Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gerneral thoughts and ponderings on travel


So I’ve decided that you probably don’t want to hear my every movement in every city (excl. Mum!) and would probably rather hear my opinions rather than the places I see bla bla bla.

So here are my thoughts on hostels. I’ve been forced to think a little more closely about them because I’m actually reviewing each hostel I visit for a website that will pay me $10 per review. Might as well, only takes 10 minutes and takes the expense off a bit, hopefully its not a dodgy set up where I never get paid, but I’ll give it a red hot go hey! (Wow, I sound Australian even whilst typing!)

So basically, East Germany is officially the home of the COOLEST hostels I’ve ever been to! The first one in Berlin was unreal. It was cosy, lively, comfy and had everything you could need (bar a stove top) and contained the coolest people and the coolest art. This hostel was filled with murals and paintings and even had themed rooms (which we unfortunately didn’t get to stay in). There were panels all down our corridor with information about stuff in Berlin, but instead of having framed pieces of paper, they’d used huge panels covered with paint and impasto relief and funky drawings. I knew Berlin was a centre for art and creativity but there is so much visual activity here, I should have studied here instead of Paddington in order to bring out my creative side. The room in Dresden I’m writing my email from is covered in posters lacquered to the wall from fancy German magazines (a giant poster of Orlando Bloom definitely adds to the charm!) and stenciled flowers, and frilly fly nets and funky light shades, and teddy bears tied to beds with string. I feel like I’m in a 13 year old’s room! It makes me want to go home and get out the impasto (a thick paste that dries on canvas to make relief paintings) and create works of art of my own to adorn my room. I’ve never felt so inspired and creative in my life and I have no materials with which to express it!

Back to the hostel thing though. Got a bit carried away.

So there’s another thing I’ve picked up. Boys are SOOO much easier to live with than girls. I’ve had so many girls getting petty and bitching in hostels, complaining about noise, leaving shit everywhere, not taking any notice that you’re even in the room. Boys always acknowledge you and strike up a convo, no matter how old they are or where they’re from. Hence, I’ve decided my future roommates must include at least one male – Mitch, you’re it!! (Actually I find Bec more of a male than a female to live with, easy going, takes about 5 minutes to get ready, so its pretty good!!!)

We went out to a pub around the corner of our hostel in Berlin with a couple of young pommy guys staying in our room and also met 3 Italian guys who spoke very little English! Although the night’s conversations were a huge effort and took some time to get to any agreement on vocabulary, it was very entertaining talking to the Italians about soccer, their hometown of Turin and various Italian foods! We exchanged emails and they said we are welcome to stay with them in Turin but I think it’s a little out of the way for us. We taught them how to eat Vegemite the proper way (lots of butter, very thin scraping of the yeasty goodness) at 4am in the hostel and then parted ways with much hugging and sincerity (bloody Italians, can’t do anything without emotion!).

That’s another thing – there are countless amounts of people you meet whilst traveling. Some of them you swap details with, others you don’t. But Bec and I were discussing the other day that although you may get on well with someone for a day or even a few hours, you don’t feel like you have to ever see them again. Although this may sound sad, its actually good. You don’t find that person’s faults, the niggling habbits that you hate, you never get to know them well enough that they tell you boring stories about their life at home, you only learn of their travels, a brief history of their life in general and is mostly jokes and banter about the different things you’ve see throughout your journey. Its like having a bite of someone else’s chocolate bar – you have the initial richness and taste but you don’t get to the point where you’re full or have overdone on the taste. Like an antipasto. The people you meet are the mezze plate of life.

For example, we went on a tour of Sachsenhausen concentration camp (very depressing and eye opening, but well worth going to) and met 3 Aussies. We got on quite well with them and it was good to have someone to talk to, but we’ll never see them again, and I’m quite happy with that outcome.

So now I’m in Dresden, an almost Florentine city with plenty of churches and castles (although most of them are reconstructions after getting the shite bombed out of them!) and the place is full of little ally ways that open up to giant courtyards with hippy shops, alternative cafes and buildings with the most amazing adornments! This is sort of how I pictured Amsterdam to be. Our hostel is fantastic and we have so many facilities. We cooked spag bowl with spinach to catch up on a high dose of iron after being almost vegetarian for a week, it was bloody unreal! Its amazing the things you miss when you’re a nomad with limited cooking utencils!!!


Baino said...

Like an antipasto. The people you meet are the mezze plate of life.

My my, you're so poetic these days. What a great analogy. Glad you're having fun, they might be funky but their internet's hopeless! Talk to you soon pookie. As for the male flatmate, great idea, they mow lawns and put out the garbage!

Estevez said...

whoa man. deep! i agree though! like those guys we met on the train in italy, played a ridiculously disgusting session of 'would you rather' with, and then went our separate ways knowing that each of us would pretty much do anything before we ate a plate of diorrhea, including unprotected sex with a homeless man. good times!! and no need to pretend it was anything more than a brief companionship.

dude, buy a cheap sketchbook and draw or write your ideas down! is that picture one of the hostels you stayed in??? madness!

Gayé Terzioglu said...

The mezze plate of life. I love it!
I have only been to small town of Iphofen and the city of Nuremberg in Germany, as well as passing through Frankfurt. There are enough Turkish people in Germany so I have never had that much interest, but after your post I think I will add it to my "go back for a second round and see more" list.
Ta for that Miss!
Stay safe, fun travels.

Excellent Adventures said...

yeah, pretty sure its going to be the quote of the holiday! I would draw Em but I barely have time to upload photos let alone talk to my mother (sorry mum!)

Babysis said...

I like the antipasto analagie and am going to use it and call it MINE!

Not just your mother likes regular updates - we over here at Penis Avenue love them! We love to see your face and your photos too! You are greatly missed dont you know!

Thankfully you are a wonderful wordsmith and are able to catapult us mere working mortals over to the countries you vist and I thank you for that....

Micks sister Trish studied art in Germany at the Bauerhaus. And goes back regularly - teaches English to pay her way!

Excellent Adventures said...

Babysis - I only come out with one good quote a year and you are more than welcome to borrow it, as long as you follow it with "Copywrite Clare Bainbridge 2008". Can't wait to come have coffee with you guys when I get home, miss you all muchly!!!