I am one of the many German students studying abroad. I am one of the people who love travelling. I can't sit still, I always have to do stuff. I am curious, always chasing for stories. Stay here for a while and be part of my respaced world

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Crazy Seasons

I took these pictures during the last 4 weeks.

I feel like I’m wandering through the seasons J

Last weekend in Canberra I went to see a rugby game (the first I’ve ever been to!). It was -2°C!
2 weeks before I did bushwalking in Watson Bay, a suburb of Sydney. It was 22 °C! 4 weeks ago I was in Victoria, where I found myself in a whole range of fall colors. Today I am wearing a winter coat in Sydney even though it's 15 °C.

In about 2 weeks I’m flying to Brisbane, it’s going to be around 30°C there.

The cool thing about quickly changing seasons is that I am tanned even though it’s "winter". Not too bad, isn’t it?


P.S. Upcoming soon: "Winter in Sydney"


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Australia's capital

This weekend I went to Canberra. Honestly, did you know that Canberra is the capital city of Australia?I didn't.

Canberra lies in between the cities Sydney and Melbourne. My roomie has friends who live in Canberra, a couple who is about to get married soon. Yay, free accomodation! And getting the benefit of local knowledge!

Daniel, the groom-to-be, works for the ministry of treasury. He gave us a tour of the "Parliamentary Triangle" (the quarter where you can find all the government buildings), engaging us to ask every kind of questions we had. I did. I was asking why there where so many people were against the carbon tax, why there were still so many people who didn't believe in Climate change, why Australia wasn't declaring independence, what he thought about the fact that Australians are obliged to vote, I asked about the Australian army, about Aboriginals... Daniel explained us his Australia.


He did quiet well (It is part of his job to answer letters of citizens asking questions such as 'why do we have to pay taxes?')

When we got home he told his girlfriend 'I'm so tired, i've talked so much today.'

If you are interested in hearing what Daniel answered to the topics mentioned above, let me know - I'll be happy to write more about them!

In the meantime here's Canberra in one sentence.

Canberra reminded me a bit of Washington D.C. - a city with free museums, everything cleaned up, white, a lot of green, flags, a court, parliaments,.... a ghost town which reminded me more of a museum than a city.

The war memorial

BUT Canberra stands out in the sense that
a) I found the parliament extremely ugly

The new parliament

and b) I found it ridiculous that the huge lake surrounding the parliamentary triangle was created by man because they thought it looked nice. Hello? This is Australia, a land of natural beauty! No need to create lakes, mates!

The parliamentary triangle and the Griffin lake

ok.. it is quiet nice, but...

isn't the natural Canberra landscape nice enough?

Friday, May 20, 2011


News. Yesterday someone mentioned my name and, for probably the first time I thought 'mhmmm actually my name isn't as bad as I thought'.
I haven't liked my name so far. Franziska is such a long, complicated name for non-German-speaking people. That's why I sometimes tell them to call me 'Francesca'. Makes the whole thing easier and more smooth.
Franziska always has to spelled, it sounds awful in English and in German... in kindergarten I was called Fanny (pronounced 'funny'), in elementary school it became Franzi. What does my name tell about me anyway?
I did some research. Franziska derives from the Italian name Francesca (surprise), the female version of Franziskus (a saint). The latin translation of the name Franziskus is 'the small French man'. Thus, I am 'the small French woman'.

haha. my French is awful. well, I like macarons and éclaires. Is that the French side in me? Oh, and Franziska also relates to the people 'Franken', one of the historic German tribes. 'Frank' means 'liberty'. Shall I tell you who's one of my favourite icons?

It's her.Lady Liberty. Oh, you knew she was a gift made by the French, didn't you?

The Statue of Liberty

What do you know about your name? Do you like it? What does it stand for?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Southern Sky

Last night I went to participate nightly telescope session at the Sydney Observatory. Do you remember the scene in 'The Lion King' (König der Löwen) where Simba learns that the stars in the sky are his ancestors watching him? And maybe some of my German followers know this saying:'Friends are like stars. You might not be able to see them every day, but you know that there are always there.' (not a really good translation but I hope you get the point).

I like stars. In history, stars guided travellers to their destinations. For me, they have the effect of making me feel close to my family, friends, home, because seeing stars reminds me of the idea that no matter how far away I am, they can still see the same stars in the sky as I do.

Well, not so much. Due to the fact that the earth is divided into Northern and Southern Hemisphere, my Sydney night sky looks different than the night sky in Europe.

In the Southern Hemisphere (where I am now) I can see the Southern Cross and the Carinae Nebula. The poor Europeans can't spot them, no matter how good their telescopes are. Wikipedia says:
The South Pole is oriented towards the galactic centre and this, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars.
But in order to make people living in the Nothern Hemisphere feel better, I have to say that You guys have the bright pole star!! (No pole star here!)

Courtesy Heavens-Above

The visit at the Sydney Observatory was really nice, I had a look through the oldest working telescope in Australia. I learned that young stars are the hottest (yay, a nice new metaphor!) , and that when they turn older they change their light from bluish to yellow. Our very ambitious guide told us (a group of fourteen people) much more, but a glass of whine and the nightly sky made me less focused on the astronomic facts.
I enjoyed the turning cuppolas of the two observatory domes. They made loud noises when they turned and made you feel as if you were in the world of Harry Potter. Then, the guide told us that the lense of the oldest working telescope in Australia was made in 1874 by Hugo Schroeder.

Hugo Schroeder (=Schröder) was an optician in Hamburg, Germany.
I guess as long as I am in Australia it's not going to be the sky reminding me of home, indeed it's going to be an old telescope. That's fine, too, isn't it?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Creativity and Perseverance

2 Examples from Sydney which show that creativity is sometimes much more important than being intelligent.

Yesterday a guy came to me, asking me "hey, can you spare a dollar for the bus?"

I have to mention here that I usually don't give money to homeless people because I am a cruel person and I rather spend the money on 1$ capuccino from 711. yep.

I was so surprised that I actually gave him what he had asked for (+ I had had a long day and I was waiting at the bus stop, so I couldn't get away from this pretty tall guy.)

My bus arrived, the guy actually entered, had a look at the bus driver, mumbeled something I didn't understand, turned around and jumped out of the bus. How nice of him to try pretending to actually take the bus..And how creative.Well.

In comparison to this example, no 2 makes me smile every morning I leave the house.

It's Mr. Carwash who stands in front of my house, from early morning untill it gets dark. Every time the traffic lights are red, he runs to the cars and asks to clean their windows. I admire how hard working he is and much more, I admire his creativity. He dresses in a different costume almost every day. On the picture he is wearing a christmas troll. Another day he wore bunny ears. On mother's day he set up signs saying "Happy Mothersday!".

The Mr. Carwash example reminds me of myself. There are many carwashers (journalist students), I am only one of them. I am not better than them and it doesn't matter if some of them are much smarter than me.

Like this Australian Blogger Neerav Bhatt said, who hold a guest lecture at my Online Class:
it’s about perseverance, not talent 
 ..and creativity of course...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Respaced Mother's Day

My mom and me have a loving but sometimes also a bit mhmmm i wouldn't say hating, but how about... hot ?/ bursting(?)  relationship with each other :)
my sister and my dad say that's because we are both quiet similar, stuburn and emotional. We just like arguing I guess :) and none of us wants to give in when it's about "who's right'

Well, in the end I love my mom (though I hardly ever tell her) In Germany, you rarely say "I love you" to your parents, people say "Ich hab dich lieb", (I like you) when they want to express their affection to family members or friends. "Ich liebe dich" (I love you) is more an expression of the "Eros" kind of love, the kind of love which exists between couples.

So, how do you express your love to your mom on mother's day if you are on the other side of the world and you are not able to say "I love you" ?

Thank god there's amazon.de. Last week, I ordered a DVD, wrapped and with a personal message, which I sent to my sister's adress (I knew that if the package would arrive earlier than the 8th my mom would just unpack it). She gave it to her yesterday and this morning I found a thank-you email from my mom in my inbox. Oh, AND i even called her the same day. So am I a good daughter or what?

I owe my mom a lot. She's the one who has always supported me when I wanted to travel. She has been the sponsor of all my travelling. However, she really hates it. She likes wining about me "who always wants to leave her" and she never brings me to the airport, because she is pretty pissed when I leave. (It's always my dad driving me to the airport.)
Finally, I think my mom understands my travelling better than my dad does. She studied abroad, in Russia and later also in Germany. She moved from Budapest (Hungary) to Stuttgart when she married my dad. "I just came with one suitcase from Budapest! And it was fucking old!"
But that's another story....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sydney Kids

I spotted some kids playing in Sydney...

I found this pretty fascinating, I observed how moms gave their iphones to their kids in order to give them something to play with. Have never seen this before. The kid on the second picture struck me most. I was sitting on a bench facing her/him (?), munching my sandwich, secretly using my phone to take a picture of her/him. About 2 Minutes later, a girl, in about the same age, joined the kid. 

The kid didn't even notice her and was totally focused at the game. The girl had stand next to the trolley for a while and then walked away.

well, I tried to find some statistics on that.. but I couldn't find any.

Have you experienced similar situations where you live?

I'm becoming an aunt soon, have to start thinking about kids. Don't know if I should tolerate or reject this kind of behaviour.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The creation of a home bubble

Even though I complained in my friday thoughts posting about the fact that I don't want to come back to my 'old' life in Sydney I have to admit: Routine is what gives my life a little bit of structure. The past two years I have been moving around a lot, in 2010 I had lived in 4 different places(or 5, if you want to consider my parent's house not only as a shelter/ hotel ;)). So, in order to avoid getting disoriented I kinda came up with some strategies.


1) I hang my pink net where I can put in a lot of stuff on my door. (Especially in non-furnished rooms it has been a great help. It's in his 6.th room now! A respaced piece of furniture which fits into every suitcase :)

2) Food: Have breakfast every morning. Find my local favorite food and eating habits (In the US I discovered oat meal, in Australia I got know crumpets), the right yoghurt brand, other cool new stuff at the grocery store. (I like spending an hour at the grocery store. Can be very fascinating!)

3) Find nice spots where I can go running. Get to know my surrounding

4) Buy a stuffed animal. I know this is embarrassing. i'm not over puberty yet.

5) Find a good place where I can get cheap coffee.

ok, i could go on like this forever. kinda boring. Even though I live in Sydney, my life is not a 24 hours travel experience (some peope seem to think like that).

I made friends with two travellers at a hostel during my easter break. They are going to visit Sydney soon. We spoke about hanging out together and that I (and my roomie) would then show them around the city.

I got a bit nervoes - I live and study in Sydney, but do I know so much about it? I know coffe spots/grocery stores/bakeries around the area I live (but who cares about ANNENDALE?), and around uni, I have done some exploring of tourist spots in sydney (but they can also read about this in the tourist guide)... What could I show to them?

Studying abroad is sometimes tricky, you live here but sometimes you just don't come out of your 'home bubble', or rather: You have to force yourself to stay inside, because this DAMN assignment doesn't get done by going to the opera house.

but yeah.. it's cool being an international student. Sometimes I am actually able to do cool stuff :)

Haymarket, the place where I do my weekly sunday fruit and veggie bargain shopping
my respaced pink door net


Friday, April 29, 2011

Coming Home

I had such a nice easter holiday that I didn't want to come home anymore.

Coming back to Sydney would mean to face an assignment, writing applications etc. etc. This world seemed so far away from Victoria and the Great Ocean Road, where the only problems I was facing were issues such as "to what place do i want to go next, is there a bus going there, when does it leave?". I couldn't imagine going back to my "everyday student life in sydney".

So I thought I would try to get back to my "old life" slowly, just by starting to upload pictures on facebook, do my laundry, going grocery shopping. i had so many other things on my list and suddenly the day was over. And I caught myself being in my back old normal life again. What happened to the surfer-vacation girl I had been only a day before?

Is it Francesca or Franziska?

How do you switch from your holiday-identity to your "normal" identity?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Belated easter-QUIZ

Easter is over, but I had no internet access. So let's just pretend it's easter sunday.

Instead of easter eggs we are looking for something else.... who is spotting what in this picture?

hope u got enough sweets and chocolate today :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A bit of uni-toilet philosophy

Due to the fact that I, according to my sister, already became a bit 'philosophical' in my last posting, this week's friday thoughts will be presented in pictures. The pictures were taken at UTS, female bathroom on the first floor. You can see an "experiment" of a communication - student.

Yesterday, a journalist told me:
"Don't go into media. You are still young. Working in media will not bring you any success or good life. Find another job you are good at or marry a rich guy."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The storyteller

Yesterday I went to the outskirts of Sydney. The so called 'Mount Druitt' area is also sometimes referred to a 'shithole', which is meant to express that a lot of migrants and socially weak situated people live there and a lot of crime, which involves drug and alcohol, takes place. The Mount Druitt area is also Aboriginal territory. The city of Blacktown in the Mount Druitt area is home to the largest Aboriginal population of any suburb in New South Wales (NSW is the state Sydney belongs to). My classmate confessed that if you want to meet an aborigine, you usually have to drive outside to the suburbs.

Me and my group meant to talk to some inhabitants of the Mount Druitt area and I got very lucky, because I met a guy who was part of the Aboriginal Housing Advisory Board who said
"I am a storyteller"

Instead of telling us about public housing in NSW he looked at me, threw a tiny plastic bag which included a pair of earrings on the table, and said 'Do you want them? I made them. It's kindney. You can have them'.

Of course I didn't say no. He went on with his speech and told us about aboriginal culture and the stories of the dreaming. The stories of the dreaming explain the history of the land and how to live. Storytelling is an integral part of life for Indigenous Australians, thus the storyteller has an important role in the aboriginal society. He explained that there was a time when TV and media weren't needed at all because the storyteller fullfilled this position. But now, people didn't know how to behave anymore, because there were no rules - he didn't consider the rules of law as effective.

Ok, the guy was a bit confusing to talk to, he had almost no teeth and I could hardly understand his dialect. However, what I kept in mind was that he mentioned another value of aboriginal storytelling:

'In order to find your way you have to know where you came from. Without knowing about your own history you don't know where to go.'

It made me think about myself… I want to be a storyteller, I want to be a journalist, I wanna tell people's stories. But do I know my story?

When I travel people often ask me about Germany. I often don't know what to answer to their questions. Sometimes I think I know more about other countries than about Germany and about my family background. I never considered it to be important. But this encounter with the storyteller kinda moved me. I think he's right, especially in the last two years I got to know how much it matters how and where you were raised.

My goal for 2012 : "Getting to know my story"

Tell me: Do you know your story?

The storyteller

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not giving up

Today I learned that sometimes it's really worth it not giving up too fast.

For about 4 weeks I've been participating the weekly boxing class at my gym.
I have a love and hate relationship with this class. I mean, I always have to force myself to go there because it is humiliating. I have a really bad coordination and my ability to keep moves in mind is horrible. You need both of these talents for boxing. I make a fool of myself.

So why do I love boxing? It's simple: I just love punching.

However, last week's class was horrible. My partner got really frustrated with me, I couldn't concentrate at all and she got really upset.

After class I felt more stupid and retarded than usual. But I was too proud of giving up this class immediately; otherwise my stupid partner would think I had given up because of her yelling.
Pah. I would just force myself to go to ONE last class and then I wouldn't force myself to go there anymore. I could just go to another gym class. Maybe some relaxing sports class without yelling, maybe yoga?

Fighting with myself the whole day "I have to go" - "no I don't have to, I can do what I want' - I finally went to boxing class.
My partner wasn't there.
Haha. Poor her. Had she given up boxing class just because of me?

Well, I was kinda happy not seeing her, but on the other side I was without a partner - so I had to exercise with the teacher….
But actually it was pretty cool. My teacher told me to relax and not to worry to much. And I got better. And theeeen it got even better because she addressed me another partner who was new in class.

It was so much fun with my new partner. He is new to boxing too, he is friendly and nice aaaand he is good looking. Boxing class turned out to be so great!

Today's lesson: It's worth not giving up too fast.
Can't wait for next week's class!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Australian Health

I enjoy having the luxury to have a Television in my room. I learn so much about Australia just by watching Television. Similar to American Television, there are lots of commercial breaks in between the programmes, but in comparison to German commercial breaks they are so short that it's not enough time for me going all the way down the hall to the bathrooms.

Being forced to watch the commercials, I also see a lot of videos of the Australian government. Many PSA videos tell me how to live life in a proper way. I shall quit smoking because otherwise I could end up sitting in a wheelchair while my wife is doing all the work in the garden by herself or I could start caughing blood when I'm waiting for the bus. So, my recommendation to you:

Wanna see yourself?
Here's a video on skin cancer

Smoking and Obesity seem to be big topics here at the moment. The government is actually planning spending lots of money for stricter anti-smoking laws, as the first country in the world they want to introduce green packaging for cigarettes.

Apart from lots of cooking shows and "the biggest looser" you also see videos such as this one:

Are Australians fat and smoke a lot?

No, actually I think they look pretty fit and seriously, there really aren't many smokers here. I hardly ever see people smoking, they also drink SO MUCH LESS than Danish people (haha, but thaaat's another topic...).
After doing a bit research I learned that smoking rates in Australia have been falling for decades!

At the last count, the proportion of Australians aged 14 and over who smoked had fallen from 30.5 per cent in 1988 to 16.6 per cent. (The Australian)
And about the obesity and skin cancer video... Australia is ranked on place 8 on the country listing of Life expectancy at birth

Find the WHO country ranking here

Interesting... So are the videos a waste of money or can we say that the videos are great because they seem to work?

my opinion: I don't need a PSA video to tell me to live healthy. There must be other stuff for the government to worry about

Friday, April 8, 2011

Musicians and Writers

Last night I went to a concert at the Annendale Hotel, a music venue which features concerts of rock/alternative/indie bands. When the Little Lovers were rocking the stage I thought about how similar musicians are to writers. I consider writing as arts, I think people who do writing or blogging usually have "a specific ego", which means they are complicated and they are self-centered. I am self-centered, I guess.

While I was watching the leadsinger slamming his guitar, he looked as if he was in his own world, completely dedicated to the beat and rhythm of his music. Honestly, I was a bit jealous. He had his audience standing in front of him, he literally could see how his music made the people dance. A writer can only look at numbers, how many copies of his book have been sold, how many clicks he got.. but he can't see how people are reading what he wrote

I guess that's what differs musicians from writers. Oh, and in addition to that musicians have more sexappeal.. oh man, i wish i was a musician. But as a kid, I never really liked playing the recorder (Blockflöte).


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Q & A: My studies in Australia

This week a dear friend and follower sent me an email which included some questions about life in Sydney.
I wanna hear more about uni life in Sydney. How is studying in sunny Australia and what exactly are you studying there?
Studying journalism at the University of Technology in Sydney is pretty similar to studying journalism in the US. It is really practical orientated and that's cool.

It is not like studying in Germany and Denmark, where my studies had focused on media/social/cultural theories and academic debates about media/journalism issues.

Don't get me wrong, I really like over-analysing things (sometimes), but often I asked myself: what the **** does this have to do with working in journalism? This is why doing my studies in the US and Australia AND in Germany and Denmark is the perfect combination for me.

In the US and in Australia journalism studies are more about "learning by doing". I am participating courses such as Investigative Journalism and Online Journalism, classes in which I write journalistic texts, not academic papers. How you can imagine, I'm enjoying the Online class a lot, especially because I can work on my blog in this class! You will see what I am doining in class soon.

Oh and about my uni: UTS is basically in CHINATOWN, so there is "cheap" food all around. Here, everything is expensive. What I like about my uni is that there is a small terrace and a balcony, so you can study/eat outside. And I love the couches !!!

This is what UTS students do when it is raining outside

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm back!

Oh wow. I just got internet! One of my housemates just changed my internet settings from WPA to TRIC and tadaaaaaa suddenly I have Internet!

Last week I experienced some first encounters.

Congrats, you are the first (noted) cacrouch in our room

as a thank-you present you will get the chance to meet our handsome housemate Fabrice from Toulouse,
who will introduce you to Mr. Vacumer

my first 'koala encounter'

Kim from Melbourne introduced me to the Australian Nutella,

Toast with Vegemite.

me with vegemite

mhmm. salty. ok. not as nasty as I thought
 that was a short picture-wrap up of my week! hope you are all doing fine and keep on following :) I'm here - what about you?
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