Cultural Observations

I travel mainly to dive into a new culture and learn from it. Usually, I learn a lot about myself, too, either I become more appreciative where I am from and that I am German, or advantages and disadvantages here and everywhere hopefully enriching my own.

Weekly Photo Challenge – On the move

Weekly Photo Challenge - On the move

One of those typical transportation from seemingly old times: donkey cart

Categories: Cultural Observations, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge – Letters

Weekly Photo Challenge - Letters

Just love how to learn a foreign language: get yourself reading the alphabet and you will learn the words automatically while you are going shopping

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Brazil 2014 – The Football World Cup Host

It has been a dream of my mine since I have been to South Africa in 2004: attending a football world cup in a host country. 2006 when it was held in Germany I couldn’t go because I was based in Cairo, Egypt at the time, obeyed to my commitment with my mission organization called YWAM (Youth with a mission). Still, I wouldn’t think about anything else than football during the time of June and July. By the locals I was named “(Michael) Ballack” because it was written on my jersey. I wasn’t a too big of fan of the former captain of the German team but I was proud being German. Since then I said I want to go to host country that is crazy about football, too. South Africa seemed the next option but in 2010 I basically had no money. My memories related to this world cup were still amazing. Still being based in Egypt, I watched a few games with my students (even getting thrown into the pool when Germany made it through the first round). I was hanging out in Jerusalem at my friend’s place where I watched basically every match that was on TV because I had no money to go out. When Switzerland won against Spain I would pull out my Swiss t-shirt and was cheered at and congratulated from the Israelis. I was even praying at the Western wall for Germany (the only football game I ever prayed for!) so they would win the next game against Ghana having lost the game against Serbia before. Oh my, I was seriously desperate! So I put in a piece of paper into the Wailing wall and was in keen anticipation.

Four years have been passed and I was able to save up money to go to Brazil. The only difficulty so far was if I would get off from work. Unfortunately, my province doesn’t adjust to the dates of the most important tournament in the world. Originally, I even wanted to go to Brazil for half a year, connecting a missions trip with learning Portuguese and taking time to consider even moving there for a longer period. But maybe I was scared and I had too many other things on my mind, I was unable to plan and take the risk. Then I finally made up my mind and asked my boss for an unpaid work leave of two weeks adding two weeks of official holidays that are in June anyways. Lucky me or the blessed I am my boss (a football fan himself) gave me permission and here I am dreaming and planning…

Here are my travel plans for the trip:

May 28th: Flight from Frankfurt directly to Rio de Janeiro, staying 3 nights in a hostel at the Copacabana, meeting a friend of friends

June 1st – June 12th: Travelling up North, haven’t really planned it yet, maybe staying with a family in Salvador to improve my  


June 13th: joining the YWAM base in Salvador

June 16th: attending the football match Germany vs.Portugal

June 28th: leaving Brazil from Rio de Janeiro

Anyone wants to join?


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Salvador da Bahia – Brazil

One of my future travel destination: starting in 34 days! And yes, I want to care!

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Having stopped being vegan

Two weeks ago I gave up being vegan. And I don’t regret it a bit. One of the main reasons was that I didn’t feel good at all. I was weak, constantly tired, didn’t enjoy sports, and the most important: I was moody and irritable. I have tried my best and tried new recipes, went shopping on a regular basis so I could eat sufficiently and balanced. Still, I felt hungry most of the time. In an intense job like mine – teaching Junior high and high schoolers of a huge school – I had to eat every break. My metabolism is quick, I think. It put a lot of psychological pressure on me to think through where I shall get my iron, protein, vitamins from. It was difficult and exhausting. It consumed a lot of thinking which I think, food does not deserve. I still don’t regret being vegan for 4,5 weeks because I gained more appetite for salads and less for sweet things. I would call it an achievement. But my veganism increased my iron vitamin B12 deficiency and I am not convinced in subbing those with artificial produced tablets.

Another reason: I discovered a book called “The Maker’s diet” by Jordan S. Rubin which I totally recommend. As a biology immensely interested in nutrition, it explains the advantages and disadvantages of certain diets including veganism, vegetarianism, etc. I will write my own review on this book another time. Read some from amazon:



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Becoming vegan, part 4

Although I feel beyond tired I am still excited to share my partly-vegan dish I have made yesterday. I have chosen to nourish myself with organic eggs at least. Mainly because I don’t anything about egg substitutes. Where would I get my protein from?

Broccoli-field garlic quiche:

  • ready made dough that can be easily spread in a cake pan
  • broccoli being steamed until it is soft
  • field garlic and oil fried in a pan
  • soy cream, spices (salt, nutmeg, garlic) mixed in with two eggs, cut almonds, soy cheese for melting purposes all in one bowl
  • to prevent the dough from getting soaked with water, spread some bread crumbs over it
  • fill it with broccoli, field garlic and the sauce on top
  • oven for about 30 min with 200°C

Probably the best and most satisfying meal in a long time. I even had a friend over and she found it yummy!

Although I ate mainly vegan these days, I have considered switching to a vegetarian diet. It might have something to do with feeling so tired probably due to my lack of iron. I am taking five pills each day which isn’t a solution in the long run. I feel sorry for badly treated animals and vegetarianism/veganism is kinda my boycott against it but not for sacrifice of my health.


Categories: Cultural Observations, Musings | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge – Street Life

Weekly Photo Challenge - Street Life

Sicily / Italy – what else is there to say? 😉

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Abandoned (maybe?)

Weekly Photo Challenge - Abandoned (maybe?)

Categories: Cultural Observations, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge – Treasure

Weekly Photo Challenge - Treasure

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Window

Weekly Photo Challenge - Window

Taken in Cairo at the Al Azhar Mosque – a man reading his Qu’ran trying to make use of the light through the window

Categories: Cultural Observations, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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