately traffic died down to the occasional motorcycle, car or one of the notoriously overbooked overland busses with people riding on the roof. The road was in a state comparably well to what I had been riding on the week before: Few potholes, good tarmac. Beautiful views and quiet interesting encounters…

Turnaround point was a fish farm by the side of the road. Using the water coming down the mountains the “farmer” was breeding rainbow trout. He showed me around the steep arrangement of basins with the fish in different age and size. He hasn’t done anything like it before, but returning from the US and Canada, where he had lived for many years, he got interested in it and started his own business. Not an easy undertaking, he confessed, as the road conditions make transportation a real challenge: It is still easier to wait for people finding the farm, the fish, and the lunch that can be enjoyed on the nice spot than bringing the fish to where the people are.

Salsa in Taiwan

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Wednesday, August 8th, 2007 Latitude: 25.038502N Longitude: 121.553121E

Why would it be normal to go and dance Salsa in Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam or Cologne but not in Almaty, Kazakhstan or in Taipei, Taiwan? Still, it always surprises me to land in such, well, remote places (from my euro-centric point of view) and be able to walk into places called “Cuba”, or “Olala” and watch dancers spinning away to Latino rhythms as if it were the most natural thing to do so. As in former waves of this kind of international “Tropical Fever” our decades Salsa craze is spreading world wide – but this time deeper and wider at the same time. Is it the Internet? Is it the comparably cheap travel costs for salsa aficionados carrying the virus into the remotest places?

Wherever you go, any bigger city in the world will have places, dancers – and teachers. And ever so often, the smaller the number of aficionados in one place, the lesser the number of teachers, down to a one-city-one-teacher ratio. If they are good, then fine, they clone their style, cuban, puerto-rican, L.A. or New York or anything in between or any other funny creole-isation. If they are not good, well, they clone their style as well.

In the “Olala” a french restaurant in Taipei offering Salsa on some days in the week, the teacher had been good. A crowd of dedicated dancers flicked away puerto rican style, slick figures, ladies turning stylish, the man leading them along the imaginary lines on the floor. Not my cup-of-rum, still, nice to watch. One lady stuck out, as she was the only non-asian on the dance-floor by the time we arrived and also the only black person in the room. My colleagues from Radio Taiwan and I settled for some drinks at the bar, watching the dancers, chatting after a week of intensive work together.

Suddenly, she lost one of her creoles. Picking them up, saving them from the feet of the dancers was the natural thing to do – and also a fine occasion to talk to her, once the song was over. Turned out, she was from Johannesburg, living in Taipei for no particular reason other than enjoying the place and having work to do: she was one of the Salsa teachers. How she is transforming shy chinese into exalted latin dancers she never revealed – but from having danced with her I assume it was by her special kind of cultural osmoses, infecting them with both the latino rhythms and south african life-loving spirits. Worked fine for me, I had a wonderful evening.

Paris, le tram

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Friday, June 22nd, 2007 Latitude: 48.822647N Longitude: 2.327932E

[ev type=”youtube” data=”q1CuxJ5lOvg”][/ev]

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