Last year I traveled from south to north Vietnam. One of my last stops there was Sapa a small town in the mountains. Sapa was way much too touristy but from there you can do hiking trips to smaller villages where the Hmong minority lives.
The woman on the picture was the guide of our small hiking group. All the way through green rice fields up to little villages she was talking about the Hmong and their life.
The Hmong are an ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. She told us that family is the most important thing and that every tribe there has a old wise person that gives advises. They mostly live in very small cottages with one room where everything is done: cooking, sleeping, living. So we went to her own house where we meet her children and her husband and cooked together. The family didn’t have a bathroom or toilets nor electricity. “The kitchen” is a hole in the ground where you can make a fire to cook.
But the food was actually really good, we had rice (of course) with cabbage and other vegetables.
The men are normally working on the rice fields to get food for their family. Cows and pigs are running around, as well as water buffalos. The women take care of the children and sew these nice colorful clothes.
This hiking trips was one of my best experiences in south east asia and just another example that you do not luxury to be happy.
The lily pads on this picture are so huge and stable that small persons like children can sit on them without drowning. But I was also really impressed by their nice green and red colors.
The picture has been taken in July in a big zoo that also has a great botanical garden. The zoo is named “Wilhema” and is located in Stuttgart (South Germany) where I live. I was not too interested in seeing animals in cages, but I enjoyed the botanical garden with all its exotic plants.
On this market in Durban we where the only white people although there live a lot of white people in South Africa. The sad thing about this country is that black and white people are still separated where ever you go. Even though they live in the same city, there are different quarters for each race, different restaurants, different parts of the beach etc.
It seems as if especially the white people are so afraid of the black that they can never enjoy their lives.
They put huge walls with electric fences around their house, install cameras and hire security guys. Some almost never leave their house until it is really necessary. And if they go out they always carry a gun with them.
Last year I travelled through the United Arabic Emirates and South East Asia. In Thailand I visited a lot of buddhistic temples and in Abu Dhabi I visited the Sheik Zyed Mosque.
Although I live in a christian country I do not believe in God or Jesus and I am not religious. The reason for that is that I do not want my destiny to be dependent on another person or a God. I think the only person that can influence my life and my destiny is me.
Anyway there is something true about every religion and all religions have some values they share with each other, such as love, hope and mercy. This is why I am still interested in seeing other religions and recognize how similar they actually can be. It does not matter if I go to a christian church, a mosque or a buddhistic temple – their doors are always open no matter if you believe in their religion or not. I just wished people would generally be more open to other religions too and see what unifies them instead of emphasizing what differentiates them.
This white mosque in Dubai really impressed me by its architecture. It is so huge and contains so many decorative details like flowers and ornaments.
How boring would our world be if we all had the same skin color, the same religion, the same culture and the same mindset.
The more different a culture and a country is, the more I am attracted to it. There is so much to explore and so many things to see that you have never seen before. You will see things that make you wonder, things that leave you breathless.
In April I went to South Africa, first to Durban and then to Cape Town. This picture has been taken on a market in Durban. Most of the women there covered their faces with loam to protect their skin from the sun.
I really like taking macro photos. If you just get close enough you can create a really interesting photo of ordinary things.
Last weekend I went to the Black Forest which is a really nice area in Germany. While I was hiking I started recognizing how different the structures of tree barks can be. So I got closer and took a picture of it.