Dodekanes/Greece 1998

DIA_47_01_092This was – as the Picture documents – originally written on a Psion5 and eMailed in junks to Duncan Larkin and the other presenters of the breakfast show of Blue Danube Radio, Stuart Freeman and Hal Rock, for a roaming fee of appr. 6.500 Schilling 450 Euro in 1998. Meanwhile vacation stories are  replaced by Blogs like this and facbook. Thinking about it – was I one of the first bloggers – even before the expression has been invented?

Hi BDR Breakfast Folks!

This is Michael (the FoBDR looney Vice!) directly from the Vienna Airport 12th July 1998 12:05.

I was always wondering what the expression „public-holidays“ refers to. According to some hear-say it is used for holidays where an entire nation or region stops working.

But „to go on holiday“ is also used for vacation, which I think is the american expression for making an individual-break from work. We are going on holiday now to greece – Rhodes Island and then do some island-hopping.

So this is the start of a PUBLIC HOLIDAY!

Sitting here with my Psion5 Palmtop Computer and my SH888 Mobile-phone I write this e-mail at the Vienna airport. Waiting for the only delayed flight on the display 15:30 (earliest according to the clerk) instead of 13:10 – and it is only 12:05, but because of the fear not getting a non-smoking seat with the child we are here since 11:00.

So what is a PUBLIC HOLIDAY? A public holiday is a holiday where the public may participate. E.g. Sepp Kaiser made a public holiday.

So lets see if I succeed to send this e-mail off from Rhodes. If I do succeed you may use what-ever you like of our holiday report for your shows!

You will get a report every day – if we fee like it – or every few days – depending on how easy gong we are.


PS: we are back listening BDR on the 3rd of August – Markuses 9th birthday (as Dunks already knows) – A BEAR NECCESITY – OH YEAH! 😉

Same day 1600

still at Vienna Airport. The plane is supposed to leave at 1615. Just opened the door to the plane. Didn’t have enough planes the clerk just announced. Serious? So this is a spare plane instead of an air-plane. Lets see if we arrive! people are rushing to gate. as if it is any faster when you stand instead of sitting in front of the boarding desk. Lots of dialects from austrian provinces around us. i wonder what the sound is like for someone who does not understand this useless rubabrubabrubab. Markus is nervous – flying is still something unusual for him. Some of the grow-ups show the same symptomes.

1610 still sitting on the floor – row 15 to 30something are still struggling to push there 15 tons handluggage into the overhead-compartment. they do this on purpose to prevent that I can stow my little rucksack above my seat in row 14!

It sucks! – But it’s V A C A T I O N so lets keep cool.

people jump up – they might fly without me – they will never – if I get lost everyone has to leave the plane and to identify his luggage – there might be a bomb hidden – why are people so nervous.

Let’s get up as well.

See you later!

1615 we should be flying right already!

1810 still austrian time but greek islands below us. we will be landing in less than an hour.

Tired but the end of the first milestone is reached soon. Markus succeeded to have the seat next to the window – he enjoys the beautiful view – thru his closed eyes because he is sound-asleep – ME sitting in the aisle seat, getting either my legs cut by the crossbar of the front seat or my knees knocked by the trolley can only guess what the view is lke.

Turkey to our left – turkey was also on our plates. exept for the kids! Markus got a plate of tortellini with mushrooms „Michael! Ich mag keine Schwammerln!! – Isst Du das da bitte!“ – „Michael The Bin“ in holiday action again!

1820 We are approaching Rhodos – I have to turn off my electronic device! See you later folks!

21:45 Local time rhodos

arrived – both tents are up – after the usual quarrels – wrong way round – closer – further away – dont push – dont pull – not this wayooootchhhhhh! – Markus get away! Get out of the way PLEASE!

just finished th first half beer and startet with a tsaziki.

It is not typically greek here – camping with a swimingpool – TV is just beeeing put up on some beer-crates. 10 minutes to go until the world cup final. I start to feel it it is V A C A T I O N – to the summer sun.

Kali spera – good evening sto hellenica


Kali nichta – from Vienna


I like the diary, it is good to hear you got there and saw the wonderful french destroy those oh so big headed Brasilians.. What a surprise match.

I must admit your tales of camping , altrhough noty so much of

airport delays, make me want to get away. The wanderlust, as we say in english, (really),. Although today is the first day of sunshine for what, how long? two weeks? It seems as if summer is at last here, and you have gone to greece to get away from it?

Have a good time, Michael, Michaela and Markus,

love Dunks.


6:00 local time 5:00 austrian time – Markus: „was machen wir heute?“


6:30 – we did it! What? The place we selected in the evening was terrific: our tent is the only tent on the whole place which is fully exposed to the first rays of sunlight – 7:00 we start to sweat

7:30 it gets unbearable hot – a walk around the place to find out where it could be better.

lets have breakfast first –

it is 9:15 now – we are going to move our tents – markus asks if he may go for a swim while we move the tents = his and ours.

lets go! lets get moving!


The tents are moved and properly secured. We had literally our first moving experience. Proper jobsharing.

Markus had his swim not in the sea in the swimming-pool. We took the tents, rucksacks, clothes, toys, ……..

So where is the beach? Left, first road to the right only one kilometer … a greek kilometer … must have been something like two I guess.

My handicap were only the sandals I bought in mexico in 93. I forgot that the cause you blisters all over the your feet after approximately 1 kilometer. I think I will walk back to the camping with my swim-paddles on my feet.

Markus almost fell asleep at the table. No suprise considering he is up since 6:00 in the morning deliberatly annoying us.

Don’t let him sleep now – he might start tomorrow at 4:00 in morning! – get to the beach – get tired!!

Two more Nesfrapee para-kalo! Nice greek tavern to stay in. Italians, Germans, Austrians, and two or three greeks. So real genuine! I want to see whats cooking – though luck it is the real greek Microwave. Germans want the food hot. Where is my Greece from way back when.

I think we will move to another Island quite soon. This is to much „Man spricht Deutsch – Folkloreabend – Real english breakfast – Home made Pizza“ – Only the Irish Pub made by Guiness is missing. But maybe we will see it tomorrow when we go down-town to the crusaderes castle. I am sure they have one there.

Giasou Michalis!


What a lost world!

I wanted to mail-off the above, but there is no GSM-coverage. Probaly I should go closer to sea 🙂 Sorry dear reader this is not to make you jealous! – No you shall SUFFFFFFFFFER %-)


Tippin at the pool!

My feet hurt – both soles ar blistered. First I tried without any shoes at all. then it was to hot. I had to use the the sandals again. I think I will dispose of them inproperly – ritual burning would be appropriate.

It’s suppertime again.

But now there should be coverage for an e-mail.

till later

Tuesday 14th July


Sitting in the inner patio of the grandmasters palace.

Between 14.45 an 15:00 we will start a tour around the medeval wall.

Meanwhile I bought new sandals. Supposed to be comfortable.

Very good – „you know health-sandals – Gesundheitfussbett sehr gut!“.

Currently they are uncomfortable to carry around. Hope they are any better when I use them for walking.

By the way the morning was alright at the new tent-place.

only thing worth mentioning was the 6cm hair Michaela succeeded to sling once entirely around here eyeball. It took us lots of tears, about two hors, a deep breath and the opto-surgycal skills of my dirty fingers to extract it between the lid and the eye.

He’s looking at you babe!

Oh, yes I almost forgot to report! About 15 minutes after we entered the medeval town we passed the first Pub: TV, Draught Bitters, Fosters, …

Lets run the wall walk, then obey Markuses wish to go to the harbour and buy tickets for a boat to somewhere else.

It isn’t Rhodes who is to blame that of 8 Million tourists who come to greece every year, 800.000 are coming to this place.

We get walking.


The wall behind us – one Nesfrape in front of us -Markus: „Ich hab Hunger!“

We are at Fast Food Gyros – „ASTERIX“. But the ketchup to the french-fries is not the same as back home. Markus: „Das ist aber ein anderes Griechenland?“ – Last year it was Naxos/Kyclades.

Lucky me! I bought Um-Pah-Pah at Vienna Airport – just in case – now is the case – the first I assume beeing a realist.

Two more frapee parakalo.

The decision is made we leave A S A P ! Which island does the next ship go to? Following the steam! NO NOT scream! tsss!?

Leros ? Simi? Kalymnos? Karpathos?

No it is not fair to Rhodes – the guy serving in this fast food place is friendly. It is laid back here. except the fur, jewellery, gold …..-shops and the matching moschino-tourists. – I know all a matter of perspective – if I could see ourselfs thru my eyes – awful!

Hurray we found a chicken-souvlaky for the young man. Let’s hope the meat meets his sophisticated taste! If not I have to eat it again. I know I am still grownig – but the wrong direction.

It arrived the special markus-burger-souvlaki-pitta

A french female tourist just adressed the fast-fod shop-runner in absolut fluent FRENCH! What else? If they want our money they must speak our language. I have never met a french waiter who was as polite and helpful when he was adressed in english in France. Even worse! If you dont pronounce it the right way – you go hungry!

But back to greece.

The sovlaki is swallowed – Und was ist jetzt? Ich will noch eines! No not now – Wohin geh’n wir jetzt? Nowhere!! – we are just sitting here! A deep sigh!

It want change the next three weeks. All he wants is „Essen und Swimming-pool und Eis“.

Lets stop here and see if there is enough GSM-coverage.

mail you later.


Essen und trinken ,schwimmen und Eis, that’s all big boys want too…Honest, (although the occasional cuddle and a beer is also nice, now and again,,, I hope you are enjoying yourselves, it is shitty here, …does that make you feel better, How long are you really away for?



still the same fast food place. the last mail went off fine. Unfortunatly witout this wonderful menu quote: „Lamp Chop“ I really wonder what the taste could be!

Wednesday 15th 11:20

Laying at the pool. Face down. arms hanging towards my little e-mail gagded.

This is just a brief report. 14:00 our ship to Patmos will leave.

Tent take down was without any problems. we even stowed everything away!


We are on the ship. No sensation – stop good news there are. After 30 Minutes busride the luggage compartment was open.

My Rucsack trying to escape – which he did not succeed with. Comment of the ticket-lady – Boy you guys were lucky!

I can tell you we were!. Execpt the tent, clothes, snorkling devices and other staff the charger for my mobile phone was in the rucksack. Gee deep breath!

I will send this off now since we will be arriving very late in patmos. I assume that the boy will be a little nagged when we arrive – maybe both of us will be or all three of us.

The lenght of the next report willl depend on how sea-sick I will get.

Cheers Michael – we are moving a wonderful scenery around us. the wall is really imprssive!

Just in case you’re worried, I have recieved the other e mails, but horror of horror I have had 2 days off…Hard to believe isn’t it..So i went to the garden and did some weeding, went swimming and played golf, now it is 06.24 AM and I am tired and I don’t want to be here…

See you


980715 15:45

Still on the boat – where else? It will take until 22:00 when we arrive, then go to the camping. Put up the tents again – so something around midnight until we will hit matress (spelled right?)

Almost no people abord. I expected the ship to be crowded this time of the year. Markus sleeps since an hour. We just passed …. ehhh …. no idea what it is. lets see what my route-finder will tell me – Michaela just came back and told me it must be Simy.

I checked with EnRoute (also installed on my Psion5) and it was Symi.

Has anyone the impression I am addicted to this little computer? It might be that you are right.

Not the faintest trace of sea-sickness yet. Although there are strong winds blowing the sea is calm – and the ship is big enough not to roll. I remember some 10 years ago. A simple trip from Naxos to Paros. Unfortunatly we did not check and it was going the other way round. what usually takes about 2 hours took almost eight! But worse: we had waves which were between 2 and 5 meters high all the time. Even crew-members where suffering and hanging over board. After arrival at Paros I was sick in the room for one more day. We booked a flight back to Athens „No way that I go onto a boat again“. It was a wonderful view from the plane over the absolute wind-still aegean-sea. Like oil – not a single wave to see. Of course – Poseidon did this on purpose after we bought the tickets from Olympic-Airlines.

Back to present.


We just past the last riff of Turkey. A large turkish flag on the wall of the light-tower indicated us, which border one approaches.

Markus resurfaced. Wirnkled right cheek. The typical „No details! Just tel me who I am!“ look in his face.

My mind starts drifting. Seeing myself sitting here and typing.

It makes one wondering if this technology we creat makes life better. The ability to communicate from where-ever you are is thrilling, exiting and to a certain extend frightening.

isn’t it kind of similar to nuclear fallout? Slowly and soundlessly killing. Killing the mental distance you gain by going on holiday. Killing the recreation you need. Killing the expression „to get away to a deserted tropical island.“

In the days before GSM (global System for Mobile-Communication) one had an excuse when he was not reachable. It was an external limitation you could not influence. Now it is the cage you let yourself put into. Some even step into it voluntarily. Am i mailing from Greece or is this coming out of the cage?

Before it gets to bad i hope I will be able to leave the cage, lock the door and throw the keys away.

Just simply switch it off and leave it behind.

Currently I’am enjoying what I am doing.

Did you realize that when someone calls you on the mobile-phone the greeting phrase changed from a cordially „How are you to?“ to a usually imperative „Where are you?“.

Polite people put another question first „Am I disturbing you“ which I usually reply with „I wouldn’t receive a call if it were disturbing“.

So this is leaving from the ship via a turkish network-provider.

stay tuned (or tell me if you don’t want to receive anymore of this stuff – I don’t mind if you refuse to receive any further public-holiday mails)


No problem keep on sending it, say Hi to Markus, he sounds cool


Hi Dunks

i just received your three replies (just = this morning and it is about 6PM now).

So you did some wedding in the gardens :-). with such a weather wouldn’t a wedding (and weeding) be better inside?

we will be back on 3rd August …. 1998 unfortunatley.

I will have some beers and wines on you


PS: The reply button sends to another adress therefore I don’t read as often as if you send to

Thursday 16t 17:15

Hi Folks! Back to the living!

No I am already up since about 9:30.

The ferry last night was about an hour late in Patmos. I assume it suffered of digestion-problems after sallowing 6 to 8 trucks into it’s stomach in Leros.

Arrival was at 23:00 nevertheless we had our tents up 3 minutes after midnight. And the place selected by Michaela so deliberatly (I was swearing

between wall and a bamboo-shed-roof at about 1,7 Meter (I am 1,84!!) which made me crawl like an apeman.

Finally I had a stiff neck, a boy telling that he has at least 3 mosquitos in his tent and who did not want to stay alone and a girl friend almost falling off her chair when we had our midnight-meal. Around one in the morning when we entered our tent.

Somewhen at three all the cocks in the closer surounfing had the desparate desire the give us a concert. I thought the craw when sun rises?

the revenge will come ! I will order fried chicken tonight!.

An absolute lazy day, Sunbathing, playing frisbee, snorkling and building castles n the sand. Markus got some sand-grains beneath his fingernails which once again forced my surgical experience to ecxellence. This time I was walk on the narrow path between chinese-tortour and relieve. Everything sucessfully passed.

Now (i had a writing-break it is 21:01) after a good meal enjoying the changing colours of the sunset.

We have to walk back appr. 2-3 kilometers to our tents later. Markus and Michaela are just exploring the shops around.

Lets stop it here for today. I can hardly read the display anymore.

good night lads


17th July around 6PM Patmos – Chora (the upper town) close to the Johannis Monastery.

You realize time is shifting into relativity. The local lifestyle is penetrating my mind.

We were in this awful rush again this morning. Shall we go to the beach first or do we first have a look to the monastery?

We will decide for the rest of the day – on the beach.

Leaving the beach at 2:30 shower and then lets go down-town. After the shower we found out that Markus misread the watch: it was 2:15 then. An intermediate lunch to increase or energy again squeezed in. Then a 30 minutes walk to the harbour. Another 30 minutes before the bus leavs to go the 5 km uphill. I decide to walk and Michaela + Markus wait for the bus. 2 Minutes after I left Markuses fast steps behind me: „Ich geh auch zu Fuß. Die Mama nimmt den Bus“. 5 minutes later: Michaela some 200 meter behind us. „I cannot let the boy walk alone with you“. 15 minutes later Markus „Bitte hier rasten!“. and this suggestion is repeated for the remaining 40 Minutes in 5 minutes intervalls.

The apocalypsis monastery is closed. The Apostel John was supposed to rest involuntarily in the cave below the monastery. To kill time he decided to dictated the John’s Evangelium to his favourite follower Prochorus. A popolar book, but he couldn’t harvest it’s sucess.

Enjoying the narrow streets and suffering of the up’s and down’s – no cars – wonderful peace we finally fell into a taverna and ordered for the three of us: 3 fanta, two soda and a big bottle of water. Sounds like we were thirsty – if I could just loose the „s“ … I would like to be thirty.

Shades are growing longer. People gather in the kafenion. Asolute balance: three chairs one to sit on, one for a leg to rest on an one for an arm. Absolute balance. Absolute contradiction to the inbalanced tourists. tourists who instead of resting in the shadow during the day, expose their pink ugly bodies to the hot burning sun.

Dermatologists must have their own satelite in space to monitor their future business opportunties.

They must be able to know exactly how many skin-cancer-cases they will have in which year just by sitting at home and scan the pictures of the beaches of the world.

Markus just expresses his desire for food and we can hardly resist his threats.

stay tuned


Hi Homefolks!

Another unspectacular day is coming to its end.

17:56 Saturday 18th July 1998

Joghurt instead of the usual 2 fried eggs in the morning. Lets lower the colesterol-level – at least for one day.

Last evening I had interesting meal. After all the walking – we did at least 14 km altogether. I had backed spaghetti first, but the second course was special-chiken. What special the spices? I will see. First I didn’t see anything at all because the kitchen forgot to prepare it. Lucky I had the spaghetti first. then the special-chicken finally came – with a sorry-beer on the restaurant. The half chicken was flat on the plate – including the bones. In order to keep this position the bones where cut with axe I suppose.

Spitting all the time was inevitable.

When I payed the bill I couldn’t help to ask: „Years ago fishing with dynamite was forbidden in greece – luckyly! Are you now using up your dynamite-stock-left-over to catch the chicken?“

There are heavy winds since two days. If you don’t watch out you get sand-piercings all over your body. Kind of a random tatoo.

We will decide where we will go next tonight or tomorrow.

The camping place itself here in Patmos is very good, quiet and they serve good food.

More to follow.

21:03 same evening

nothing – except the german-female tourist who was so desparately needing a chair that she had to pull it almost underneath Michaela away – we just had paid and were barely standing.

kali nichta

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! (yawn!)

19th Sunday 22:27

It is card writing time. The first two cards are finished. Markus to his teacher one of the apocalypsis cave. You know the one with the headrest. We supplied a sophisticated text – typical for a nine year old of course :-).

The morning-event was an early walk down-town to catch a bus. During breakfast in the harbour we had an extensive decision process initiated, which after a severe evaluation led to a well overthought „why not just take the boat in front of us which will leave in two minutes?“ „yeahhhh…“ so we did. It was a nice beach. I think we will stay a few more days here in Patmos. The penetration with lazyness is a bearable disease.


Mi Mi…a Markus^

20th July 19:17

Sitting outside the tent. The sun is setting behind the hill.

After an involuntary diversion we found this morning the most beautiful beach so far:

Sand for Markus’s castle, waves (or is it called a surf?) between 1 – 2,5 meter high.

The diversion? Some 7 km walk from the bus-stop instead of the neessary 4 km. We didn’t believe the road-signs. I don’t tell who …. but it wasn’t me!

When we arrived at the beach I didn’t have anything to drink or eat since the night before. Some peopl say that I am fed-up (Vienna dialect: ang’fressen) when I am hungry. But the beach made up for it.

Anyway tomorrow we will go there again – without diversion. Quote Markus: „Morgen WIEDER in die Bucht mit dem Sand.

When will we leave from Patmos? Maybe Wednesday.

Markus had his shower and he will sleep for an hour or so. he hopes to find the german couple from last night who played rommy with him until midnight.

I will do some jogging back to the harbour (5km) and buy a good sand-shovel for the young man. So he can make a better castle tomorrow and hopefully some other days as well.

Michaela returned from her shower – the water was as cold as last night since we are a little late again.

Lets do run run! For some more appetite afterwards.


Ah, you lucky people…

Her I am stuck in this un-air conditionned office, work , work, work…no fun…Ang’fressen auch…

I think that it’s lovely that you ran 5km to buy Markus a spade, for the beaxch, but to really impress him you build a castle and let him be Baumeister, teeling you where he wants everything, use sticks, shells sea weeds etc as model trees, bridges etc, it takes hours, but you will both really enjoy and admire your work forever, (although the sea washes it away, you can photograph it and compare notes with next years sand castle, and the next years after that)

It is lovely here today, but rather too hot unless you are a lizzard…which I am not,,,altho’a bit of a snake in the grass sometimes…


Tired 22:50 Tuesday 21st July

I am sitting out-side the tent.

Markus is playing with some other kids. I could have bet that he will be dead by 21:00 after the 12 Kilometers we were walking to and fro the beach + the castles he was making with the new (almost broken again) shovel + the waves which were stronger today.

There were no boats going to that beach because of the strong winds.

Markus is busy sweeping across the camping place. Finally he found another child speaking his language and beeing his age.

We will stay for a few more days.

Last night a ligh-bulb was changed. I tried to get a ladder to remove it since it was right above our tent. Whithout it there was beautiful darkness (dans ce DUNKEL ce bon MUNEKL – as we say in vienna) until then.

No ladder – somebody else asked for the replacement of the light bulb because the walkway was to dark, AS I MAILED BEFRORE: THIS PLACE WAS NOT MY CHOICE. Since I rejected my own idea to switch off the light via a stone, I had to drink an extra beer in order to make the night darker.

Today I will make it without the beer. Markus is awake – we are going to sleep – NOW!

yawn Michael

Wednesday 22nd July 11:42 – The middle is reached.

I slept until 10 or was it 10:30 ?

After all this walking in the last few days Michaela ment she needs to go on a recreation weekend in Loipersdorf with some (now it comes!) „Fußreflexionenmassage“ instead of „Fußreflexzonenmassage“.

We had of course made (or is „mad“ the right spelling?) the entire product-range for „Fußreflexionenmassage“:

– someone massages the mirror-image of your feet

or the remote version

– you send a photo of your feet to Loipersdorf, have it massaged and the pain is gone without transporting yourself!

Markus‘ morning quote:“English und Griechisch ist ja dasselbe weil die verstehen das hier alle!“

Now he is trying to get one hook from a fisher to …. geee! Jesus! he didn’t get a hook he got a bunch with loads of hooks and fishing rope where the fisherman would be to busy to remove all the knots. I think we will have some work to do a the beach! Maybe we catch a swordfish?

Stay tuned!


22:42 same day

no fishes caught. I spent about 3 hours to sort the fishing ropes out. time is relative when you are on vacation. it doesn’t matter which useless beachgame you are playing.

good night

Thusday 23rd 1998 10:52

Markus and Michaela are playing „Schifferlversenken“ I don’t know the english name for it. A 10×10 square with 4 different ship-types. First hurdle to cross was to explain to Markus that the small boats (one square) are NOT fisher-boats one does not shoot fisherman they are civilians! „Aber der Thomas in der Schule sagt immer Fischerboot dazu!“.

GAME OVER we just found out that the 4-square Flugzeugträger has 5 squares on Markuses sea AND he has 3 3-square-boats instead of the two he should have. Following lenghty and difficult negotiations the war was restarted. Before I could finish the last sentence it was over again because Michaela refused to shoot his additional boats and Markus replied: „Was kann ich dafür, daß ich falsch gezeichnet habe!“ The looser of the war is agressive. Agressivness is growing since his „Mir is faaaad“ (I am booooored) was replied with „ok we do some exercises for school“. The furniture must suffer now because of a stacatto of fists onto table and chair while heavy tears are building anther ocean. this time not exactly 10×10.

We had defined a long time ago that „Mir is faaad“ are the magic words that are to be translated into „I want to do some exercise“ – „NEIN das rechne ich nicht!“ He is trying to negotiate again. No way! He is on his way to become a mathematics genious.

„Sechs Rechnungen? So viel! Nein das rechne ich nicht!“

He just started recognizing that all other options where worse.

A valley of tears and he has finished the exercise.

stay tuned


Same day 18:40

We just came back from the beach. I saw a big Nautilus-shell (appr. 15cm in diameter) with an octapus inside. I left both of them in the sea.

Rush hour at the camping shower. Literally millions of french are using the shower cabins for undressing (for ages) then showering (briefly) and afterwards for drying and other endless actions. And yackedy yackedy yackedy …

Next major holdup is in front of the clothes-washing facilities.

Cries are coming from the shower – has someone got killed? No comment 🙂 …

Markus was asked by his mother about the Danube. His first reply:“Warum? Das brauch ich ja nicht mehr. Das war ja schon letztes Jahr!“. Still learning for school instead of life. A task of similar difficulty was to name viennas 23 districts. „Elfter Bezirk? Sievering!“ Aaaaaghhhhhhh!

maybe more to follow today after dinner.

22;34 same evening

playing chess with Markus sorry no more time to write.

Good night Michael

Hello holiday guys…

Life here is still….here…what more can i say…(give me a holiday or

give me death ! ? )

We call that game Battleships

He cheats huh?

Good lad !


Friday 24th 1998 10:19

Breakfast is over. German exercise is on todays to-do-list.

Markus is suffering again. „Bitte lieber am abend!“. No mercy!

I try to find out if he uses Babylonean letters or Egyptian Hyroglyphes. I think it is a late release of nordic runes.

Back to last nights chess-game. After two educational 4 step check-mates he was a tough fighter. Nothing is worse than an opponent that moves planless (so it seemed) across the board. After a while both of us where almost unable to make any move at all. Shortly before midnight th game was over.I will not mention the last few minutes of the game which were mostly a fight outside the chess-board in order to play to the ultimate checkmate instead of pushing the board down from the table.

And then an interesting statement:“Können wir bis nach Mitternacht aufbleiben?“ No reason just to cross the magic date-line awake – or rather almost awake.

Our swiss neighbours – two girls in their early twenties – just finished their pre-disco-body-shave (legs and armpits) and said good night leaving for the disco (so I assume) when I finally convinced Markus that sleeping with a horizontal body is easier then sitting on chair.

Maybe tonight Markus and myself will sleep outside the tent. Watching the stars above.

The german lesson is in phase two: The correction. Holding back the tears – nomore. It is a hard life – and this is only the beginning.

There is an old englishman – I guess between 70 and 80 maybe more – around all the time. It seems as if he spents his retirement here.

At the moment I have boh of them in my view Markus in front Billy in the back. The circle of life – the four seasons – whichever metaphor you use it is a reflex that you position yourself in this circle. You wonder where you are in this circle. You wonder if you will reach Bill’s status or if you will be already gone before you are there.

Is it vacation that reveals such thoughts and work-days that suppress it? Maybe. But is it relevant? What is relevant …. oooops I got involved in the german-lesson and I couldn’t tell the answer. Gramatics is to long ago. „Womit beginnt ein Causalsatz?“ What do I care! I just say one if I need it. I never understood for mayself why I should learn that crap. Markus was just released and is gone for the beach – now I am the victim „Sag mir die 6 wichtigsten Beistrichregeln“. Leave me alone with that! I will not answer and i will not be marked or payed for it the next year.

lets leave it there for the time beeing


wet wet wet or as Phil Tintner said „Its not the heat its the humidity“

good night

Saturday 25th 10:29

We are leaving tonight to Kos. Midnight to be precise. The tents are already taken down again.

At last nights dinner a cockroach on the wall shared Michaelas undivided admiration.

One more day bathing in Patmos and then we are off for a new harbour.

Stay tuned


Saturday 25th 19:53

We visited another monastery just up the hill between sunbathing and packing. A nice place to live: good view in all cardinal directions. Markus had the honor to join us even he would have preferred to play Uno with another child. Question on the way back: „Wieso spricht man in Berlin auch Deutsch?“

Now everything is packed. We are waiting for the bus to bring us to the harbour. So about 3 hours to sit, eat and drink.

What were the people we saw? I mean WHAT because just by seeing, one can hardly tell who they were. We were wondering about the couple were he looked much younger than she if she was his mother, sister or wife. There were those two greek girls always looking very tired in the morning. Just the same as those swiss girls next to our tent.

The one french group is leaving obviously together with us. Another arrived: The clerical mistery tour. Singing before eating. Talking about true spirituality so Michaela tells me since my french is not good enough. I can only make one comment: Ohhhh Jesus!

Then there is the german family with four kids. They make holiday here every year. Father and mother live separted but on holiday together every year …. at least this is the hearsay we picked up. The age of the children supports this rumor …

According to the photographies on the two large pinboards in the restaurant he comes since quite a long time.

Now an italian family arrived just next to the place where we were: sitting outside their tent and EATING SELFMADE SPAGHETTI.

Yes and best of all of course the german single-woman (around 55) with her whales: one big for the beach which doesn’t look to abnormal. But then she has two more: one about 30 cm infalteable and one as a normal kid-puppet. Wich is both not so strange. It only gets funny when you watch her at dinner when she talks to then or gives kisses. The waiters refer to her (internally in greek) as „one soda for greenpeace. She is kind of a sensation. I wonder if I dropped a brick just a moment ago when I asked Michaela if she has to pay a couvert for the two.

And then the weirdest group of all: ourselfs!

Its about time that we leave.

kali orexi – Mahlzeit


Sunday 26th 1:06 in the morning still in Patmos

The ship scheduled for 24:00 is delayed unti 2:30. Bad Luck – but also good luck we will not be arriving in Kos before sunrise. Michaela is complaining: she wants to have a recreation in Loipersdorf (you know the story). Markus is sleeping on a bench.

The geese of Patmos are making a hell of a noise. The Frogs (mean the french group) are waiting for the sme boat with a similar noise like the geese. THIS is a water-works project: GEESE and FROGS!

sweet dreams


Monday 27th 22:56

In the tent. Headlamp mounted. Michaela is complaining. Sorry for not saying anything for so long. But two wrong ships were coming. The Marina at 00:30 then Rhodanti 2:15 finally at 3:00our ship the leros arrived. We arrived in Kos at 7:30 or so.

We hardly slept at all -except Markus. Yesterday I was trying to get some sleep at the beach.

Kos is a mistake. It is a nice city but spoiled with tourists.

Kos no thank you – this was the first and the last time. I wish I were here 20 years ago.

We had a long walk from the harbour to the camping 3km no taxi stoped …. as we found out later they don’t stop this way because if they drive this way the are ordered via radio.

We rent bycicles for three days which gives us more freedom to move.

This is a mixture between Disneyland and a greek island. A tourist-street-train is doing its rounds. From a distant hotel a medley between Minnie the Moocha, the Banana-Boat song and YMCA is coming to my ears.

The whales-lady from Patmos is here as well.

One thing e found a place were we had good dinner

Markus said „logariasmo parakalo“ fluent at the place were we had breakfast. The toilet was at groundlevel with windows without glasses – interested tourists were outside the window:-).

Tomorrow the Asklepion of Hyppokrates who was born on Kos.

Sorry Patmos that we left you!

I get a stiff neck while typing in the tent,

This is the reason why this message will be sent!

Kali Nichta


29th July 7:23

On board of a hydrofoil – also known as flying dolphin. Departure to Rhodes 8:00. I wonder if we have a seat for Markus since the agen last night said he doesn’t pay and we have the last two seats.

the alternative was a normal ferry-boat at 5:00 which would have meant to get up around three and take the tents down in darkness.


I didn’t improve to our first impression. The nightlife is tremendous – if you go for it. We don’t.

Michaela tries to get something to drink – outside the ship. Will they let her in again?

Our day started at 6:15 we are still a little tired. My stomach is feeling strange – hope we make it to Rhodes without complications.


ok once again i have typed this before but the battery was empty

now it is a replay from my mind:

21:39 29th July (I thinkit was)

In camping Faliraki in Rhodes again.

I survived together with my stomach the flying dolphin. After an exensive breakfast in Rhodes I organized a car while Markus and Michaela were hanging around.

Five car agencies were sold out until I found one. I will pick-up the car tomorrow morning at 9:00.

We took the bus at 13:00. The conductor assured us to stop at faliraki camping. What he did – almost. about 800 meter past the camping at the next stop he let us off with our „light“ lugagge at 13;30 big heat with no wind at all. This is not the place for all the words I wasted on him – after he was out of sight.

Markus was our sunshine again. Luis XIV could have been his alter-ego. He offered in his unlimited helpfulness to go to the pool while we put up our and his tent – which we did – sweating like hell.

He came only once – not to offer his help! He investigated the where-abouts of his snorkling equipment.

We replied with „… und warf das Fenster zu!“ which is the second half of a very famous piece of german literature of J.W.Goethe. Most people never saw the whole play. But everyone knows the Goetz-Zitat aus Goetz von Berlichingen.

Now after an unpleasant supper the Lions sleeps tonight. Markus always sings “ A wimmerle A wimmerle A wimmerle A wimmerle A wimmerle aaaaaaauuuuuuuuu A wimmerle ….“ A „Wimmerl“ in german is akne. But anyway Markus falls asleep on the table. All the stress in the pool and then during supper when we asked him for the 10 Millionth-time to hold knife and fork like a civilized human.

Hey someone else falls asleep ! Michaela!

But there it is the question of the day „Miiiichaaaaeeeeel (he always start ike that before some high class question) – Miiiichaaeeel: kann man ausrechnen um wieviel ein Mensch leichter wird wenn er unter Wasser ist???“ This was already the tranlated short version of the question. Archimed’s principle to explain to a (almost) nine year old boy who is almost falling asleep. Just say it, as it is. He wont understand it anyway. …………….. HEY! Are you asleep? AND YOU!!!! yes YOU at the other end of the email!! Are you also asleep!!!????? Sigh!

then good night


8:03 Thursday 30th July

waiting for the NEXT bus. The 8:00 Bus was early today and passed visible but unreachable thru the station at 7:50. So what? This is the last bus THEN i will have a car!

I only wanted to catch the 8:00 to be able to shoot some pictures of the fishmarket and have a breakfast before I get the car. …. there were no cars on the road for a few seconds and it was like beeing somewhere else on a car-less small island – but only for a few seconds….

9:20 at the travel-agency

It wouldn’t be greece if the guy … sorry here he is

22:56 tired and 204 km later.

enjoyed some spectacular views. Had a good fish-plate. Too tired to type. Wake up buzz for tomorrow Lindos 7:15 … what a vacation.

good night Michael

Saturday 1st August 00:31 in the tent

It is the HEAT AND the HUMIDITY!

We were at Lindos in the morning – just before the tourist-buses arrived. Gorgeous! – Lindos I mean and horrible this spilled out waves of tourists which are pushed through the place. Why the let themselfs be pushed through? Maybe because they are unable to move at there own will?

We flew towards the southmost-end of Rhodes which is reachable via a 5 km sandroad – the first pieces of tar-layer are already finished and the first 2-3 taverns are already there.

It will be an ex-paradise in outmost 2 years – maybe this stage is already reached if you consider the amont of garbage coming in from the sea and left by the surfers who enjoy the tremendous winds there.

Close to the camping we were snorkling in the so calle Anthony Quinn Beach were the film „The Guns of Navarone“ was shot. Impressing how many umbrellas and sunchairs can be located in such a small area. I am sure they are already working on multilevel sunchairs were each level get the same amount of UV raditiation for getting sunburned.

The first law of Rhodian tourism: It is not a beach if there is no umbrella and sunchair to rent.

After I bought a bag in Rhodes-city this evening we were in a cafenion at least 300 years old. The stone-mosaik was already have worn-away. Liked the place very much.

Tomorrow morning it will be butterfly-valley time and the last-but-one day of our holiday. I assume dear reader that you are looking forward to it.

Wht is the weather-forecast for vienna on monday (appr 3:00 AM)? What shall we put into our handluggage?

Good night Michael

Hi Michael,

I have noticed your english getting gradually more and more lazy as the

holiday goes on…lucky man, you sound really relaxed, despite all the

craziness of being a surrogate dad…send love to the family…the weather

is so changeable at the moment…rain, then sun, then hot, then muggy

(schwül) that it is hard to predict so far ahead. But I think it will be

fairly sure to be dark…And not so hot at 4 am. Pullover, but only a light


See you soon.

22:32 Saturday 1st august 1998

The same cafenion again as yesterday.

An almost touristless butterfly-valley. We were the first in. And behind us the first tour-bus.

An english tourist – obviously an analphabeth – picked one up and pulled its wings apart for a picture. when we left 8 buses were already parking – nothing compared to Lindos.

Some more stones during noon: The archeological museum. Compared with the beach with the cave in the afternoon … i think I liked the beach more beeing fed with headless-marble-statues.

New tourists are passing by the window … pale with bags … old tourists are passing by … tanned with bags …. we will be of the later tomorrow night.

Markus will celebrate his brithday starting in greece and ending in austria. Michaela already made a wish for the breakfast show on monday the 3rd: The Bear Neccessities from the Jungle Book for Markus to his ninth birthday. I am sure you haven’t lost it.

Just ordered another frapee. A chair outside is vacant now I will move!

00:04 same night back in tent – lets send ….


Hi Folks!

Sunday 2nd August 9:23

We were in the Anthony Quinn Bay at around 6:30 in we were the first. Or rather almost because some were still there after last night.

Great swimming this time of the day!

To the emergency:

Michaela only prepared the birthday-dedication-email but she did not succeed to send it off in the prevacational stress.

So this is the long distance dedication from Michaela to her son Markus who will celebrate his 9th birthday on Monday August 3rd.

Happy Birthday Markus and always stick to that song: The Bear Neccessities of Live from the Jungle Book.

Please play around nine o’clock in the breakfast show (we will try to record it).

Till later Michael I have to finish breakfast (at the pool) now.



I don’t worry about you beeing successful in the library only us

– departing in time

– and beeing able to put the mini-disc-recorder on to record it for Markus. I doubt that he will be able to listen before Drive time 🙂 – NO RUBBISH he is sleeping now on the floor. Its us who are awake now and dea tomorrow.

You will get a listners arrival and listening confirmation,

Good night and thank you


PS: Next Drinks are on me!

Sunday 2nd August 1998 – Rhodos Airport

Planned departure 3rd august 1:10. Planned arrival 2:55 – the flight is not on the display yet. Lets think positive and assume no delay.

A brief resumee of the last three weeks. Camping Patmos was best. I forrgot to mention the daily announcment via very old speakers which gave us the impression of beeing in the M.A.S.H. camp and waiting for Elliot Gould to come around the corner.

00:43 same night

We already have the first hour delay. Markus got a Happy Birthday by Michaela and me and is sleeping on the floor in the transit area now.

Lets continue with the resumee…

The Dodekanes will not be our target so soon again.

Rhodos City is impressing, but ….

The way tourism changes places into faceless Disneylands is disgusting. People or at least the masses aren’t interested or willing to adopt to the pace of the country / culture they visit. The tourist doesn’t visit anymore, he is not a guest he demands. He does not behave like a guest, he is buying services and he is disappointed when these services are not as good as expected. It is a „value for money“ not a „thank or letting me be your guest“ tourism. And for me in Kos and Rhodos worse of all places I have been in Greece and it was something like 27 Island plus Athens, Meteora, Kalamata and Nauplia so far.

Faliraki/Rhodes a former small fishermans-village close to the camping we left today is an enclave of entertainment with bungee-jumping and other countless rubbish.

It is always the same pattern: Scientific archeology then interested layman then trampers who explore the most beautiful beaches. Then the tramper places are change into ressorts or Hotels or All-Inclusive-Clubs.

Then roads are made that link culture with beaches. This gives the cultural cover-up for excessive drinking holidays. See the picture : me at … dammed what was the name of the pile of stones we passed on this one day we made the bus-tour? Yes great fully airconditioned … didn’t understand why we had to get off the bus into the heat.

We complain that the cheap transport of goods creates usless traffic within the EU. The potato example: grown in Germany peeled in Italy made to frozen french fries in Germany again and sold in Italy.

(A guy next to me uses deodorant to stink less. My personal impression: it didn’t improve.)

Back to transportation: Loads of environmental problems are created by this transport – the transport of people is also to cheap and to easy.

Lets close with the well known story of the Chief who was brought by car in a two hour drive to a congress to bring in his wisdom and knowlegde. After a while he asked to stop the car. He got out and sat on the road motionless for minutes. Finally beeing nervous about any delay with the arrival at the congress the driver asked him what he was doing and the Indianl-Chief replied: „Because the car drove so fast my body is already here, but we have to wait until my mind follows.“

Is this the reason why all the people here (my inkluded) are running brainless around?

Have our minds every been able to reach our body since the day we were born?

On Tuesday latest my body will start his runnaway-tour again … my mind still beeig in Greece …

Kalo taxidi


5:06 Arrived home late and sleepy

All devices set for recording of the Bear neccessities of live.

between 8:30 and 9:30


good morning

And Dunks of course sent the birthday greetings and played bare neccessites on the morning Show.
Dunks was Born the same year as myself and it really hit all of us when he passed away on September 21st 2008.


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