Now in Copenhagen after an hours delay and a fairly bumpy ride. Met by Ashley and Karin who were looking a bit tired after their long wait. We've talked and talked. Ashley cooked tea and then we talked late into the night. 4.30am on my internal clock so jet lag should have been kicking in, but it didn't though I did need a Nanna nap the next day. We've talked about family, economies, politics, Ashley's business trips in China and India..in relation to former the surprise that in 5 cities and the areas between they saw only 2 bikes. They were shiny new with Lycra clad riders! And there was no Tai Chi in the parks. Id better get to Vietnam before that too modernises!
The most interesting bits about India was that most of their programmers came from the untouchable caste (given preferential Uni places to break down the caste system). Its worked but now they want their names higher up on the arranged marriages registers. It helps if they have the word 'manager' added to their work. Thats better than just a good wage. So Ashley has tried explaining that if you are not managing anyone you cant be called manager and has tried coming up with creative alternatives like 'Solutions Architect'. But that hasn't worked so its still a dilemma!
I was also told the story of how Ashley and Karin came to buy an apartment in Egypt. It had been a really cold dark winter and everyone was trying to get to some sunshine over the christmas break. he and Karin got as far as London on way to Jamaica when European airports were snowed in; Heathrow for nearly 2 days. It was getting to the point where going to jamaica wasn't going to be worth it so other destinations for the airline were checked. There were seats for Hurghada on the red sea. They had been there before and enjoyed the diving but were most unimpressed with the place. lots of big hotels and resorts. Very tacky. The visitors dripping with jewellery and not much else. however it did have sun and a plane leaving soon. So they found a hotel on what they thought was outskirts. It turned out it was another town they had never heard of. El Gouna.
El Gouda had a great sense of community. As well as the dive centres and 3 kite surfing beaches. (Ashley's passion since his Xmas in Australia.) They were so impressed that by the end of the week they were the owners of a 2 bedroom apartment. They had some money in an Australian bank for buying a house on a kite surfing beach here. Now it was suddenly in Egypt instead.
6 weeks after purchasing the Arab spring had started. So far it hasn't affected them and they get there for two weeks every 3 months. Ashley now gets 5 x 2 weeks of holidays a year. Family and friends welcome to join them but need to talk to him early so he can organise holidays around mutually agreeable times! From Copenhagen it is a direct 4 1/2 hr flight. From Australia, not sure the best route!
I really love their place in Copenhagen; the top floor of a 3 story house. (the one in el Guona is also top floor of 3 stories. I think they like a bit of height!)Its built into the roof, so the walls begin to slope after a metre. The mezzanine floor is even more in the roof with the straight walls only being maybe 40cms high.
Spring is springing! flowers are out and lots of trees with their new leaves but the birches near the lake are still at he 'about to burst' stage. AS are those from my bedroom window. Maybe by the time I leave on Tuesday there will be a bit more.
taken from bedroom window looking over car park
There are other photos from inside the house and of the trees when autumn was approaching on the cartersojourn page on Mytripjournal. (the 2004 family trip )