Entries filed under And Now for Something Completely Different

Digital Nomad Guide to Self-Isolation in New Zealand during the Corona Virus Outbreak 2020

Posted on 18. März 2020 Comments

Update: Well, as expected this post didn’t age well. New Zealand closed its borders to non-residents.

As anything written about the Corona Virus outbreak doesn’t age well, consider this article was written on Thursday 19th March 2020 and I entered NZ on Tuesday 17th March 2020. Things might’ve drastically changed by the time you read this, so do some more research! Also, this is not legal advice, obviously.

When you’re looking for (temporary) refuge from the recent Corona Virus outbreak and you’re in South-East Asia, New Zealand looks like a good option: it’s a civilized democracy with great healthcare, friendly people, a fairly reasonable government, good internet connection and low amount of confirmed cases so far. Even if you’re „stuck“ here for longer, I’m sure you won’t run out of things to do. Alternatives to New Zealand could be Australia and Singapore.

However, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days, so first things first, here’s the official NZ government website about how to self-isolate. There are always idiots that think they don’t have to follow these rules, but NZ police will do spot checks, as I can tell you also from personal experience. And while the rules are not as strict as in e.g. Singapore, they might also force quarantine or deport you if you break the rules or even change them while you’re still isolating.

Things to consider:

  1. A lot of nationalities (most of Europe, US, Canada) need to sign up for NZETA, the Kiwi version of US ESTA, a visa waiver program. It can take up to 72h and costs only $47 NZD so do it now, just to have the option. It’s valid for 2 years, so it’s not like it’s wasted money. For me it took literally one minute to get the confirmation. You have the right to stay 3 months with this or more if e.g. you’re a British Citizen.
  2. You need a return flight to either your home country or a place you have either a visa for or don’t need a visa. Check with passportindex.org for your passport. Common destinations are Australia, as flights are usually < $100 but you might need a visa, or visa waiver ETA for that too (not for transit) – some countries just need to sign up for free. However, this can also take 2 days or not arrive at all. Another option that’s visa free for a lot of passports is Singapore. You need this at check-in to board the flight to NZ.
  3. A lot of flights are already cancelled and more will probably follow as Air New Zealand for example announced a up to 85% cut of their routes. It seems like other Airlines will do the same as they really struggle at the moment. Chances are, the earlier you decide to come the easier it will be.
  4. New Zealand is far away from pretty much everything and it might be difficult to go back home, especially to Europe where no direct flights are available and you rely on transit hubs such as DXB, BKK or SIN. If something happens to your loved ones far away, it might take days and multiple hops and cancelled flights (so, lots of cash) to even get there in the future. Likewise, if something happens to you (and be it something unrelated to Covid-19, like a car accident), chances are your loved ones can’t come see you, certainly not for 14 days. There are however direct flights to the US possible.
  5. You will be asked if you’re sick before immigration, fill out an extra Covid-19 Form and they have a thermometer although they didn’t take peoples temperature when I arrived. That might have changed.
  6. There’s Uber and Uber Eats. When you arrive in Auckland AKL airport, the Uber pickup station is on your left. Take the exit next to McDonalds. It’s probably a more sensible option than public transport. You can let the Uber Eats delivery person know in the app to leave the food in front of the door or the lobby because you’re self-isolating and track when it arrives in the app.
  7. You can stay in Hotels, AirBnbs (try to get self-checkin) and (for now) camper vans, if they include a shower and toilet (so you don’t share public facilities). However, it seems you have to stay in one place and not take a road trip like these idiots, potentially infecting other people on camp grounds. You also have to inform the host that you’re self-isolating and not everybody will let you. The same goes for camp grounds/trailer parks.
  8. You are allowed to go outside to go e.g. grocery shopping but limit interaction both in distance (2m+) and time (< 15min). Obviously do this the least amount possible and buy lots in one go.
  9. Even though you could grocery shop, there’s online grocery shopping at Countdown.co.nz and New World with either pickup or delivery. They even have a Corona mode now, where they leave the food in front of the door. Obviously delivery is to be preferred but they are receiving a lot of orders nowadays and it can take 3-7 days until you get a delivery window. And just picking up a pre packed order is better than walking through the aisles. You might need to have a NZ telephone number to sign up and you can get SIM cards at the airports.
  10. Consider e.g. nightly walks, when less people are outside anyway. It’s important to take this seriously to make sure you and this wonderful host country stay safe, so stay at home as much as possible but also consider your mental health, getting some fresh air in and some sun light (while it’s still late summer), and read the CDC mental health guidelines as well as the ones from the NZ Minitry of Health.
  11. If you show any symptoms or feel unwell, call 0800 779 977 and also let your hotel, AirBnb host or camper van company know so they can be extra careful cleaning before the next person moves in.

Here’s the leaflet you will get at the airport:

Last but not least, chances are you are in Bali: There’s an Emirates flight directly from DPS-AKL at ~4 in the afternoon (coming from DXB), which has 20MB free WiFi and it’s $16 USD for the whole flight. If the login page doesn’t open go to

Please honor the Kiwi hospitality and stay safe!

Travel Setup

Posted on 22. Juni 2018 Comments

For a while now I’ve been bouncing around from country to country and while occasionally, e.g. in Iceland, I don’t have everything I need, it’s usually possible (and in case of Iceland – expensive) to just buy things wherever you are. So I only travel with a Osprey 40L backpack. I’ve been wanting to write a packing list for a while. In it is:



  • MacBookPro 13“ in Crumpler case
  • Macbook USB-C charger + European plug + American plug
  • 15.6“ External monitor + USB-C cable (power+data)
  • SD/µSD Card Reader
  • USB charger with American plug
  • Powerbank
  • Small Bose speaker
  • External harddrive + USB cable
  • Adapter for UK/Ireland
  • Feature phone for my German SIM card (double SIM phone would be better)
  • 2 USB-C to USB adapter
  • USB to USB-C chord (charging phone with powerbank)
  • CCTV disguised as power adapter
  • Nexus 5X
  • Koss Porta Pro
  • Cheap ear phones since they break anyway
  • iPad + charger cable



  • 3-4 Merino T-Shirts
  • 1 Merino Long Sleeve
  • 1 Merino Sweatshirt
  • 1 Primaloft jacket
  • 1 Rain jacket
  • 1 Belt
  • A whole bunch of underwear + socks


Scuba Diving Equipment

  • Cressi Mask
  • Mares Computer
  • Cheap Actioncam on a bungee cord
  • Logbook + Pen
  • PADI C-Card
  • Small waterproof bag



  • Drivers license + International
  • 1 Credit card from each company (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners Club)
  • Passport
  • Vaccination Documents (to prove e.g. yellow fever vaccination)
  • Medical information document


Bathroom stuff

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Small bottle with shower gel
  • Nail cutter
  • Ibuprofen + Tylenol + something against diarrhoea
  • Thermometer to check for fever



  • 100 USD in cash for emergencies
  • Cheap antibacterial gel
  • Keychain

Apart from a few guitars, some outdoor equipment (tent, sleeping bag, stove etc), 2 bicycles, a bunch of books and few warm clothes I store on my parents attic and my scuba diving equipment on Gran Canaria that’s also all I own.

Scuba Diving on Gran Canaria Overview

Posted on 4. Juli 2017 Comments

One of the best destinations for Scuba Diving in Europe are the Canary Islands. There are quite a number of dive centers on the island. This is a compiled list, which shows Name, Homepage, Diving Associations, whether or not they offer Technical Diving (+Rebreathers), how far you can get certified (Divemaster, Instructor etc) and what Specitalties they offer.
There are a couple more dive centers but I only listed those that the official list of the Gobierno de Canarias because those are definitely legal. There might be others who didn’t make it onto the list yet and operate with a temporary license (so they are legal) but it’s hard to tell.

Scuba Diving Centers Gran Canaria

Feel free to let me know if I made mistakes or you want to add a divecenter/course.

I can personally recommend diving with Leagues Ahead Diving in Maspalomas.

#Microadventure by bike in Brandenburg, Germany

Posted on 30. Juni 2016 Comments

Brandenburg is German state in the east at the Polish border. Just as it’s neigbouring state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, it doesn’t have a lot of inhabitants compared to the size. But a lot of lakes and one bis plus: in about the middle lays Berlin and their border is easily reachable by the public transportation („S-Bahn“) of Berlin. So 3 weeks ago on a Friday after work I packed my panniers, booked a Flixbus ticket for me and my bike and drove to Berlin to visit my friend Martin. We then started (reasonably) early Saturday morning in Oranienburg, north or Berlin, and drove until the early evening: through forests and fields, on normal paved roads but also gravel. With lots of lakes  and nobody around we swam in every other lake at 30°C+ and sunshine. We then camped at a lake and ate our instant noodles. Next day we started with some nice pancakes and a bit later, a small lunch at a restaurant and made it just in time to a café, before a thunderstorm broke loose. After that we sprinted 30km back to the train station. In total we drove about 170km. I took the bus back to Hamburg that very night and went to work on Monday again. Awesome weekend, we will definitely do this again. Thanks for the idea, Alastair.

2016-06-05 10.06.52 2016-06-05 15.04.58 2016-06-05 09.40.46 2016-06-04 18.54.39 2016-06-04 18.54.30 NOVATEK CAMERA


Casinospiele im Internet – warum sie so beliebt sind

Posted on 22. Juli 2014

Das Internet hat in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten einen beeindruckenden Siegeszug durch die Wohnzimmer und Büros der Menschen weltweit gehalten. War es erst nur ein Netz, in dem große Behörden und später Unternehmen gearbeitet haben, ist es inzwischen eine der meistgenutzten Art der Freizeitgestaltung geworden. Und das vor allem, wegen dem so vielfältigen Angebot, dass es zu bieten hat. Teil dieses Angebotes sind schon seit einigen Jahren Casino Spiele im Internet, wie sie bei onlinecasinospiele.com.de zu sehen sind. Doch, warum erfreuen diese Online Casino Spiele  sich so einer Beliebtheit in Deutschland? Hier ein paar Hintergründe zur Szene der Online-Casinos und den Gründen für die Vorliebe der Deutschen für diese Form des Glücksspiels.

Das Online-Casino als Alternative – weil es hochwertig ist und einfach Spaß macht

Die Zeit, in der Anwendungen im Internet schleppend langsam liefen und von der Grafik her deutlich zu wünschen übrig ließen, ist inzwischen lange vorbei. Der Stand der Technik gibt es her, dass Online-Casinos nicht nur optisch bestechen, sondern auch von der Geschwindigkeit der Datenübertragung her ein absolutes Spielvergnügen bieten. Die Grafik die dabei zum Teil auf die Bildschirme der PC´s, Notebooks, Tablets oder Handys der Nutzer gezaubert wird, ist je nach technischem Stand des Casinos zwischen gut und sehr gut anzusiedeln.

Das Online-Casino ist immer, da wo du bist

Online-Casinos sind anders als klassische Casinos an festen Standorten letztlich stadortunabhängig. Der Spieler kann im Spielcasino online spielen, wo immer er möchte. Das bringt den großen Vorteil mit sich, dass man abends vor dem ins Bett gehen oder morgens zwischen Aufstehen und Arbeitsbeginn noch mal ein Spielchen absolvieren kann. Vielleicht auch in der Mittagspause auf dem Tablet eine willkommene Abwechslung? Wo auch immer du dich gerade aufhältst, dein Online-Casino ist immer bei dir, sobald du ein internetfähiges Gerät zur Hand hast. Selbst mit Öffnungszeiten von 0:00 Uhr – 23:00 Uhr können herkömmliche Casinos da eher nicht mithalten.

Das Online-Casino bietet eine Menge Extras, die es im reellen Casino nicht gibt

Viele Anbieter machen den Kunden den Einstieg mit Einstiegsbonusangeboten für die ersten Spiele einfacher. So kann der Spieler erste Erfahrungen sammeln, ohne dass es ihn reales Geld kostet, und kann dann selbst entscheiden, ob er weiterspielen möchte, sollte er das Startkapital verspielt haben. Außerdem gibt es bei den verschiedenen Anbietern zwischendurch immer mal wieder Bonusaktionen, mit denen man das Spielgeldkonto ein Stück weit erhöhen kann. Entsprechende Angebote kennen herkömmliche Casinos natürlich nicht. Hier zählt jeder Cent, sodass jeder verspielte Euro letztlich ein echter Euro ist – und der kann schon mal wehtun.

Die Gewinnchancen im Online-Casino stehen besser

Ob man es glaubt oder nicht, die Gewinnchancen in einem Online-Casino sind um ein Vielfaches besser, als in einem normalen Casino. Das liegt natürlich auch daran, dass die Kundenzahl eines Online-Casinos oftmals so groß ist, dass selbst bei einer größeren Gewinnchance für den Spieler am Ende für den Betreiber noch immer ein Reingewinn steht. Ausschüttungsquoten jenseits von 98 Prozent sind im Internet keine Seltenheit.

Die Gründe sind vielfältig, lassen sich aber im Endeffekt einfach zusammenfassen. Das Online-Casino ist der bequemere Spielort, es steht dem Spieler zu jeder Zeit zur Verfügung und letztlich ist die Geldsumme, die man hier wirklich verliert, oftmals kleiner, als wenn man in einem Casino irgendwo in Hamburg oder auf dem Land spielen würde.


Full disclosure: Dieser Beitrag wurde in Zusammenarbeit mit einem externen Partner erstellt.

Best Outdoor brands that produce durable stuff

Posted on 15. Juni 2014 Comments

This is a list of outdoor brands and what I bought or used from them over the years. Not every brand is particularly good at everything, so I wrote down what I can recommend from them.


Clothes and shoes

The North Face – Outdoor clothes generally, warm clothes

Twentyfour – Outdoor clothes generally, raingear, warm clothes, underwear

Jack Wolfskin – Outdoor clothes generally, warm clothes

Mammut – Outdoor clothes generally, raingear, jackets

Meindl – Trecking boots

Kaikkialla – Outdoor clothes generally, warm clothes (polartec)

Outdoor Research – gaiters (Gortex)



Rei – Tents

Leatherman – Multitoolkit

Glock – Knife

Thermarest – Camping mat

Fenix – Flashlight/ torch

Nalgene – Drinking bottle

Gelert – One man tent

Garmin – GPS device

Oakley – (Sun/Sport-) glasses, depending on the modell even military grade strength, e.g. for biking on dirt roads

Zippo – Lighter

Casio – Not exactly an outdoor brand but they make good waterproof solar-watches

Petzl – Head lamp

Black Diamond – Head lamp

MSR – Cookers

Snow Peak – Cooking gear (titanium spork)

Trangia – Cooking gear (pot)

Primus – Cooker, cooking gear

Sea To Summit – shovel



Ortlieb – Waterproof bags, especially for bicycles, dry bags for backpacks and watersport

Deuter – Backpacks

Tatonka – Trekking backpacks


I’m still missing good brands for hiking poles, bicycle tools, a bicycle pump, bivvy bags and some more gear. So if you have any recommandations or had a different experience with those brands, feel free to comment or send me an email.

How to derust your 20 year old folding bike

Posted on 19. Mai 2014 Comments

I recently bought a used Dahon Boardwalk from the German equivalent of Craigslist („Kleinanzeigen“), which works perfectly fine except for the main feature: the folding. It’s somehow stuck and you can hardly get it to fold 90° with one guy holding the bike and the other one pulling. Not very practical if you want to take it in the bus/metro every day. But for the price I thought I’d take the risk.

After going to a bike shops twice the guy told me today to use Ballistol, an oil/chemical initially developed for weapons of the German Army in the first World War. I remember this funny smelling liquid from my army time and it works just as good on bicycles. After trying 4-5 times the folding worked fine again. Same goes for the saddle, which was stuck at an uncomfortable height.


dahon_boardwalk_d6_unfolded dahon_boardwalk_d6_folded

Das mit dem Strom fuer Holgi

Posted on 21. Juni 2012 Comments

Das ist zwar keine Erklärung, aber vielleicht hilft es ja um nachzuschlagen, ob Geräte kompatibel sind. Das ist natürlich alles stark vereinfacht.

Spannung U (in Volt(V) gemessen)

  • Die Spannung zum Betreiben eines Gerätes muss ca. übereinstimmen, weniger ist schlecht.
  • Zum Laden eines Gerätes muss die Spannung des Ladgeräts etwas höher sein (meistens gibt es noch Ladeelektronik, die sowas regelt)
  • Bei zu großer Spannung kann ordentlich was schief gehen
  • Bei zu wenig Spannung kann afaik tatsächlich vom Akku Strom zurück ins Solarpanel fließen(und dieses schädigen), die meistens kommerziellen Produkte enthalten aber eine kleine Schaltung, die das mit einer speziellen Diode verhindern(sowas wie eine Einbahnstraße unter den elektrischen Bauteilen)


Strom I ( in Ampere(A) gemessen)

  • Es wird immer ein Maximum angegeben was die Spannungsquelle/Ladegerät liefern kann.
  • Wenn dein zu betreibendes/ladendes Gerät mehr brauch, geht es langsamer oder garnicht.
  • Wenn es weniger brauch als dein Ladegerät liefern kann, ist es ok, weil es sich nur „den Strom nimmt“, den es brauch.


Leistung P (in Watt(W) gemessen)
Falls mal die Leistung nicht auf der Packung stehen sollte, kann man sie folgendermaßen errechnen:

  • Leistung = Spannung * Strom
  • –> P = U * I


Und damit nicht nochmal jemand behauptet P = R:

Widerstand R (gemessen in Ω(sprich: Ohm))

  • U = R * I (Ohmsches Gesetz)
  • hat natürlich irgendwie miteinander zu tun, aber nur weil es passt, kann man es nicht gleichsetzen;-)


Angaben ohne Gewähr.
In respone to WR073 Holger ruft an: Bei Eric (wg. Solarstrom)