Author Archives: jlinketraveller

About jlinketraveller

Traveller and Writer - none of 'em uber successful!

I won’t take the high road, but I’ll take the low – and I’ll be in Zagreb on Wednesday

For me and my true love, shall one day meet again!
I am off to Zagreb, Croatia in a few days. Purpose of this adventure, again, is my Uni, who kindly asks me to write a Bachelor-Thesis. Me, for I really really want to learn Croatian and explore the country and culture to its fullest found a superb placement, called “Expat Adria”, for whom I will conduct a communication needs assessment. I shall be looking forward to it. And, of course, I am very much looking forward to exploring a culture that means the world to me. I have this decent camera of mine that takes pictures (you don’t say!) and thus I expect the most of you here again, for images and stories! Stay tuned!

zbogom! 🙂


Introducing: 1 child, 1 present

Today, I want to present a very social topic to you.

Two good friends of mine have recently started a new blog, called A couple of the green hearts. In that blog, Maria and Sander want to explore one green trend each week, seeing whether it is possible (both financially and organizationally) to shift your life to a more greener solution. Besides these truly fascinating ideas, the two have of them have come up with an even better idea of how to spend a life meaningfully:

Each year, too many children in the world cannot celebrate a Christmas as we can. They face troubles in life beyond their own capabilities and maturity level. Their parents do their utmost to support them through their life, but too often, finding the money and energy to provide a meaningful Christmas is out of the question.
Maria, as a native Russian, saw this being a major problem. She contacted a well-trusted NGO in Russia and received a list of 80 children. 40 live in an orphanage just outside of Moscow, the other 40 are spread all across the country with their parents whose incomes are barely enough to survive. This is where you and I can come in. Maria and Sander have opened a section in their green blog on this wonderful Christmas fundraiser:

1 present for 1 child

What they ask from you is simply: Give money. You don’t even have to think much about what sort of gifts you could buy, because Maria and Sander have taken care of this already. All they want is a relatively small donation from you (10€ per child) for a child in Russia, so that this year’s Christmas might be a little less sad and a lot more happy! Please, be so kind and explore this unique idea from two people, who couldn’t be more altruistic and caring!

Don’t think about the money, think about all that money can do for a soul, who just want to spend Christmas like you, like me, like every child.


China: the Bund, the Scam, the Wall, the Ricewine

I was in China! It was an incredible experience! It was unique, shocking, inspiring, educating, frustrating, it was pretty much everything you would and wouldn’t expect when being here.

True story: This is considered "empty"

For the first 4 days I decided to spend in Shanghai, thinking that it might be giving me a first plain insight into China’s culture, lifestyle and patterns of being. I couldn’t have been more disappointed…

Shanghai may also be called the “European Capital of China” for that matter. I had to look really hard to find spots and people I believed would still count for a more traditional country. But finding those between monstrous Apple stores, 85-store high shiny buildings and the ever-present Starbucks/McDonald’s/KFC wasn’t a simple task. I tried, honestly. Some spots were very interesting to explore, such as the Bund at night, overlooking the financial district or small streets where I saw the most amazing and the most disgusting dishes in my life and I cannot even start thinking about certain smells. Truly incredible! I had tofu one day (and normally I adore tofu) that had the smell of a train station’s toilet in Berlin at 2am. You’ll learn from it. Oh, one more thing that hit me while being in China (and especially Shanghai): My skin kept burning like stupid and regardless pf how often I’d wash and moisturize it, I’d always feel a thick layer of dust and dirt on it.

The scenery of my scam (should the location above a shopping mall made me think?)

I believed to be lucky when I found a group of 3 Chinese, very enthusiastic in inviting me to a “traditional tea festival” experience. I was like “score, finally!”. It turned out to be a well-known (for everyone else) scam in a small room on top of a rotten-looking shopping mall, that involved tasting tea (which was amazingly tasty to be fair) and paying a buy-out of a little over 90€… well, it was an experience!

Maybe it was due to the omnipresent jet-lag I couldn’t have fought until the arrival in Beijing, but I need to stress the fact that Shanghai disappointed me more that I gained from it. When you see a huge “Calvin Klein” commercial right next to a let’s say 1000-year-old Temple, you’ll understand what I am referring to. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world, but I am convinced that the next time I’ll make my way to China, Shanghai may not have top priority.

Standing at "the Bund", overlooking the river to the Financial District

Nonetheless, I saw a lot, ate a bit, spent “accordingly” (metro ride: 50cent; fried noodles from the street: 60cent, Tea scam: 90€), slept during the day and walked the streets at night.

Who came first? Buddhism or the model?

This was my first encounter with the traditional storage of meat in China. I should have been prepared for Beijing, but nah...

I’d much rather be a smoker in the Netherlands than a non-smoker in Beijing

The best thing about Shanghai was the High-Speed train to Beijing! Going on roughly 320km/h, we easily made the 1,300 km in less than 5 hours time. And from the moment I disembarked at the train station until the moment I entered the plane back home to Europe, Beijing was one heck of an experience! Frankly, I did not see anything from the city or its sights during the first three days due to study obligations which would tie me to the 4* hotel conference room and the CUC and its canteen. Hold on, canteen? Oh yeah! I finally felt like a proper student, eating food in a uni’s canteen. And it was among the most amazing food I ever had. Steamed, boiled, fried vegetables, tofu and rice, hauntingly beautiful 🙂 These dishes cost me about 1,60€ per meal, including the cozy loud Chinese student atmosphere.

Choose your weapon

A bowl full of novelties

After some days of so-called working on our home projects with our Chinese buddies (who couldn’t be more helpful!) we finally found some time to explore the city. First during the night, when we ended up being in the shiny nightclub “Latte”, where male dancers dress up like women, where women walk around having over-sized teddy bears tied to their bodies, where men wash your hands in the bathroom for 2€ and where the prices exceed those of Europe. Unfortunately, cameras were forbidden. However, the weren’t forbidden in the Forbidden City, so I made it there the other day and took countless pictures. I won’t give you the history of the Forbidden City, but I myself had no idea what to expect after all. Yet, I was amazed by the buildings, but again, the heavy smog that caused some troubles breathing made things seem a bit less enjoyable. Continue reading


“Soldier Side” 2011

Dead man walking to the bottom of his heart
Wondering when you come home, am I gonna be saved
Maybe I’m a sinner for your inner unique peace
Maybe I’m a downer, maybe I deserve to die

I am crying as my love left
My soul is wearing black
You’ll go so far to find yourself
I hope you’re coming back

We were crying when our ways split
All good things must go
You’ll go so far to find your truth
I know you’re coming home

Young man standing on the bottom of his life
Wondering when you come back, am I gonna be saved
Praying to your feelings, I’m so crushed I only cry
Maybe you’re a savior, maybe I don’t have to die

I am crying as my heart breaks
Life is turning black
You’ll go so far to find yourself
I hope you’re coming back

We were crying when our ways split
All good things must go
You’ll go so far to find your truth
I know you’re coming home

Welcome to the soldier side
Where there is no one here but me
My heart grows up to die
There is no one here but me

Welcome to my lonely side
There is no one here but me
No-one on my lonely side
There is no one here but me


“Lost in Hollywood” 2011

I’ll wait here,
like crazy,
My lasting grief is filled with hope,
You should have never gone to Hollywood.

I’ll find you,
and safe you,
Know you’re the best I’ve ever seen,
You should have never trusted Hollywood.

I’ll write you,
And find you,
You are the greatest girl out here,
You should have never gone to Hollywood.

I’ll take you,
And make you,
They’ll look at us in adoring ways,
You should never trusted Hollywood.

I once was standing tall,
Now feeling 2 feet small,
I’m just always smoking fags on the street to the end,
I have no front page,
I have lost my age,
My dear love, take good care and I’ll be waiting here for us to return

Face the horizon, smoking fags on the road to no man’s land

My dear love, take good care and I’ll be waiting here for us to return

Lonely people come to cry,
Look at me I’m just a fall guy,
Lonely hearts that really die.

(The lines in the letter said, “We’ll have gone insane”)
Look at me I pray to stay

Broken heart has come to die.

All I do is smoking fags in the cold cold dark,
All I do is smoking fags out there on the bench in the old park.
All I do is smoking fags out there on the redemption path.

You should have never trusted Hollywood.
You should have never gone to Hollywood.

My dear love, take good care and I’ll be waiting here for us to return

You should have never trusted Hollywood.


“Fix you” 2011

I will try my best and hope to succeed
I have lost what I want, I have lost what I need
I feel so tired but I can’t sleep
Stuck in desperation

And the tears come streaming down my face
I have lost something I won’t replace
When I don’t see you, I go to waste
What can be worse?

I hope love will guide you home
And enlighten our souls
And I will wait and love you

There is no high, I am down below
I am too in love, won’t let it go
I’ll have to wait, or I’ll never know
Just know you’re worth it all

I hope love will guide you home
And enlighten our souls
And I will wait and love you

Tears stream down on my face
I have lost something I won’t replace
Tears stream down on my face
And I…

Tears stream down on my face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on my face
And I…

I hope love will guide you home
And enlighten our souls
And I will wait and love you


“Tentative” 2011

Suffocation is taking me alone for a ride
Thoughts of fear awaken me, with no light
The tears are falling on my chin day and night
While I am sitting, waiting for you so bright, so tell me

Where you going
When will you back
Do you hear me
I’m almost dead

I am going down in a spiral to the ground

I am hoping, you, you gonna save me soon
Nightmare are killing my condition, night for night
Keeping my head over water, remains a fight
I can’t stop wishing, praying for a sunlight
While I am sitting, waiting for you so bright, so tell me

Where you going
When will you back
Do you hear me
I’m almost dead

I am going down in a spiral to the ground
You, yeah only you can save me now
Not even God, he ain’t safes me
Who’s gonna save me?

Do expect me to be there when you need me!

Do expect me to be there when you need me!

Do expect me to be there when you need me!

Do expect me to be there when you need me!

Yearning is taking me again for a ride
Believe me now, I’d look for you anywhere, worldwide
Salty tears are falling in my cup every night
While I am hoping, with all my strength, strength, strength, strength, strength, strong…

Going down, in a spiral to the ground
No-one, no-one’s gonna save me now (not even God)
No one saved me, no one saved me
No one saved me, but I hope you will

Do expect me to be there when you need me!


“Jersey Girl” 2011

I got no time for the football boys
Down on the pitch making all that noise
Or anyone else on the avenue
`Cause all night I wanna be with you
Soon I’m gonna take that ride
Across the border to the other side
Take my sweetheart out to the river side
And I’ll show you all the stars

`Cause down the docks everything’s all right
You and I on a wonderful night
You know all my dreams come true
When I’m sitting down by the water with you

Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la I’m in love with that only girl

You know you thrill me with all your charms
When I’m covered in your loving arms
Little girl, you give me everything
I know that some day that we’ll dance the swing
So don’t bother me life, I ain’t got no time
I’ll be on my way to see that girl of mine
`Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world
When I’m in love with that only girl

Sha la la la…

When I last saw you, you looked so tired
I hope that time you had won’t leave you so undesired
When you come back I’m gonna take you out
Make you happy, there I have no doubt
Go grab your suitcase and take that camera
We’re gonna do a trip that will stick in our minds forever
I know a place where you’ll always smile
And nothing in the world will get you down
`Cause by the stage everything’s all right
You and I on a this beautiful night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world
Coz I’m in love with that only girl


“O Children” 2011

“O Children”

Show me your smile, before you’re gone
My love, my only one
The tears are coming, one by one
I don’t even want to let them dry

No-one comes knocking now on my door
The pleasure is gone, I am on the floor
The bricks are falling fast and hard
on my broken little heart

O children

Forgive me now for what I’ve done
It started out as so much fun
Here, take these before you run away
The keys to my heart

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Here I am, I’m so alone
Left aside, for me to drown
My life was bright, now it’ll dim
And we were only just beginning

O children

I want to help you with all your fears
I wish it’d simple and crystal clear
But it’s not too distant, it’s somewhere here
Hidden for us to find

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

The life has done its job on us
Left alone, so we both are crushed
But soon, I know, you’ll be good and new
And I’ll forever be here, waiting for you

O children

I am sitting here, white as a ghost
I found no answer that we lost
I am only weeping now, weeping because
There ain’t nothing I can do to protect you

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Children
Rejoice, rejoice

Hey little train! You and I are jumping on
The path that goes to the Freedom
We’ll be happy, Schnubs, we’ll be having fun
And the train ain’t even left the station

Hey, little train! Wait for me!
I once was blind but now I see
Please, please leave a seat for me!
Hope that won’t be too hard imagination?

Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I’m free
I’m hanging in here, don’t you see
In my process of elimination

Hey little train! You and I are jumping on
The path that goes to the Freedom
We’ll be happy, Schnubs, we’ll be having fun
Even beyond our wildest expectations

Hey little train! You and I are jumping on
The path that goes to the Freedom
We’ll be happy, Schnubs, we’ll be having fun
And the train ain’t even left the station


how the age outgrew me

I have been a passionate football supporter for many years now (and still plenty to come from here). Throughout most of these years, I was lucky enough to still be of a certain age here most players I’d know and even see in town every now and then would be somewhat older than me, more experienced than me and, well yeah, much much cooler than I could ever expect to become! For the greater part of these years, I’d dedicate my “childish” passion to those players aged 28 – 30+, because they were much older, much more talented but would also say the occasional “hey” in the city center, giving me a good feeling about myself.
In short, I saw people I could idolize, very important at the time being when a youngster like me longed for identity and recognition.

Today, however, I wake up, seeing most players just graduating from school, starting a (professional) career or playing football at the side. And let’s face it, they are all much younger than me. A personal connection to any of them is not possible for me anymore, though I would not deny any.
The youth outgrew me, making me see football less a passion with people I’d define as “special cool guys” but a bunch of youngster willing to play for money/fame/fun who might even see me as a person of an indefinable older generation soon. Which is good, I reckon. After all, it is not the players that I should idolize, but the team I am passionate about. Players are just a commodity for a much wider plan. i do realize that now.
But I had to outgrow first…