We just came back from watching a show of the Tesla Orchestra. It was part of the annual Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. Great show!
Here are some photos!
Recently, I once again ran over the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked. I’d like to share this few but meaningful words from the beginning of that song. I watched the performance in San Francisco a couple of days before I returned back to Austria after studying for two semesters in the US. For me, this is true in so many cases. I’m thankful I knew you all.
I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…
“For Good” from Wicked, by Stephen Schwartz
I just came back from my first trip to Spain. The journey started with a train ride to Vienna, the city I lived for the last year. Vienna’s West Train Station was reopened recently after two years of reconstruction–and it looked beautiful: lots of space in the waiting area and comfortable places to stay. But I don’t understand why there is no free wireless. Anyway, my flight was late-evening from VIE and I arrived shortly before midnight at Plaza de Cataluña after taking the Aerobus. After walking down La Rambla, I met my friend at the hostel in Carrer de la Unió. We walked around the nearby neighborhood and the harbor.
Next day, early morning we took the metro to Vallcara and walked up to Parc Güell (actually escalatored up :)). Parc Güell is famous for the architectural elements designed by Antoni Gaudi. We continued to walk down to Sagrada Família. Later that day we had a short walk along the beach.
On Sunday, on my way to the airport, I stopped by at Plaça d’Espanya, to see the Venetian Towers and enjoy a last view over the city, right next to the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña. Please have a look at the photography section for more photos of Barcelona; I’ll post them soon!
Last night we visited the major cathedral in Linz, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, to watch the light show that was set up for the Night of The Churches–a yearly cultural event across all Austria, where various performances of choirs, lessons, meditations etc. are arranged. Could be a scene from a Harry Potter movie, right? Here’s one of the photos:
Great opportunity for some photography! Check it out next year! Bring a tripod!
I feel honored that I had the chance to deliver the alumni address at my commencement today. Throughout the last two years I have been collecting ideas and thoughts for this speech, which I entitled “What I wish”. It is a collection of wishes for our new life. Enjoy!
“Software engineers can be rightly proud of their achievements. Without complex software we would not have explored space, would not have the Internet and modern telecommunications, and all forms of travel would be more dangerous and expensive. Software engineering has contributed a great deal, and I am convinced that, as the discipline matures, its contributions in the 21st century will be even greater.”
Software Engineering (8th edition), 2007
Addison Wesley, Harlow
First thing you recognize in Hong Kong is left-hand traffic. But you are reminded at almost every crosswalk: “Look Right!”. Obviously, this is not astonishing at all as they were British until 12 years ago.
Something else, which you’ll inevitably run into and which is quite unusual (but not unique though) is that three banks are licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for issuing Hong Kong Dollar bank notes. So don’t wonder once you have three different looking 20-Dollar notes in your purse. Also remarkable is the Ten-Dollar polymer note.
However, what amazed me most is the Octopus Card. Initially, I perceived it as an RFID card for prepaid public transit payment (similar to the Breeze Card of MARTA in Atlanta, GA). But it turned out that this card is also widely accepted at grocery and convenience stores, coffee shops and even restaurants. So this card became a very convenient payment method–the most convenient I experienced so far. The idea is similar to the Quick system in Austria, but since the Octopus is contactless, it is way more practical.
In general, Hong Kong is very much a western city. All the American chains are there, huge flagship stores of Europe’s and America’s most exclusive fashion brands are marking the city center. One will definitely smell the sea. It is very easy to get along with English only. And of course all the skyscrapers that are shaping one of the world’s most astonishing skyline.
Here’s the updated photo stream!
So says an ancient Chinese proverb. My train trip to Munich worked out quite well–the train arrived only ten minutes delayed. However, it was enough for missing the connecting train to the airport. I decided to spend the waiting time at–guess where.
Three stations before I reached the airport, it turned out that somebody committed suicide by jumping on the track. The DB (who runs the trains in Munich) was not able to come up with an adequate solution. They didn’t manage to install buses; people started to call cabs. Furthermore, this event far out of the city center caused a break down of the entire train net. My favorite announcement of the train conductor after several complaints is “It’s not the DB’s fault that somebody jumps on the rail”. There are two trains running to the airport; east and west. Luckily, I scheduled enough extra time. After all, it took me about four hours to get to the airport, instead of the planned 45.
The rest of the journey was very relaxed. At the airport in Munich I had still enough time to walk around the Christmas market. Yes, seriously, there is a Christmas market at the airport :). The flight was perfectly ok–I absolutely can recommend Lufthansa. Sunrise was somewhere above Kyrgyzstan. Later on, we passed the Taklamakan Desert. George picked me up at the airport in Hong Kong.
Check out the photo stream!
Tomorrow I leave for an almost two week journey to Hong Kong to meet an Emory colleague. What a pleasure! This trip also gives me the chance to reunite with a former JKU exchange student. Maybe I have the chance to meet Austrian exchange students too!
Earlier this evening I returned to the Blue Danube Airport Linz, to try some more time exposures. This time all corn was harvested, so I had a unrestricted view on the runway. My conclusion after taking a couple of photos: tiny aircraft are quite unstable; at least more than they seem to be. Have a look and form your own opinion!