Der Paleo Lifestyle

Der Paleo Lifestyle – Mein Einstieg in einen Mythos. Angenommen der Mensch hat sich seit Erreichens der letzten Entwicklungsstufe – Homo Sapiens – nicht weiter entwickelt, unser Essen jedoch schon, dann müssten wir mit einer Steinzeiternährung in der heutigen Zeit besser kompatibel sein, ein besseres Lebensgefühl erfahren und von der vergessenen Esskultur profitieren. Im Umkehrschluss ist es auch kein Geheimnis, dass unsere moderne, schnelle Ernährung Ursache vieler Krankheiten ist. Ich finde über die kommenden 30 Tage für euch heraus, ob an dem Mythos etwas dran ist.

Ich ernähre mich normalerweise recht gesund. Das ist zumindest mein Weltbild, von dem ich als Healthcare Professional ausgehe – manche Worte sind echt nicht elegant, wenn man die Deutsche Übersetzung verwendet, daher seht mir bitte den einen oder anderen Anglizismus nach. Trotzdem habe ich gerade in letzter Zeit wieder recht viel zugenommen, ganz ohne über die Stränge zu schlagen und obwohl ich immer mit dem Fahrrad unterwegs bin und ebenso oft in den Bergen, ganz egal, ob auf Mountainbike, Ski oder zu Fuß. Nicht das es großartig stören würde, aber das gesamte Körpergefühl ist derzeit nicht so, wie es sein könnte, wie ich es aus fitten Tagen kenne. Daher habe ich beschlossen, mal etwas Neues auszuprobieren und darüber werde ich hier am 15. Januar 2017 berichten, so ziemlich genau in 30 Tagen.

Vor etwa zwei Jahren habe ich zum ersten Mal vom Paleo Lifestyle gehört. Meine Freunde in Berlin sind voll darauf abgefahren und der eine hat es nun sogar zu seiner Berufung gemacht, oder zumindest teilweise. Er betreibt ein Cross Fit Studio in Berlin, ein modernes Fitness Studio, bei dem es nicht darum geht, irgendwelche Übungen 100 mal zu wiederholen. Bei Black Sheep Athletics Berlin  geht es darum, Spaß in der Gruppe zu haben und dabei überaus fordernde Übungen spielerisch umzusetzen – eben mit Spaß bei der Sache, gepusht durch die Gruppendynamik. Die Leute dort ernähren sich fast alle nach der Paleo Diät. Ich konnte einige Eindrücke gewinnen und das Prinzip hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Und ich werde auch darüber noch schreiben, dann könnt ihr mich leiden sehen – auf den entstandenen Bildern versteht sich.

Zurück zu Paleo. So wie ich es verstehe muss man eigentlich nicht auf vieles verzichten. Gut, Getreide jeglicher Art ist Tabu und anfangs auch industriell verarbeitete Milchprodukte. Da fällt in unserem Kulturkreis schon eine Menge weg. Hinzu kommen viele Hülsenfrüchte und das wichtigste, Zucker. Damit soll erreicht werden, dass unser Körper, der in der Evolution keine großen Fortschritte mehr gemacht hat, seit es die Spezies Homo Sapiens gibt, keinem artifiziellen Ernährungseinfluß ausgesetzt wird, welcher quasi menschgemacht ist. Beobachtet man die Zunahme an industriellen Erkrankungen, insbesondere des metabolischen Syndroms mit Adipositas, Asthma und Diabetes, sowie Allergien und Krebs, so könnte also durchaus etwas dran sein an der Theorie. In jedem Fall soviel, dass ich interessiert daran bin, mehr darüber heraus zu finden und was wäre nahe liegender, als es selbst auszuprobieren? Klar könnte man jetzt auch mit dem zunehmenden Alter der Weltbevölkerung dagegen argumentieren, aber das metabolische Syndrom, Krebs und letale Herz-Kreislauf Erkrankungen kommen immer häufiger schon bei sehr jungen Menschen vor. Das halte ich dagegen und deshalb überzeuge ich mich selbst.

Ich möchte euch hier im ersten Beitrag nur kurz sensibilisieren und gegebenenfalls um Mithilfe bitten, falls ihr bereits Erfahrungen habt, diese in den Kommentaren zu teilen und weitere Empfehlungen auszusprechen. Ich habe noch Nachholbedarf bei der Differenzierung der verschiedenen Stile der Paleo Diät, dabei sind mir Labels und Verbote solange egal, solange sie nicht sehr gut begründet sind. Es soll schmecken, Spaß machen und etwas bringen, einer unnötigen Qual möchte ich mich nicht aussetzen. Aber die Meinung ist frei, daher nur her mit euren Kommentaren!

Gängige Seiten, die ich selbst verwende und konsultiere sind Mark’s Daily Apple, der Blog von Chris Kresser, das Paleo Wiki und Paleo360 – eine erste Einleitung könnt ihr auch bei Wikipedia unter dem Begriff Steinzeiternährung finden. Ich freue mich über euer Feedback und hoffe, dass ich noch den einen oder anderen nützlichen Hinweis von euch einsammeln kann, bevor ich euch in knapp 30 Tagen berichte, wie es mir bei der 30 Tage Paleo Challenge ergangen ist. Ich veröffentliche dann mein Logbuch, mit dem, was ich gegessen habe und wie sich das Gewicht dazu verhalten hat – und am wichtigsten, wie es mir dabei ergangen ist.

Noch etwas in eigener Sache: Bisher war der Blog stets in Englisch geschrieben und ich mache damit auch weiter. Dennoch möchte ich in Zukunft meiner eigenen Sprache mehr Gewicht einräumen. Daher wird es zeitlich versetzt zu den Originalartikeln immer ein englisches Transkript geben, ganz so, wie es sich zeitlich einrichten lässt.

If you are used to the English version of BeNicoMa.com I kindly ask your patience. Since I want to focus a little bit more on the people and community of my surrounding, to catch regional trends, I will write in German first. I promise to repost the English transcript of each article which will be published on the Blog a tad later – when there is time for the translation. Many thanks for your understanding!

BeNicoMa: Life Style and Visualization

The focus of BeNicoMa changes from Travel journalism to visualization of Life Style and analysis of its products.

Dear fellow readers, dear friends

As you know, time is always a limiting factor in our everyday life. A dayjob, other responsibilities, or simply enjoyment of your free time – all good reasons to be distracted. BeNicoMa started with the intention to bring impressions of travel and reports about all the different places of this planet, with focus on the cuisine of different cultures, and the idea in mind to guide you to places that are not visible on the beaten track. Those promised reports are all not forgotten, but it takes plentiful time to work up all the information, and especially all the photography taken on those journeys.

You deserve a more up-to-date website, than travel reports on an irregular basis could offer you. My time to travel is too limited to deliver articles on a regular basis, to call this a profession that you do for a living. That’s why the focus of BeNicoMa will be changed a little bit. Travel will still come, every now and then – as a subcategoric contribution to our new focus Life Style.

A female pharmacist manufactures an ointment in a pharmacy in Italy, Europe
That’s how it looks when you manufacture your cosmetics at home

What is Life Style? It is nothing more than a temporary common sense of what is enjoyable, hip, and what you are willing to do, do experience a convenient life – temporary because Life Style changes drastically over time, although some mile stones remain constant. That are, if quality of a product is right or the price justified, and in our common sense more and more if the product was manufactured sustainable.

We will contribute to these timeless topics of Life Style – on one hand as critical analysts of the market, right here on the Blog – examining every day products like food supplement, cosmetics and products of medical use from the standpoint of a professional. On the other hand we offer services of visualization, plus we accompany you to visualize what you would like to hold in hands for your campaigns, your business or website – just ask for consultancy. You can already find an ever growing stock of Life Style defining topics – Travel included with impressions from many different locations worldwide.

Find BeNicoMa via Adobe Stock
BeNicoMa just became contributor to the Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe Stock)

The instagram presence of @benicoma is always up-to-date and it is easy to get a first impression there. Follow the feed to keep inspired and see what will be next on the Blog. Travel will be on this feed as well, giving a visualized insight with just few text. The reports on the Blog follow when the visualization is completed.

You can also ask for consultancy in Pharmacy. There will never be consultancy in regard to the intake or adverse effects of drugs on this Blog – but you will be able to find healthcare related articles soon. Have fun exploring the new BeNicoMa.

Nightshift in the hospital

Nightsessions are one kind of my favorites. A little variation with a workflow shooting in the clinic at night can be a welcomed diversification to the beautiful city- and landscapes

I love to do sessions where I get the opportunity to document pros at work. A recent night spent with two lovely nurses brought up some cool insights into worklife at the clinic. There’s more to come, but those are the first impressions for you. Pretty cool, right?

Photoshooting: Beautiful Tyrolean girl in the corn field

Summer is the best season to capture beauty outdoors. The traditional clothes of the Alps fortificate the female form and express the social status of a girl.

Summer, best time of the year to go outdoors with your model. We had a lot of fun, taking a session in traditional clothes for the topic Fashion found in the tradition and at the countryside of Austria. Photos were taken with Nikon FX D750 camera and Nikon 50mm f1.8 manual objective at f2.8 to 5.6. You can find them via the gallery and on BeNicoMa Stock Photography.

Inspiration from charismatic Timothy Ferris

You need inspiration to flee the rat race (Hamsterrad)? You are sick to be a slave of society, where the dictate of wages and employment takes lots of your energy, which could be spend elsewise to perform better? Just get inspired by the attached video and dig the book I provide here. It might be a long needed initiation for you as well!

As you see, the whole project suffered a bit from the latest duties I had to fulfill. Some are duties of honor, others are simply to be able to pay my bills, like working 7 – 4. Time to get back to what this blog was ultimately all about – travel, information for your convenience, insider tips and the photography which depicts everything in an easy accessible way… For me the finding of Tim’s newest activity is like a backflash, like a sunrise, after a long period of darkness.

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For now, I want to share some inspiration I just received by the one, who opened my eyes a couple of years ago, when I read his first book – Die 4-Stunden-Woche: Mehr Zeit, mehr Geld, mehr Leben, that is better known as The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich with its original English title. I am referring to Timothy Ferris of course, a charismatic guy, who mastered self-establishment and learning.

You cannot imagine, what a lasting influence his work brought to my life. It basically opened my eyes, and although I am still working, and really love what I do, I prefer to leave the rat race as well as soon as possible, to be free to chose, what I really want to do and what I really want to learn – most importantly, to chose where to live on this wonderful planet. Who isn’t?

Tim refers to us, who are on the step of realizing the freedom and self-employment, as “Wantrepreneurs”, and he is right, that dreaming and hazzling with those dreams doesn’t move a penny. To get you a deeper impression I recommend to view this quick trailer, and if you are interested in what you see, you can dig deeper e.g. by checking out the book, which is easy accessible via the link you find above. Have fun getting inspiredn and remember, it is never too late to start. I promise to come back with some new reports from recent travels soon!

Nordkette Wetterleuchten Festival over Innsbruck

The Nordkette Wetterleuchten Festival is a cosy open air on Seegrube (1905 m) over Innsbruck. You get two days of electronic sounds, served with THE VIEW, down to city and far into the Alps at night. A truly amazing experience!

This year’s Alps Festival Wetterleuchten has been stunning! The weather was stable and actually perfect, with true Wetterleuchten – thunderstorms seen from the distance – over other regions of the Alps.

Overlooking the festivities of the Nordkette Wetterleuchten Eletronic Music Festival over Innsbruck, Austria
Overlooking the festivities of the Nordkette Wetterleuchten Eletronic Music Festival over Innsbruck, Austria

There have been two tents with great, bassy electronic beats, in the bigger tent mashed up with some classics from time to time. Sound was great and dancing actually lots of fun! Everywhere you go up there, you find the tents of the people who stay there over-night. A mild night with around 18 °C on 1905 m, pretty warm and comfortable.

Chillout at the campfire
Chillout at the campfire
The big campfire, chill and warm-up while the bass vibrates in ears and body.
The big campfire, chillout and warm-up while the bass vibrates in ears and body.

People are in a good mood, but many decide to take the cable car home before 3 A.M. I sit down at the campfire for a while, get back to dancing and decide to leave with the last cable car at 3 A.M. as well. It takes me another hour to get home, but the walk was worth it. To be continued…

BeNicoMa Feature: Introduction of Chelletravelfoto Blog & Photography

The second BeNicoMa Feature is played and I have the honor to introduce Michelle from Kentucky to you who can be found as @chelletravelfoto on instagram and via http://www.chellexplore.com for the blog. Get in touch with the American way of travel, in a narrow shedule. As you will see, if there is a will there always is a way!

In case you read this blog from time to time and use the sources, you have already heard of the opportunity to be featured on the instagram feed and here, when you won the overall voting in the follower voting. It is the second time that the BeNicoMa Feature was played and this time I want to introduce a nice traveler lady from the USA to you. This opportunity is not just interesting for me, since I get insight into the travel habits of other colleagues – it might also be interesting for your own inspiration and help to connect with like minded hobby artists.

The second Winner is Michelle and in the following interview you find some points that keep her going, some motivation, how you can do it yourself although you might face a tough shedule and of course, some of her outstanding photography, she used to document her adventures with… And this is the winning photo, that received the Feature!

BeNicoMa: Hi Michelle, congratulations on the BeNicoMa Feature (Click to view the other winners). A well deserved victory with so many impressions from all over the world. How did you get infected with the travel virus, at what age and what was the first experience, that you can remember, that got you hooked?

Chelletravelfoto: Thank you so much! As for the travel virus, I have always been very interested in history and nature – and I think these are two things that one gets to experience in depth while traveling. As a child, I was always fascinated with reading “National Geographic” magazine and watching all the nature documentaries that I could, and I think these contributed to my dreams of traveling. When I was 13, I had managed to save up about $700 from babysitting jobs that I put in a shoebox labeled “travel”, and I presented this to my mom and asked if I could buy a plane ticket to England. She generously allowed me to indulge in my dream, and that was my first international trip. I would say that trip was the first one that truly got me hooked, and it all began because I wanted to see where my favorite childhood stories had taken place!

BeNicoMa: You have seen Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas… What was your favorite travel so far and why?

Chelletravelfoto: It is so hard to pick “favorites” among locations, but I think I am most inclined to say that at this moment South America has my heart. I studied Spanish in University, and am now working on my Master’s degree in Spanish Education. I think my sincere curiosity and interest in the language, peoples, and culture of Hispanic countries has me most intrigued in these destinations. Each South / Central American country I have been to is so vibrant, colorful, and full of friendly and lively people – it definitely has me hooked.

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BeNicoMa: Nice to hear that, although I haven’t seen those 5 continents so far, I can agree, that the Latin American life is very beautiful – Pura Vida! I for myself am not interested in shopping anymore, although it’s great to restock the closet while in the USA. It’s the culture and the experience you find with people from different cultures that keeps me going. I experienced that one has to leave the comfort zone to experience a travel that remains on the memory. But we are all different in this regard. What keeps you going and what is your motto while you travel?

Chelletravelfoto: Initially, I wanted to travel to see beautiful sights, historic landmarks, or stunning natural settings. Over time though, my goals shifted a bit towards wanting to experience cultures and the “real” part of the destination, not just the places that make photos look beautiful. I agree that leaving your comfort zone is great for not only personal development, but for broadening your viewpoints and understanding of the wider world around you. There have definitely been many times while traveling that I have felt sad, angry, confused, and uncomfortable, but I think that is all part of what it truly means to travel.

What keeps me going is knowing that I can truly experience different cultures by interacting with the people and environments, even though I may have to leave the “comfort zone” to do so. I don’t know that I have a motto necessarily, but I do know that I try to visit at least one “off the beaten track” city on each trip that I take. Going to Italy and only seeing Rome for example would not truly allow one to experience Italy for all that it is.

BeNicoMa: Well said! In your personal description I saw that you are from Kentucky. How is life in the middle of the USA and what is special about it? When I’d go there one day, is there anything that I would need to see? Please feel free to advertise your home as if you’d have to give an interview to a tourists office 🙂 I believe the storm-chasing might be interesting in the Midwest, have you ever done that?

Chelletravelfoto: Life in the Midwest is generally great. While there are times I get bored or annoyed with my surroundings, I think traveling has made me have a greater appreciation for what we do have here. I live in a clean, safe, and family-centric area, and have access to all of the creature comforts in the world. It is easy to complain about all the little things, but overall it is a great place to work and live.

Living in Kentucky specifically, I have a large amount of pride for my home state. It is essentially the “gateway to the south”, and has several things about it that are quintessentially American. The rolling fields (i.e. wide meadows or cornfields), the horses, the white picket fences, the southern hospitality – all of these things work together to make Kentucky awesome.

Kentuckians definitely have a lot of pride in their state, and I can understand why! If you come to visit I’d definitely recommend visiting the city of Lexington – “the horse capital of the world” – going to a horse race at Keeneland, visiting a few distilleries on the Bourbon Trail, and then heading up to the Northern part of the state to try some goetta and learn about the history of the Underground Railroad in the area. I’d also definitely recommend a visit to Mammoth Cave (the world’s largest cave system), and Red River Gorge for some hiking and rappelling with incredible views!

Storm chasing is more common in the prairie or central states- I have not done that but I am scared of tornadoes!

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BeNicoMa: Many thanks for all the advice, I checked your recommendations and obviously never heard of it, but it sounds pretty cool, for me it is the caves, the Bourbon and the Hiking, and the next morning the special German-American breakfast… 🙂

What destination claims the top spot on your bucket list of places that are still to discover for you and what activity would you like to do there?

Chelletravelfoto: Argentina is the main place that is on my radar right now. Seeing Iguazu Falls has been on my bucket list for years, and I would love to be able to go there, visit the city of Buenos Aires, see the Perito Moreno glacier, and then journey down to the southernmost town in the Americas, Ushuaia.

BeNicoMa: Sounds like a great plan, it’s on my list as well, plus snowboarding in Patagonia. As far as I know, Americans do not have lots of vacation. How do you manage to get around like you do? What is your profession, that allows you to travel and how long is your average journey?

Chelletravelfoto: It is true, most Americans have just 10 days of vacation per year, if they are lucky. The way I have been able to travel has been from a combination of things. When most people look at my travel photos for example, they do not realize that they have been taken over a period of about 8 years. Essentially though, I work, save, travel, repeat. There is no “magic formula” really, just a strong desire to explore this world.

Studying Spanish has also opened a lot of doors for me too. I went to Europe in the summers during my time at University, and in one of these instances I studied abroad in Spain. After graduating school, before I found a job, I backpacked through South America for 30 days. I then worked for two years in an office job, and lived with my parents to save money for traveling. I then left my job, moved to Spain for the rest of the year, and did a lot of traveling from there. While I worked in corporate America, I was able to take a 20 day trip throughout Asia by combining two different calendar years’ worth of vacation days, and then this past summer I studied abroad in Costa Rica for 2 months. I would say my average trip is 20 days. If I’m going to spend the money to fly there, I want to stay in the place as long as I can afford to be away. Most people are surprised to know that I have never had a free flight from miles, I have never worked for the airlines, and I have never had a scholarship. All of my trips have been funded by me simply making travel a priority 🙂

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BeNicoMa: I really like your spirit and honestly I do it pretty similar. I always try to combine the work at a certain place on earth with the traveling and so far it always worked good – but there is so much more to see. I didn’t start with 13, but this is pretty decent and cool!

This last part is solely for you. You can tell a story or give information about you, that you’d like to share. Many thanks for your time and effort. I am happy to have you around. Have a great week!

Chelletravelfoto: I am currently working on starting up a new travel blog, called Chellexplore please check out my new website and let me know any questions or feedback you may have! Thank you!

BeNicoMa: Many thanks for this interview Michelle, I enjoyed it a lot and your a likeable colleague 🙂 – Guys check out Michelle’s Travelblog via Chellexplore it”s well structured and you will find worthy information on your planning of your own journey there!

Discover Venice for a steal! – Part 1

Venice is one of the most famous cities of this planet, although it is tiny compared with many metropolitans all over the world which are equally famous. The fame is based on the special character of this city, which is built into the Mediterranean Sea and kind of an open air museum itself…

The capital of romance and love is – with no doubt – Venice in Italy. You will have this feeling of visiting & living in a big open air museum nowhere else and the special character of the water streets is unique as well, at least in Europe and within a city that has an age, historic charme and dimensions like Venice. There are many copies of this city, mostly in the US e.g. with Venice of Los Angeles – and in themeparks all over the worlds.

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I don’t want to focus on facts and figures with this entry, for all of that you have the linked Wiki above and probably good traveler guides anyways. What I want to deliver here are some impressions and since I traveled there already two times (and certainly not the last time), insider knowledge for your convenience, how you can make it there and live there, even with a very small budget – in the historic center, on the island of Venezia and not on the mainland.

  • Your Trip: Plan your trip in advance and don’t haste through this city. Plan at least three to four days, directly on the island. Don’t consider a stay on the mainland, it’s not even cheaper, if you book the hotel about a month in advance.

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  • When to go: Summer is fine of course, but Venice is overrun by tourists and in between July and September is main vacation time in Italy and the city is even more frequented. Summer can be nasty in Venice, since the city sometimes stinks when it is warm and you will not be able to enjoy your stay, when you have to fight for space on all main sights. I prefer to go in late Autumn and Winter. End of October to mid of January is a good time, although it is not really warm. So far the weather was always appreciable. Rain can occur, but you will have sun as well. I have never visited Venice for the Carnival, but if you plan to do that, book about one year in advance!
  • Getting there: If you arrive by ferry or train, everything is good – you can’t take a motorized vehicle onto the island! If you have a rental car within Italy, make it a one-way and return it in Venezia. If you have an own car or a rental you plan to use after your stay as well, park it on the mainland! The pricing differs drastically and it’s possible that you pay up to 30 EUR a day for public parking if you choose to park directly at the entrance of the historic city. This is very convenient and if you can afford it, you should do it. The options on the mainland are by far cheaper and if you choose the right hub, it costs about 5 – 10 EUR a day! Before you get off your vehicle make sure you have your Vaporetto pass ready to take the bus into the historic city, directly from the parking site. It is by far the most convenient way. You can buy the ticket until 7:00 PM (weekdays) in Mestre in Via Giuseppe Verdi 14, (List of ticket offices) upon your arrival and if you are under 27 the pass costs less – show your ID to prove the age!

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  • Staying in Venice: You certainly have plentiful options via AirBNB but they are not necessarily cheaper than your average B&B which you can find offered at all common websites like Booking or tripadvisor. It’s up to you what you choose. Expect daily costs to be around 20 EUR per person in winter with the option to cook your food at home. I stayed once in Mestre, the first time I visited Venice and I would never do that again! Last time we stayed in the B&B Venice Hazel and I can recommend it for the price, cleanliness and proximity to all main sights.
  • Getting around in Venice: Many ‘Piazzas’ are touristic, some aren’t. As recommended get the Vaporetto pass – a single ride costs you at least 6 EUR. A Vaporetto is the big water bus, for up to 100 people. It’s not as romantic as the little gondola, but a ride with the gondola costs you 80 – 100 EUR for one hour and for two people. Something you’d do when you want to propose or you have sufficient funds – nothing for the traveler on a budget. The Vaporetto helps you to return to your area of choice – and to get away from there I recommend to walk the city and discover it.

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  • Eating out-house & Groceries: The less tourists you see, the better is the food. The price range is from up to 5 EUR for a coffee (Piazza San Marco) to 0,90 EUR everywhere in the places where the locals go. Same is for Pizza which can cost you 5 EUR in the area of the University – or triple the price in the touristic areas while mostly worse in comparison. Get a feeling for yourself while you discover it. I prefer the food of Tuscany and Blogna by far, when it comes up to Italy but you can find really good food in Venice as well, you just have to have a closer look. For aperitivos I can highly recommend the area close to Ponte di Rialto, around the Rialto market place – which is lively at daytime and where you can buy great ingredients for your home cooking. The other groceries can be bought much cheaper at one of the few Coop supermarkets.

In Part 2 I will tell you a bit about the sights and options you have in regard to the sightseeing and about the tickets – because sightseeing is expensive as hell if you don’t do it properly, as is going to the toilet. I never do the average sightseeing when I am there, although it would probably be worth it. I choose to just enjoy the city itself as a great museum. On the other hand, there are plentiful options one should discover… With those first infos you will get there and around and you can easily stay a week for not more than 500 – 600 EUR for two persons if you do it right, most of the food included. Stay tuned. I will bring up the next entry for Venice in about two weeks and it will include many more impressions of the city. One last advice: Make sure you don’t act like a touristic bum while you are there, the Venezians hate it and if you see the masses of tourists you know why!

Happy New Year 2015

A happy New Year 2015 to everyone!

BeNicoMa wishes a great start into 2015 to everyone, with a bang, with friends and family and lots of joy!

Germany 2011 Berlin 2011-09 Fireworks 1250x1250
New Years Eve fireworks in Berlin, Germany and many spectators… Enjoy the night!

 

Lots of health, love, satisfaction with what you do & achieve and last but not least, some beautiful adventures to everyone! Celebrate well and get into the new year2015 – safely!

Christmas, time for family

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog! The most valuable institution in our life is our family. This is why I dedicate this entry to my family and its history that nothing will be forgotten and the history can be passed on.

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog – or in German Frohe Weihnachten! The most valuable institution in our life is our family. This is why I dedicate this entry to my family and its history!

Merry Christmas to all of you!
Merry Christmas to all of you who follow the entries on BeNicoMa.com and many thanks for your support, I am glad to have you here and wish you peaceful Christmas holidays!

Many conflicts divide our society, the different peoples of the world and the family as an institution suffer from restrictions, which are caused by our economic interests and the pressure, built up by our society… This should not be the case since the family is the only institution in life, that is not exchangeable and if you are peaceful and in harmony with the ones you are related to, everything is so much better.

With this entry I want to remember my grandparents, who both were Chinese, coming a long way during the time of Nazi Germany. This entry is dedicated to all relatives, as a source of history that our ancestors may not be forgotten …

Madga 03
The inner family on a glance: Madga with Teh Wei on her lap, besides my father Teh Li, Teh Dscheng (Ted), Teh Ko and Teh Hsing – from left to right. In the back is my grandfather Ting Sheng. The picture is from 1944 or 1945, and was taken in Germany.

The name of my grandmother, Chao Ti Ling (that is her maiden name) and later Ma, means as much as “Call me the little brother” since Madga (mother) as we used to call her, was born into the Chinese part of my family solely with sisters. The name implies the wish for a son. She was from Wenzhou in China and was born in 1916.

Chao Ti Ling, with 16 years in China - We just called her Madga
Chao Ti Ling, with 16 years in China – We just called her Madga. For what she achieved in those tough times, she is one of my alltime idols, may she rest in peace!

My grandfather Ting Sheng Ma was merchant and much older than her. He was born in 1898 in the region Chekiang (Zhejiang) in China but I couldn’t get more detailed information about him from my uncle. Here you see some pictures of family members from China but my uncle Teh Ko couldn’t provide more information about them since he doesn’t know better. The pictures are all what is left as a connect to the Chinese background of the family in China and albeit from him, nobody speaks Chinese anymore, which is a pity.

BeNicoMa
I use the Chinese letter for Ma as signum for my photography and in future I will apply it as a seal in all official purposes.

Our last name Ma is written like depicted here and the meaning is “Hemp plant under the firmament“, if you translate it into a western meaning. The name is rare in the meanwhile, since most Ma‘s are derived from the meaning horse. We don’t know much about our family background in China. My grandparents came alone in 1933, when my grandmother was 17 years old. They came with the Transsiberian train, via Russia, to Dingen in Poland as their first home in Europe. I could not find the Polish name for it nowadays but have the names of the other cities where my family lived in those times. They moved several times in between Germany and Poland.

All my uncles were born in Europe. My grandparents moved from their first destination Dingen to Łódź – which was called Litzmannstadt by that time. In Łódź, which belongs to Poland again after the end of WWII, my uncles Teh Ko (1935) and Teh Hsing (1937) were born. Most of the provided information was given to me by Teh Ko, who remembers lots of details, despite his age. Teh Tscheng (1939) – who was just called Ted later, because he moved to Canada to found his own family – was born in Poland as well. The family wanted to return to China in 1939 due to the ongoing and developing war on the countryside in the East. My grandfather was quite successful with trading by that time but the Germans took everything, which made their return impossible. A relatively big Chinese community lived in the Łódź area and many of them returned to China if somehow possible. In 1939/40 the family moved to Berlin. Their first home in Berlin was in Wallner Theaterstrasse 26, in district C2 in 1940. My father Teh Li was born in Charité in 1942.

Madga in Germany
Madga in Germany, before the times of color photography

In the winter of 1942/43 the bombings of Berlin started and Teh Ko remembers that they have been heavy. He remembers that the windows were clotted and covered with paper everywhere to prevent the breaking glass, due to the bombings, from scattering as dangerous slivers. He also remembers, that he was once hit at the leg by a shrapnel while leaving the bunker. In general he reports that they had relatively few problems with the Nazis. The only thing he mentioned was, that my grandfather should get retracted by the Nazis to fight for the Wehrmacht in 1942/43 – In contrast my father and my Canadian cousin Oliver claim, that my grandfather was forced to leave for compulsory labor in a camp but Madga prevented his vitiation by arguing with the Nazis how she should be able to feed and raise four boys without a father, that’s what she said herself. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between… It will be tough to reproduce the true happenings.

Due to the massive bombings families with many children were evacuated to the countryside – as Teh Ko states on a tractor – in the year 1944 and in a measure called “Storch“. They were moved to Dahlhausen in Brandenburg, about 110 km North-East of Berlin, close to Wittstock / Dosse, and lived initially in the house of Pastor Schmidt in the year of 1944. They were looted again, this time of the Russian red army, although the grandfather had buried everything. On the countryside they were shifted several times and in the same year 1944 my youngest uncle Teh Wei was born in Kutno, which was called Schröttersburg by that time and was part of Schlesien, but belongs to Poland again today. 

Madga 04
On this picture are Teh Hsing, Teh Tscheng, Teh Li, Madga and Teh Ko from left to right and some unknown friends of the family.

After the war in 1945/46 the family returned to Berlin and lived in the Auguste-Viktoria-Strasse in Berlin-Grunewald. The children received Chinese lessons from their private teacher Gau Guan Shi. My grandfather didn’t return with the family, he traded with slippers in Poznan (Posen) of Poland, where he lived and worked in Loketka 26 to support the family, and while in Berlin, he carried luggage and traded carpets and china porcelain together with Teh Ko. The both were hawking, traded in the streets and in restaurants, my grandmother took care of the children by that time and the family did alright – both, my uncle and my father confirmed that, independently from each other.

In 1947 my grandfather moved to Frankfurt / Main and Teh Ko followed him in 1949, while the rest of the family remained in Berlin. In 1961 Madga opened the first Chinese restaurant in Müllerstrasse, Berlin-Wedding. Another business of hers was a shop for Chinese wares in Hauptstrasse, Berlin-Schöneberg…

To be continued!

If anyone can and wants to contribute to add to the puzzle of family history, please contact me via my contact form. The attached gallery shows different members of the family and the names and relations to me are given as far as I know. The idea and task to create this entry was granted to me by my cousins Oliver Ma from Canada. I met him, his sister Stephani Ma, and my little cousins Savanna and Etienne, his kids for the first time (that I remember) in 2013, during my Eastcoast Roadtrip. An awesome experience and we will see each other again! I wish happy Christmas Holidays to everyone and hope to be able to gather some more info during the time. Take care!