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Hans' Milieu
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Hans' Milieu

Travel

Abracadabra

David Copperfield (Picture courtesy of The Extraordinary Project)If you are like me, you dread being called up in public during a live performance but lament it if you are not one of the chosen.

Last night we went to watch David Copperfield live at the Hollywood theatre in the MGM Grand Hotel. I have seen Copperfield live before, he came to South Africa many years ago, so this was not my first time seeing the legendary magician flex his card tricks. However, because we enjoyed his performance so much the last time, we decided to do it again, and boy did I get my money’s worth.

Blogging on the Go!

Look I really do love to blog, but I never seem to be able to make the time to do it. Or when the inspiration hits, I’m never near my PC to get the dirty work done. However, that is all about to change!

For quite some time I have considered mobile blogging. Unfortunately, the WordPress mobile website is far from satisfactory. At least, that was the case with my previous Nokia and Windows Mobile devices.

I haven’t mentioned it to you all yet but I have made the move back to the iPhone. Yes I know, I was really negative about my original iPhone 3G back in 2008 (which I still haven’t been paid in full for after I sold it) but that was all pre-iPhone OS 3.0. Now, with my iPhone 3GS and the latest iPhone OS, I feel like I can see colours again!


For years I wished for a WordPress application for my previous phones. With the iPhone, my cries were answered.

The post you are reading now has been compiled on the WordPress iPhone application. It is pretty good. Not perfect, but acceptable enough for me to actually want to use.


For a free application it really is not bad. All I really miss is having the ability to justify my text, check my spelling, insert video, and place and position pictures or photographs into my post. However, those are features I suppose I can do without, for the time being.

Anyway, this was just a short and sweet post about the fact that I am back into the mobile blogging scene. Hopefully this new application will allow for a more organic blogging experience.

Until the next time Milieunairs!

(Update: I bought a new app called BlogPress and have edited this post with it. It cost $3 but it appears to be worth it)

It’s Britney, Bitch!

Britney Spears - Circus Tour Memorabilia Even before we arrived in Australia, I knew that Britney Spears would be bringing her ‘The Circus’ tour to the land down under. However, I never thought I would actually get a chance to attend the concert.

For starters, Britney’s last show in Melbourne was on the 13th November and we were only set to arrive in Melbourne on the 16th. Furthermore, tickets to the event were not exactly cheap, ranging from stadium seating at $250 (R1700) per person to the insanely priced ‘Love Seats’ for $1500 (for two tickets –> R10 000 ). Consequently, chances of me attending Miss Spears’ performance were pretty thin.

Or so I thought.

Through a fortunate turn of events, Britney had actually extended her tour due to popular demand, adding three extra shows to her repertoire. One of those shows, as luck would have it, was in Melbourne.

I would be lying if I said that I was not excited at the possibility of watching the princess of pop perform in the flesh. After all, like the Queen (Madonna), it is not as if Britney would be making her way to South Africa. So it was pretty much a ‘This Is It’ kind of scenario.

Amazingly, my parents ascertained that this would be a fantastic experience and wholeheartedly agreed to buy tickets to the show. Not only that, but they even allowed me to opt for the ‘stool’ seating, which is directly behind the ‘Love Seats’ and, as it turned out, was literally a meter and a half away from the stage.

Britney Spears - Circus Tour Tickets

Without a doubt, ‘The Circus presenting Britney Spears’ was the best concert I have ever been to. I am unable to truly relay how awesome the experience was. The circus elements to the show, alone, were worth the price of admission; from acrobats, to martial artists, clowns, mimes, weapon artists, magicians… you name it and it was there (animals excluded). In addition to the circus element, I have never before been privy to a live performance with as much pyrotechnics and stage theatrics as this. The ‘wow’ factor was simply phenomenal. I do think that the experience was made just that much better courtesy of our seats which, as I have mentioned before, allowed us to be almost within two arm lengths of the pop princess.

Britney Spears - Circus Tour Performance

Contrary to the controversy surrounding Britney’s performance in the land down under, I can honestly admit that I would watch it again. So what if she lip-synchs? Anyone who has heard of Britney Spears knows that she is infamous for lip-synching (along with many other famous artists). So this was really of no surprise. In my opinion, if you want to hear an artist sing, buy the album. If you want to watch them perform, go to a concert. Whether they sing ‘live’ or not is irrelevant. With that said, it is worth noting that Britney did sing at least one song live, the ballad ‘everytime’. To all the naysayers who think Britney Spears cannot sing, let me tell you, this chick has a good voice. As a matter of fact, she actually sounds better live than through her recordings. So it is a shame that she does not perform ‘live’ more often.

Britney Spears - Circus Tour (Performing Everytime, Live)

Considering how close I was able to get, I was quite surprised to realise how small Britney Spears actually is. She is tiny. Then again, I am 6’4”, so a lot of people are smaller than I am. After two kids, she does look very good. While I’m on the topic of her body, it is worth noting that she is rather fit. She has good muscle tone; most definitely what could be described as a dancers body. So she is not petit and does appear to have some extra junk in her trunk. I think the biggest surprise to me was how small her boobs were. For those who know we, I’m a boob man. Britney has a good handful, but not what one would expect after all of the boob job debates. Have a look for yourself, in the album below.

I am truly so thankful that I could have this opportunity and would like to send a huge ‘I love you’ and ‘thank you’ to my loving parents who made it all possible.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Becoming a Melbournian, one step at a time.

Cow Up a Tree - Docklands, Melbourne It certainly has been ages since I last wrote a personal post. To be frank, I always find writing about myself to be the most difficult. Not because I do not have anything to write, as I often do, but because my most recent life events have been somewhat too personal in nature to share with the world. Now I know that those are the kind of stories that make blog’s thrive. However, I had to take a step back in order to protect those closest to me by abstaining from aggravating any and all gossipmongers. More out of respect than courtesy, mind you. One day I may reveal all that has happened, but only time will tell. For now though, I wish to focus on the future and what has been happening over the last week.

As I have mentioned before, I have been neglecting the personal posts with which my blog was originally built on. Believe me, I actually feel bad about it. I love sharing my experiences, whether good or bad, and listening to people’s opinions. Or lack thereof. Consequently I will attempt to revive the personal aspect of Hans’ Milieu.

Okay, a quick recap of the last week:

Hans Haupt - Melbourne Nov 2009 I am actually in Melbourne, Australia, at the moment. I arrived last week Monday. The flight was pleasant with a total travel time of around 16 hours (including transit and flight times from Sydney to Melbourne). Actually, I wonder why there are no direct flight to Melbourne? Considering that the flight has to fly over Melbourne anyway. Very odd. However I have heard that Virgin will be flying direct to Melbourne from next year. Thank heavens for that as it will make travelling just that much better.

For those who are unfamiliar with my families ‘Australian’ history, all you you really need to know is that we have been planning on immigrating for the last 8 years. Well not really ‘planning’ per se, more like procrastinating. This year, however, I finally had enough of all of the indecision and took matters into my own hands. Thus I kindly told my parents, in the nicest way possible, that, if we could afford it, I would like to continue my Masters and Doctoral studies at Monash University in Australia. A logical move, considering that I am a Monash University Alumnus and already paying exorbitant international student rates, since that was the only way for me to be able to do my Masters at Monash University in South Africa. As a result I am currently enrolled as a Master’s student at Monash University’s Clayton campus in Melbourne, via external candidature (which allows me to stay in South Africa). Unfortunately, it is as complicated as it sounds.

Hans and Terrence - Melbourne Nov 2009 Considering my current academic situation and our continued, but never fruitful, desire to begin a new life in Australia, it makes perfect sense for me to spearhead our Australian move. However, it is proving to be quite a lot harder than we originally anticipated. More so in terms of finding a place to live than actually obtaining entrance to the country (for me anyway). Subsequently, the last week has been focussed on finding me a place to stay while I am in Australia pursuing my studies. Needless to say, ‘house hunting’ is incredibly tedious and rather tiring especially since options are rather limited, courtesy of the strengthening Australian dollar and constantly weak South African Rand. Regardless, I do have hope that we will find a moderate place in a respectable location.

In other news I spent some time with my cousin Terrence, who is currently in Australia via Monash University’s undergraduate study abroad program, I managed to watch New Moon (review coming soon), got tickets to Britney Spears’ Circus Tour for this coming Friday *school girl scream* and have generally been having a wonderful time in Melbourne; further experiences that I will continue to write about when I have the time.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Gaijin Tomodachi Tachiyorimasu (Laura & Troy’s SA Reprieve)

P1040818Recently, a good friend of mine returned to South Africa for a brief 13 day reprieve. Laura, along with her fiancé Troy, have spent the last two years abroad in Japan teaching English to the natives. Although they have both been enjoying the unique experience, they, like Dorothy, could not wait to tap their heels because, no matter how short the stay, “there is no place like home”.

If you are wondering about the title of this post, it is supposed to translate into something like: “Internationalised Foreign Friends”. For all I know it could mean “Tasty Octopus Nipples”, what with the dubious reliability of some of the Internet’s ‘translation engines’.

My poor Japanese skills aside, it was great to be able to spend time with both Laura and Troy. Thankfully we got to see them a few times before returning to Japan.

The most memorable evening took place on Saturday night, 8th August 2009. Upon my recommendation, myself, Mik, Nicholas, Laura and Troy, made our way to the Nelson Mandela square in Sandton City. Those of you who know me personally, can attest to the fact that I always like to try new and exciting places or events. As a result, I managed to persuade almost everyone to try Lekgotla), an African styled restaurant, with the hopes of getting to eat a gastronomically unique dish. We were not disappointed.

P1040800Lekgotla is Tswana for ‘the meeting place’, and what a meeting place it is. The place is beautiful. There are no two ways about it. Think traditional African symbolism meets modern European contemporary art. The perfect place to bring foreigners for a taste of African culture.

Thankfully we arrived before the dinner time rush and were thus able to procure and be seated at one of the restaurant’s exclusive ‘gotla’ – one of only two hut-like structures that are able to seat eight people comfortably.

To be frank, the food was simply spectacular! All the way from the Crocodile Carpaccio, Peanut Butter Calamari and Vetkoek starters, to the Ethiopian Coffee Steak, Glazed Pear infused Ostrich fillet and vegetarian platter main courses, and finally all the way to the stomach distending three Crème brûlées degustation dessert; not a single dish was a disappointment. Honestly, a part from being absolutely divine, the food also served as a form of entertainment value for the evening. Discussing the strange delicacies and varied tastes made way for interesting conversational elements and, in some cases, the food prompted ‘hands on’ action as well as the often unexpected, and rather loud, oral expulsion of digestive gases. It was definitely an evening to remember!

Furthermore, throughout the course of the evening, we were constantly impressed by the level of service, but even more so by the welcomed yet unexpected amenities. To begin, we were all offered a cleansing vanilla infused hand wash, with vanilla scented towels to boot. Our hands smelled delicious, unfortunately they did not taste that way. After that a cart was brought over with an opportunity to try out a traditional ‘cocktail’. After come impressive bottle work, we were handed the crushed ice, vodka, honey and lemon juice cocktails. Although the drink sounds like something which could clear ones sinuses, it was actually rather good. A short time later, after the starters, we were given the chance to bare tribal markings upon our beautiful visages. Unfortunately, no one was keen to have their face painted, no matter how ‘unique’ the experience on offer was. Next time though! To top it all off, we were eventually asked if we would have liked our shoes shined. Once again, no one obliged. Although this time it was not for lack of trying, but merely because no one was wearing shoes which could have been shined. To conclude, the service at Lekgotla was excellent. From the moment we arrived we were greeted warmly and made to feel as if we were the only people there. Granted we were at the time, but the level of service did not decline even though the place eventually filled up faster than a rush hour taxi.

As a result, Lekgotla is the perfect place to take foreigners and it is the ideal location for individuals who are willing to embrace their ‘African’ roots. We would give Lekgotla a rating of 9/10.

In essence it was really very good to spend time with everyone, especially Laura and Troy. They have both grown tremendously as a couple and we are all looking forward to their big day – possibly in 2010. We miss them both quite a lot, but we are immensely thankful for the time we were able to have together. The venue just made the experience that much better. After all, nothing is better than creating highly memorable moments, with unforgettably awesome people.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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