Holiday: gadgets, books, movies and music

Posted by: on May 18, 2014 | No Comments
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Going on holiday is a great thing! This is the time to start again reading books, long articles or listen to complicated podcast topics or: sleep, relax and do nothing.  I went on a great trip recently, a “there is no internet”-holiday. The selection of items and devices had to be done very wisely while upfront, so I spent some time on the selection.

This is what I did before I went to the to Egypt –> Basata, a very nice and smart Eco-Lodge.  It’s located on the Sinai (Red Sea) around 60 km north of Dahab. It is a very beautiful and special place, very relaxing and inspiring. I stayed in a beautiful hut without electricity just 4 meter away from the red sea.

When I go to Basata, I don’t just go to swim; I sit on the sand, sleep in the bamboo huts and lie on the beach watching the stars. No one is bumping into each other and you’ll be happy to meet and share stories with many people. ” (source)

But it is not only a holiday ressort, they are also taking care of the education of the beduin kids and established in 1996 the organisation Hemaya:

“To keep the area clean, Sherif wanted three things to happen.  First, the practice of throwing rubbish into the streets had to stop.  Second, the old garbage pits where, for years, local garbage had been piled to rot had to be cleaned out and finally, Hemaya would take part in planting trees and generally beautifying the area.  Since its establishment, Hemaya has implemented these three founding projects as well as greatly expanded its efforts.” (read more about this project

I went with my friends and we played at least 4 rounds of Siedler von Catan – the board game – every day. And apart from that, there was plenty of time to really calm down, relax and meet very interesting people. Like this wonderful couple from Cairo: Rosemary and Hany.  Rosemary is an english lady, living in Cairo already since a long time. She wrote a book recently about the situation in Cairo: “From Trafalgar to Tahrir” and Hany was the owner of one of the biggest record companies from egypt. They where living next to my hut and it was pure pleasure to listen to all of their stories they had to tell about Basata but also about living in Cairo.

This holiday was a very good experience for me, who is not used to be without internet for more than a few days since..hmm… ever? And I really enjoyed it to have a lot of time to read an article maybe 3 times in a row to really get into it. Every morning I woke up with the sunlight shining  in my face and I went for a morning swim. Fishes are most active in the morning and it was really fascinating to watch all the little and big swarms swimming and playing around the beautiful corrals.

After swimming I started reading the more complex things so that they can live in my head all day. Later in the day I changed to read/listen novels or mags. My brain works differently in the morning, compared to the afternoon. I’m a morning person anyway so the things I read or watch in the morning keep sticking in my head. And sometimes at night I just watched the full moon rising or some movies/series.

After 10 days I went for a few days for scuba diving to Dahab. At the dive center I stayed there was internet and I used it, of course. Posted some pics on Instagram and FB, chatted with some people and immediately lost a little bit of the “beeing away” feeling.  After my return to Basata I really enjoyed being disconnected from the world again for another week.

Side Effect:
The Basata website has some bugs and its not possible to update it. To keep up the communication with the world about what is going on there I already set up a brand new Facebook Page and I’m currently working on the new blog/site.

And here are the hard facts:

Holiday Gadgets, Kindle, iPadMini, iPodNano, LG Akku Pack + iPhone4 (not in pic)

Holiday Gadgets, Kindle, iPadMini, iPodNano, LG Akku Pack + iPhone4 (not in pic)

Kindle (E-Ink Display 2nd gen)
First time I really used the Kindle I bought already 2? years ago but never used it intense. Perfect gadget for beaches, planes etc. but somehow I’d like to have the books I was reading on it also here in my shelfs. I’m a collector of things.. so for me it would be perfect if the physical book I buy has a download code in it for the devices. Hmm…

iPad Mini (32GB)
Best gadget I bought last year. Still. Not a good idea to bring it to the sandy beach. But in the night in the hut with no electricity: priceless. For reading AND watching.

iPhone 4 (32GB)
mostly used the camera

iPod Nano 4th gen (16GB)
nice and small

Akku Pack (LG BP4 10400)
good for charging 1x  iPad or 2 x  iPhone –> perfect

Sennheiser In-Ear Headphones MM 70i
really good sound-quality. They also can be used as earplugs..

Die Stein Strategie – Holm Friebe (Amazon Link)
I’m a fan. The last holiday I spent with “Wir nennen es Arbeit”. Stein Strategie also fitted perfect to the Merkel documentary, House of Cards but also to the audiobooks.

iPad Mags:

1Q84 – Haruki Murakami (finished)
Love is strange – Bruce Sterling (not finished)

Der 100-jährige der aus dem Fenster sprang – Jonas Jonasson
– Swedish bestseller, great story and I love to listen to Otto Sander who is doing the reading
The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz
– very interesting thoughts, once you manage to remove virtually all the typical american self-help crap while listening
Making it all work – David Allen
– the follow-up to the GTD Method which focusses more on the doing things)
Getting to YES /Getting Past NO  – William Ury
– Negotiating in Difficult Situations, Negotiating with difficult People

House of Cards (oh yeah, tactics! Need to learn more about this. It worked perfect with all the audiobooks AND to the Merkel documentary)
Her (naja, didn’t like it too much, maybe a beach without internet is not the best context for this topic)
The Making of Merkel – with Andrew Marr (BBC Documentary 2013)

This was the hardest thing for me to choose. Cause, no computer means also that I had to choose the right playlists. Making new playlists or changing the order of tracks on the gadgets is no fun at all. So I choose just a few albums and a lot of manual created playlists, unfinished new mixtapes and some
* Sharing Means Caring Vol. 7, 8 and 9
* Addison Groove – Presents James Grieve (but I ended up listening to Josefina Songs only)
* Flying Lotus: Ideas + Drafts + Loops
* Illum Sphere – Ghosts of than and now
* John Zorn Bar Kokhba Sextett – The circle maker (this is an album I listen mostly on holidays since mid it a habit)
* Om Unit – Threads
* Pink Floyd – The Piper at the gates of dawn
* The Wedding Present – El Rey
* Walton – Beyond
* Warpaint – Warpaint
* Wizard Sleeve – Beyond the Wizzard Sleeve

Here are some pics of the wonderful place:

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