Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Malaysians in Germany

Malaysians in Germany

Malaysians are no strangers to Germany. My secondary school mate ended up working in Germany in a Chinese restaurant. My son-in-law's father had his training on printing machines in Germany. I myself have been to Germany 3 times. Twice in the 70's when as a student in Belgium, Germany's eastern neighbor, I and a group of Malaysians took a bus tour to Cologne and to Phantasialand in Brühl. I went again with a few friends in a car to Frankfurt, also in the 70s, traveling from Belgium. The third time was in 1999 when I went to the Geneva International Invention exhibition. On the way back, I stopped over in Frankfurt to visit my niece now married to a German there.

According to the German Embassy in Malaysia, there are now about 800 young Malaysians studying at German universities, many of them receiving scholarships from the Malaysian Government, and the numbers are still increasing. In Malaysia itself, there is the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) in Kuala Lumpur has been providing high-tech training in the modern and advanced fields of production technology and industrial electronics since its was started in 1992.

Things I missed in Germany

I have enjoyed the sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and bratwurst (German sausage). Sauerkraut is rather like the kim chee of Korea. There have been reports that kim chee is good for bird flue, which if true, may also be true for sauerkraut. There is of course the free flowing beer especially during Oktoberfest which is a festival lasting 17 to 18 days in the month of October. This however, may not appeal to Malaysians professing the Muslim religion, but there are lots to do, see and eat during the Oktoberfest.

While the capital city of Germany is Berlin, most visitors arriving by air will probably land in the Frankfurt Airport. an important hub for international flights from around the world. That was where I stopped over on the way back to Malaysia from Geneva, Switzerland. My architect brother-in-law is sure to love the German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architektur Museum) at Schaumainkai 43, Frankfurt 60596.

I missed visiting Berlin and peeping at what remained of the Berlin Wall which divided East and West Berlin for 28 years, from August 13, 1961 until it was dismantled in 1989. Only a few short sections and watchtowers are now left. If I don't hurry, I wonder if I will get to see any of it as taking part of the wall as a souvenir. One can even sell them on eBay. I understand that there is still a 1316 metre long East Side Gallery left, located along Mühlenstrasse between Warschauer Strasse and the Hauptbahnhof and that had been decorated with 106 paintings. It seems other smaller sections of the Berlin Wall can be found at the Bernauer Strasse, Invaliedenfriedhof, the Reichstag, Nieder-kirchner Strasse, Bornholmer Strasse and Zimmerstrasse.

And of course the famous Black Forest in southwestern Germany which I did not get a chance to visit. Didn't get the chance to taste the Black Forest ham, the Black Forest gateau (Black Forest Cake), the Flammkuchen made with ham, cheese, and cream, or the Pfannkuchen, a crêpe or crêpe-like pastry.

Looking forward to the day when Air Asia X starts to fly to Germany and I can afford the airfare to visit Germany again. If that ever happened, I will not do like before, that is, hunt for accommodation only on arrival. That is a big hassle and a waste of precious tourist time. I would rather book online at websites like Germany Hotels.

To get to see (and hopefully bring back a brick of) the Berlin Wall, I will need to go through Berlin Hotels if I can handle the German website with my limited grasp of the German language, or flee to Berlin Hotels, the English version of that online hotel booking website.

Now Austria is just next door, and it would be a sheer waste not to hop over to Austria and its capital city, Vienna, after flying half way round the globe. This would interest my daughter greatly as she trained to sing with Malaysia's Opeaafest Children's Choir under Kam Sun-Yoke. She would love to see the world famous Vienna Boys' Choir in action.

I can't expect my family to sleep in the railway station, so it will have to be the Wien Hotels for accommodation.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, just came across your blog. Currently on work permit in a small town outside Hannover.. Pretty quiet place here.