Change

A bit of a Nip/Tuck

Sprucing up Hans' MilieuOver the last year I have grown quite fond of the way my blog looks. Nevertheless, I felt it was time for a slight refresh. Just a bit of a nip and tuck, here and there, to improve your user experience. It is, after all, all about you. Well the blog is about me but without you, it would cease to exist.

So today I decided to give a slight makeover to Hans’ Milieu.

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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‘Blast’ from the ‘Past’

Hans Haupt - High school Yearbook Photograph (2003) I know that a lot of people wonder what they will look like in several years from now, but have you ever wondered what you may have looked like if you had grown up in a different time?

Well, the website tentatively known as ‘Yearbook Yourself’, has a rather ingenious solution to his problem.

Using simple, yet effective, facial mapping techniques; ‘Yearbook Yourself’ allows you to take any forward facing photograph’s of your beautiful visage and turn them into time period specific yearbook portraits.

The specific time periods on offer currently range from the century splitting year 1950, all the way to the millennium bug ridden year 2000. You may view my ‘Blast from the Past’, courtesy of Yearbook Yourself, in the following album:

An interesting thing to do, is to compare your original High school photograph (you can see my real one at the top of this post *cringe*) to those of a potential yesteryear. Truth be told, I am incredibly glad to be a child of the ‘00 High school graduating generation. Some of those ‘founding’ styles were simply horrendous (1986, 1988 and 1990; I am looking at you)!

Unsurprisingly, we all have High school graduating photograph’s, including celebrities:

Celebrity Yearbook Pictures

I hope you all have fun with this post and I look forward to seeing your ‘creations’ *rolls eye’s at the multitude of new ‘old’ Facebook profile pictures*.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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It’s a walk in the park…

Walk the Talk 09On Sunday, 26th August 2009, I participated in the 702 Discovery Walk the Talk charity event. I was entered representing, and on behalf of, the South African charter of the Monash Alumni Committee.

This is the first time I have actually participated in an event created specifically for a ‘charitable’ cause. It is also the first time since breaking my arm that I have participated in any kind of physical activity. It may also be my last, that is until my arm heals completely of course or until I can learn to stop sustaining additional injuries!

Upon taking part in the Walk the Talk event, I had no idea what charity it was for. For all I knew, it could have been in support of the ‘Foundation for the protection of Swedish Underwear Models’. Unfortunately, that was not the case. A quick Google search revealed that this years Walk the Talk was in support of the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’. A foundation that I personally, have never heard of before. Apparently, this is what they are about:

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Laureus’ core concept is simple, brilliant and daunting: to create global awards that recognise the achievements of today’s sports heroes; to bring sportspeople together; united in achievement but divided by sporting code and then, once that community is brought together, put their reach and the support and investment of Laureus’ Founding Patrons and Partners to work by supporting a message that can help social projects around the world who are using sport as a tool for social change. That message, simply, is Laureus Sport for Good (Laureus.com, 2009).

Alright, I think I get it. So, this foundation honours sports ‘heroes’ in the hopes that they will somehow, once attaining some kind of sponsorship deal, bring on social change within ‘disadvantaged’ communities? Kind of like how South African cricketers have spurred on the underground movement of illegal ‘cricket-eering’ in the middle of crime ridden Johannesburg?! 

So, to put things into a mildly cynical perspective: I fried my lily white forehead, while speed walking a five kilometre course in under 50 minutes, butchering my tender loving feet in the process, thus incapacitating myself even further than I already am, in order to help some company foundation honour sports “heroes”, who, according to the mission statement, may not actually end up helping anyone? Seriously?!

Look, don’t get me wrong. Considering I do have dreams of entrepreneurial grandeur that are mildly fuelled by philanthropic desire, I am all for charitable endeavours.

Subsequently, all ranting and cynicism aside, the impressive fact remains that over 50 000 people participated to help make a difference in this years Walk the Talk. No matter how small each persons individual contribution may have been, a difference was made. After all, Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka once famously said, “the whole is other [greater] than the sum of the parts”.

So although I do feel that the Walk the Talk event could have raised funds for a different charity, just the notion of so many people compelled toward actively participating for change, in itself, is a testament to the progress of South Africa as a democracy. To have overcome adversity for positive change, even if only for a day, is enough to be considered a great achievement and inspiration to all.

Even after all of my raving, if I had the choice of doing it again, I would do so without hesitation. Next time though, I will just use different shoes and take Baz Luhrmann’s advice… 😉

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

South African Elections 2009 – Voting for Change?!

It is Wednesday 22 April 2009. A seemingly ordinary day, but with a difference. It is starting to get colder as winter makes its approach, but, more importantly, today is the day of South Africa’s fourth independent and democratic elections.

For the last several months, South Africans have been bombarded with voting paraphernalia and propaganda. Whether it has been through the radio, television, flyers, social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) or even via text messages; the message was clear – the time for choice is once again upon us.

As it happens, our voting station is less than 5 minutes from our house, near a Golf Course. My father and myself went to vote just after lunch, at about 14:30. We were not sure what to expect. I have heard some real horror stories regarding the voting procedure – wait times of over 5 hours, mugging’s, deaths, births… Okay the last one I made up, although its not impossible, but I’m sure you get what I mean. So, understandably, I was quite nervous, this being my first time and all. That is correct, until today, I was a voting ‘Virgin’ and had yet to have my finger molested with voters ink.

I can tell you, we were actually very lucky. There was only a queue of about 20 people. The whole process took us less than 15 minutes. I turned out to be the 990th person for the day at our particular voting station. I know this because before you are allowed to vote they scan your ID, give you a ‘receipt’ of sorts and then they proceed to rape one of your well manicured fingernail’s with ink. I have heard that one can apply clear nail polish before voting for easier removal after the ‘marking’. However, that would not have worked in our case, since the person dedicated as the ‘Marker’ decided she’d be liberal with the ink and not only mark the white quarter moon of my thumb’s nail but also whatever she thought resembled the cuticle.

All in all I was rather impressed with my voting experience. However, I now know that this was not the case for everyone. A simple glance at the ‘status updates’ of my Facebook friends indicated that most waited in queues for no less than an hour. Some waited for almost four hours. Ah, such are the perks of living in the East 😉

Interested in real-time voting results? Just click here.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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