All Of The Fame – None Of The Work

Yes, this will be a bit of a rant. So, if you were looking for a mother’s love and apple-pie entry today, stop now.

I went of a 3 1/2 day whirlwind trip to Germany, Austria and back to Germany again. You see, I love the mountains and I love even more playing among them. The great thing about the mountains – let’s expand that to unspoiled nature in general – well, the great thing is that it puts us people in our place. The results are often reliably predictable, unlike man-made laws. For example. There is likely not a single person on this planet, I suppose that would honestly expect a stone, if dropped, to fall upwards to the sky. The smart man would bet on the stone falling to the ground on which the person dropping the stone stands –> Nature governs this phenomenon very repeatable, reliable and thus predictable. Now, let’s look at an arbitrarily declared man-made law, oooh, shall we say financial accounting rules. They are reviewed annually by a congress of men. These men and women loosen a bit here, add a little there and expand over yonder and swiftly release a new set of IFAR (International Financial Accounting Rules). or just think of the derivatives market that gave birth to the term financial engineering (my personal opinion is that the adjective financial is a rape on the verb engineering…just my opinion). Or less abstract, a company’s sales forecast is corrected all the time, because there is no ultimate force (such as nature) holding the sales team accountable to the same extend, nature holds an engineer accountable if he or she designs something that violates nature’s rules.

Where am I going with this? My point is that even in the mountains people always looking for a cheat, a cheap exit, a cheap advantage. Nowadays, you don’t have to carry your backpack to the hut in the mountains. Instead, you pay 8 Euros and get it ferried up. The huts that used to sell simple food, maybe five different dishes, now sport a 20 page menu, where the spoilt tourist can choose from carnivorian, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and god knows what other foods. It makes me sad to see, that apparently we demand more and more conveniences and comforts that are often in competition and contradiction with what going into nature should be all about.

In my opinion, but being in nature has a little to do with humility and with being human again, with moving about, with using all muscles, with exerting the body, while letting the mind roam free. Yet, with backpacks carried and WiFi everywhere and huts accommodating 150 guests, these simple objectives drop into the background and become old-fashioned. On top of that, there are cellphone cameras and selfie sticks, altimeters, GPS watches, calorie counters being dragged up and down the mountains. The whole things becomes a freakshow and reason to bring useless gadgets along. The paths are marked and easily recognizable. There are maps for sale, why bring all this other nonsense – its not a vast wild expanse. This is not the Sahara or Alaska.

In the hut, where once one chatted with other hikers, people stare at their mobile devices, trying to extract data sets they have no idea how to get to. When they finally do they continue staring pretending to analyze data they don’t understand. There is no singing anymore, there is no exchanging stories anymore, there is no looking out for one another anymore, there is no camaraderie anymore – which is really most regrettable. It’e everyone for themselves. Fellow man is almost viewed as competition….competition for what, this is supposed to be leisure, relax man.

Personally, when I look at the following images, I remember that I wished I had my friends Jon, Bryce, Ralph, Rick or Joe present to share the moment with them. Or maybe my university mates with who I met over the weekend as well or maybe my cousin Stefan. It’s the simple things we share that leave lasting memories, not the heart-rate we had at kilometer 5 at 2142m altitude while carrying  a 10.97kg heavy backpack whose mass decreased at a rate of  0.4kg/hr because we sucked the integrated water badder empty at that rate.

Taschachhaus

 

The mountain hut we stayed at: Taschach Haus. I stayed here more than 30 yeas ago with my dad, when we took an ice climbing and glacier course there – these are some of my fondest memories from my childhood. Now the hut features an indoor climbing gym and there is talk of a sauna and a pool…..why not refresh your weary bones the mountain creek fed by the glacier. That’ll get you going in no time – no construction required, either.

TaschachFerner1This is the Taschachferner icefall. The glacier tongue ends what I estimate to be a good 500meters higher on the mountain than it did 30 years ago – global warming, anybody?

MeltingSnowMy mandatory still life: melting snow with rocks and gravel.

I am leaving you with this peaceful image I took last night on the plane from Munich to Bangkok somewhere in-between.

JetEngineNight

 

Alright everyone, stay sharp and just try it, what it’s like to have a stripped down experience, without gadgets but real people instead. It’s amazing, if for nothing else, than when your buddies get tired they still function, just slower. No message appears on their forehead, informing you that they will lose memories, if not fed immediately.

Cheers Yours Markus \m/

 

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Super Short Trip

I am currently enjoying the alpine landscape of te Austrian Alps. Still lots if anow covered 3000m peaks and alarmingly receding glacier. It is still beautiful and sort of beats work. Yesterday I made my way up from theewnd of the valley parking lot to the hut some 800m higher. Today, I did two trips. The afour hours in the mornibg led me to the Sexegerten glacier, while I in the afternoon I went to look at the Taschachferner glacier.  A look at the Sexegertenferner. Looking the opposite direction towards the Hohe Geige (High Violin). The Taschachferner. I was here with my dad 30 years ago partaking in glacier and ice climbibg training. Back then, hte glacier fall extended all the way to the lower left corner. 

The panorama from the hut facing east.
Tomorrow, we are driving on to meet with out university mates for the annual reunion.

Cheers and stay sharp like the front claws in Barbara’s crampons.
Markus \m/

Fashion Advice From The Gingerbread Man

Brad took some time off. The constantly broken legs took a toll and a little R and R became mandatory. Thus he jetted around avoiding the usual risks. Instead he explore different hair styles. Here in Jamaica, enjoying a little champagne and reefer….the song. Brad would never enjoy a reefer (in public). Well, here in Jamaica, Brad sprouted a proper “Fro”, one that would make Huggy Bear of Starsky&Hutch turn green with envy.

 Next he flew back to the West Coast. The humidity in the Caribbean was just too much. Brad was craving urban life again – in the Gangsta’s Paradise, he paid homage to his idol Coolio.  

From Compton and South Central is just a short drive to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, where his favorite hard rockers – Van Ginger – had their start. Admittedly, Brad wore a wig, but he had to reinterpret the famous pose of Ginger Lee Roth on stage in the bright lights…mane flying and assess leather pants (bare butt not viable, here)  

Finall, back at home, Brad opted for something a little more laid back. The furry focus moved a bit south….not that far south. Brad is now back in the office, working on the latest trend in male fashion – the Unger. A real undomesticated facial wild growth. Ted Koszinski and Santa Clause are beaming with pride.  

By the way this image shows Brad in the cubicled landscape he earns his money at – good times.

Alright, now that you have been updated on the whereabouts and whatabouts of Brad the Gingerbread Man, be sharp and explore life.

Cheers dudes

Markus \m/

This Weekend….

…was quite great. On Saturday, we went to Talat Rot Fai 2, a Night Market near the Thai Cultural Center. For some reason – perhaps age, as I am not 17 anymore – I am usually not a super big fan of night markets. Because you need to go late, in order to soak up the full experience. Anyway, we went fairly late and it was so worth it. The market is fairly new, but it’s already full on. With old motorbikes, scooters and extremely lowered vintage pickup truck, that would make the eyes gleam of any true southern Californian. There are bands on every corner and where there is no room for a make shift stage, there is a stereo blasting away.

TLF2MinibusET

 

And I almost forgot, there are also all sorts of VW Microbuses vintage T1 and T2 from the 1950/60s – naturally lowered and hot-rodded.

The fixed buildings on the market are adorned with some cool graffities.

TLF2Graffiti1Apparently, we were not the only ones who were a little tired. So, we found ourselves an old, repurposed 40ft container and had a drink. As I sat and let the screen unfold before me, I noticed a gentlemen, who had, what appeared to be a “At Least Three Beer Night”.

3BeerNightSitting there all by himself, surrounded by couples or worse, yet, groups of Thai girls, nobody taking notice of the man and his beer cooler bucket. What, if not this, should warrant the blues?

As far as the viewing and buying of unique goods goes, the market delivers superbly. Just look at this metal-head.

TLF2MetalHeadMoving on to Sunday. Despite the still oppressive heat, which we have had now since late February, we decided to ride by motorbike towards Cha-Am along the coast, through the salt evaporation fields.

PilesOfSalt1Small piles of freshly …. dried, evaporated, harvested, well it is brand new salt, that’s what it is.

PilesOfSalt2The of salt store house. The people were working furiously. I have never seen so many Thai people work so hard in beaming sunlight – salt fiends, that what it looked like. And to close this entry up, there was actually color, too.

PilesOfSalt3ColourSo there you have it. Now stay sharpened I wish all of you dear readers a good week – starting tomorrow.

 

Cheers Markus \m/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunate Names

Good morning my sweet cheeks. This is going to be a short entry. Sunday morning I rode around on my bike through side sois of side sois of sub sois as I rode past this sign. About 5 meters later I U-turned to verify that my fasting mind was in deed not screwing with me. It wasn’t – in deed.

  
Maybe I am too old, too sensitive but I do not think that caling a pizzeria Hiroshima Pizza is a bright idea (no pun intended). Also Nagasaki as a name I not something I would consider. I think in deed, that if Hiroshima and Nagasaki Pizza are front runners as names for a pizza place in Bangkok or anywhere in the world  for that matter, then  Kasachstani Steppe Pizza, Muroroa Pizza and Bikini Pizza should also be considered. And of course the obvious choice – Yucca Flats Pizza. Names like these conjure up searing, bright heat which can only mean the crust is extra crispy.

People please, start thinking…..
Stay sharp (OK to the people coming up with funny names for restaurants start with trying not to be dull anymore)

Markus \m/