Work: Does It Have To Be All Toil? Or Can You Enjoy It?

Today is a a very mature topic. I will be writing about work and later you will be reading it. And possibly, I can get some feedback from you on this.

FridgeDeco1I read an article in a German weekly magazine, called “DER SPIEGEL” about a woman who was apparently on a steep career trajectory. Money, opportunities, professional challenges and growth opportunities opposed by sacrifices and long hours. All of a sudden she stopped and exited the hamster wheel. Sold her possessions, bought an old van and travelled for a year through Europe – she called it decelerating her life.


I give her a lot of respect for her choice and her courage. And I seen other and been  myself in situations (even though short) where work was just a drag. But I have also been in situations where I experienced that work was anything but toil, where I couldn’t wait for the next day to come. Right now I am in such a position. I switched a while ago from research and development in high tech not the toy industry, which moves at a considerably slower pace. From a technology and engineering aspect it is less challenging – no finite element analysis, no servo control systems, no vibration issues, not sub-micron performance budgets. But, I love it anyway. I love what i am doing. In my previous careers I was always excited about the technology, not so much about the products. Nw I am excited about products and the customer’s immediate reaction to my products. Children are not diplomatic. They love a toy they fall asleep with it at night. They are not interested, the toy is in some forlorn corner under the bed 12 seconds after unwrapping.


What I am doing are 2 Euro Wonders (an exaggeration, since they are actually and unfortunately less than 2 Euros) – Toy Cars. Ad they bring a smile to pretty much any boy from 3years old and up.

The images you just saw are of our refrigerator door with my cars in spice cups – Barbara cam up with that But I was able to convince her that toy cars make great decorations in the “adult living quarters”. See that’s what I mean. I f word were toil, hard and suck me dry, I sure as hell wouldn’t bring it home, but I do, because I make toy cars. Barbara being the home deco goddess she is, came up even with a toy car collage, repurposing one of my picture frames.

ToyCarWindowShe hung Porsche 911 GT3RS (Type 997) in all the colors we make them in from fishing line. Think Helmut Newton’s famous 1980s picture of the four naked models walking towards the camera in high heels. I look at this frame overtime I sit in my office and it just makes me smile.

When I started working as an engineer, I had a senior engineer who mentored me a bit and his advice to me was: “Snoop around of a year and find something you are really interested in, something you feel passionate about. If you just work, it can be a long day everyday. Since you are already here everyday, you might as well find something to do you enjoy everyday.” No mention of toil, slavery, hard and tough. Work can be fun and I think it should be fun. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Now admit the things you are passionate about and then pursue them like you pursued your first real big love.


Cheers Markus \m/

Hong Kong

I am back from my little hiatus. I just didn’t feel like writing anything. But now I do and thus here we go. I went to Hong Kong recently. This city similar to Singapore is a city I consider as “Asia With Training Wheels” or “Asia For Beginners”. It is a great city to get acquainted with Asia, since it is strongly influenced by Europeans and it is a global business intersection – multinationals cannot afford not to be represented here. Yes, everything is expensive here, but Hong Kong maintained its charm somehow through globalization and its hand-off from being a British colony to becoming a special economic region of China. Although, we have seen by the recent protests, that China may be in over its head conducting its heavy-handed and micro-managing government approach. Anyway, Hong Kong always has a lot to offer to an alert visitor.
PollerNLineHong Kong has a great public transportation system, consisting of buses, taxis, the subway and its ferries that connect HK Island with the mainland part. The image above is of a ferry sailor who shuttles back and forth all day long between the Tsim Sha Tsui pier and the Hong Kong Island piers.
The taxis in Hong Kong are classics in itself; similar to NYC’s Yellow Cabs. These taxis are Toyota Crowns in red with a white roof – dependable automotive workhorses. I wanted to avoid a normal street shot and decided to wait for the next taxi which of course didn’t come for 15 minutes.
One of the things I love about Hong Kong is that it has a pretty vibrant and diverse art scene. I usually try to find an exhibition on photography or paintings or just find little morsels of local art in public places – like this face of a Frenchman made from food items which is supposed to attract patrons to a restaurant.

Heck, even the wall with all the exhibition posters outside the HK Museum Of Art looks like a Modern Art Collage.
Then there is the famous Hong Kong nightlife.
Electrically, Hong Kong is always full on. From a pedestrians point of view Hong Kong is definitely superior to Bangkok – far less car traffic (due to very high taxation), much much better air quality (due to less cars and the fact that a gentle breeze is blowing through the city) and pot-hole free and clean sidewalks that provide sufficient room to walk. It is a delight, walking through HK streets.
And when the day is over, I sit down with a hot chocolate, my sketchbook and my camera and unwind in preparation for dreamland and what the next day may bring or better what I can / should bring to the next day.

Alright, I will see that I find a more regular rhythm in posting again. Next week should be exciting – news from the Nürnberg Toy Fair, can it get any better?

But before we part a quick look at a still life I took at the old customs house 2 weeks ago in Bangkok.


And with that I say “Sayonara duderinos and duderinas”

Yours Markus \m/