Cublog(A cuban adventure) Toggle plain Arrange

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Why Cuba?

It's a wacky little country

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My entire trip is a complete mess. To convey this mess, new entries from the trip will just sort of appear on top of older ones. Go nuts with the clicking and dragging to find new entries. Alternatively, subscribe to the RSS feed to get updates automatically.

0 comments 2/11/2005 10:44:00 am

Well, I'm back in Australia now, in the beautiful warm weather. It's really weird being back though, especially with the knowledge that I'll be back in Europe by the middle of the year. I'm almost reluctant to settle back in, knowing that I will have to pack my crap up again.

That hasn't stopped me though - I'm enjoying not having to live out of a suitcase now, catching public transport on autopilot, driving around, and talking to people who all speak a language I am proficient in (no, I still had problems with accent in London). I'm also glad to be back amongst my two months of continuous music that I've been collecting, I'm just catching up on all the music I love that I haven't had a chance to listen to.

I've taken some time to sort my life out before heading back to work, which is a whole bunch of paperwork that I basically need to do. Insurance claims, frequent flyer points, bills to pay etc. It's amazing how low maintenance my life is - I expected to be bogged down in a whole bunch of administrivia when I came back, but there is surprisingly little to do.

On the slightly nerdy side of things, I'll be working on making a summary page for this trip - with highlight pictures from the entire trip, as well as a little DVD/slideshow (I'm making full use of iLife). This blog will be archived off in a few weeks time, so leave any comments you want to while you can :).

Thanks to all the commenters and people back home who have been following my little adventure, it's been a good experience, and I now have a swag of stories to regail people with over a couple of cold beverages (as long as you're buying). To those people who I stayed and met up with during this trip, a big thanks to you to - it was a great comfort to meet with familiar faces as I crossed the globe on a solo trip.

If you're still interested in the continuing adventures of Hiren, you can find his main site at Penguins dot mooh dot org, check there for updates. Bye all!

0 comments 2/02/2005 06:01:00 pm

It's springtime for Hitler!

0 comments 2/01/2005 02:26:00 pm

Well, I'm back from Europe now, it was a little disappointing going from the nice crunchy snow of Berlin, to the, um, splodge of London. Berlin was a lot of fun, as was Zürich. I really can't be arsed doing a full update now. I'll use bullet points.

0 comments 1/23/2005 07:37:00 pm

Europe so far

The pics from my travels around Paris, Germany and Zürich are now up.

0 comments 1/22/2005 04:29:00 pm

I've been in Zürich now for the past 2 and a bit days, staying in a suburb called Höngg. It's a pretty cool place, both literally and er peopley. The weather had been quite rainy for the past few days, but this morning I've woken up to about half blue skies.

Walking around the city, it has a nice ambience to it, and it feels quite young in places. Last night we (Ben, two of his PhD counterparts - Simone and Martin, and myself) went out to a gig in a place called Bazillus. It was to see this group calling themselves the Fusion Elektro something or the other, and was meant to be a jazz/electro group. While the group had it's moments, the band didn't quite live up to expectations. The DJ they had amongst them was limited to doing really basic scratching (following a rhythm and that's it), and not really doing much else - he was a bit of a glorified drum machine.

On the upside, we stopped in for these pretty good kebabs at a place just near the gig. I think the kebab should really become the official foodstuff of the world, since it's pretty much available anywhere.

There's broadband (for each apartment!) here, so I should be able to upload some pictures from the past week when I get some time.

0 comments 1/18/2005 07:00:00 pm

I'm in Heidelberg at the moment. It's a very pretty town, but I can't help but be reminded of the various FPS games set in WWII Germany. Walking around Heidelberg castle, I keep expecting brutal looking germans wearing long grey coats to be talking about inconsequential things, only to shout "Mein Leiben" when a pesky American sprays them with his latest and greatest alien/supernatural armour peircing chain-gun.

Speaking of Americans, there are a lot of Americans here. Sitting in this internet cafe, which incidentally is a great deal cheaper than the last one that I visited, I have just witnessed the mass exodus of a bunch of Americans who were stopping here in the midst of a shopping trip. I think the large number of Americans has a lot to do with the American base which is, er, based in Heidelberg. Apart from that, I've seen a whole bunch of Japanese tourists (at least I'm pretty sure they're Japanese), and a few random Australians about the place. It feels sort of like being back in Australia..

My talk at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) went really well I think, and it looks quite hopeful that I will be able to start work on a PhD here sometime during this year. This means that I probably didn't need to do the stacks of sightseeing that I've done around Heidelberg, but I can feel happy to say now that I've climbed the 315 steps of Castle Wolfenstein - er Heidelberg, and seen the Bridge of the Monkey with Hemorroids. Willi had taken me around Heidelberg after I recovered from my train trip from Paris on Sunday (arriving at 5:30 am), and based on my memory of that excursion, I figured out how to see the sights without spending too much cash :). It's not too cold here today, but the clouds are quite grey, and it keeps threatening to rain.

I'd made an expedition earlier today to pick up a cable so that I could recharge my camera batteries. The one I picked up in New York officially sucks, as it loses it's charge within a few hours. I'll need to try and recover that battery somehow. Anyone reading this know how to fix a battery like that? It was a good experience walking around Heidelberg - the new part - looking for a place to find the cable.

I'm back on the travelling bandwagon again tomorrow, so I'll be stopping in to Tübingen (which is a completely distinct town to Bingen, be careful when asking for a train ticket "to Tübingen") to see Frau Jo, and that evening, I will be arriving in Zurich to see Herr Schulz.

0 comments 1/16/2005 01:28:00 am

Well, here I am again, in a strange country, using strange keyboards to type out these blog entries. Unfortunately, I don't even have the luxury of knowing tiny pieces of the language to get me by. A fear of asking for train/bus tickets has led me to just walk everywhere in Paris, which is very doable.

You should be able to do a whirlwind tour of Paris in one day, which is all in fact I could afford to do. The Louvre was pretty affordable though, and the beer is cheap enough at the hostel I'm staying at. I went down to see a Salvadore Dali exhibition today, it was pretty crap, and totally not worth the money, but it's solidifying my interest in Alice in Wonderland now.

In my grand tradition of spotting celebrities, I wasn't too far from the Dali exhibition, when the mqn who wanted to be the most powerful mqn in the universe walked past me. And I'm not talking about Skeletor! John Kerry, the original waffle walked right past me. I was pretty stunned, and I exchanged glances and shrugs with another random tourist, and wordlessly confirmed (I wasn't going to even try) it was the man himself.

Off to Heidelberg tonight. I'm a bit worried about getting in to town at 5:30 am, but I'll try swindling the hotel into letting me into my room early, as it is abso-fucking-lutely cold here.