Hmm…, it is because it is just before Chinese New Year? Or is it just due to the icy cold weather with these Siberian winds? Or is it just due to the the lock being old? I went for dinner. I locked my fixed gear bike with 2 Kryptonite locks to a fence and my friend locked his bike (that actually belongs to my German friend) to my frame. After dinner we were not able to open the lock of my friend. The key just refused to go into the hole. It could be because of these freezing temperatures. Or did somebody actually mess with the lock trying to open it? It is common in China that there is theft just before Chinese New Year as everybody needs some nice gifts for their families. Even the cab drivers in Beijing put up a metal cage around them inside the car to protect them from desperate theives before Chinese New Year. Oh, well I will check that lock tomorrow. Maybe it just needs some lubricant.
Archive for Januar, 2009
Today is Shaopeng’s 30th birthday. A friend of Shaopeng’s girlfriend had a housewarming party. So Shaopeng’s girlfriend invited all of Shaopeng’s friends to come to the housewarming and turn it into a surprise birthday party for Shaopeng. So we all went there.Here are two pictures a friend of mine took. Maybe she was already quite drunk…
For those of you who do not live in Beijing: An address in Beijing usually just consists of „residential complex name or hutong name“, „building number“ and „apartment number“. So for this house warming it was said that it is the „building 3 of the new part“ of the residential complex. Me and some friends arrived coincidentally at the same time at the same place just to find out that we were not in the newest part of the complex. By now (after Olympics) there was a complete new residential complex across the big airport express with the same name. You ask yourself why they could not have found a nice slightly different name. Oh well.
The past few days it had been bitter cold in Beijing especially with the arctic winds. Wind is great in Beijing as it blows away any clouds or smog and just gives us cristal clear blue skies. But it makes it much colder. After riding home on my bike after the surprise birthday party I did want to see the current temperature: It is only -12 degrees Celcius. But I am sure with the wind chill factor it is around -20 degrees Celcius. At least it felt like that.
Finally back in China! I noticed that when I heard a guy behind me pull up all the stuff from his nose with a disgusting sound and then loudly spit it on the ground behind me.Yes, I must be home.
There are still signs in China with funny English printed on them. Even in Beijing. And there are a lot of products sold with not quite correct English translations on them. Just as a random example, this is a picture of the product that I bought today. They had the English version of the operating instructions printed on the product packaging. They are probably targeting the US market. Somehow I have problems understanding what each part is, e.g. the allc diality flex, the inching switch and the in house lock flex stalk and what they do by circumgyrate.
One of my favorite products with funny names are the „Bimbo“ donuts. And even as a German I find it funny that the logo of company called Bimbo (= German word for Nigger) is a white cute bear. I did just find out though that the brand is not Chinese but actually Mexican. They claim that they „always bake every product with love“. But it still makes me smile each time I see these donuts.
My last day in Germany I went to meet two friends from the times we used to get together (artists from the Nuernberg-Erlangen region) every month and put on a variety show called „Vorsicht Variete“. I stopped performing in that group in 1999 or 2000, so I must have not seen them for such a long time. Fritz Mack used to work as an engineer in a big company. He chose to quit his job and become a full time professional artist about 2 years ago. He changed his appearance and enjoys his work as a performing artist. he is multi talented with juggling, unicycling, acrobatics, fire show and clown. It was very nice to see him and talk to him after such a long time. Tatjana Bilenko still is as fit as always and she still is devoted to circus sport doing a lot of trapeze and vertical trapeze. They run the open „Zirkus Labor“ with regular juggling get togethers (Sunday afternoons) and acro balance get togethers (Friday mornings) as well as workshops. On this picture we all look a bit wierd, especially me with my tanned face (but white neck) from the 15 days skiing.
My mother loves art and design. She holds a lot of painting workshops and also attends many art workshops herself. She is a very creative person. I have some of her work in my apartment. I think a lot of her pictures are really beautiful.
Wow, again the clouds stayed at the 1300 meter altitude! What a great last day!
We went off piste again but there had been many people by now so it was not that much powder left. All in all we had loads of fun.
Roman is master of getting his skis on in an impressive way. he jumps and lands in the binding. I tried it a few times but still cannot land with both bindings closed.
These and more pictures of this great week of skiing are in this picasa webalbum.
Now I can return to China satisfied. Even though I would like to do back country skiing somewhere in China this year.
How beautiful it was with the fresh snow everywhere and the sun shining the whole day! We went off piste in the morning and made our marks in the powder.
It was extraordinarily beautiful as the clouds stayed below an altitude of 1300 meter and we stayed above 1300 meters the whole day. So while the people in the valley were under gray clouds we had pure sunshine!
Those clouds made it look like an ocean or huge lakes between the mountains.
At the end of the skiing day we look the long slope all the way from the highest peak of the ski resort all the way down to the valley. It was a magnificent feeling like flying in a plane above the clouds and then dunking in.
In the evening Roman came to visit again. Hartmut cooked a 4 course meal with a salad with duck, an orange and carrot soup, pork cutlets with coconut basmati rice and a raspberry orange cake. We had some nice Austrian white burgundy wine as well as German Riesling Auslese with the dinner.
The morning started still snowy with bad visibility but in the afternoon the snow ended. The slopes were again very empty as most people chose not to ski on that day. Better for us! In the late afternoon we could sometimes get a sneak preview through the clouds and see the sun lit mountain range north of our skiing resort.
I am so happy! The shop did have my vintage skis ready for me this morning. So today I could again do my old school style of skiing with the legs tight together making fast small turns with hip movement. This was especially great as it has been snowing heavily since early morning hours. They slopes were not prepared so we had great powder on all slopes. I have the impression that it did not bother me as much as it did the other skiers that for most of the day the visibility was quite low. I just used my old school technique to ski through the patches of snow and the bumps that started emerging on the slopes. It was huge fun!
This first picture is me prepared for the day, the second one after 2 hours of skiing:
Hartmut was collecting snow and ice on his sunglasses to be able to ski in complete darkness. Even his eye brows were icy:
Talking about old school style: In France I had seen quite many people on Telemark skis this year. It is even older than my style skiing as it is what the first people who skied did. I had rented Telemark skis in France 2 years ago. It is challenging. I asked the ski shops in Austria if they have Telemark skis for rent, but unfortunately they did not.
Yesterday we decided to look for new ski boots as we both have really old ones. We went to one of the sport shops and tried on quite a few pairs. We both found aggressive ski boots that were seemed very comfortable. Mine feel like there is a very thick and soft carpet inside. I asked for a discount but only got the offer to rent a pair of skis for free after the shop assistant saw my vintage skis.
So there I go my first day with my nice new ski boots having to ride on carving ski. It was actually okay to try out the carving feeling, but anything else was dangerous as the skis are so wide in the front and the back. They often overlapped in the front in the back making me fall. It make me feel like a duck with huge feet and skiing felt like I made in my pants as I had to keep my legs spread apart. When I went back to the ski shop they could not find my vintage skis. They told me “they are probably still in the workshop” and I should get them tomorrow morning. I do hope they are not broken or lost as nowadays you cannot buy these kind of skis anymore. And I love them. Or maybe they sold them to a museum…
Hartmut really enjoys his new ski boots. He now has more grip with the edges of the skis. And I enjoy that Hartmut loves cooking and prepares the meals every day.
What can I say? Again so much sunshine, same snow, not many people. It was the same inverted weather where it is colder in the valley than at high altitude. The smoke from the factories did not rise, it stayed pressed down in the valley.
We started again quite early to enjoy the freshly prepared slopes as you can see on our long shadows.
Again we had such a gorgeous view of the surrounding Alps of Austria, Italy and Slovenia. This area is where these three countries meet. The mountains around vary in there style too making it a very interesting landscape.
Today I chose to wear my pink sunglasses. Some like them, other don’t. For lunch we rested in comfortable beach chairs.
Today we also went skiing off-piste in muggles. This actually made my pulse go higher. And after the 4th time down the same long muggle slope I actually felt like I was sweating a bit.