<!–:de–>Martins Trennungsgeschichte<!–:–><!–:en–>Martin´s seperation story<!–:–>

Written by Martin on March 25th, 2012. Posted in Allgemein


Martin: after haven”t slept all-night I take the plane from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Since I have a stop over of 8 hours before I continue to Tokyo, I decide to go downtown to catch a glimpse of the city. The first thing that attracts my attention are rules that are seemingly placed everywhere. There are stickers with what you mustn”t do, how much it costs you if you still do it all over the place, it”s even indicated where you are supposed to stand when you enter or leave the train.

p1140612The city itself is very modern, clean and one sees right away that it”s very rich. One highlight is definitely the Marina Bay Hotel/Casino with it”s ship-like sky park on top of it and room prices starting from € 350 per night. On the rooftop is a terrace with a swimming pool from which you have a beautiful view all over the city… and which is unfortunately open only for guests. In order that Average Joe get”s the chance to enjoy the view as well, there”s for a steep € 20 a section open for the public.

p1140626It pays off though, the view is amazing, as on one side you see Singapore”s skyline and the formula 1 circuit and on the other the buzz of activity of the port. I”ve never seen so many ships on one spot… In late afternoon I get so tired that I can”t keep my eyes open anymore and decide to head back to the airport, where there”s luckily a Diner”s Lounge with hot shower and a massage chair that becomes my bed until my flight to Tokyo.

Despite being tired as hell I don”t really manage to sleep on the Singapore Airlines flight. Not only because, I have to admit, beautiful stewardesses, but mainly because there”s a huge movie selection and free unlimited alcoholic beverages even in economy class. That Singapore Airlines deserves it”s five star award I realize after one of the stewardesses spills my wine accidentally all over me. Even though I assure her that she shouldn”t worry, she insists on washing my T-Shirt ON the plane. Shortly before arrival she hands me over my clean and dry T-Shirt (no idea how she did it) and a $ 70 voucher for the inconvenience. Strongly impressed I arrive in Tokyo.


p1140656Immigration is quick and shortly after arrival I take the train to Tokyo, where I meet Ksenia and Davide, friends from Vienna who work there. To really meet them turns out to be a real challenge because what I didn”t know, that the main train station is somewhat a city within a city, with several levels belowground and perceived hundreds of exits. It takes me more than 45 minutes to find my way out to the surface. Ksenia takes me through the financial district, which, as most financial districts consists of skyscrapers and we take a walk through the emperor”s park with some traditional-style buildings. Time runs incredibly fast and after a quick lunch with Davide, which we interestingly have to buy at a machine outside of the restaurant to get it served inside, I rush back to the airport to catch my flight to Houston. Even though short, it had been great to meet the two and to get a glimpse of the city. I would have loved to stay longer and explore the country whose culture is in many ways so differ to ours. Next time 🙂

From Tokyo to Houston I fly with American Airlines who really seem to like my face… or my beard. In any way besides the normal security checks they pick me out twice for “random” checks and check my return ticket from Colombia before they allow me to board the plane.

The issue with the return ticket is the following: some countries demand an ongoing or return travel proof to let one into the country and in case you don”t have it, the country might refuse you from entering and the airline you came with has to take you wherever you came from. This regulation is in our case a bit tricky, as we continue by public transportation to other countries. We solved the challenge by buying a 100% refundable return ticket which we cancel once we are in the country.

After a flight with Singapore Airlines a flight with AA is like a slap in our face. The plane is from the 80ies and the stewardesses are shortly before retirement and hardly fit through the aisles… and alcoholic beverages are sold for ridiculously steep prices. Arrived in Houston I”m “randomly” picked out again, this time also to x-ray my luggage, before I finally sit on my last flight to Bogota. After 4 flights, hardly any sleep and super exhausted I arrive in – as many people think – soooo dangerous Bogota.


p1140707Immigration is again fast and as it”s 11 at night and being a bit intimidated by the negative media coverage of this country I decide to take a cab to my hostel (Hostal Sue) in La Candelaria, the old city centre. The moment I enter the hostal I feel great, the staff is incredibly friendly, the room is nice and after a hot shower and a beer in their bar, I flop dead tired into bed. Next day I take a walk through the old city, with it”s beautifully colored buildings, which to my surprise are not only colonial style but also Art Nouveau. The atmosphere is very nice, there are many bars, restaurant, hostels and university faculty buildings. Not the slightest feeling of insecurity, on the contrary, the people are very friendly and some greet as I pass by. In the afternoon I sign up for my language course for the oncoming week and am invited to join an excursion with some other students to a bar in the Usaquen neighborhood the very same day.

p1140666If I didn”t know that Usaquen is a part of Bogota I would think I am in a little village in the outskirts. Usaquen has a nice main square, some bars around it and a laid back atmosphere. Also my fellow students from the school are very nice and so I”m already looking forward to start the course. As my room is already taken for the following night I move to the sister hostel of mine where I meet 2 Colombian girls who take me out with a friend of them to another bar area called zona T. It”s way different to Usaquen, within a couple of blocks there”s one bar and club next to the other, it”s pretty crowded and here as well there”s a great atmosphere.

p1140767As my language school is in another district I decide to move to Hostal Nina, a couple of blocks from my school. It”s quite new and being in a residential area, very quiet.. which I need as after 2 days language course I realize that 6 hours a day is quite a lot 🙂 Here I meet Jessica,Florentine and Tom, with whom I spent some very nice nights exploring the night life and the city. To my joy also Xavi, a friend from Vienna by chance happens to have meeting in Bogota and him being a big fan of FC Barcelona, we watch the Derby against Madrid in a packed bar with a great atmosphere and explore another great bar area of Bogota, the zona rosa.

p1140843Time flies and after more than 3 months Eva finally manages to visit me again. Being separated for such a long time is a challenge for our relationship, the more I”m happy, that that not even such a distance can harm us. No feeling of distance, on the contrary, the felt nearness is much mor intense, each moment spent together is like a present filled with gratefulness and appreciation. Besides La Candelaria we visit the Botero museum, which I had already visited with the language school.

p1140850Even though I”m normally not a fan of museums, Botero somehow got me. I love his unique comic-like style and I”m wondering where he took his inspiration. At least for one painting it”s gotta be me, as one of his pencil drawings of a, for his style, pretty realistic portrait has some similarities with my person 🙂

p1140815One day before Sebas arrives we meet Xavi and his colleague Jan and visit the salt cathedral of Zipaquira, an underground church built inside a salt mine. From the entrance you follow 12 crosses which are lightened up with different colors, which symbolize the Via Dolorosa, until you reach the main cathedral about 160m below the surface. The play with colors is impressive and even though a bit kitschy, it”s a great idea to use the old tunnels for tourism. By the way, who likes it, can also marry here…

...she really worked hard for her money :-)The two weeks in Bogota had been simply great, by staying longer I could dive in a bit into the city, which really impressed me a lot. Surround by mountains and untouched nature, incredibly kind people, who, on top of this speak a beautiful Spanish, it”s an ideal place to learn or warm up the language. Regarding security issues, I believe it”s like in any other big city. Same as you wouldn”t necessarily walk at night through a suburb of Paris, you should also avoid certain districts here and leave your Rolex at home. At least throughout the whole two weeks I haven”t had any moment or situation where I felt unsafe.What definitely sweetened my stay was of course Eva”s visit… even though she once again dragged me to the barber 🙂

After a bit more than two weeks Sebas will join me again, taking Eugenie, his dear friend from Paris, with him, as she will tag along for three weeks to explore Colombia with us. How it is to meet again after such a long time and travel in a threesome and why whole Colombia left a deep impression on us that is another story… Stay tuned 🙂