Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Scoop !

Have to say that after yesterday's playdate with my neighbor ladies I was a bit concerned that I would need to start getting used to those pink glasses but.....

IT IS A BOY !!!!

Not that grandmas were thrilled (even if they tried very hard :-) but I am really happy that I will soon be able to share toys, jumpers and jokes with my little bro' .... can't wait to show him a couple of tricks !

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Playtime

Now that dad is traveling I really miss him a lot. However, one thing I like is that during the afternoons mom takes me to our neighbor's house and have some nice playtime with my friends.

You see? here I am with my friends Alba, Adriana and Olivia. They like to play "family" and, of course, being the only guy I am always the dad so here I am wearing a pair of nice glasses and about to start reading a book before going to bed. What do you think?

Playing soccer sounds somehow like a better plan but.... they are girls ! now I know why dad says that you always end up doing whatever they want :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

On Sunday I celebrated my first Halloween and, of course, I did it in style. Meaning.... dressed as a pumpkin !

The whole neighborhood was really into it so i had a chance to walk around doing the whole Trick or Treat thingy... Not that I was very scary but I looked so cute that I managed to fill my bag pretty quickly :-)

I was not allowed to eat any of the candy (now you know why mom is wearing those red horns) but I had a lot of fun anyway and then my friend Adriana and I ended the party dancing the song of the Cantajuegos.

Mmmmm... I think I am already looking forward to next year's Halloween !

Monday, October 4, 2010

As I said in my last post I find that people in Bali are very spiritual. There are temples literally everywhere.

Some of them are public and really big (they are called "Pura")and some others are just small family ones.

Buddhism, Hindu and local gods live together peacefully and the reality is that the whole of Bali smells like incense !

During our trips we have visited many of temples and here you can see some pictures.

All of them look really impressive, with big entrance gates very decorated (kandi kurungs) , beatifull gates and plenty of sculpture for the Gods and the Damons.

The walls have beautifull gates and... watch out ! you are not supposed to go through all of them because some are reserved for priests :-) There are also big courtyards where ceremonies take place. But not also ceremonies.... also dance and theatre performances take place in the temples.

One thing I like is that the temples are always full of stuff that local people bring as gifts to ask for blessings or say thanks to the Gods or to keep the Demons happy and away.

Flowers, palm leaves, rice, meat and plenty of fruit lying around everywhere !

It is really amazing because there is a whole industry around gifts and offerings... did you know that an average household spends at least half of its income on offerings? quite impressive... specially because many of them seem to be very poor...


Ah ! something important... there is a special temple attire.

Formal dresses are only required during important ceremonies but, even if you just want to explore around, don't forget to put a long cloth (sarong) around your waist and tie it tightly with a belt or sash. Some local men also cover their head.

I also read that you are not supposed to go into a temple if you have an open wound or, not sure what that is but.... also if you are menstruating you should not go there. Have to remember to ask mom about that !

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cultural Ubud with Daniel the explorer

And when I say cultural that applies to all of Bali but somehow you just feel it even more in Ubud.

The city center is not all that big but there are plenty of things going on and, in any case, I have taken my "explorer" role very seriously and have gone around quite a lot to the villages nearby... painting, wood carving, stone sculptures, jewelery (mom and grandma specially enjoyed that one :-) are just some of the many arts Balinese people master.

Traditional Balinese dances are also something very special and there are plenty of shows with professional dancers and musicians.

All of them take place at night and, as the good German boy I am, I was fast asleep by then but I really enjoyed the pictures and videos mom, dad, the abuelo and the abuela took so that I could also enjoy the show.

In any case, the fun continued as well during the day as in many temples the also played traditional music . When that happened I was well trained and could follow the Balinese moves for my own private audience.

So the Balinese people are not only creative, they are also very religious.. so my abuelo was like a fish in the water. You can find the most impressive temples you will ever see but it doesn't just stop at that. There are small temples everywhere and people do offerings every day.

Everything starts very early in the morning when they take little baskets made of leaves filled woth flowers, food and incense to the Gods. Well, not only Gods but also Demons that look pretty much scary indeed.

But more on temples, Gods and Demons to come soon... are you curious? you'll just have to wait till tomorrow !

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Discovering Ubud

So the first days of our trip in Bali we stayed in Seminyak, a small town by the sea where we just relaxed by the pool in our villa.

Then, we rented a car and drove all the way up to Ubud, the cultural and artistic capital of the island.

The drive itself was a bit of an adventure because, let me put it this way... Bali is not precisely Germany when it comes to road signposting... but thanks to mom's impressive map reading skills we landed smoothly in Ubud. Dad was also great driving on the left and dodging the crazy motorbikes !


And then we arrived to paradise: Alam Shanti.

A beautiful boutique hotel with traditional balinese houses surrounded by rice fields. Colonial verandhas where we had breakfast every morning overlooking the palm trees...

Lovely rooms with high wooden ceilings and... fans ! You can't imagine how much I loved getting myself under those big fans and getting all the hair messed up :-)

But the best of all was the pool. It was just for ourselves so I could go all naked and enjoy the swim.

We stayed there 5 days so we had plenty of time to do a bit of everything... spend time in the hotel and do plenty of day trips around the area where we saw many temples, enjoyed some performances of traditional Balinese dance and, of course.... shop till we dropped !!!

Selamat Datang to Bali !

...or what it is the same... Welcome to Bali !

We are indeed having a great time here. Nice weather, lovely food and, of course, loooong swims in the pool :-)

But don't you guys think I am just living la vida loca here. I am also doing the homework and taking the family out for day trips to explore the wonderful things that Bali has to offer.

And... as I love eating rice so much, our first day out had to be visiting the famous rice terraces.
You see? we found this amazing spot just by chance, driving around in a lost village and then.... just after a curve... we saw it.
Don't you think it is an amazing landscape?
I any case, I am a man of action and watching was not enough so that same afternoon we went to walk through the rice fields like real troopers.
It was actually very nice to see how the terraces are made to prevent the rapid run-off irrigation of water. That way, the plants can keep humid for a longer time till the earth absorves the water and the rice matures.
Ha ! impressed by my knowledge? well, not everything is going to be about eating !

Friday, September 24, 2010

Three.... and a half !

Yes I know I have been lazy but... I think I have a good reason to break my silence and blog again: we are increasing the family !

I had already started noticing some changes... mom's belly was getting slightly bigger (though she was as beautiful as ever :-) and then, finally, they broke the news: I am going to be a BIG BROTHER.


It sounds so cool ! will be a little brother with whom I can play footie? or maybe a little sister that I can protect? not really important because what really matters is that there are exciting times ahead with a new member of the family on the way and, why not, I will also be able to boss someone around :-)


Ah ! did I say I had a reason to start blogging again? actually, I have two reasons because... guess where we are now? in Bali ! yes, two weeks of great vacation time with mom, dad, el a buelo and la a buela... swimming at the pool and trying new food ! mmmm, yummmmy!


More to come one that :-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monte de San Pedro


And the good weather continues ... well, at least till daddy comes home on Saturday :-) so we enjoy every day and go out for walks as often as we can.

I already told you about my wonderful experiences at the playground but, today, I want to tell you about the Monte de San Pedro, the most beautiful park in the world !


Green green grass, a lake and the most gorgeous views of La Coruna that you can ever imagine. I really love running up and down those hills, rolling around on the grass.


Then, when I am totally exhausted, we just go for a rest to the cafeteria where I can enjoy my bottle of milk while a watch the Hercules Tower and the Riazor Beach far away.


And it is even more fun when there is wind... You see? last week we went there for a walk and it was very windy so, after all the running, playing and chasing my hair was all messy.


Mom and the abuela where very thoughtful and took a comb to make me look pretty again so... after that... I also took the comb and styled up my dear friend Rocco. He looked so cute after the hair dressing session !

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bonilla a la vistaaaa !

Have you ever tried chocolate con churros? If you haven't, you are really missing something good and, if you have... you must come to Bonilla a la vista so that you can taste the best one in the world !

So far I have just been allowed to taste the churros (without sugar, of course) and a little little bit of chocolate that mom gave me the other day but I think that I have found a new favorite.

Mmmm, dad I look forward to have you in La Coruna again so that we can go together in the afternoon for some more churritos. I love living in China but clearly... I am going to miss this one when we go back home !!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Laxe

Laxe is a small village just an hour drive away from La Coruna.

Mom and dad had already told me about the lovely port and the white sand beach but, after this weekend I also know that Laxe is great for something else... FUN !

On Sunday we did a day trip to Laxe because mom's friends "Los Candal" have a summer house there. So off we went in a car with auntie Ana, uncle Gonzalo and lovely Carmen.

The trip itself was a lot of fun as Carmen and I played a lot with my farm book. Have to say that I was really impressed with Carmen's ability to place everything (the carrot, the milk, the eggs,..) in the right place... she is so clever !

And when we arived to the house I just went crazy. Auntie Marieta and auntie Pili were there with uncle Fraser and uncle Jaime (hadn't seen them for such a long time!) and also my friends Jaime, Andrea, Carmen and Santiago and.... all those toys !!!
We just played everywhere all day long. By the pool, in the house, at the porche, down in the field, at the Indian house... we even played football and auntie Ana nearly scorded a goal to uncle Gon !

By 6.30 I was totally exhausted,... happy... but exhausted so we went back into the car for a lovely nap after saying bye to all my friends.
I was sad to leave but mom has already told me that we will be beack soon. Actually, looks like auntie Susi's family also lives in Laxe too ! didn't I tell you that it was a special place? so I already look forward to coming back for some more games :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I love going to the park

Yes. That's another thing I am really enjoying this summer: going to the park.

I really like it because it is a lot of fun. There are plenty of cool things to do at parks... going down the slide... pushing on the swing... riding on the jumping birds...

There are plenty of parks here and, as the weather is really sunny and warm, I can go very often. Honestly, don't know why daddy kept on saying that in La Coruna rains all the time.... it is so not true ! Must be only happening when he is around...


I like it a lot when I go to the park with the abuelo and the abuela because they also play with me but what I enjoy most is to spend time with other children. I have made a lot of friends already !

The funny thing is that here in Spain, when I see other children I just look like everyone else. It is kind of relaxing though I have to say I was getting used to the attention and the pictures from the locals back home in Shanghai !

Well... guess I am still a bit different because I speak a bit of Chinese and that's not very common here in Spain but I am sure that many of the girls find it cute and interesting :-)


Ah ! there is something else I really enjoy when I go to the park and that is grabbing all the toys from other kids ! I think mom was not having a good time with that but by now she has learned that, at the playground... everything belongs to everyone !

Or.. don't you think I look cute with this stroller from my friend Paula? My uncle Pabli took this picture last week when he took me to the park with auntie Nuky. I loved it !


And look, today I went to the park with my friends Xulia, Lara and Miguelito.

They are the cousins of my auntie Susi so I think that kind of makes them my cousins too, right? that would be great because I really like them and we had a lot of fun !

I can't wait to see them again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rocco

And I said that my "frienemy" relationship with Rocco needed a post on its own so... here we go.

Well, let's just say that Rocco was not too happy to see me when I arrived. And I can see why. Cute as I am... center of attention... abuelo and abuela all over me because they missed me so much... pues eso, el "rey del mambo" we were talking about.

In the beginning we kind of ignored each other and as days passed by the routine kind of went on like this: Daniel approaches Rocco. Rocco steps back. Daniel wants to touch Rocco's tail. Rocco doesn't seem to be too convinced about the idea. Daniel goes for it. Rocco barks. Daniel cries.

But, you know? things have changed... considerably. So, what can be bringing us closer and closer? FOOD ! It all started when Rocco realized that something good was going on under my high chair at meal time. Suddenly he was quite happy to see me !

And then, el abuelo tought me something fun... I can feed Rocco ! I was afraid in the beggining but now I really like it. Specially when he tickles me with his moustache (don;t worry dad, i always wash my hands after).

So, more to come on Rocco but I have a feeling that this is going to be the beginning of a nice friendship!
video

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vivir na Coruña

Already 2 weeks since we arrived to La Coruna? and I can hardly believe it !

When we were in the flight from Shanghai and mom was telling me about the many nice things awaiting, everything sounded very nice and, now that I have been here for a while, I can only say that my expectations have been not only met but also exceeded.
The amazing blue water at the beach, the many friends I play with at the park, the long walks with my new friend Rocco (wow, that really deserves a post on its own!)...
And, of course, the most important thing... spending time with el abuelito Fernando, la abuelita Merche, el tio Inaki y la tia Susi. We are doing so many things together and having so much fun ! I really felt them very close already when we talked every day on Skype but this is even better!
Of course, it also helps when you are the target of all attentions. Needless to say, I am the "new kid on the block", the "jewel of the crown", vamos, the "king of mambo"!

Monday, July 19, 2010

My first hair cut

Not that my lovely curls weren't any cute but today I went for my first hair cut (as dad predicted it... it happened as soon as he took the flight to Shanghai :-) And, if you gotta get your hair cut... get it done in style !
Have to confess I was a bit worried when I heard that they were going to cut somehting but then Grandma and mom took me to a really cool place: "Fashionkids".
As soon as we came in tey gave me a nice robe (similar to the bib I have at home but faaaaaaar longer) and off I went to meet my hairstylist: Adri.
And then... I saw the cars. A beautiful yellow old style car, a red fire-truck and a blue racing car. I will only say that I ended up climbing into the three of them, singing with Adri and watching cartoons.
I had so much fun that I totally forgot I had come to "get something cut". Can you imagine? By the time we were done, I looked into the mirror and there I was.... cuttest as ever !
And that wasn't all... I even got a 1st hair cut certificate with my piucture and a bit of my hair.
Mmmm, now I know why mom has so much fun at the hair dresser. I already look forward to the next visit !

Monday, July 12, 2010

Si si si !!!

My uncle had already warned it.... even Pulpo Paul left no room for questioning.... and, yesterday, finally happened:
Spain is CAMPEONA DEL MUNDO !!!!

My apologies if the post today is short and sweet but, as you can underdstand, I am still in celebration mode. In any case... an image is worth a thousand words :-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

La decision de Daniel

I know it has been ages since I wrote the last blog but tomorrow the match of the season taking place: Spain vs. Germany in World Cupr semi finals. As you can imagine, such an ocassion deserves a good blog !

24 hours before the match both my mom and dad have received numerous emails from all of you asking the golden question: who will support Daniel tomorrow? Spain? Germany?

There fore I write this blog today (totally free and voluntarily) to express my support for La Roja. Germany is cool, I love eating sausages and I even find Schweinsteiger kind of cute but.... what can I do.... in the end of the end I am a Corazon Latino !!!! Tiki taka, tiki taka....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Missing my "Dean" friends: Jess & Amy

I know it has been a long time since we said good bye in Mount Kisco... nearly 10 months already! But I want you to know that I have not forgotten the nice time we spent together. I was very small at the time but I remember very well how you took care of me and "did my hair" even if I hardly had anything !

And I want you to know that I am still playing with all the toys and been wearing all the nice clothes you gave me! You see? do you remember the brown coat? Now the weather is getting better but you should know that all the warm Canadian cloth has been specially useful in the hard Chinese winter :-)

So, how is everything going? do you enjoy being back home? I don't really know where Ottawa is but... sounds pretty far away ! still, I hope that you will come by to China to visit me at one point. Ask your mom & dad to plan a trip! I would really love to see you again and show you around . So many nice things to see in Shanghai and China. I hope we have a chance to see them together soon. I miss you !

Friday, April 23, 2010

Suzhou

Today I want to tell you about another nice trip we did while Oma & Opa where here. Btw, don't we look cute in this picture?

Suzhou is just one hour away from Shanghai so we took a ride with our driver Mr. Guo and went there for the weekend. I was really looking forward to going there because the pictures of the city in the travel guide looked really amazing ! (pity I can't read yet :-)


With a population of more than 6 million people you would expect it to be a BIG industrial or modern city but all of us were surprised by how beautiful was the city center. The city has two big highlights: the traditional Chinese gardens and silk (mom was pretty excited about that one though I have to say that we didn't really give her a chance to buy much).

Right next to the hotel we had the Pan Men Gardens. As we went for a visit very early in the morning (my fault) we had a chance to enjoy first hand all the traditional activities: groups of people singing, dancing, doing tai chi... I have to say that Chinese people are very active in the mornings, even more than I am !

Suzhou gardens are really something amazing and each one of them has something special (and there are more than 20!). All of them have nice traditional houses, bridges and ponds with orange fishes, but... what I like the most about Chinese gardens are the names: Lingering Garden, Couples Retreat Garden, The retreat & reflection Garden... they all sound so delicate and peaceful...

That reminds me that I really have to start getting up to speed choosing a Chinese name ! mmm, that can be fun :-)

And,... don't you think that there were many foreigners running around ! most of the times we were surrounded by Chinese tourists who where really amused by us but.... this time.... who do you think was the star of the film? DADDYYYYYY !!!

Yes, several girls came by and asked if they could take a picture with us and... there I was all ready to pose when I realized that they were only interested in dad !

German as he is I though he wouldn't be very amused with the idea but, surprise, surprise... here you can see him with a million dollar smile :-) must be mom's influence !

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Three Gorges Dam... and much more !

One of the things I like most about living in China is everyone is curious and wants to talk to me ! That's one of the advantages of looking "different".

The only ones who think about it twice are other small kids. No hard feelings,... they probably think I look very funny with my blue eyes and light hair :-) But as soon as I say "Ni Hao" and throw them one of my big smiles... nobody can resist! specially the girls :-)
On the second day of the Yangtze cruise we made a great excursion to the Shibao pagoda. A 12 floor pagoda built leaning on the rock. Such a cool thing... well, at least it was cool till we had to climb all the stairs till the top of the pagoda !

The funniest thing is that the pagoda was constructed without using a single nail.

Can you imagine? was a good thing that the tourist guide told us once we were already at the top. I am no sissy but, otherwise....


And on the third day, we arrived to the Three Gorges Dam. Did you know that it is the biggest dam in the world and it covers today more than 10% of China's power needs? (between you and I, Chinese people seem to have something about beating world records :-)

The construction began in 1994 and it was completed in 2006. That's a long time, but it is not because the guys were lazy... at the boat the told us that during the project they had to relocate 1.3 million people because the level of the water would be more than 100 meters higher due to the dam!

That means that along the river there are many villages that have been fully covered by the water. Mmmm, tough to imagine my room looking like a swimming pool... I am sure many local people thought that the dam was actually a damn bad idea!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Yangtze adventure

Last weeks have been just GREAT. I have had a loft of fun with oma and opa and... we have done so many things that I haven't even had time to blog about it. But don't worry, in the coming days I am planning to make up for it and will tell you everything!

One of the nicest things we have done lately has been the cruise down the Yangtze River ().

Our trip started in Chonqing, and... guess what? is the biggest city in the world with 33 million people ! wow, that is indeed a lot of people :-) and, after spending the afternoon in the city (pizza included) we boarded on our wonderful ship: the Victoria Empress. My first cruise had just started !

The ship was not very big because we were going down the river but, still, there were 168 people onboard an I had a lot of fun getting to know many of them. I actually made many friends !

Look at me here with Rebecca & Funny. I just loved spending time with them... and not just because they let me borrow the calculator and literally let me play around with all the necklaces of the shop! they were very sweet and just loved hugging and kissing me. Not that I suffered much :-)

During the 3 days of the cruise we just went down the Yangtze river from Chonqing to Yichang and all the way through we just saw the most amazing landscape: the Three Gorges. With very high cliffs, huge rocks an emerald waters, this is one of the most famous spots here in China. Actually, you can see a picture of one of the gorges in the back of the paper 10 yuan note.

On the second day we took a very small local boat and went through the lesser gorges. I am really not sure why the call them "lesser" because, between you and I, they are even nicer than the big ones ! During the excursion they told us many great stories about the local people who used to live in the area. They had to hike for days just to get some food ! we are so lucky now...

Every day we got up very early, had a niceeeeeeee breakfast and then joined a couple of short excursions. We would always be back at the boat before dinner time and by 8pm I was ready to grab my bottle and go to bed to load my energies for the next day.

Mom & dad took shifts with oma & opa to stay with me because every night there was a small show on the boat. For example, here you can see a picture of the night were the crew showcased the most amazing traditional dresses I have ever seen. They belong to minorities from China (I think there are 53 of them in the whole country!). I would have loved to see the baby version for each one of them :-)




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oma und Opa sind da !

I know I have been lazy lazy lazy... and haven't written for a long time. However, today is a special day and I have to tell you about it. Why? .... because Oma und Opa sind da !

Yes, I am very happy because, even though I see them very often on Skype, we hadn't been together since last August before we came to Shanghai. I have to confess that when I saw them coming into the house I was a bit shy but... after a short while, I really enjoyed throwing myself into Opas' arms and laughing when Oma started pulling funny faces. Of course, needless to say, I have also enjoyed all the toys and presents they have brought from Germany !

Oma and Opa are going to stay here in Shanghai for 3 weeks so we are going to have plenty of time to do many exciting things together. Now I am going to go to bed because is late and I am a bit tired after a day so full of emotions. I need to load some energy to ask them so many things ! about uncle Klaus, auntie Jessica and my cousin Marcel... uncle Herbert and the snow in Pirk.... the little duckies at the See Cafe in Neumarkt....

Off to bed now but I just wanted to tell you how happy I am. It has been a long time but, in a way, I feel is as if we had been always together. Oma & Opa, I love you very much.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Temples

It is not the first time I visit Chinese temples but I have never seen them as beautiful as in Taipei. There are a lot of interesting things going on in Chinese temples...

First: you can find them everywhere. I mean... some of them are really really big but you can also find small temples in every corner.

However, both big and small ones have several things in common: they are beautiful, there are a lot of people praying and... there is a funny smell all over the place (mom & dad said it is incense!... well,... I can't know it all, right?).

It is funny because in Spain and in Germany when people go to church everybody is very quiet but here it seems to be a totally different experience (except for the incense). People move around all the time and they gather in groups to talk all the time. I kind of like it because, as lately I am pretty much into screaming, I was not that loud after all.

People run around with those incense sticks between their hands while they pray, they buy beautiful papers with nice golden pictures and (take this) they burn them !!!!

Another interesting thing is that temples are the houses of many different Gods so, in a way, is as if there were many temples withing the same temple. That's probably why people run around with those sticks from one place to the next.... because they have to go and say "Ni Hao" to all the Gods, otherwise... they could get upset.

Here you can see me with papa in one of the corridors of the Baoan temple. I really liked this one because it looked very old. You can see the different rooms for each of the Gods and some of the people with the incense I told you about.

Very close to the Baoan temple is the Confucius Temple. It is not as busy as the other one but I also liked it very much because it was very simple and nice.

Papa told me later that this Confucius guy was a very spiritual guy who liked to live with little. I couldn't help think of what face would this Confucius have if he opened mom's wardrobe !!! He would certainly agree with dad's comments about the 5000 handbags :-)


Here you have another nice picture of dad & I at the Confucius temple. Isn't the bell cool? not that they let me play it but I think that, considering how big it is, its sound must be nearly as loud as my screams !

So, what do you think about our temple tour?

This is one if the things I have enjoyed most during this trip but... don't you think this is all we have seen ! there is much more to come and I will continue writing tomorrow.

Good night !