throughthelookingglass
about
To be honest there is nothing much about me worth knowing. I live in an island, enjoys being a photographer at times and dance like no one else business. Thats all. I can't think what to write for now so it just stays like this. Welcome to the little life of mine and lets try not to get utterly bored, shall we?

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We're all mad here


hmmm where did i left off?
Sunday, March 1, 2015 @ 3/01/2015 06:52:00 AM

yep so i started Prague on a high note but ended on a not so well note because once my night blindness and food coma set in, coupled with the cold and fatigue (once again, I only had 3 hours of poor sleep on a nightbus) I was ready to crack. 

Returning back to the Prague station, K and I crashed on the Burger King and low and behold! there was a public shower :D it was like finding gold. You pay a small sum for some soap and towel. There's only one cubicle in the centre of the toilets between females and males and I don't want to think about how many tourists have used it before. But it was actually pretty decent.

Showering at the public toilet completes my full hobo experience in Prague and by night, in the stroke of midnight, we began our travel to Vienna.


18/2
Prague>> Vienna

445am. Once again, we were dropped in the MIDDLE OF FUCKING NOWHERE. I swear this time round, it was like a stadium. You will think that by now I am an expert in this but each time it is a new city and a new place but not a new weather (0 degrees is not for the weak) and not only am I disoriented mentally, I am also disoriented physically. I kept reminding myself that it was going to get better, Prague was worst but the walk towards the train station was still a killer. Lugging my already bulging backpack, this time round I thought I was kind of swag because I was walking around in my new Harry Potter sweatpants with nothing underneath (fashionista hobo) freezing my ankles and knees off. The only good thing was that I had prior expectations and new how uncomfortable it was going to be.

515am. The first train came and we were on board. Unlike Prague, the day started earlier in Vienna and people actually go to work so we boarded the train and crashed. Yes, we slept inside the train from the terminal we boarded into up till its last stop.

"Eh where are we?"
"I dont know"
"Should we head back?"
"ok but its so warm in here"
"where are we going anyway?"
"i dont know"
"ok...(goes back to sleep)"

The bus conductor came and woke us up. I had drool on my face. We took the opposite train to our original destination before heading to McDonalds in its main Central Station. K continued his essay while I figured out stuff to do in Vienna. It is the land of Mozart, Beethoven and basically musicians that i cannot really feel anything about. That is why Wien was not enjoyable for me. Wien is what Austrians call Vienna.



Jesus, Pope and their Monarchies. No offense but I really couldn't appreciate any of it. Plus I daresay I have at least some knowledge of the Bible can you imagine for K, who has no idea about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah etc...how on earth is he going to understand what the artist was painting?! The above one is already the more popular one -Adam and Eve. Ok but K was telling me how the Bible and Quran are essentially telling the same stories except with characters of different names so he kept saying he wasn't entirely clueless. I am convinced by his argument.


We ate chocolate cake in the end to get our sugar level up. Faced discrimination by the waiters so not very fun. 

Walking down the park. We ditched the stuffy museum for some fresh air.



Mozart and me.


I really regretted not going to the Modern Museum (mumok) instead because honestly, at least I can connect to the modernists. Middle Age and Renaissance were painful and I was so sleepy the whole time, the Kunhistorisches Musuem recommended by Tripadvisor just felt disappointing. Goes to show you can't really trust recommendations sometimes. It's really an individual experience and taste when it comes to art appreciation.

Spotted a popular market and walked around there in the afternoon. Things are pretty cheap in Wien but we had nothing to buy. 
For me, Wien only truly comes alive at night. I don't have photos but as the day turned dark and the buildings lit up, it was picture perfect. The parks would have been enjoyable in spring but yeah no. We did not go to the Sigmund Freud park either but honestly, I was not very interested either.

In general, Wien was a snoozefest unless you like classical music there isn't much to do. ("Its pronounced as Baa--arck" "you mean like DocheBach?" yeah we were punning on their names & thats how classy we are). I blame Prague for spoiling Wien for me because while the buildings are nice too, its architecture worthy as well but Prague is just better. HAHAHA Wien felt like the black and white version of Prague minus the filtered lens, everything was bleak and boring.

10pm. The location of our next nightbus did not exist. We spend a great deal of time walking around everywhere searching for the bus stop but to no avail. We spoke and asked so many people but nobody knew what/where it was going to be. Panic. Grief. We called the carrier, they were as helpful as jellyfishes.

1035pm. Ten minutes to our bus arrival. We still had no idea where to go or what to do. We have a vague sense of the area (we managed to zone in on the area after communicating with the booking agent's heavily accented English) but we were still uncertain. There was no exact location. To say that the bus will stop "around the Castle" is like saying the bus will stop somewhere around Somerset 313 and Ion. Yeah, that was how long it was, that bloody castle.

11pm. We were suppose to board on the bus 15 mins ago. K and I gave up and I was seriously contemplating to buy another ticket to Munich ourselves. We simply dumped our bags on the cross junctions of the the streets. Completely ignoring how dangerous it was to be two very obvious Asian tourists in Austria, we silently walked all over the place, wrecking our brains for the best solution, considering splitting up, silently walking away to another direction randomly etc... We were so pissed to the point that we were making sarcastic jokes about it to cheer ourselves up.

" I swear after the bus comes, we are going to look back at this moment and recall how funny this is"

"Yeah right...assuming this bus even exist!"

1115pm.

"Sorry sir, your bus is late and its on its way now from Siberia...30mins 30mins."

"At where?"

"The road between the castle and Hotel David sir"

That wasn't very helpful either. It was like telling us between Wisma and 313 so it narrowed down just the slightest but it was better than nothing. At least we know there is a bus and we weren't scammed.

1145pm. 30 mins later. There was still no sign of our bus. He smoked. I smoked. Out in the cold, we could only try our luck in the midpoint of the two locations and count our lucky stars.

1210am. A bus appeared and stopped 20m away from us. We tried to ask if it was going to Germany. They didn't understand and tried to shooed us away.

"Show them the motherfucking ticket!" K screamed at me, his fingers were frozen.

"Right!"

5mins later they beckoned us in. It was warm.

1212am. The bus was packed with Middle Easterns. I felt like I narrowly escaped a bullet only to walk into a pit of snakes. I turned to the lady seatednext to me, "is this bus going to Germany? Munich munich munich?" She shrugged. This was not reassuring. No one understood English here.

"Passport!" a conductor came to us and asked for our passports. None of the nightbus required this document. K passed it over to him.

1222am.

I,to K " What the fuck is he doing with our passports and why is he not giving it back to us?"

" I dont know...im a bit scared too."

"go and ask him"

"i dont dare"

"fine I'll go"

So I marched up to the guy and asked him for it back. He looked at me clearly not understanding a word. I sat next to him and gestured. He nodded. He took out slips of paper and began copying out our particulars. I sat and watch. He asked me to return to my seat. I sat and watch. He continued writing our information on the passport down on a piece of paper. I sat and watch. He pointed to my seat. I left uneasily.

"WTF he's copying our particulars...We're going to die he's going to ship us off to Siberia and chop off our limbs" I did not actually said the last bit because part of me was really afraid it was true.

1230am. He walked towards K and gave him our passports. He didn't look at me once.

"I'm not going to sleep in this motherfucking bus. I feel so unsafe."

"Yeah me either."

1245am. We were both sound asleep. K even snored.

19/2

Munich, Germany.

630am. Munich ZOB. Nothing was open as usual. I was finally getting used to being dumped like a sack of sad potatoes on random spots I didn't even complain about anything anymore but marched on with a sense of odd determination and unusual grace. Pick up bag, wrap self with scarf, walk and find shelter. walk and feel heat. It was like a chant inside my head.

7am. Sat outside McDonalds because they weren't open. I slept really well surprisingly I think the fatigue and fear was a good combination for sleep. The only problem was that there weren't enough of it. Surviving with less than 6 hours of sleep for the past few days, I felt like it was Arts Camp all over again.

If you ignore my hair, I really like my #ootd here outside Marienplatz. Plus the coffee was great and a life savior. 

We only had a day in Munich and we both knew what we wanted to do. Visit Dachau Concentration Camp. One of the good thing about travelling with K is that we have similar interests when it comes to going to certain tourist locations (taste in art and music quite similar but K insists that he can appreciate Wien and he dislikes modern art for being in-your-face I disregard this because I think he's only pretending c'mon he likes Adriana Grande and comes up with puns on great musicians names), being budget (dont ask dont tell) and travelling fast. 

Paying $19 Euro for a proper tour guide, we made our way to Dachau on a beautiful sunny day. Celebrating Chinese New Year at an old concentration camp, I really felt like I learnt a lot within the 4 hours long walk. Our tour guide was an eccentric historian whom obviously preferred the company of the dead over the living. He gave himself an impression of a strict old school boy master except that nobody really treated him like one. Unnecessarily pedantic at times, he kept reminding us not to feel happy during the entire tour as if it was an actual crime. 

I mean, I have huge respect for the place but at the same time, it was pretty obvious that our group did not have anyone who was going to behave like a dick so it was very off-putting when he kept emphasizing on it. I really got along well with a Portuguese girl as well :D who was in our group and was frightened by the tour guide.  
I do not have a photo of the famous entrance gate with the quote "arbeit macht frei".  The guide was visibly angry when he talked about how people had a sick sense of humor to steal the gate which has been missing since last year. I agree. I think he reminds me a bit of myself when I get irrationally angry at people who watched Harry Potter and act like they've read the book.


An artwork made by the past victims. There is a lot of meaning behind it which I am so blown away by.

This is a sculpture by Nandor Glid. Once again, the interpretation may vary but I think its obvious that they are emancipated bodies hanging on the barb wires. 


"No Smoking" But how can you when you have surrendered your personal belongings?









inside the gas chambers.





I think Munich represented my kind of travel in a way that is to learn stuff and feel passionately about the world around us. Two months ago, I visited the Genocide Museum of the Pol Pot regime in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Dachau is nothing like it. Walking under the clear blue sky, I wonder how many prisoners stood where I did and looked up at the same stretch of sky, knowing that one day they will be remembered like this. No wait. That is not even realistic. Let me correct myself. I wonder how many prisoners stood at the same exact spot as I did, under the clear blue sky and thought, will I live tomorrow? Will I survive? 

I think they just went ahead and did it. You don't ask how do you survive. You don't ask what are you living for. You just do. I think that's an essential trait of being human. 

5pm. We got awesome doughnuts after we returned back to MariePlatz and walked around to the other famous sites in Munich. It was a pretty chill place and there were quite a bit to walk around as well. No pictures because my hand was getting pretty cold again and by now, the fatigue is real. My hair was gross. It's like the last few days of camp when you know the end is near but the fun doesn't stops and your body is resisting but the will is strong. 

10pm. We rest early and got cheap food. K simply fell asleep for a whole hour in McDonalds while I read more about Dachau Concentration Camp and WWII HAHAHA I dont understand why. Brought beer for dirt cheap amount of money and drank I knew I wanted to sleep well on the bus. 

20/2

Munich>>Berlin>>Bremen. 9am. We reached Bremen on a rainy morning. It was cold and rainy and we hid ourselves in a cozy cafe inside the central station for two hours. I had a huge plate of salad and brought a toothbrush. I have a nagging suspicion that I left it in the Prague public toilet when I was showering. K calculated the amount he spent in total for the trip. It was around $475 euro. Not bad considering that I too, spent around approximately that amount inclusive of flights, accommodation (or lack of) and transport.  

With our last final day in Bremen, we took it upon ourselves to embrace the rain and with one final push of will power, walk to all its popular sites within the Old Town.  






at this point, I was covering as much of my body as possible. you see the beanie that was because my hair smelt. 
  


our last Bratwurst


I must say we did a pretty job and held up well. None of us showed any sign of fatigue. We discovered the rustic charm of Bremen, I brought the nicest postcards from there and we ended the day by people watching under a slight drizzle ( I ate my first rice pudding and cus cus and love the former) before realizing we are going to fall sick and move to another stall for the last chance of eating bratwurst. K finally found one that was Halal, fulfilled his Germany destiny (they were all pork in Berlin and Munich) and we talked about the Palestine and Israel conflict.

8pm. We slowly made our way to the airport station by foot because we wanted to soak in as much of our remaining time of the trip. Stupid idea but totally worth it. This was when the pain is real (no more fatigue) and we managed to covered nearly all of Bremen's tourist attractions through this method.

10pm. Bremen airport. The best place for a hobo by far. The chairs were comfortable and plentiful. Re packed our bags, drank water. Ate Rittersport, watch the latest three episodes of Revenge on K's Macbook Air while attracting a small crowd.

11pm. I went to sleep while K continued watching Revenge. Totally had no sense of image anymore. I was so overwhelmed and made myself comfortable with whatever I have. The guards were patrolling and laughing at us. I took off my socks and made it my home.

12am. Airport closed. Slightly threatened by a group of men that were lurking around inside the airport as well but they proved to be harmless and I was too tired to be fully conscious of their presences which is actually quite a bad thing.

21/2

Bremen Airport>>Gothenburg.

430am. Woke up because the airport is now opened and people were checking in and there was quite a commotion.

445am. K and I moved upstairs and resumed sleeping. I slept in a fetal position.

8am. Breakfast.

9am. Flew back to Gothenburg which I actually missed and felt like my real home.

12pm. Back in my room and scrubbing off the dirt over my entire body. Showered for a good 20mins.

730pm. Woke up and realized I was not in the mood to celebrate CNY with a bunch of NUS guys which I had only met once. Drank leftover wine instead and made dumplings -the only source of food I had since I finished all perishable goods before the trip.

That's all for now!


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