Tag Archive | travels

More Taipei

13 May 2015

After the art fair we had planned a 2 weeks trip through Taiwan, but before we leaving to the south by train, we stayed another few days in Taipei city.
We moved to another hotel room, experienced the public transport, bought stuff in a huge mall specialized in electronics and got trapped by interviewing students.

Real life beats fantasy

27 November 2013 (South Africa)

Again I saw an appearance in nature that I painted years before I had seen it in real. Or even ever thought it would exists in real.
Our last stop back to the south of South Africa, was in the little town Graaff Reinet. A few miles out of town there was a large National Park called Camdeboo. On one of the viewpoints there was a beautiful view on the mountain ‘Spandau Kop’. Look how it has -in a certain way- similarities with a painting I created in 2003, when I never have had one single thought about visiting South-Africa in the future.
It’s a kind of inspiration the other way around.

Spandau Kop, Valley of desolation, Graaff Reinet, South Africa, Patricia Van Lubeck Patricia Van Lubeck, Real life beats fantasy 1

The locked up guys, viewing us from their safe cabin, are making the ‘backwards inspiration’ even crazier, viewed in the light of my recent thoughts about the gap between black and white people in South-Africa.




The dogs of Bloemfontein

25 November 2013 (South Africa)
eastern-cape, the dogs of bloemfontein
The next morning sun, sun and sun all over! Yes, of course; a clear blue sky on the day we had planned to be locked up in the car again, driving back to the south.
It would be nice to find an ATM for some fresh cash and a good cup of coffee. Therefore we headed to the fairly large town called Rustenburg. But once arrived, it’s such a confusing mess again. Guddamn, why so much garbage on the streets?

Never mind; we still had some cookies in our food box. And a bottle of water.
The rest of the day we are driving through a boring, dry, but sunny landscape. And we got seriously cursed by a local guy, because we braked for a crossing cow … Huh? Isn’t that right to do? I’m afraid if we had hit the cow, we were killed by the family, because not seldom some head of cattle are their only possession.

If we stepped out of the car after arriving in Bloemfontein (at first glance, a breath of fresh air in terms of civilization) I felt the first raindrops on my head. At the horizon huge black cauliflowers with lightning, were quickly rolling in … We even didn’t roll our eyes anymore.
By phone we ordered a room in a luxurious neighborhood, hoping the accommodation was a bit luxurious too. We asked in advance if it was possible to cook in the room. Yes, it was.
The room appeared to be 3 x 4 meters, stuffed with 2 single beds, a wardrobe and a ‘kitchen unit’. There was no room left for a suitcase. Cooking facilities meant a mini microwave and a kettle. That’s it. When we asked if that was all there was … somebody was sent out to grab a dusty hot plate and 2 pans from the attic of the main house …
Cooking is very challenging without cutlery and no hot water, but we didn’t dare continuing to whine.

Before cooking we wanted to stretch our legs and went for a walk in these luxury streets. The upscale neighborhoods are not built for pedestrians. It is intended that the citizens in this part of town are driving from their garage behind the electric gates right to another high guarded area. Probably their feet hardly touch public grounds. So, there are no sidewalks. Our walk resulted in passing 70 barbed wired electric fences and at least we turned on 35 watchdogs who started furiously barking to us. Nobody here is walking just for fun. Walking means poverty and walking through rich neighbourhoods is considered as ‘bad intentions’. That’s of course not exactly the conclusion of the barking dogs, but they are conditioned to their bosses ideas, isn’t it?
As a foreigner I don’t want to have an opinion about this, but  in a strange way these neighbourhoods gave me the feeling of an upside down open air jail. But it’s inspiring anyway …




Escaping to Sun City

24 November 2013 (South-Africa)

We went to Sun City!
Do you remember this record?
From 1985. Five years before the apartheid was abolished. I hardly can believe it’s all so recent. Although … the country’s wound is still far from healed.
Sun city originated in the time of apartheid as a kind of refuge for whites. A cross between Disney and Las Vegas (a bit smaller though), located in a national park. It is 2.5 hours drive up north of Johannesburg.

Escaping to Sun CityThe route was varied, the weather was beautiful and our food box was full.
When we passed a nice lake, it seemed a good idea to do our banana-stop on the shore. After a long search for an acces to the lake (everything was fenced and private property), we found a spot. Well … we found a spot to park the car. Behind a thick barbed wire we had view on the lake.

At 1:00 PM we arrived at Sun City. And the sun was happily burning the whole day. It was our 10th day traveling through South-Africa and 9 of them has been grey and rainy. Our ‘reservoir of goodwill’ was limited, but this bright day helped a lot.
We parked under a tree, hoping that would keep the car a little cool. We took our bathing suits. Every 15 minutes, visitors were transported by train to the entertainment park. Looks like a smooth business.
The visitors got released in a fake cave and first we had to work ourselves through a tunnel filled with loud music, disco lights, amusement arcades and souvenir shops. Yes, ‘work through’ because there were so many people in bathing suits coming from the opposite direction.
When we saw daylight at the other end of the tunnel … I suddenly understood the reason of all the bustle. The sky was almost black as ink. A huge thunderstorm was appeared in just minutes! It started to rain like hell.

At 3:30 PM we were back at the car. The only thing we had done, was waiting for the visitors-train to the parking area, together with hundreds of other wet people.
Plan B for this day was to visit the national park … Watching animals at least was an ‘activity’ to do IN the car.
Well, we’ve seen a couple of wet animals. I didn’t record them, because as soon as I opened my window the pouring rain hit right on my camera. And through the closed window I only could record a haze of water.

At 5 AM we had ‘spilled’ enough time to check in for a place to sleep. The only available accommodation was a luxury safari tent or an expensive 8-person chalet. Uhhhh … the safari tent had no cooking facilities, no wi-fi and no water. There was electricity, but under these current weather conditions the power failed every 5 minutes.
We didn’t want to spent too much time in the almost dark tent, so we decided to have a long, slow and extensive dinner in the restaurant. But of course the restaurant had no electricity too … but it has to be said; they made the best out of it. The tables were lit with candles and not all the dishes on the menu were available, but it was still quite tasty.

On the video you’ll see sunny weather. But this was filmed the next morning.