Falls ihr es noch nicht wissen sollted -

For those who don't know yet: We both finished our studies. Mascha got a ingeneering degree and Matteo his PhD in chemistry. But, as we will have work enough in the next years, we decided to postpone (as long as our savings last) this beginning. The FIAT Uno project was not practicable. We will try by bicycle.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Again in Europe!

Welcome to Europe
Here we are, again in Europe.

We left Sri Lanka more than one month ago, and it seams already two years that we left Asia. It was a long discussion where to go. You know, Sri Lanka is an island and from there you can only fly. We discussed a lot if and where to continue our journey in Asia, maybe China, Vietnam and so on. But Mascha did not want to miss her annual family meeting near Berlin in middle june, so we decided to fly to Europe and chose to fly to Amsterdam, because we didn't want to finish our journey flying directly to Munich or Berlin, we wanted to cycle also a bit in Europe, to taste the difference. Moreover Matteo has a couple of friends and cousins living in Benelux, and it was the right occasion to visit them. Sο, we booked the cheapest fly to Amsterdam (370 Euro each, bicycle included...not bad!) and we came back to the western civilization.

Our flight had a stop of 7 hours in Bruxell. In Asia we ("Wait, wait, shouldn't it be Matteo?!?") were used to eat really a lot, because every 50 meters there was someone who was selling delicious food at really cheap prices (at least for an european tourist). Moreover, after a couple of months a cycling traveller usually develops a super-speed-metabolism, and needs to eat much and often ("Stop again, shouldn't it be Matteo at least this time?!?"). The problem was that two unenployed travellers could not substain such a metabolism in an European airport, and defenitvely not in that of Bruxell. That was our first contact with Europe, and we had a price shock and also a "fashion" shock: everyone seemed to be perfectly dressed and to have a special taste for expensive fashion. For the first time we mentioned that we were wearing the same cloths since 6 months. Anyway,  Matteo tried to buy something at Starbuks, the only thing that was not a posh lounge restaurant in the airport. They asked him 7.80€ for a sandwich with some cheese and ham. He refused to pay such a fucking price for such a shit, and he started his personal hunger strike against the Bruxells airport. At least Italy is still immune from horrible chains like Starbucks. They do not dare to open a shop in Italy and ask 2€ for a bad espresso or 4€ for a disgusting "capucino" that they are so stupid that they do not know that capuCCino is written with two fucking "c"! If they try to open in Italy we should set the shop on fire! We already missed our chance when they opened McDonald or Burger King, and now they are espanding. We should not repeat the mistake again!
           - End of the rush-

cle transport in Amsterdam
Arrived at the airport in Amsterdam our friend Guido came to pick-up us with some tulips for Mascha and a bier for Matteo. From there we started our tour visiting Matteo's relatives and friends around Benelux. We had a nice time with all of them! Thank you Guido, Stefano, Valentina, Federico and Teresa!

The first real "carbonara" after 7 months
Matteo forced his friend Stefano into a barber shop.
Would you recognize him???
A crazy house we almost rented

In Brussels we spent some hours wandering around the city, visiting the European Parliament and marvelling at the art nouveau houses. The craziest one of them was for rent and we almost decided to move to Burssels just to live in this tiny slice.

Matteo, his cousin Federico and their gran-gran-father
Holland- three kind of tracks: horses, bicycles and pedestrians
After a night out in Amsterdam we returned to Leiden (near Amsterdam where Guido lived) at 7:00 in the morning. Unfortunately this was the  Sunday we actually planed to leave for  Berlin. Well  said - done we  left very late afternoon. The next Sunday, we where already in Berlin. Not bad for 800 km (and one day-off because of rain)! The Neatherlands are a cyclist's paradise with a lot of cycletracks and maps on every corner. Sometimes, it was too much even for us. For exemple when we rode through a national park. There were three kind of tracks: one for pedestrians, on for cyclists and one for horses. Incredible!!!
On the boarder to Germany we stopped at the place of Mascha's mothers friend Lore. Lore greeted us with a first class menu, consisting of several courses. That's exactly what a cyclist needs. Because of constant rain the next morning we decided to stay one day longer. For sure we made a new record in longtime-chatting, starting from 18:00-2:00 the first evening, continuing from 9:00 in the morning till1:00 at night, the second day and from 9:00-11:30 the third day. It was very cool to discuss problems of our present society and to listen to crazy stories about the time when Mascha's mom was in her mid-twennies. 

Somewhere in Westfalia...
Germany is surprisingly green!
Germany greeted us with nice weather and very nice landscape. We anjoyed cycling though fields, along some rivers and even a short peace of the middle-land-cannel. Camping outside and wild was much easier than in the Neatherlands, where we hardly found a spot that was not surrounded by fence or water. In Germany the access to the fields is free, so we could camp somewhere under the trees or next to the road. On the left you can see our tent in the middle of camomile flowers. We had a tea of them before going to bed and smelled their odour all night - very relaxing. We were quite confused by the long days ever since we landed in Amsterdam. Sunlight seems to last forever and it was still bright at 22:30. For us coming from Sri Lanka where it is dark at 18:30 this was unusual. So we often forgot to eat or did not think about going to bed, because it was still too light for us. The long days also bring a lot of beautiful sunsets, which we enjoyed in the fields. 
Because of earlier experiences, Mascha was a bit conserned about the fast traffic in Germany and about the drivers who are not willing to break for cyclists. Well, this might be the case in deet, but after some months in Iran, India and Sri Lanka German traffic was quiet and smooth for us. The streets seemed to be empty after the masses of people in Asia, even Berlin seemed to have lost it's inhabitants.   

Summer in North Germany
On our trip we saw how beautiful the nature can be here as well. With a lot of green and a lot of different flowers. Red corn poppy, blue cornflower, white camomila, yellow goldenrod and so on.
We saw some opjects of virtue as well. Such as this former call booth, which serves now as a free library or book store, where everybody can put books inside or take some. We got a play by Brecht. 
Or this house on the right. The owner seems to have a strong need for security.  

free books
Architecture at the border to Brandenburg

Mascha's experiments on Matteo's head go on
After a visit of the capital and a guided tour to the new embassies (thank you Steffi!) we finally reached Fritzfelede, in Brandenburg, where we stayed for the family gathering for 5 days, basically eating and drinking the whole time, and recovering much of the kg lost in the past 7 months. Matteo could finally eat some of the familie's especiallities. Hans had brough glasses of the special danish fish, which has to be tasted together with Aquavit as well as "Soleier". "Soleier" or salted eggs are a very old german recepy, where eggs are boiled and then stored at least 2 weeks with a slightly cracked shell in brine (???, basically, salted water boiled with onion skin and other spices). Then they have to be eaten in a very special manner (at least according to Hans), with pepper, tabasco, oil, vinegar and mustard.
Neverthelass Matteo won the second price in the table tennis contest.
Lovely breackfast on "the foil" -the master piece of our equipment

And now, after a stop in Munich, we are on the way to Padova! Trough the Alps, into the summer!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Small stories in Sri Lanka

Winding road
After telling you roughly the five reasons why we like Sri Lanka so much, her you can read an handfull of small stories that happened there!

The street on the right looked already interesting when we took the picture. But only shortly afterwards something strange happened: a man dressed all in blue walked out of his garden and onto the street, laid down in the middle of if and blocked the traffic. It seemed to have been some kind of family dispute. We were bewildered, but the local car drivers didn’t care much. They didn’t even bother to honk, but just drove around him.

Most southern point of the island
Singhalese dog
We couldn’t figure out why, but Sri Lanka is definitively home to the ugliest dogs on the planet. Maybe it is some kind of skin disease, maybe it is the result of too many flees, maybe of a long tradition of inbreeding on the island…
As you can see on the picture they haven’t got much fur left and the skin is crusty. There seems to be too much skin anyway forming a lot of wrinkles as if the dogs were dressed in a costume too big form them. For the first time during this journey Mascha didn’t have to resist the impulse to pat the dogs.

Encounter with an elephant
We also observed an immense interest of the male Singhalese (but Indian as well) population in various kinds of porns. We checked-in in the least shabby and least dubious hostel in Kalmunai (altogether a very strange place), just to find out that the garden in front of our room was populated with male-only guests, drinking arrak (local spirit) and watching a soft porn on a small television. Harder versions can be seen in almost every internet café, if a man is sitting next to you. During one lunch brake Matteo even got invited to watch a porn movie on the owner’s mobile phone.

Maybe he mixed something up,
it's the by-boat for the caught fish
Look at the difference of size!
On this journey Matteo discovered not only his love for donkeys and Iranian carpets, but also for fish. Eating a lot of it wasn’t enough for him. He had various encounters with local fishermen where he tried to learn as much as possible about their techniques. The first approach to the local fishery was in the old city of Galle, when Matteo met Udaya and his crew. Unfortunately this year the monsoon came earlier than usual on the west coast and the strong wind did not allow them to leave the harbor. They usually fish tunas 25 km out the coast at night and it would have been too dangerous for them. They then spend the hot afternoons talking about fishing and politics and drinking tee with the other fishermen. After leaving Galle, Matteo met some fishermen in Mirissa, who fish during the day. One morning he finally managed to went out with one of their catamarans, while Mascha opted to go wale-watching (with success – indeen very impressive!). Matteo’s journey was really interesting at the beginning, but not comfortable after a certain point, because of heavy seasickness. They didn’t even catch any fish, although Matteo kept on “feeding the fish” almost constantly…He had a second chance a couple of days later close to Passekudah’s coral reef. This time the technique was much different: the fishermen walked in the shallow waters and search for small fishes, when they see them, they throw the net upon them. The result after two hours: 100 caught fish. We were explained that each one can be sold for 3 Rupees to a “businessman”. A businessman is someone with a wooden box on the back of his cycle, who cycles through villages and sells the fish for 5 Rupees. Considering that 1 Euro equals 156 Rupees at the moment it is quite a hard way of earning money. In this occasion Matteo also invented a technique to save “useless” fish and so throw them back to the sea after a forced reanimation.

Riding in the rain
We had another experience connected to the sea, when we first went for a swim and were directly caught by an undertow, which drag us out into the open waters. A wired feeling if you swim with all your force just to stay in one place. Fortunately Mascha has been told how to behave in a case like this during her stay in Australia: don’t panic and try to swim back to the beach indirectly. After our first swim we were more carefully, but we still had a lot of fun playing with the great waves.

Our stay in Sri Lanka is almost over, but we have the feeling that we have to come back here soon. We didn’t visit the far north at all and we’ve seen not enough of the hill country – just to name two reasons. But we should also visit and check one special project: Shiparama smart crafts (www.shiparamacrafts.com). A place where we stopped one evening, because we thought it was a guesthouse. It was not, instead it was an incredible art project with extremely nice people and the most stylish interior (high class design mixed with recycling elements and traditional elements) we’ve seen in Sri Lanka. The big opening party was 4 days after we’ve been there, but still they found time to chat with us. The whole project is new, innovative and highly interesting. Providing rooms for artists to work and do research and also possibilities for people and families to stay and spent time experimenting with arts.  

The crowded top of Adam'a Peak
The hill country's beauties
More than half the Singhalese are Buddhists, but there’s a huge Hindu population as well and also many Christians and Muslims. To all those faiths one of Sri Lanka’s highest mountain (2243m) is a sacred pilgrim’s site. Buddhists call it Sri Padra and believe the footprint on the top is left from Buddha himself, Hindus think it was Shiva who left his mark. Christians and Muslims call it Adam’s Reak, because they believe this was where Adam first set his foot on earth after being thrown out of paradise. Our visit to Adam’s Peak had not religious background, but was rather a spontaneous decision; not do go right and back to Colombo, but left doing more than 80km and 2000 meters altitude in addition. Placed in the idyllic and chilled highlands of the island and
 surrounded by tea plantations Adam’s Peak turned out to be a quite nice place to visit and we did not regret our decision. We started to hike up there at 2 o’clock in the night as we were told to make it to the top until sunrise. We should have known that we are faster 
After 1,5 hours of waiting: sunrise
than the average, and ended up waiting 1,5 hours on the top for the sun to rise at 05:55. You think we are crazy? No, THEY are crazy! They built steps all the way up to the top. Over 5000 steps! On the way up we saw thousands of pilgrims going in both directions. We saw scenes of real desperation and true pain within the people.. A lot of them preferred to sleep in the cold night (with only flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts) right on the steps rather than to continue. What is even stranger is that many locals arrived in the evening and started to climb the mountain right away (to avoid paying for a hotel?). In this manner they are at the peak in the middle of the night just to see that it’s f*** cold and to return to the busses without having seen anything of the landscape. Amazing what crazy things religion makes some people do.       
If you are looking for morning silence and loneliness during a hike, your definitely shouldn’t go on a full moon day and specially not at Vessak, a big Buddhist feast and official end of the pilgrim’s time.

The fly-killer
Religiosity can also contaminate some westerners like our neighbor in the guesthouse in Kandy, who spent one month there to focus only on meditation (Kandy is famous for that). One night Matteo was sitting until late on the balcony, when he saw the other guy’s door opening, a fist coming out and opening and then returning to the room. This scene was repeated a couple of times before Matteo realized that the guy was catching mosquitoes in his room and releasing them into the garden, where they were eventually killed by Matteo. That man obviously understood the Buddhist teachings and reincarnation too literally and acted definitely stricter than most of the Singhalese population!
Matteo in contrary wasn’t very spiritually influenced as you can see on this picture taken a few days before, just some seconds after he had killed 6 flies (not mosquitoes, flies!!!) with only ONE stroke of his hand. (He believes it should be a sort of world record or so...)   

A minute before our first step back home
Our climb to Adam’s Peak, as described before, was the physical and metaphysical climax of our trip. As we set our food on the first step downwards, we also did our first step towards home. Yes, we have good news for those who are waiting for us back home: After some discussions Mascha could convince Matteo not to book a flight to Africa or Tonga-Island, but back to Europe. To soften the end of our cycle adventure we will fly to Amsterdam from where we plan to make the last bit of our journey by bike. Europe, we are back on the 20th of may, by chance exactly 6 months after we left Padua (on the 20th of novermber). 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finally: Sri Lanka

some of the wonderful trees
Dear Readers, friends and family,

our post on Sri Lanka is rather delayed and we apologies for that. But this country is simply too fantastic and there is so much to see, that we hardly manage to sit in the internet cafes. One month is far too short to visit this island, although it is rather small by Indian standards. When we decided to continue our journey to Sri Lanka, we though it would be quite similar to India. Bus as we arrived, we were fairly surprised by the fact that although the island lies quite close to the Indian subcontinent, it is rather different.

But one thing is sure: Sri Lanka is our favorite country on this trip. There are five main factors four our decision.
Indrani's family
The first one is: People are great. It started when we first arrived in Colombo and were picked up from the airport by Indrani (a woman Mascha met during the Off-grid power conference in Munich last year) and her husband Lakshman. Although we hardly new each other, they came to the airport to welcome us and to drive us to their home. Fortunately our bikes were well packed and could be stored on the roof of the car. After on night at the airport (see last post) nobody of us fancied a 60km cycle ride in the midday heat and we were happy to enjoy a bit of luxury in the car. But that was not the end of our first pleasant impressions: finally we stayed 5 days with Indrani's nice family during which we could also taste real homemade Singhales food - the second factor for our love to Sri Lanka. 
our daily rice and curry
Most of the meals are Rice and Curry, what might sound boring at first sight. But be sure: it's not! There are varieties of rice and a huge variety of different curries. Each meal is accompanied by at least 3 different curries, dhal or vegetable and of cause papadham. Singhales cuisine is highly spicy (much hotter than the Indian) but they also use a lot of coconut, which softens the taste. Pollos (jackfruit curry) tastes almost like meat-Gulasch and is one of our favorites together with hoppos (a kind of rice pancake prepared in a bowl).

The third factor is a culture dating back almost 2500 years. Some of the old capitals survived over time. They where forgotten and covered in the jungle until the 1880th where first excarvations by the British began. We've visited the second capital Pollonaruwa, the third Sigiriya, as well as the old Hindu influenced temple in Nalanda and the most impressive monastery of Aluvihara built in and between huge boulders, the place where the first buddhist texts were written down.

a bay on the most southern point of Sri Lanka
tropical rain
The fourth factor is nature. Sri Lanka is quite small, only 432km from north to south and even narrower from east to west. But despite of that is has got two different monsoons and at least 4 different "climate zones". We arrived in the tropical and rather wet west and southwest, where Matteo had the pleasure to experience his first tropical rain showers. Air was quite humid and nature seemed to be exploded. There are simply plants everywhere, and a lot of them have impressively huge leaves. It was like cycling through one big tropical hous in the botanic garden. While cycling along the south coast we suddenly seemed to pass a kind of boarder and arrived in the much dryer savanna of the southeast and east. Here we found immense areas covered with rice paddies or just very dry and very hot savanna with little trees. As we were cycling north along the east coast and the land inwards approaching the cultural triangle, the air became even dryer and hotter. And then, in the middle of the island a bit to the south, there is the hill country with altitudes over 2000m with a much fresher climate and completely different vegetation. The county's famous Ceylon tea plantations can be found here as well as incredible scenery rough cliffs and impressive waterfalls. It is incredible that all these different landscapes are found within a distance of a couple of hundred kilometers.
rain - a completely new factor on our journey
curious elefants  
one of the many crocodiles
But the fifth and maybe best factor are all the wild animals that you can see here. The island is densely populated with all kind of mammals reptiles and birds, hosting  a lot of really rare species. Especially birds can be found in huge amounts: cormoran, painted stork, pelicans, eagles, peacocks, ibis, green bee eaters, kingfishers and many more we did not know. A lot live permanently on Sri Lanka, but the are also a lot of them coming during the winter in the northern part of the earth or during the cold season in the southern part of the world. We've seen some nice mammals as well. Most spectacular: three leopards in Yala National Park. We also passed some elephants while cycling though National Parks on our way around the island. First we were a bit scared, but the giants where more concerned with their food than with us. What else did we see? Water buffaloes,  spotted deers, sambar deers, flying foxes, wild pigs, different monkeys,  mangoes, 
One the reptile side, there were some snakes (sparkling green or brown) passed the streets or crossed the roads just in front of us, as did various kinds of lizards, and even some very impressive land monitors and water monitors (they can be huge! Almost 2 meters) as well as crocodiles. We also crawled through the sand on a beach at night to see an enormous green sea turtle (over 1m) dig a hole in the sand and lay her eggs.

some areas are still affected after 30 years of civil war
Altogether we did not manage to see enough, although we moved on almost every day. We will see only very little of the hill country, but maybe this part of the Island is better to visit without bikes.... Also the eastern and especially the northern regions are well worth a visit in the closer future. These regions were not accessible for tourists until the end of the civil war two years ago and are still very underdeveloped and unspoiled by tourists.   

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Goodbye India

Experiencing the sun at the zenith
Dear readers,
the intervals of our post are getting larger and larger, but nevertheless we would like to write one last post on southern India, even if we have already arrived in Sri Lanka!
We left you in Mysore in the state of Karnataka after that we moved south-west along the coast of Kerala crossing  the high range of Wayanad, Kalpetta, Calicut to Kochi and Aleppey.

Waiting for the ferry to Kochi
A wise man once said: "Whatever you say about India - the opposite is also true." After two months in the subcontinent we can only agree we this quote. Maybe you will as well after reading the following stories...

Typical south Indian lunch -
eating with hand became normal for us
Crossing the border to Kerala we rode through the Nagarhole National Park, where we were surprised from the darkness. We managed to get to a small village (without electricity) at the edge of the park. After looking without success for a place to camp with our tent, we asked some local people if they had any idea. They could not suggest anything, but advised us not to sleep outside because of the wild elephants that come in the night and had already killed several people, the last one two days before our arrival. We explained them that under these circumstances we would need only very little space inside for our mattresses. But instead of giving us shelter, they just confirmed that we should not in any case ride the cycle after down to find a hotel. We were trapped. The same people who warned us not to cycle by night to find a hotel and who said that was too dangerous to sleep outside, did not think to offer us a place inside. At that point we recognized that many Indians are friendly but not hospitable and we wished to be back in Iran. In the end we put up the tent on a small lawn (before India we would have called it a garbage depot) between a shop and a mosque. Since we are writing now it means that no elephants overran our tent that night.

Following the tea plantation's workers to the factory
Another one of the rare times we tried to sleep outside in Kerala, things went wrong as well. Kerala in densely populated and there is hardly spare land. One evening we were trying to find a place to camp after all hotels we checked were either full or too expensive. The most suitable spot we could find was a house under construction in a residential area. We parked the bicycles there and went to have dinner. When we came back the were neighbors with torches looking at the bikes. Nothing unusual, but these people had already called the police as well. We talked to them and explained our dilemma and could at least avoid the police from coming. But even though they were very understanding and confirmed that that the road was very dangerous at night, they made us leave the empty property as soon as possible. We eventually found a hotel after some 15 Km on a pitch-black road.

Wayanad with Shaj
Fortunately things can be different as well. For instance during a break in Wayanad, a car driver stopped to have some conversation with us. Shaj turned out to be an international tour operator who found us and our trip very interesting and offered us his help. Even if made his living with taking care of tourists, he invited us to camp one night at one of his places near a lake and visit the surroundings with his car the next day - all free of cost. We fairly surprised and could not believe it at first, but in the end we spent two very nice days together. Thank you Shaj! So, if you plan a trip to Kerala and need any support, contact him at www.godzone.in; we hope for him that he will charge you more than us.
One of our best campsides
In almost the same way we met Riyas. During our lunch break in a small garden, he came and asked some questions. Unlike the vast majority of Indians, he did not stop after the questions "you from?" and "your good name?". At the end we spend the afternoon together exchanging some insider comments on various aspects of our respective societies. For instance, he was surprised that in Europe it is not usual for couples to have free sex with other people. On our side we discovered how difficult (almost impossible) inter-religious marriages are in India, and that despite of what westerners have heard about Karmasutra and stuff, most Indians never see their partner naked!

Enjoying velocity
Having suffered to climb the mountains of the western Ghats before the Jogfalls some weeks ago, we had the pleasure to drive down hill where the mountains of Wayanad go steeply down to the sea. Every serious cycling tourist in front of a decline like this struggles between enjoying the fascination of landscape or the pleasure of velocity. Matteo usually opts for velocity leaving Mascha far behind, who neither enjoys the landscape nor the velocity to a full extend being concentrated to manage the curves safely. If you are in the area we strongly recommend to drive down the road from Kalpetta to Calicut. Unless you have a motorbike don't try to drive up and especially not around noon and by foot as some hundrets of crazy local Christians did carrying crosses for the "Via Crucis" before easter. - Happy Easter by the way!
Crazy Christians climbing the Western Ghats at 36 degrees

With a public ferry through the backwaters
One of the most interesting features are for sure its backwaters with its endless canals and waterways, paddy fields and lagoons. A couple of millions of people still live on the banks, practicing fishing and agriculture. To have a closer look at this ecosystem we opted for a small hand power driven canoe and a public ferry. The canoe let us into the narrow sidearms, along gardens with spices (cinnamon, muscat nut, pepper, curry leafs, bay leafs, oregano), small factories for the processing of coconut into its many products (oil, ropes from fibers, coconut paste, flour...). We also had close looks at the daily lives of the locals passing their homes only 2 meters away. They were very friendly and we were allowed to take a lot of pictures. Once our boot had to stop because an elephant was having a bath in front of us, blocking the path.
To cover the distance from Allepey to Kottayam we took a local ferry. We had the impressions that in this way we got a far better idea of life in the backwaters, than by hiring one of the thousands overpriced housboats carrying tourists along the canals.  We advise you to do the same - and not only because like this we payed 40 Rupees (plus 40 for the bikes) instead of 5000 Rupees.
Washing cloths - 
One single saree

- washing elephant

Preparing tea for fellow travelers at the airport

At least 2 hours of sleep...

Strangely there is no ferry between India and Sri Lanka. So we were forced to take a plane for our next destination again. As the plane departed early morning we drove to the airport the evening before and spent most of the night cooking hot meals and tea for Indian fellow travelers to empty our gas bottle, which we could not bring on to the plane and which seemed to last forever! The rest of the night we spent dissembling and packing our bikes with some cardboards we found on the street. Because we did not have the luxury of big suitable cardboards as in Oman, it took quite a while and we were happy to find a wrapping station inside the airport, otherwise our "piece of art" would have fallen apart immediately. Sri Lankan Airlines did  not make any problem, so we could check in all our luggage without any further costs. The Indian authorities in contrary did not believe us to have traveled mostly overland to India and wanted some proof of the route we took. We could not provide either our ticket to India (thrown away) nor all the hotel bills (thrown away of course!) nor our flight ticket from Sri Lanka onwards (not purchased yet - "How is that possible?!"). Time was ticking and as the departure was only 15 minutes away Mascha was additionally sent to explain the content of our checked-in luggage. "Well madam, you've got a lots of tools inside. Why?". 5 minutes before departure the luggage problem was solved, but we were still stuck at the immigration office. We were beginning to wonder if we would manage to get on the flight at all and if there would be any more problems with our hand luggage containing various metal, heavy kitchen equipment. The solution came when Matteo suggested to have a look at our blog to check our route. Finally we were allowed to pass and to start our next stage in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Would you hire this guy?

An unemployed 29 years old guy with a three times broken nose in a tea plantation

Dear head-hunters, CEOs and resposibles of the human resources,

 today is my birthday. I was born on the 6th of April 1982 in Padua, Italy. It means that for the next 365 days I am 29 years old. I do not think that I can allow myself to be unemployed for the next 365 days too. Hence, I need a job.
If you are thinking that I should not have spent all my savings on this trip by bicycle, it is good to know, I will not work for you. If you like what I am doing, well, I can work for you. Not now though, I am still cycling with my girlfriend through India and I am not completely broke yet. But you can already think about it. Do not worry, I am offering you good stuff: Me.

I have a master degree in environmental science. My PhD in chemistry dealt with aerosols, diesel engines and organic pollutants. I can and I would like to work in the environmental management, solid or liquid waste disposal or air pollution control. I know something about that. I think I am smart enough to learn the rest you would need from me.

As student I used to earn some money carrying heavy stuff from A to B, teaching children and youth to play rugby and delivering pizzas. This trip was funded with savings from my PhDs salary and with the money I earned by playing the bassoon in chamber and symphonic orchestras. The bicycle was a present of my parents. My mother tongue is Italian and I am fluent in English and German. If  I am not cycling  I live in Munich and I play rugby. I like classical music, rock and this trip supported my belief that the Italian food is the best in the world. 
My nation gave to the world Berlusconi, but spaghetti and lasagne too. Ok, we are even.

Regards, Matteo.

If you are interested to see my curriculum vitae, just send an e-mail at mararrac@gmail.com
I will answer you from the next interent point.