Thursday, December 26, 2002

The Beck Christmas Tree 2002 (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)Christmas with Jolle
On Monday I went to Rostock to pick up my grandparents for the Christmas celebrations on Tuesday. Wednesday we went to my uncle for tea and to make some house music (not this type -but the type where several members of my family try to generate sounds with their instruments, quite successfully by the way). Today I was visiting a friend and played badminton.

Moreover I played some rounds of ice-hockey with my cousins on a frozen lake during the last days and read the wonderful book of Patrick Süßkind: Das Parfum (The Perfume) which I will probably finish tomorrow.

Oh yeah, tomorrow, I have to pack and buy some groceries for my skiing trip. We start half past 11 here and meet Kai at his home in Hamburg where we'll go to Austria in his car. If everything works as planned we'll be there around 9 am and ready to ski. By travelling at nigth we'll avoid the usual traffic jams on Saturday, the day when all ski tourists start or end their vacation.

And also answer the usual question these times: I got some money for skiing, a nice LED flashlight, an electric foot bath (don't laugh, it was my wish) and some other things. Enough presents for one Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2002

I HATE shopping
Tuesday I worked the last time this year, Wednesday we finished the barbecue-season on Kai's terrace, and Thursday was the day to go home. I took the train 'cause hitchhiking with a big backpack and a violoncello wouldn't be so easy. Anyway, the train ticket was quite cheap, thanks to the nice train clerk, who cannot even calculate with his computer. I paid 37 € including the added fee for the fast train type ICE. Moreover I was so lucky to find a TV seat which made the 8 hour trip even more comfortable.

Why did I leave yesterday? 'Cause today is the last day all the offices are opened in this promised land of customer service. And I urgently need a new ID card and a drivers licence as well. I needed just 2 hours for all the procedures. Not that much, if you take into account, that 2 different offices with more than 40 km distance had to be visited.

During lunchtime I helped my father with his christmas mailings for his clients. Later I tried - yes tried - to shop a bid for the remaining presents. But all I found was not so satisfying, or far too expensive. I hate shopping, so I finished the city trip with a visit at the hairdresser.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Weekend Report
Thanks to Kai I who gave me his old but comfortable Audi 100 I startet on Friday afternoon to meet Steffi in Waldshut near the Swiss border. But because of the bad weather I was behind the schedule and we adapted our plan and met in Schaffhausen, where the famous Rhein falls are to be seen. Around 8 the only thing between me and Steffi was the Swiss border. Maybe I should have been a bit nervous, 'cause I had no drivers license and no car registration documents with me (I can't find my license and Kai can't find his car documents - what a team we are).Zurich by night (© 2002 by Johannes Beck) But you'll never been asked for that at the customs, truly believed. But today of all the days, the friendly Swiss customs official wanted to see my passport and my drivers license. I instantly said that I forgot the latter one which knocked him out for some seconds. But then he recovered and told me to park the car and wait. So I did. He made various phonecalls and I was just praying not to be returned, 'cause it would take me more than one hour to drive around this piece of Switzerland to Eberfingen where Steffi lives. Not to forget, that Steffi was still waiting at the Schaffhausen train station. But after some minutes the official came back, still not really sure what to do with me. I guess he confirmed with the German authorities that I at least possess a drivers license. Moreover I think he didn't want to send me back, but still it wasn't everything in an correct order, so he started small talk. Where I want to go, where I come from, what I will do in Switzerland and so on. I answered and finally he seemed to have a solution. It was a full scale inspection of the car. He asked me kindly if I would allow him to search in the car. What irony, as if I had a chance to resist.

Around 10 minutes later he seemed to be satisfied and gave me back my passport, not even advising me not to forget my papers next time. I drove off quickly, but not fast, as the speeding fines in Switzerland are heavier than you might imagine. Steffi was still waiting and we went to the so famous Rhein falls. Actually the Rhein falls were a "Reinfall" (learn German to understand the joke!!!), 'cause the fog destroyed any chance of seeing something. On the other hand it is quite impressive to listen to the daunting sound of flowing water. Maybe it was good that way and the falls look better in my imagination than a real picture can be.

No need to think about it further, Steffi and me drove home back to Germany, this time using an unofficial border crossing not to get checked again today. Saturday morning she gave brunch for some friends to celebrate her birthday. In the evening w went to Zurich in Switzerland to meet my cousin Lothar and visit the town. The christmas market was a desaster, some tiny huts stacked in a concourse, not very romantic. Anyway, the old town with its narrow alleys and multicultural flair has something. We went up to the university to get an aerial view over the town and the lake. Later in the evening we went back home. We crossed the border for 4 times for this small trip and they just one tome they wanted to see my passport. Things are normal again.

On Sunday I started early, half past six. It was raining and the temperature was around zero, but I made it to the Arlberg in Austria in less then two and a half hours, 'cause I could use the alarmingly empty autobahn. I met Geli and her friends at the parking ot of the ski-lift. They had just arrived some minutes ago, what a timing. I really enjoyed skiing for the time this season, I missed it. And now I'm looking eagerly forward to our skiing trip around New Years Day.

A small annotation to the picture. It's a building in Zurich decorated for Christmas. Not that nice, if you ask me, but it remembered me of the Korean style of overdecorating things.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Photos from Nuremberg and the Xmas prom
The weekend in Nuremberg was joyful. We visited an old prison in the centre of the old town, then the castle and the xmas market. Later we played some games at Marc's home. On Sunday morning Marc and me went to the Albrecht Dürer museum, later we had a delicious lunch cookedby Marc's father, and afternoon tea at Feli's home "in the mountains".

Go to my Pixum site to view the albums or click on the selected pics at the former entries. If anybody has some more digital photos of the prom, please give me the link by adding a comment.

Friday, December 6, 2002

Nuremberg
I'll visit Nuremberg this weekend with Marc and Felicitas, who will show me around a bit in their hometown. I'm especially looking forward to the Christmas market "Christkindlmarkt" in the centre of the old town. I've been there already last year. Have a nice weekend, too.

Update: Click on the pics below to see all photos from Nuremberg.

Nuremberg visit (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)Nuremberg visit (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)
Nuremberg visit (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)Nuremberg visit (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)

Sunday, December 1, 2002

X-mas prom
Saturday evening was this years christmas prom of the university. The first time really big and glamorous. Normally not the kind of event I like, but this time it brought some fun.

I made just a few pics, but there have been lots of photographers, so I'll give some links later when they appear somewhere.

Monday evening will be the next time we'll go ice-skating. We'll be at the ice rink between 7:30 and 10 pm. Just join us.

Update: Click on the pictures to see all photos I made.
2002 Xmas prom (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)2002 Xmas prom (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)2002 Xmas prom (© 2002 by Johannes Beck)