Decision making 2.0

Making an important decision. How do you do that? Yesterday I actually googled Ted talks about decision making and about doing dangerous things. It didn’t gave me more information than I already had and it didn’t help. I wrote down all the facts, all the risks, all possibilities and all reasons but it didn’t help me at all. This is a decision that will change my life or might become something I regret not doing when I’m older. Mostly I can use my well developed analyzing and reasoning skills but now I can’t use any of that.

When it feels like all the pieces of a puzzle fall into place, life brings you at a place where everything is perfectly organized, it’s just one step to jump and fly blind, you can freeze. Maybe it’s like bungee jumping. You know it’s safe, good organized and you can trust the bungee cord. Everything is there, you just have to make the jump. And no one will push you. You have to make the jump yourself but you can’t go forward or backwards.

I’m at the edge of a bridge and everything is ready. It’s just my choice if I take this step and jump or I don’t jump and it could become something that I could regret when I’m old. My heart beats faster, my mind is busy from morning to evening and I’m excited. Why?

I’m excited because I can go sailing as a crewmember of the 12 meter yacht Taya that is built to go around Cape Horn. The skipper Alan (right on the picture) wants to fulfill his old boys dream and has the right experience. He is prepared and the boat is more than prepared. This is confirmed by my new friend Jim Cottier, a man who went around Cape Horn three times. Alan and I go along good. He reminds me of my father and I am the same age as his daughter. Last monday I’ve met his lovely wife Catherine who told him to take a crewmember for safety reasons. If anything happens to Alan there’s someone to help him out.

DSCF9213Left Jim Cottier and right Alan Cresswell

Jumping on this boat would mean that I will be able to sail the boat alone after maybe two weeks, I would be able to write more, play more guitar, read more and make more photographs. I could write even more amazing stories about amazing people in this world. Not just Alan but also his wife. I could even make more people listen to what I have to say. That we should make the world a better place.

With this trip I could do what I planned to do before I left. Sailing on a boat to south America was something I wanted to do. And now the possibility is there, but I’m frozen. Why?

On this 45 to 60 days journey I could get seasick all the time, we will get storms and big waves, there can be ice bergs, the boat can role over if we get caught by a wave and worst case scenario we could lose our mast if that happens.  This is something like climbing the mount Everest. It’s not fun, it’s hard work, it’s scary, it’s crazy and there is no good reason for doing this.

I’ve told Alan yesterday that I’m not going.

I’ve never crossed an ocean. I’ve just been sailing a couple of times in the Netherlands, a long time ago. It would be crazy if I go. I just have one experience offshore in a storm on a big boat to England. I’m unexperienced. And still I think about it…

I’ve seen a Ted talk of solo sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur. She sailed around the world two times and now decided to focus on the future of our global economy. If someone with such a great passion for sailing stopped, why would I start?

There is no name for this feeling and there is no way to explain why. It is just there.

DSCF9215

New Zealand is like paradise.
But I can’t stay forever.

My goal was to travel around the world, learn and share.
So that’s what I do. I want to go, learn more, see more and…….. move towards home :).

Alan…

I’m scared, nervous, excited and more scared. But I think we are going together?

 

Alle beetjes helpen

 

DSCF6324.JPGDe foto naast mijn bed.
Deze foto heb ik naast mijn bed. Een man die op straat leeft. Het herinnert mij eraan dat ik gelukkig mag zijn met een bed, een dak boven mijn hoofd en elke dag iets te eten. Mijn droom is om de wereld een beetje beter en vooral eerlijker te maken. Dat doe ik door veel te leren over wat goed is en mijn best te doen om daar naar te leven. Alle beetjes helpen is mij ooit geleerd en daar geloof ik nog steeds in.

De uitspraak van Mahatma Gandhi
Het is niet simpel om de wereld beter te maken. Er is eigenlijk maar één ding waarin ik geloof en dat ik als uitgangspunt voor mezelf probeer te nemen. Dat is de uitspraak van Mahatma Gandhi:

“The world has enough for everyones need,

but not everyones greed.”

 

Mijn 30 dagen goed, gezond en groen challenge
Twee weken geleden ben ik begonnen met een 30 dagen uitdaging. Ik wilde 30 dagen proberen om alles wat ik koop biologisch, slavenvrij, organic, fair-trade, natuurlijk, gezond en free range te kopen. Het eerste wat ik merkte is dat het ontzettend duur is. Ik wist dat het duur was maar ik ben toch weer verbaasd dat het écht heel duur is! Mijn wekelijkse salaris gaat snel op aan basis boodschappen. Soms is een product niet eens beschikbaar en dan zijn er ook nog eens heel veel verschillende keurmerken. Namen van bedrijven en producten moet je al helemaal niet vertrouwen. Het gekste wat ik ben tegen gekomen vorige week was een hoveniersbedrijf Eco Lawn dat nep gras verkoopt! Op mijn vraag hoe dat eco kan zijn werd niet geantwoord.

Ik wacht op het moment dat er een app wordt ontwikkeld die me verteld hoe een bedrijf met z’n afval en schoonmaak omgaat. Daaraan kan je ongeveer zien of ze mens en natuurvriendelijk zijn. Het is namelijk heel eenvoudig om schoonmaakmiddelen te gebruiken waar geen giftige stoffen in zitten en er word gezegd dat reguliere schoonmaakmiddelen slecht voor het milieu zijn en euhm….. what?! kankerverwekkend?!. Ik heb deze informatie nog niet helemaal gefactcheckt maar geloof zeker dat het slecht is voor de gezondheid van degene die ermee moet schoonmaken.

Waar ik ook achtergekomen ben is dat de producten die het meest bekend zijn waarschijnlijk de meeste verantwoordelijk hebben voor slavernij, giftige stoffen op plantages of in producten en ontbossing. Ook hierbij heb ik geen feiten opgezocht maar ga ik nu maar even voor de ‘eenvoudige’ manier en volg ik de keurmerken die er nu zijn voor fairtrade, organic en adviseer ik voor schoonmaak baking soda en citroensap.

Maar de kosten zijn hoog en de verleiding is groot. Gisteren liep ik met Jen door de The Warehouse en dan ben ik ook bijna weer geneigd even een paar goedkope sokken te kopen. En toch doe ik het niet. Ik geloof niet dat het mogelijk is om voor 9 dollar 3 paar sokken te maken op een mens en natuurvriendelijke manier. Binnenkort maar eens online op zoek naar organic katoenen ondergoed en sokken en naar de tweedehandswinkel om daar een zwart t-shirtje te kopen voor mijn werk. Dan steun ik ook nog eens een goed doel.

Als ik met mijn collega’s praat hebben ze meestal totaal geen idee van deze zaken. Een 21 jarige collega wist niet eens wat slaven zijn en de Engelse chef koopt volgens mij zonder na te denken de goedkoopste producten. Op sigarettenpakjes staan verschrikkelijke afbeeldingen en teksten waarop je gewaarschuwd wordt voor de gevolgen van de slechte stoffen. Misschien moeten we dat ook doen met andere producten. Een kindslaaf op de verpakking van de meest bekende chocolade en koffie producten en vergif tekens, zieke arbeiders en waarschuwing voor kanker op voedsel, kleding en schoonmaakmiddelen. Het is confronterend maar volgens mij is het de waarheid en de goede weg is niet altijd de eenvoudige weg.

Mijn 30 dagen uitdaging op een rijtje: 

  • No waste… niet zomaar spullen of eten weggooien als het nog ‘werkt’
  • Koop tweedehands i.p.v. nieuw zodat er niks nieuws geproduceerd wordt
  • Koop groen, gif-vrij, eerlijk, (zo mogelijk) lokaal, slavenvrij
  • Gezond eten, sporten en goed slapen
  • Boeken lezen en verhalen schrijven waar de (zoektocht naar de) waarheid centraal staat
  • Minstens één goede daad doen per dag
  • Informeer jezelf: Bekijk van een paar merken die je normaal gesproken koopt of ze in betrouwbare nieuwsberichten staan i.v.m. slavernij of giftige stoffen

Het is nog niet elke dag gelukt maar ik ben een eind op weg.

Tot slot:

Je bent zelf verantwoordelijk voor de dingen (goed/slecht) die je in je lichaam stopt. Je kiest zelf naar wie of wat je je geld brengt (goed/slecht). Geef je geld, tijd & talent aan goed. De fluisterende waarheid is vaak moeilijk te horen maar als je waarheid zoekt zal je hem vinden. Je (on)bewuste keuzes zijn eenvoudig terug te vinden op je online bankafschrift en boodschappen bonnetje. Alle beetjes helpen, echt!

P.s.: Sorry for the Dutch writing. It’s saturday morning and I’m a bit lazy.

Auckland (Maori: Tāmaki-makau-rau)

 

 

This afternoon I went up the highest vulcano of Aucklands North Shore. The view is amazing (day or night) and you can drive all the way to the top. It’s my fourth time in Auckland. The 31st of August we arrived here and took a bus the 1st of september towards Kawakawa. In Kawakawa I stay with my new friend Jen, her Maori husband Warren and their almost 5 years old son Jaykob. They will go to Holland for Sinterklaas and Christmas so I can do some house-sitting during that time and we are practicing Ducth with Jaykob. Since I’m there I bought a car, found a job that I love, bought running shoes and started with workouts. I have such an amazing time!

The second time I was in Auckland was the night of the rugby game we saw from the Allblacks against South Africa. It was a goosebumps moment when they did the haka and they got the highest score ever in their own country! Most of our family and friends know that Kevin and I had more differences then we thought and decided to go our own way. After the rugby game Kevin left with his pushbike (the New zealand word for bicycle) and went off to a farm.

The third time I went here to see some Kyokushin Karate fights. Jen is coach of Justin and he had to fight last saturday. Unfortunatly he lost but it was very interesting to see. It makes you feel like you want to fight and at the same time you bite your teeth because it looks so painfull. At the highest level they actually fight without any protection on their hand and legs. To get used to the pain they sometimes even let someone hit them with a baseball bat. No pain, no gain, they say right? The evening before I had an unforgettable dinner at restaurant Daruma Sushi Go Around and after this my favorite icecream at Ben & Jerry’s! I had a great weekend that I topped off with a visit at Tony and Guy to treat myself with highlights (and a head massage and a glass of wine, oh and another glass of wine…. I love this barber Patrick Willem Knol!).

Now I’m back to meet some new friends who really make me feel like home and are welcoming me into their house. I keep on being amazed how many nice and good people there are around the world. With all the crazy, bad things that are happening in the world it can make you feel sad. But we can’t let fear get in to the way of all the good things. Keep believing in the good and you will see that good is all around us… everywhere.

A special thanks to Jen, Warren and Jaykob, the Alfresco’s team, family Heihei and my barber Patrick 🙂

Gili Meno 

It is dark and I’m lying in my hammock. In the background I hear the music from Gili T. It sounds like Mallorca. The day we arrived at Gili T we found out that we booked the bungalow for September in stead of August. Luckily the hotel gave us a full refund, even though we had booked without cancelation possibility. After this we decided to go to Gili Meno and it was the best decision ever. I would go crazy if we would have stayed in the bungalow next to all the parties.

We had a busy week. When we arrived we first had to make sure we had a place to sleep. The manager of the Eco Hostel gave us the possibility to hang our hammock under one of the tree houses. The perfect way to use the hammocks and our new muscito net that we bought for a very good price at the Ticket to the Moon store in Kuta Bali. We extended our stay from 4 to 8 nights because it was the perfect place to relaxe and have fun. We met some great new friends with whom we played a funny drinking game named Picolo that was hosted by the American guy Moe and the German girl Anke made a treasure hunt around the island for us. I still have to laugh when I think back at the moment that we were all dancing around like crazy people dressed up as King, Queen, woonded Knight or servant. Truly amazing people at the Eco Hostel!

At Gili Meno Kevin and I took an old fashioned bamboo tattoo. Kevin secretly wanted to have a tattoo for a long time and finally made the decision to just do it! The time is now. 🙂 I was very proud of him because I know it was a big step towards doing what he wants, eventhough some people might not like it. The arrow tattoo that he has on his left arm helps him to find his own way, gives direction and helps focussing on his goals. The two crossing arrows stand for friendship.
My butterfly tattoo was something that I wanted since last year. I’ve always felt a connection to eagles and butterflies. Maybe because my grandmother also loved butterflies and they had a butterfly bush (vlinderstruik klinkt toch mooier) in their garden. My father had a CD with a song ‘Butterfly Kissis’. There’s one sentence in the song: ‘With all the things that I’ve done wrong, I must have done something right to deserve a hug every morning and buterfly kissis at night.” The butterfly on my arm reminds my parents and myself that we still deserve a hug in the morning and butterfly kissis at night.

On Gili Meno we received the work and travel visa for New Zealand and we booked our tickets for the end of August. As I wrote before… we would be happy to stay somewhere a little longer and work. Always being a ‘tourist’ and traveler is not easy. The last days we went diving, snorkeling and saw turtles and a lot of beautifull fish. We enjoyed the last days of sun and started to look foreward to some cold weather.

Papa ik ben Azië-moe

Inmiddels 83 dagen geleden zijn we vertrokken uit Nederland. Dat is bijna 3 maanden. Zo lang ben ik nog nooit weg geweest en volgens mij Kevin ook niet. We streven een ideaal na. Iets wat veel mensen graag hadden willen doen of zouden willen gaan doen maar vaak het geld of lef er niet voor hebben. Een droom om niet meer vast te zitten in het leven zoals het hoort en tot een besef te komen waar het echt om gaat. Hoe staat het er nu voor?

Gisteren stuurde ik een whatsapp bericht naar mijn vader. “Papa ik ben Azië-moe”, stond er in. Die zin speelde vanochtend weer door mijn gedachten. Waarom kan ik niet gewoon lekker genieten van Azië met haar prachtige natuur en zonneschijn?

Zoals de meeste mensen wellicht weten reizen Kevin en ik low budget. Dat wil zeggen we proberen ons aan een budget te houden van ongeveer 25 euro per dag. Daar doen we alles van: vervoer, eten, drinken, een slaapplaats en het kopen van tandpasta en shampoo.

De eerste reden is dat we zo lang mogelijk willen genieten van het reizen. De meeste reizigers kijken erg op tegen de dag dat je moet zeggen: ‘Mijn geld is op, ik moet terug.’

De tweede reden is vooral van mij. Ik voel me zo ontzettend gelukkig dat ik deze kans heb gekregen dat ik me erg verantwoordelijk voel om het geld goed te gebruiken. Mijn eerste doel is om een boek te schrijven over de verhalen die we meemaken en daarmee een boodschap voor de wereld achter te laten. En mijn tweede doel is om een goed doel te vinden waar ik mijn ‘rest budget’ aan kan doneren. Het geld dat ik over houd – omdat ik heb gewerkt of ergens gratis kon slapen of eten – geef ik weg. Aan wat of wie? Dat weet ik nog niet. Ideeën zijn van harte welkom.

Om binnen het budget te blijven kopen we ons eten zo goedkoop mogelijk. Daarvoor moeten we soms verder lopen om buiten de toeristische gebieden te komen maar dat vinden we geen probleem. Het probleem is alleen dat we overal, maar vooral in Indonesië, merken dat de mensen ons een ‘witte prijs’ geven. Als een lokale prijs normaal gesproken 10.000 roepie is dan vragen ze aan blanke mensen vaak het dubbele.

Meestal gaat daaraan vooraf dat ze vragen waar je vandaan komt en hoe lang je hier bent. Dan kunnen ze een goede inschatting maken hoeveel geld ze aan je kunnen vragen. Inmiddels proberen we hier creatief mee om te gaan. We stellen de vraag terug en hebben veel verschillende reacties geprobeerd. We komen van de planeet aarde, we komen uit onze moeder, we wonen nu hier, we komen van Mars, we komen uit Utopia (deze hebben we van de Chief Happiness Officer van Ticket To The Moon). En dan hebben we ook een paar creatieve antwoorden op de vraag van de tientallen taxi chauffeurs of straatverkopers die van alle kanten op ons af komen: ‘Waar ga je naartoe?’.  We gaan naar de wc, naar de hel (ga je mee?), naar de maan, naar de haaien. Of stellen ook deze vraag meestal terug. Waar ga jij naartoe?

Zodra we weten wat een normale prijs is en iemand vraagt meer, dan lopen we direct door naar de volgende. Tot we iemand tegen komen die ons een eerlijke prijs geeft. Zo was er gisteren een man die ons een heerlijke nasi goreng maakte voor een eerlijke prijs 12.000 roepie. Toen hij aan het koken was kwam zijn vrouw er aan en vonden we de prijs van een flesje ice-tea ineens toch wat duurder worden, ze vroeg er 5000 roepie voor. Uiteindelijk mochten we met de vrouw afrekenen, die ineens 15.000 rekende voor de nasi goreng die haar man voor 12.000 roepie aan ons had verkocht. En zo gaat het elke dag, overal. Zodra je denkt een eerlijk persoon te hebben gevonden en je blij bent met iemand die zijn prijs niet baseert op je huidskleur, komt er al snel weer iemand voorbij die geld ruikt en je meer wil laten betalen.

Vandaag heeft Kevin gezocht naar een eerlijke prijs om een boot ticket te kopen naar de Gili eilanden. Bij de rederijen zelf vroegen ze 1.500.000 per persoon enkele reis. En uiteindelijk na 5 uur te hebben rondgereden met de scooter hebben we voor 2 personen een retour ticket gekocht voor 1.000.400 roepie. Vermoeiend om zo ontzettend veel moeite te moeten steken in het vinden van iemand die je een ‘eerlijke’ prijs wil geven.

Bij het inchecken eergisteren ging het ook behoorlijk mis. We hadden iets geboekt via booking.com en zagen bij aankomst dat de foto’s totaal niet overeen kwamen met de werkelijkheid. De bedden waren vies, het zag eruit als een bouwval, ze hadden lekkage en de wc’s waren zo vies dat je nog liever een luier om zou doen. We hebben ons geld pas terug gekregen nadat de politie erbij gekomen was omdat ik gedreigd had de balie medewerker zijn telefoon door de wc te spoelen.

Het laatste probleem dat we hebben is dat in de niet toeristische gebieden iedereen met ons op de foto wil. Ze zien witte mensen als speciaal en willen een foto maken die ze op Instagram kunnen delen. Op de vraag waarom ze een foto willen maken krijg ik nooit een goed argument dus krijgen ze ook geen foto. Het enige wat ik blijf zeggen is dat witte mensen niet anders zijn. We zijn hetzelfde, één grote familie. Ik ben niet speciaal. Het gevoel hun idee te ondersteunen dat witte mensen speciaal zijn gaat mij te ver en ik wordt er treurig van dat witte mensen in Azië zo ontzettend positief én negatief gediscrimineerd worden. Op dit moment zitten we binnen terwijl het een prachtige dag is. We willen rust. Even niet de confrontatie aangaan en we genieten nu van heerlijk Balinees eten dat onze Airbnb-gastvrouw ons net gebracht heeft.

Papa ik ben Azië-moe. Iedereen hier wil me te veel laten betalen, overal vallen ze me lastig omdat ze me iets willen verkopen en ze vinden me speciaal omdat ik wit ben.

Hopelijk wordt mijn visumaanvraag voor Nieuw-Zeeland snel goedgekeurd.

Singapore

Elegant, clean, organized, western, hyper modern, futuristic, comfortable, expensive (beer), Asian Las Vegas, light shows, live music, salsa dancing, electric steps, runners, perfect parks and botanic gardens, old fort Canning and winning 200 dollar to spend in a mall!

A couple of days before her 52nd birthday we arrived in Singapore. The most futuristic city in the world. The combination of clean, modern designed buildings and gardens and the electric steps or boards that people like to use for transportation makes you feel like you are living in the future. Especially when you compare it to the other Asian countries.

We walked a big part of the city and used the metro, which was also very safe, clean and affordable. The first place we visited was Fort Canning Park. An old historical fort in a beautiful park. Singapore provides a lot of signs in the park to explain you everything about the fort and all the trees and plants which you can find next to the path.

After this we walked through the Istana park to the Orchard road. The most important shopping street of Singapore. Here we found so many shopping malls that we almost started to buy things that we didn’t needed. In the Lucky mall we visited our new friend Eric. He works at one for the Taka Juwelerys and after he cleaned Janneke’s bracelet he took us out for a really good coffee and a delicious lunch.

When we walked back on the Orchard road towards the big wheel, Singapore Flyer, we passed by Swissotel the Stamford and took the elevator to the 70 floor to enjoy an amazing view over the city. When we saw the prices for a drink we decided not to stay but the staff was still very kind to us and we could make some nice pictures. Probably they knew since we walked in to the restaurant that we wouldn’t stay.

There was a light show around 20:00 h. at the Marina bay. Every evening they practiced for their national birthday. This year they celebrate their 52 years of independence. It made the marina Bay, where we also stayed in the Port hostel, which vent more special.

We took the bridge to the Gardens by the bay. The famous park with the supertree grove. Everything here is so perfect and clean, it gives you the feeling that you are part of a movie about a very wealthy kingdom as you can see in the movie Going to America. And then you can add some futuristic lights and people on electric steps.

When you walk under the supertrees you feel like you are in the movie Avatar. Really amazing. I think you should just go there to experience this.

We found out that the flight tickets were cheaper on Tuesday and we could stay at Jasmine’s place, an old friend of Kevin. She works in Singapore since a couple of months and was so kind to give us her sleeping couch. We went with her and her friends to the botanic garden to have lunch and on Sunday we planned a barbecue on the rooftop of her fiends place. Unfortunately it began to rain that evening but we still had a great dinner. Thanks again!

Tips:

  • All tap water is drinkable! You don’t have to buy bottled water.
  • The metro is affordable, about 1,60 to 1,90 Singapore dollar to get everywhere.
  • Buy food and beer at the fair price supermarket, a difference of 2 dollar or 13 dollar for a beer if you drink in a bar.
  • Go to the Esplanade outdoor theater, get food from the food court nearby and take your own drinks from the supermarket. Sit at the waterside and enjoy your dinner with an amazing view.
  • Second nice affordable food court is satay by the bay. Here you can also take your food and sit somewhere in the garden in stead of sitting in the bright lights of the food court itself. If you take a blanket you can make it a picknick.

Chicken church – Bukit Rhema Gereja Ayam

 

Finally! The big Day of the chickenchurch was there. Kevin read already a few years ago an article about a mysterious church with the shape of a chicken in the middle of the jungle of Java – Indonesia. The church was started to build in 1988. With almost no money and lot’t of help of local people a man with a vision could realize his project of a church for every kind of believs. In this place, muslims, buddists, christians prayed next to each other. Until the year 2000 the building was even used as a therapie centrum for everybody who needed help. Drug addicts came here as well as people with mental problems to get new energy and hope on this mystical place. After this the church stood empty in the middle of the jungle for years.

Story that I read 2 years ago

Normally Kevin was not interested in churches and praying, but this information fascinated him so much, he couldn’t get it out of his head. Maybe it was the idea of united believing in good instead of separating in religions, maybe it was the idea that everybody who needed it could get new energy, maybe just the idea of the building in the middle of nowhere with the funny chicken shape or simply just the fact that all of this so unrealistic and seems to be so unreachable as it’s at the other side of the world. But this unique combinations were just worth it to be seen.

 

We started from our hostel in Yogyakarta on a scooter at 6 am for the 1,5 h ride on a busy street with a crazy mix of trucks, cars, scooters and even lot’s of cyclers. Most of this people on the road went to the famous temple Budurbudur and probably never heard about the real attraction in the area. The fresh morning breeze let us forget all the noise and dirty smog around us and we were just happy and excited for our highlight. After we passed by the temple there was no traffic anymore and the roads got worse. When we arrived in a small town next to the chicken church we could already feel the peaceful atmosphere. It felt like no tourist ever passed by here even if the big famous temple is just a few kilometer away.

Suddenly we stood in front of a guy who wanted us to leave the scooter on a payed parking spot in the middle of the jungle. He explained us that we have to park the scooter here for our own safety as the further road is too dangerous to drive for us. In the moment a local just passed by on the road with his scooter. To dangerous? Haha! This is totally not what we expected. We wanted to see the chicken church because it’s NOT and tourist attraction and we DON’t have to pay for every stupid thing. After a short discussion we turned around and drove away. After 500 m we took a small road in the jungle and parked the scooter next to a small house. When we stepped off, we realized that we could already see the head of the chicken church behind the jungle. We arrived!

DSCF7663

After a 5 minutes jungle trek we stood in front of this incredible building. It was exactly as impressive as I expected but also totally renovated. A investor bought it and wants to make an tourist attraction out of this. Therefore they even added some balconys on the tail of the chicken for a café. When we wanted to enter the inside of the church DSCF7589somebody asked for entrance tickets. What? Come on! That’s really not the meaning behind this building! We realized that we just skipped the ticket counter with our jungle trek and made up a story that we forgot the tickets in the scooter. They finally believed us and we could enter the chicken. After we passes by the entrance later and saw the tourist discrimination we were even happier not to support this thing with paying the entrance fee. Tourist should really pay double the price than locals. In Europe this would be unbelievable.

The architecture with the light flooded cross on the roof and the round windows on the sides was incredible. Especially if you make yourself clear that you stand in a building with the shape of a chicken in the jungle of Java, build by local people with natural building material. In the basement where some separated and hidden praying rooms. A further highlight was going up to the top in the head of the chicken. Everywhere in the head we could see paintings on the wall.

They must be from the time when it was still used as a therapy centrum. Finally we entered the top of the head and enjoyed the incredible few. What a feeling! My dream came true and even if the church starts to become a tourist attraction it was still a mysterious place. I also did what I never expected to do here. I went down in one of the praying rooms and just let my thought go in this positive vibe. Before we headed back we just stood in front of the chicken for a couple of minutes and stared on it. Just wow!

Back at the scooter we saw a old guy sitting in front of his house. His didn’t weared a shirt and we could see his bones trough the skin. He just sit on the ground and smoked a big self made cigarette. He almost didn’t had any teeth in his mouth and gave us a big smile when he realized us. We decided to give him some money as a parking fee for our scooter.

Honestly, after I saw the chicken church I could not imagine a better place to get some positive energy and believing in the good for every kind of problems.

Melaka – UNESCO World Heritage Site

This beginning is such a surprise….. we hitchhiked 😉 from Broga to Seremban. After finishing the terrace for Liang he dropped us off at Semenyih. This was first a little bit confusing because we were not sure which way would be more logical but finally, with some help, we found a nice spot. The police officer who took us (no we didn’t do anything wrong) said it’s very cheap and much easier to take the bus to Melaka. He insisted on helping us to get to the bus and drove us to the bus terminal in Seremban. There he also helped us to buy a cheap ticket for the local bus. The tickets were 7 MYR each. After this we said thank you and goodbye to the kind police officer. We still had 15 minutes and Kevin saw a Dunkin Donuts… I think you can guess what happened.

In Melaka we stepped out of the bus at the Dutch square :). This is a square with lots of red buldings and a famous Christ Church. The first thing we did here is making a picture with a windmill. This felt like home, just without the wooden shoes or cheese. We learned that this beautifull historical city is so special because it has been captured by the Portugese, Dutch and Brittisch. The Portugese captured Melaka in 1511 and built a fort called A Famosa. When the Dutch East India Company (VOC) had overtaken Melaka (1641-1795), they expanded the city fort and built a great amount of infrastucture. So that’s why they build this beautifull windmill at the riverside 😉

We had to find a wifi spot to tell our new friend Alanneh that we arrived. He wrote us in the morning to meet him at the Jonker Walk so we bought a Cendol – which is a traditional ice cream with red beans and green jelly – and used the wifi to contact our host. Apparently on friday, saterday and sunday it’s not possible to drive through the street where the jonker walk is, because it’s totally full with the night market so we had to walk to Casa del Rio.

Alanneh drove us to his photostudio where we would stay the rest of the week. He invited us to paint his studio and in exchange of this we had a place to sleep and food. He showed us so many different local food places and took us for the best cendol and coconut shake in town. The funny thing about this was that we never knew exactly what we would get. He mostly just ordered anything and we always liked it. We met up with his friends in the eveing for drinks and in this way could really experience the life of a Malay in Melaka. At one point he asked us if we wanted to do a photoshoot with him. He had a concept to build the story of western couples and the oriental cultural wedding. Of course we were exited to do this and had two days of modeling work. Kevin is thinking about a career change now ;).

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At wednesday we visited the cinema to see the movie Dinkirk. We both couldn’t remember the last time we went to a cinema but because we didn’t take our beamer or tv it was really nice to see something on a big screen again. In Melaka they have a promotion that you just pay 8 RM for the cinema on wednesday.

We walked at the side of the Melaka river and biked through the old part of the city with tipical old Malay houses. In the weekend we visited the Jonker Walk and at the last tuesday Alanneh and his wife took us to a local market where we got a burger for just 2,50 rm! Lots of delicious food for a very good price.