Lottery of Life Preview

Lottery of Life Sneak previews

Take a sneak preview of a few of the chapters and interesting stories from the book.


Introduction

….Life itself is like a Lottery except you never had a choice to buy or not to buy your ticket. You have no say in where and how you are born, you cannot pick your parents or their background and you have no say in how you are being treated or educated in the early years of your life. That is what I call the “Lottery of Life”; you get a ticket and have to deal with it. You may find yourself born to rich parents and some may consider that is a win in the lottery. You will only find out years later if that in fact was a good start of your life. It depends a lot on how you are being brought up and educated, factors you cannot control in your very young life….

Berlin

..Russia decided to cut off the transit routes, hoping to have the city on its knees in three months and the Western forces would have to move out. The air corridor was kept open in the belief that it was purely a means of flying important people to and from the city and that was the loophole in the strategy of Russia. Some enterprising people in the West got their heads together, made some proposals, got rejected for being impossible, mixed some politics and eventually pulled it off. The Air Bridge was created! I think we Berliners of those days are still grateful that some people had the guts to push for the supply of the whole city of Berlin by air…

Switzerland UK Switzerland

My dream to go to London to learn English was put on hold when I had to divert to Switzerland to join the “Basler Lagerhaus & Speditions Gesellschaft”. But the excitement of going to a foreign country was great and I looked forward to doing my part in the new company…. …The first opportunity to leave this “hospitable” place was taken and I moved into a small apartment belonging to the company to be shared with another German guy, Hans, for the time I stayed in Basel…….

Overland towards Australia

... Arriving on the border to East Germany we were treated like spies. The very officious guards (mostly those guys from Dresden with the strange dialect) just could not believe their luck when they saw a UK-registered car with an Australian flag on the back, a West Berliner and an Australian passenger and no room in the car to put another spare sock. Off we drove into a closed garage over an inspection hole. Our passports were taken away, put through a slit in the wall and some ghosts on the other side most likely studied those with great interest. Not enough, we had to unpack every item from the car, open our bags, they went through my notebook and I had to explain every relationship to the names written in there. Not a very pleasant event and when we were finally released after 2½ hours we probably beat the world record in repacking our gear into a VW Beetle. The sad farewells of only a few hours earlier turned into relief and expectations of better things to come after that border experience…

Australia

…Reality hit me when I queued up at the employment office. The only job available was with the Metropolitan Water, Drainage and Sewage Board. Trenches had to be dug somewhere in the bush land to accommodate new pipes to be laid down. The only job requirement was the ability to swing a shovel which I firmly attested to. I got the job with meagre pay but if you have nothing you still hope you will get rich one day…

Taiwan

…Taiwan was still under martial law; restrictions where minimal but there was absolutely no problem with security. Chiang Kai-shek had passed away only a few months earlier and I was required to pay my respects by visiting his temporary resting place, where he was put on view in a mausoleum…

Singapore

..I had been to Singapore several times in the previous 15 years. In 1965 we celebrated New Year on board the ship, during my days with Lufthansa in Perth I had to visit some tour operators in Singapore and I had reasons to visit again from Taiwan on short stopovers. The change which had taken place in this city was quite remarkable but it always presents a different picture when your visit is short term…

Hong Kong

…My start in Hong Kong was in October 1986, two years after I opened the doors of my own business in Perth. No reason to celebrate and therefore I got my head down and started to look at what needed to be done in IFB Hong Kong…

Indonesia

… I was also due for a long holiday and when my old mate Capt. David Mellor suggested joining him on the training sail ship “STS Leeuwin II” to sail from Jakarta to Dampier, Western Australia (WA); I could not resist..