Montag, Juni 9
Donnerstag, Januar 3
Montag, Oktober 8
Man man lai
Dienstag, Mai 22
Farbamt - living up to it's name
Claudia Wanner & Jo Schmaltz
Sing Woo Rd 75A 2/F
Happy ValleyHong Kong
Cwanner@traviax.de and Jo@traviax.de remain the same and Claudia can now even access her email completely mobile with her brand new N95 (it still is a big blow to be technologically far behind her with my no frills company blackberry).
6 hours ahead of German daylight saving time we now also have our mobile numbers:
Claudia: +852 6341 5202
Jo: +852 6347 0524
Last but not least we are trying really hard to make it easy for you to give us a call: We both have Skype in numbers in Germany, so you can call us FOR FREE - depending on your call plan and depending on where you are: Claudia: +49 (40) 71668225
These numbers are routed to our mobiles so you have a good chance of not talking to a machine...oh, you can certainly call us on skype at joachim.schmaltz and
What a long section about contact details...and I haven't talked about the instant messaging yet (firstname.lastname@example.org (MSN and AOL) or email@example.com Confused? Forget about all the numbers and just write down the real address, hop on plane to HK, take the airport express to downtown and a 5€ taxi to Happy Valley: we have a guest room and (very important) a dehumidifier and air conditioning....Seriously: HK is great and we'd love to show you around. Its only a couple of hours flight! You will even get your complimentary octopus card (for public transportation) as well as a local cellphone for you convenience...
Just a reminder: Das Farbamt is not to give you a complete account on what we've been up to, but rather highlight a couple of events and situations that we thought might entertain you
It is a coincidence that I just noticed: but I was seriously planning to write about Hong Kong sounds and colors before I realized "Farbamt" is not such a bad name for this topic.
I am surprised that apparently nobody uploaded any videos to youtube after the very colour- and soundful "2007 Reuters Annual Dinner" that took place in the Marriott Ballroom with round about 400 of Reuters staff with partners attending a couple of weeks ago. There were lots of colors & cameras (see my flickr photos here)... It was an event that took me by surprise not only the night before but already a couple days earlier. It all started with a mail from HR to all Management staff in Hong Kong, announcing that - like in the years before - the Management Team is expected to perform at this years annual dinner as well. OK. Like what? Didn't have to wait long for the next email expecting me to meet in a conference room the day after for rehearsal. So there I went. And found out that I along with about 20 others (including all senior management staff) were to perform a scene from the musical “Chicago” that starts with "Baby, why don't we paint the town...and all that jazz...I'm gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockinbgs down" and so on. Aha. "Dance, sing and make a fool out of yourself, that's what the rest expects" I was told.
And - this was really new to me - it's tuxedo time. Well, I could handle the make-a-fool-out-of-yourself thing (as you can see in this rehearsal here) but I was definitely not ready to stick out of this fool gang of management staff by being the only one not wearing a tuxedo. So I called Claudia right after the first rehearsal and asked her to put her logistics knowledge at work. Two and a half days left to get the tuxedo from Hamburg to Hong Kong. Easy. However I wasn't so sure that it would really work out so I went shopping just to find out it is impossible to find my size in HK. Now I was really getting nervous and I even called a guy I met the other day at an exibition (he was about my size) and asked him if he might have at least a white shirt for me to borrow. He had, and - along with a plastic gun and a hat, which he thought was a good idea for a Chicago style Jazz performance - he even brought it over to my office during my Mandarin class (here is another topic). - Thanks Kenneth! Well in the end, Claudia managed to get the tux here in time (cost us 160€!) and I was all set for the dinner (we've had three rehearsals with a professional dance instructor until then). For those really interested or planning to send tuxedos round the world: only UPS was able to do that on time from Germany, DHL will only deliver documents. No way to fold the tuxedo that small …
The Annual Dinner was something to remember. It was the best organized event I have ever seen. The program didn't stop once, there was always something going on: employees singing, dancing, the announcement of this years bonus percentage, the long service award for 20 years, the award for the best dress, the lucky draw (didn't win anything) and of course food in between. And evrything presented like for Saturday night's TV show, very, very professional. Well there is more ground to cover so I'll cut this story short. I was not over and not underdressed, that dance went all right, and I will try to get some pictures for you to actually see what was going on. And of course so you understand why this fits in so well with the topic Hong Kong colors!
I tend to believe Hong Kong people do like colors. And talking about colors, I mean COLORS. Take a look at the skyline at night (http://flickr.com/photos/joschmaltz/369009606/in/set-72157594493855299/) - even without the nightly laser show with all the major skyscrapers changing colors and firing lasers at each other it is quite an impressive view. But the colors are crazy. There is no color in the rainbow missing. And the parade! Here is more colors:
Green: some of you might be aware that I started a company (helpster.de) a while ago with two friends, a health network providing rating functionality to users to rank doctors, therapies and so on. We've recently reduced our stake to about 5% each, we sold the rest to Holtzbrinck elab, which allowed me to support another web startup in Germany: I hope to be able to include a link to _____ .de in Farbamt's next issue - along with the details of this very promising venture.
Claudia has started to work. It only took her a couple days to embark on a journalists' trip to HK's container terminal...(Yes, I wished I could have come along) and has a couple of clients waiting for stories. She is a "feste freie" (a stringer) for the FTD but if you have pages to fill in you daily, magazine or book - she is probably willing to jump in (she's got a photographer at hand as well).
Businesswise I am still (and will be for the time being) travelling extensively: Korea, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Taipei and London have been on my itinerary already or will be in the next couple weeks - but that's exciting and I am absolutely enthusiasic about all the opportunities. I recently took over responsability for reuters.co.jp and I'll be in Tokyo more often I suspect. With Reuters possibly becoming Thomson - Reuters now, the opportunities will only become bigger (Yes, Thomson is based in Toronto - was someone asking?)
Oh, here is another invite: we still might have a berth or two when we go sailing with our Canadian friends sometime later this year of the Australian coast or Indonesia. Dean, Jack - you didn't know...well save the time anyway...it's a great place and I already bought the Imray cruising guide (look).
Still reading? With Claudia now being able to moblog with her N95, we'll both start posting more frequently and less comprehensively... Getting to this point, you must be either really bored or you are so interested that you should really comment. It’s all on our blog site, which we recently updated with the fabulous Reuters widget with News (we know you don't care, but do take a look, its on the right side). Very easy to find, but we didn't want everybody to be able to google it, so you'll have to remember:
http://www.farbamt.com/ (farbamt/farbamt) - for the illiterate: user name as well as password to access the site is farbamt.
You'll find Claudia's pictures here:
And mine are here:
Take care, keep us in the loop, and come visit us!
Claudia & Jo
We hope you want to keep your Farbamt subscription...if you don't here's the unsubscribe option...you are receiving this email because you opted in some time ago...
Samstag, Februar 10
Welcome to DAS FARBAMT
We had such an overwhelming response to our humble invitation to share our experiences from the Far East that we really feel we have to deliver now...Hope you will be entertained for a couple minutes. And do remember, you can log into www.farbamt.com (farbamt/farbamt) and comment on what we share with you. Please do not expect a detailed report on travel & living - others can do better on that. We are trying to put together stories an incidents that struck us as being interesting, unbelievable, or just plain funny - but we will add some personal information for those of you who can't wait to find out what we do, where we live etc...
Here we go:
It's not the skyscrapers (http://flickr.com/photos/joschmaltz/378011414/), it's not the Tsim Sha Tsui markets(http://flickr.com/photos/joschmaltz/370693148/) , it's not Lantau Island's biggest Buddha in Asia. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1RBx-zSH5g) No, it's the ultimative convenience that stroke us day in day out from our first minute in Hong Kong. Everything so incredibly convenient, that we really started to look for inconvenience, for the extra walk and the not so easy to achieve tasks. Really!! Start at the airport, which is conveniently located on a landfill right off Lantau Island and of course conveniently connected through the very convenient airport express. It takes you to downtown Hong Kong in just about 20 minutes or so. No doubt you have an Octopus card that can be used to buy everything from Hamburgers to MTR tickets - or better: you just move your wallet with the octopus card close to the octopus card reader and there you are: Inside the MTR, getting a phone card from the 7-11, paying your entrance to the museum... People get so excited about their convenient Octopus cards that the even go crazy about the dull commercials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyjgstCao1Y.
But hey there is more convenience. Take the serviced apartment we are currently staying in: Two TVs, towels and cleaning twice a week, laundry included. Workout studio on the 9th floor, restaurant on the 3rd, office installations right next to the entrance, 24 hours desk ... Goes without saying that from the MTR Station to our appartment you don't have to go outside. You mingle your way from the station through a supermarket (conveniently located inside the apartment building, which is also connected to the MTR station, which is also connected to the next huge big shopping mall called Cityplaza (http://www.cityplaza.com.hk/eng/exhibition_venue/360_view.htm) but - you guessed it - it is also directly connected to the office building where Reuters is.......And no I am not going to venture around trying to find out more places you can go underground, airconditioned and without seeing the sky....But I must admit: The apartment is...let's say convenient. I'll be working long hours for a while, so why go outside? Event the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com) is delivered right to your room every morning except during the upcoming Chinese New Year Celebrations – 10 days from now. But I will have no time to read, as I will be attending a 3 day Mandarin immersion class...Lets see if I can write the next Farbamt Newsletter in Mandarin.
But we'll get rid of the "serviced" soon - moving to an incredibly nice apartment in Happy Valley. Here is a video we actually took to remember and to decide on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4koEUe0hc8c . Finding it was very convenient (!): Upon arrival we found a nice little folder with our tour schedule "in a silver Mercedes"... Yvonne from the relocation agency took us to some 25 apartments all around HK Island. Some of them were really incredible in terms of view (very cool was one overlooking all of Victoria harbour) or "facilities". We opted out of facilities, it was just too convenient for us: We were looking at swimming pools in huge big appartment buildings, buses that were operated by the appartment and took you to the MTR around the clock (for those appartments not conveniently located right above a station), and and and. But we wanted a little more "real life" and less convenience. So click on the google earth link to see where we'll be living from mid february on (or better me, since Claudia will only be returning to HK in April). As you can see in Google Earth it’s one of the very few low rise buildings with only 3 stories. We are on the top floor and the huge roof garden is shared between the tenants.
Convenience food has a different tongue to it here in HK. It’s not gas-station-pre-packaged food, but it's good food, that is - on top of that - convenient to get. Like the vast selection of fresh Sushi in the supermarket downstairs: I am aware that this is not typically Chinese, but ist really good, and for round about 2€ for a reasonably sized dinner it's a fair prized convenient option. Also the restaurants: If you want harbour view and nice atmosphere you'll have to find an international cuisine that is usually as expensive a NY. Forget the harbour view and the atmosphere, you can get really good stuff right around the corner. Well, you don't exactly know what you are eating, but it's fresh. It has lived not long ago. - (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd6_7XHL_VQ) I remember the market where you witness the death of around 10 chicken/minute. Hugh. But fresh. Oh, and no, we'd rather eat pork, veal, veggies or other stuff. In am not so sure about H5N1...
Reuters. I can't tell you how different it is. The most striking difference is, that everybody seems to be very happy and proud to be working for Reuters. No, they really are. "The world would not be such a great place to live in, if Reuters wasn't there" "Reuters is great in attracting global talent" "We have such a wealth of brand values" - And you know what, I don't even feel brain-washed, when I say: it really is a very cool company to work for. I am slowly catching up with products, responsibilities, faces, prices, commercial policies and I know how to order office supplies, Laptop and Data Card ("you'll get an email from the Oracle HR System, just click approve), I am finding the copymachine as well as the coffee machine and I scheduled my next two trips to Singapore and Tokyo. I have been attending a regional sales conference to get to know my team and will join an editorial management meeting next week ("ice-breaking event“ planned) both in Singapore. But mainland China is really in the focus for us, and we have hired already people to deliver on product, on reach and on sales - so Bejing will be next on my itinary. Do I sound like I am excited? Well I am.
Unless you unsubscibe after being bored by this newsletter you will get the next issue soon. It might not be as comprehensive as this one, but it will be worth the wait. It's going to be about: Brushing your teeth and holding the handrail!
Claudia & Jo
Sonntag, Dezember 31
Get ready for changes!
As the old year draws to an end, it's time to face the upcoming changes: A grey and snowless landscape like the one we hiked through today (see pic) is likely to be the last of it's kind on this blog. Get ready for pictures from far east: Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and others - as I am getting ready to move everything I have there. Including my camera, not including "Das Farbamt": Apart from my email adress it's about the onlything that remains unchanged. Have a very good 2007!
Montag, Dezember 4
on a recent visit to Frankfurt I got this shot waiting for the train on the very end of the platform. Having lived in Frankfurt for quite a while, I never got this view, this angle and these colors (which are not completely real of course) - but it's not because I wasn't there and not because the view wasn't there, but because I didn't look for it. But now I do. And as I will leave Germany behind in just weeks from now, I am already excited about new places, new views, new colors, news scenes. Now that I have learned a bit to look out for these.