Mongolia

“Cows and sheep die first“, explained a Mongol as I was talking with him.  Thoughtfully I looked over the vast Mongolian steppe.  How many of the cows and sheep would survive the winter?  The past summer was very dry.  And yet the herd kept grazing on the dried out brittle rass blades. ….(scroll down for…

Back in China

My last days in Taiwan I spent with Tsushin whom I’ve met at WarmShowers and she surprised me with a loaf of oat/wheat sour dough bread and a pretzel from “Oma Ursula’s Bakery”…It was a delightful experience and I really enjoyed this vibrant and likeable woman. For the last 40 km, to the ferry in Keelung,…

Taiwan: what a wonderful country

I stayed in the cloister for more than two weeks, I helped in the kitchen cleaning and snipping veggies.  I was happy taking my after-lunch sleep, in the evenings I went to the village to my “Stamm-Tante-Emma-Laden” (small village store, but it sounds much nicer in German) and drank my well-earned bottle of beer. …(scroll…

Welcome to Taiwan

Where to assemble my bike?  I stood at the baggage claim section of the Tayouan airport and prayed that all my belongings would arrive.  And they did, piece by piece by piece.  Nothing was missing, nothing broken.  Everything went like a charm.  My phoney flight ticket out of Taiwan passed all controls in Sapporo.  I…

Hokkaido

Hokkaido After a sleepless night, I arrived in Hokkaido by ferry at 6 am.  I felt terrible and felt as if I would come down with a cold.  The first days on Hokkaido I spent with Akito and Mitsuo whom I had first met on the ferry to Sendai where they invited me to stay…

Japan: Ganbatte

“Sorry Mama, I have to go, I must find a place to sleep and it looks like rain“. I was sitting in front of a 7/11 store, packed up my laptop, drank the rest of my cold coffee and carried on.  I found a little camp site under a bridge right next to a park. …

Konishiwa Japan

A Difficult Beginning Without a lot of preparation for my trip to Japan, and with no idea where I should stay overnight, I arrived in Osaka. After having spent nine months in both Australia and New Zealand, I was used to communicating with locals, to reading and understanding everything, to joking and to having meaningful…