Sunday, 31 March 2013

Beanie pimping and Easter celebrations

Easter is a holiday I never really got. I grew up in a more or less ignostic environment and even though I loved searching for eggs (never the chocolate version but the hard boiled and self-colored ones), the actual context was known to me, but never from importance. Nevertheless being home alone in my Hamburg flat seemed strange to me and I was happy to take a long-missed opportunity to finally visit my very best friend in her tiny village. I should have gone earlier, seeing that it is only a 90 minute trip by car (and a 4 hour ride with trains and buses). It was a beautiful weekend (at least till now) and I do not regret not posting this earlier, because that would have meant missing some valuable minutes.

Just a week ago I finally revisited my hairdresser. And even though its practically spring, German weather decided to bring forth snow and cold temperatures, so leaving a heated environment (and a hot climate as the Indian) with a pixie hair cut and no headgear is close to suicide. Nevertheless I did this, so I had to buy a beanie during my grocery shopping. Well, I believe this beanie would have been bought no matter what climate we had, because I was looking for the prefect grey beanie for the whole past season. My newly found love for One-Euro-Stores is just about to grow with every visit (they got decent sewing machine needles, amazing leather glue, and, and, and... ) and my beanie is just the perfect traveling companion since hats are quite annoying with the brim.

I'm still working on my camera skills and I had to learn that taking pictures without a tripod is not that easy. Well, time will hopefully improve my ability to take decent pictures...
Long text, short tutorial: No beanie from Esther without some personal fix by Esther. I first thought about going completely Jil Sander and stuff, but since it was the end of March and the stores closed, I used some beloved lace trim I bought at a local market once.

Pretty easy steps:
1. Pin the lace trim to your beanie.
2. Sew it on.

And there is me, walking through a snowy landscape just before the beginning of April, can you believe it. Last week I enjoyed 45 ° C in Ahmedabad and now the temperatures are just above the freezing point. Fingers crossed I will be rocking my Indian shoes somehow this year (A update of my amazing buys will be coming anytime soon). Until then... let's see that we do not end up in a Game of Throne scenario with endless winter.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What's in my bag: India Edition!

Yes, it's me. I'm back. Even though my stomach strongly believes its still in India, I'm actually back. Not too sure what to think about this fact. To put it short: India was amazing. And while I'm still sorting through things and getting ready for university next week, I thought I would share my version of a pretty classic blog post: The infamous "What's in my bag" tag (not too sure, whether "tag" fits or not... too much youtube).

I never posted something dedicated to this before, because normally I pack my bag everyday and its not too exiting, especially since I rarely take any makeup. But in India I had my handful of stuff I took everyday, and luckily I snapped a picture of all my belongings being spread on my hotel bed... so see what I carried around... and you will probably learn something about India.

1. Passport and Vaccination Certificate: You simply do not want to leave them in your hotel room, especially you never know what will happen. And knowing all your vaccinations is never wrong.
2. Refreshing tissues (Lufthansa and Drugstore): India is dirty. This sounds quite mean and racist, but the environment I walked through was filled with smog and dust. So after returning to the bus we enjoyed the luxury of refreshing tissues. Plus the Lufthansa ones are quite amazing for stains of any kind.
3. Stuff (Sugar and some receipt): General handbag stuff
4. Vocab cards: Yes, I wanted to work for university. Wishful thinking and stuff.
5. Hand detergent: Asking anyone India experienced, the person will most likely talk about getting stomach problems in some way. Disinfecting your hands before eating will not prevent you from getting sick, but it gives at least a waste feeling of secureness. Didn't help in my case.
6. Wallet: Took an old one with only the cards I needed. Typical for traveling, I guess.
7. Soap sheets: They were advertising gifts and I thought, they would be quite handy, because you rarely find soap in Indian public bathrooms. Unfortunately you rarely find a working tap. Well...
8. Swiss Army Knife: Not for stabbing innocents, but for skinning freshly bought fruit. Bad luck it wasn't mango time, but still quite handy when you spot a fruit stall along the road.
9. Mobile phone: Since my mobile phone is crappy and has a horrible battery I borrowed my mum's, especially because we shared a room with three young people and more than one socket was rarely seen.
10. Ipod: After being warned by several sources not to leave anything in our hotel room we carried anything valuable. Plus listing to music during 9 hour bus rides was quite relaxing.
11. Key chain: Advertising gift of one of the architects I met.
12. Ear phones: Essential when you want to listen to music in a bus without getting killed.
13. Hotel room keys: Sometimes we left them at the reception, sometimes not. The function should be obvious :)
14. Medicine: A girl needs her drugs!
15. Mirror: After sweating and tons of dust you did not really want to look into it, but still...
16. Pencil case + 17. Note book: India is quite a unfamiliar country, at least for a German girl with only a tiny bit of Asia knowledge, so sometimes you saw something and wanted to remember it. Therefore having something to take notes came in useful several times.

That was my handbag quite at the beginning of my trip. Be assured that I collected quite a lot of useless stuff and rubbish in it. Oh, and one time a sugar sachet broke, oh joy! While looking at it now, I sometimes wished for some hand-cream and lip balm, I also added some travel-sized sunscreen to my pile of stuff. Nonetheless I was always quite surprised how much stuff my small bag could possibly fit... and quite happy, that I never lost it.

What are your handbag essentials for a trip like India?

PS: I felt the need to write this... I've got the feeling my tone is quite sarcastic in this post. By any means: I did not want to offend anyone, I actually really loved India and the whole experience (maybe apart from the food poising I am still struggling with). 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Enjoying freedom!

Hello my dear, beloved readers.
Note the over-enthusiams (when you didn't... read again :)). But who wouldn't be overly happy: I spent an entertaining weekend with my amazing friends and went skiing for a week (even though my legs are heavily bruised). And right now I am completely above the clouds in my mind.. and nearly physically: my plane for India departs in about 6 hours...
To put it in a nutshell: I didn't do anything huge for the past days, but at least I got some images for you all. So enjoy it...

The apartment my parents and friends rented for the week (where the fortunately had a spare bed for me) was not only located next to the ski-lift but did also have amazing view and a huge sun terrace.

A shot from our window.
After-skiing-sun terrace-chilling
Ice, ice baby!
One of my personal favorites was a visit of the "Breitach Klamm", a gorge just at the entrance of "Kleinwalsertal" in Austria. Every Tuesday and Friday during winter visitors are able to walk trough beautiful, ice-covered nature during night-time with a torch... Pictures cannot do justice.

And last but not least, a favorite of mine... even though I have to admit it is mainly due to it's German name, snow caterpillar... a snow groomer

 Well, that was my week filled with skiing and bruising. I did not take any pictures during actual skiing, because I forgot my old camera at home and did not want to bring my new one up the mountain. Nevertheless I hope you got a little peak on my activities during the last week.
Hopefully I will be able to post my prepared post somewhen during my India trip, read from you all to soon