maandag 23 maart 2009

vrijdag 20 maart 2009

The Day of the Shoot

<--------------Picture of the funky wall in the hotel

Today was the day the actual shoot took place of the documentary. Tomorrow and Sunday it will be continued. The past few days have been filled with setting up the set, testing the position of the cameras, figuring out the way the lights should be placed, how bright they should be and so on. As I said before I cannot reveal the details but I can tell you it is very very exciting and moving. When the moment arrived that the shoot was beginning everybody except for the several cameramen and other technicians left the set. Most of us sat outside underneath a tent and watched the event on a little screen. We all were quiet and totally excited, it is a shame I cannot go into any detail but you know what they say all will be revealed in time. Patience! What I can say it was a very memorable moment and super special. We all felt like little children excited and thrilled well at least I did. Here are some more pictures from Johannesburg for you!

I absolutely adore this plant, the flowers are just so so amazing!

Africans are just not into boring decoration!

dinsdag 17 maart 2009

This is my second attempt to write something today. I just finished describing all that I have been doing since I arrived when it suddenly disappeared. So there we go again. Yesterday after I got through customs and picked up my bag I was dawned by the sight of at least 50 people holding up signs with people they were about to collect. I could not see my name anywhere. Ai at the airport and already lost…I talked to a few people and found out that South Africans are most chatty and friendly. So waiting around wasn't bad at all. Then I saw a gentle faced man with my name on a paperboard looking around, I waved at him and was very relieved. We had to wait for 2 more people and once they were found we set of to the hotel. We drove through the nice green suburbs of Johannesburg and I was surprised to see how beautiful and modern everything was all looking. Wow South Africa is just very beautiful. The thing that struck me were all the high walls with barb wire or electric fences on top of those walls that surrounded almost every house like it were fortresses. It must be so strange to life like that. Is it to lock the people who live there in or to keep the world out? There were signs everywhere of security companies and signs saying there is an armed response. I saw quite some security guards walking around who were heavily and visibly armed. I think they shoot before they ask.


Johannesburg has a very bad reputation but because I expected the worse it wasn't half as bad as I thought. I had already spoken to some locals on the airport who had assured me it really isn't that bad at all. There are just certain areas to be avoided. The hotel is a very modern looking from the outside and enthusiastically decorated in a style I can only describe as eclectic . it is wild, creative and slightly mad but somehow it is very refreshing compared to the smooth and boring decors we fancy in Europe. I just had to take some pictures and post them for you. The rooms are decorated in a more mainstream calm fashion. Modern and hip with one of those waterfall massive showers that are just fantastic. There even is a stand for your ipod, so you can play your own music. The day was filled with running from a to b and in the evening it was hard to not fall asleep. We had dinner (Sushi yummie) in a restaurant in a nearby mall. We all sat by open doors and you could see the bats chasing each other in the moonlight. Crickets were singing in the background and it made me so curious for the rest of the country. The sushi took forever to be prepared but tasted amazing. I felt asleep as if I hadn't slept for a week and today it was al much more relaxed. But now it is time to exercise a bit ! more 2morrow!

maandag 16 maart 2009

zondag 15 maart 2009

South Africa!

After a sort of radio silence on my blog because of no real breathtaking adventures were taking place at least not the type that I planned to share with the rest of the planet, something did happen that is super exciting. A friend of mine is making a documentary in South Africa and invited me to come as well. For a brief moment I felt a bit uneasy skipping classes but then I thought what the heck I can ask somebody to take notes and it wound be a problem. Even my teachers reacted with a duhhuh ofcourse you should go, absolutely no problem. So now I am in Frankfurt waiting for my connecting flight to Johannesburg. I left Schiphol, Amsterdam a few hours ago and have to wait another 5 hours to catch the connecting flight to South Africa. I am not only excited about the film project but also about seeing Africa for the first time. Asia feels like an old friend but what about the other continent? I will soon find out.


The first funny thing happened in Amsterdam. I rushed down to the gate and suddenly saw some familiar faces! Two old high school teachers were waiting for the same plane and were just as surprised to see me. They told me that they were going to St. Petersburg to organize things for an upcoming school trip. Wow a school trip to Russia, very cool! I can remember going to Prague and Rome with that school but never as far away as Russia.

I was sitting just behind business class in very comfortable spot; it was a quiet flight with nice sandwiches and hmmmmmmmm chocolate. It is so easy to make your customers happy; chocolate is almost always a perfect idea. The food was a lot better than the yucky stuff they feed you at KLM.

Flying over Frankfurt it reminded me of Finland (a bit) there was quite a lot of forest, low building some high rise office blocks and a very big airport. There are only expensive shops and lots of restaurants. Due to the strict baggage regulation which I find absolutely ridiculous I had to set out and buy very expensive water but I brought enough munchies to set up my own little food stall. Until now it seems unlikely that there is an internet connection, I did see some computers standing around to serve the web. But you have to pay. Tja. I will go and explore the area a bit more and see if there is a wireless hotspot somewhere. It seems strange that in these modern times you cannot use your laptop in a modern airport.


I love airports all these different nationalities on there way to some place in the world. The possibility (if you got the cash and a possibly needed visa) to travel anywhere gives you some sense of freedom and endless possibilities. Ofcourse this is an illusion but if only I had an unlimited creditcard then I would love to just show up at the airport and think hmmmmmmm let's go to this or that place today! Somebody in the plane asked me if it is save to go to Johannesburg, I replied with; probably not but I am going anyway. It is supposedly one of the most dangerous cities in the world but well I try to keep myself out of trouble. I took my ring off changed my watch for a cheap looking one and hope that I wound look to tempting for any robbers.


Conveniently there was a jointlocking workshop at the Kung Fu school yesterday and I learned lot's of nasty things that can be performed on even more nasty people. You never know when these things come in handy. We certainly had fun bending eachother in the most impossible position. The teacher had sent all of us a mail saying: bring your favorite training partner so you can practice together. Hi hi yes I guess it is better when you practice on friends then you are more careful and they will forgive you when you possibly hurt them a bit. Anyway you need to practice on a real person to get it right. Okey the power is running low, time to find some power.

donderdag 19 februari 2009

Beautiful Sunset

Yesterday, i just had to take some picture of this beautiful winter sunset. It is quite cold in Leiden and the skies are bright and clear at least they were yesterday.

This Bird Rules!

Peonyflowers and Roses

The Summerpalace 1

The Summerpalace 2

Tian Tan video

Yang 24 form at the Dutch TaiCHi Federation open Championships

chen 24 form at the Dutch TaiChi Federation open Championships

Chen style TaiChi 24 form

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