Friday, February 28, 2003

Happy Birthday Teresa,...

...whereever you are right now. Have a nice rest holiday and see you soon. Your brother Jolle!

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Hot tempered Koreans?
According to this article in the Korea Times Koreans must be the most quick and hot tempered people on earth, beating the Italians by lengths. Is it true?

The author means Koreans are fast in everything. They adopt new technology faster than the Japanese,"...two out of every three Koreans, including the youth, have cellular phones." They are constructing that fast, that they "have seen this manifest in collapsed buildings and bridges". Taking your meals is "more like an Olympic event.In his opinion"a leisurely Korean lunch is rarer than a Nazi humanitarian." And he gives more examples: "Foreigners savor ice cream by licking it with their tongue. But Koreans often suffer headaches and numbness as they down an ice cream in one go. [...] Foreigners hail taxis from the curb of the road, while Koreans will march right to the middle of the road. [...] Koreans will leave their cinema seats as soon as the final climax is over."

Now, is this true? My answer is yes and no. Some of the given examples are totally to the point from my experience. When you're still pondering which mobile phone contract to choose, a Korean is already choosing the perfect toy to attach on his mobile, mostly the more difficult decision. And yes, there is no doubt, bridges and buildings have been collapsed several times. And yes, by the time you're checking out how to hold your chopsticks, Koreans will start eating from your meal as theirs is already finished. And yes, I personally know the fastest ice cream eater on earth, also known as the chocolate destroyer. And yes, in the evenings one or two lanes of the road are packed with people hailing taxis. And also yes, Koreans seldomly watch the credits of a movie or request encores in concerts. And there is more. The words "balli balli" (quick quick) are to be heard everywhere. When going out to have a drink with friends the most common phrase is "one shot, one shot" (to down the drink).

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever seen people run in the mountains? And I don't mean just hills, I mean real mountain. And I don't mean walking fast but running. And they don't have the common serpentine footpaths you find in the western world, there the trails are going straight to the top. They don't savour the nature by just walking in the mountains. They run up, cry aloud from the top and run down.

But there are also cases where they are unimaginably slow. In their spare time for example it may take hours to decide where to go and what to do, and then to actually do it. But anyway, I think we can agree that Koreans are a fast people, even I wouldn't go that far to say they are hot tempered as Italians. These are two different pair of shoes.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I got my package from, the leading seller of East German products. It's quite cheap and I ordered some things which remind me of my childhood, like Club Cola, Soljanka, Nudossi, Pfeffi. As a present they included two of the famous plastic egg holders.

Yesterday in Spitzingsee I didn't ski, but I rented a snowboard, cause the slopes were very wide and good prepared and Marc had his snowboard as well. What a nice day, sunny and just a few people on the slopes.

And not to forget, a special thank you to Laura for calling me this evening. It's nice to hear that my Mexicans are all well.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Seldom Quote
Again I got an amazon coupon some days ago, so I looked up my list of books I wanted to buy for some time and started some searches. One of these searches lead me to the following book: "North Korea: Through the Looking Glass" by Kongdan Oh and Ralph C. Hassig, which you can read online at the Brookings Institution Press Homepage. I jumped into chapter 2 about the North Korean "Juche" ideology system and a quote from the French philospher Alain catched my attention.

"Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you have only one idea"

This quote sums it up perfectly well. I continued reading some pages, jumped into chapter 5 and the photo section and then my eyes became tired from the bad quality of this online reading tool and I returned back to amazon and ordered a hardcopy, together with the following items:

Monday, February 24, 2003

The answer is no, ...
... it didn't work out that well. Our "selfmade ice" was good, but not worth the work. So we just skated an hour in the sun and left. Tomorrow I'll go skiing one day to Spitzingsee with Feli and Marc.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Ski, raclette & ice
Wednesday I went skiing to Lenggries, the home of the two famous German skiiers Katja Seitzinger and Hilde Gerg. It's a nice resort with long slopes, but the ski-lifts aren't the newest and fastest. Anyway, the weather was great and it was a perfect one-day-holiday. I don't have the photos yet Chris made with his camera, but I may show them later.

What else was on my spare time schedule this week? Friday Kai hosted a raclette-party with Maxie, Chris and me. And today we went ice-skating on the frozen lake. There were quite a lot of people but the surface is really uneven by now. So we returned in the evening to remove that spot of bother. We widened an already open hole from a surface marker buoy and distributed lake water on the surface with a bucket and a cooler. Tomorrow we'll return and check the result.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

No Comment
Christina has sent me a lot of "Bush-related news" the last weeks, so I guess it's time to show a nice one here.
&copy Clay Bennet @ The Christian Science Monitor

It's a Clay Bennett's-comic. Get more in the commentary section of the The Christian Science Monitor.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Car Crash
Yesterday I had a small accident with an Audi. After having lunch with Kai, Georg and me stood at a crossing and said good-bye. Cars were waiting in the side road to turn into the main road. Because they were waiting I got on my bike and started crossing the side road (I had the right of way anyway). But just in that moment the Audi-driver seems to have seen has chance coming, too. So - crash - and little Joe was overturned to the side. Well, neither the bike or me was damaged, except some minor bruises, so I denied entering into negotiations with the disoriented driver and let him go.

OK, next time I'll look twice to prevent further damage to my person. As for my bike, the surest way to avoid damage is to leave it home, so I gave it a break today and went to work with inline-skates.

Friday, February 7, 2003

Bowling for Columbine
I went to the movies yesterday for the first time this year. Michael Moore's award winning documentary lured me finally there.

"Why do 11,000 people die in America each year at the hands of gun violence? The talking heads yelling from every TV camera blame everything from Satan to video games. But are we that much different from many other countries? What sets us apart? How have we become both the master and victim of such enormous amounts of violence? This is not a film about gun control. It is a film about the fearful heart and soul of the United States, and the 280 million Americans lucky enough to have the right to a constitutionally protected Uzi" (quoted from

In the movie he shows security camera tapes from Columbine High School, interviews Americans of all kinds, including one who made napalm bombs at home, one who was said to be involved in the Oklahoma city bombings etc.. He travels to Canada and shows the stunning differences between thee two countries. Canada has 7 million weapons in 10 million homes but just a 160 firearm homicides compared to the more than 11,000 in the U.S.. He opens a bank account to be handed out a shotgun in this very same bank. This movie is strange and revealing together. Watch it! And check out the websites below! (German Homepage)

Thursday, February 6, 2003

Cambodia - the long way of becoming a democracy

"Thailand's embassy in Phnom Penh was set on fire by a mob protesting over a report that a Thai actress, Suwanna Konying, said that Angkor Wat, Cambodia's most famous building, belonged to the Thais. Thailand evacuated hundreds of its nationals from the city." (The Economist, 1 Feb 2003)

This is Cambodia. I felt very safe there, but one should not forget, that the kingdom and democracy has been formed as late as 1993 and that it took five more years for a major surrender of the last Khmer Rouge forces. Before Cambodia has been caught in a severe civil war for more than 20 years (since 1970). in 1975 the Khmer Rouge took power and evacuated all cities, dispaced millions of people and killed them or let them die of hunger. Later they were involved in the Vietnam war.

To understand the upper news one has to know that the khmer kingdom has once been the pridest and most powerful nation in the region, stretching across most of what is today Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Angkor Wat has been the centre of this kingdom and is the most holy place for a Cambodian today, because it's not just a national symbol to them (it's even in the flag of cambodia), it's an identity. After years and years of war this is what they can proudly show to the world: "Hey, look this terrific temples. Cambodia is not war, it is craftsmenship, history and religion." And Angkor Wat is US Dollars, it's there most important tourist attraction, an industry needed in this poor country, living mainly from agriculture, toxic waste import (thanks to Taiwan) and the fast growing sex industry.

One should be careful to undermine their pride, Cambodians know how to fight. It's still a long way to democracy.

Saturday, February 1, 2003

Yesterday I went to Georg in the evening to play some video games. I rented a Playstation 2 and a Colin McRae-rallye-game. We got better and better after 2 bottles of wone and finished in 3rd place. But that's not what I wanted to say, the best thing was the way home. It had snowed the evening. And I was on inline-skates to carry home the big aluminium suitcase with the Playstation (I didn't wanted to walk and biking with a suitcase is also no fun). Yes, it was quite slippery but it worked much better than expected. With a little bigger and softer wheels it could be a new winter trend sport.