Dan Schaumann

Official site of avid traveller and singer/songwriter, Dan Schaumann. Debut album "A Thousand Days Beneath The Sun" out now on CD and iTunes.

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My weirdest online rejection so far

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January 3rd, 2015 Posted 10:11 pm

Believe me, it’s been a cutthroat world on the dating scene since I moved to Montreal.

My horrible excuse for a love life in Toronto was heartbreaking enough, but Montreal takes it to a whole new level despite only having been here a little less than three weeks.

Let’s face it: I’m bored, I have no friends and I’m pretty goddamn lonely so I’ve naturally ramped up my online dating presence in an effort to meet some new people. I’m not to expecting to meet the girl of my dreams. I’m not expecting any kind of fairytale romance; I’m not expecting to get laid; I’m not expecting to be doted upon by Canada’s Next Top Model for heavens sake – all I want right now is to meet new people, you know? Expand my social circle. Make acquaintances. Find someone to go out for coffee with on cold winter days. Is that too much to ask for?

I guess you can sense my frustrations, and I’m not gonna go into the details of all the Montreal online encounters I’ve had so far (which, for the record, has involved 50+ sent messages across various platforms, resulting in two meetups that may well feature in my next instalment of Awkward Dates). I do, however, want to mention one exchange that really got to me about half an hour ago as I checked my messages. I’d been PM’ing a local girl on Reddit for the past week, who had posted a thread titled ‘Date me!” Our conversation had been happy, fun, a little flirty – just the right balance of getting to know one another without giving too much away.

I asked her out for a coffee this weekend!

I suggested we go to Cafe des Chats, a cat cafe not far from home, because hey, cats are fun (in small doses) and girls like cats.

“Coffee (or tea for you!) sounds lovely.” she said. (See? She even knew I was a tea fanatic!) “Never been to Cafe des Chats, but I’ve been meaning to! 🙂 Does 2 or 3pm work for you? You think we can exchange pics beforehand? Don’t really have the nerves for completely blind dates.”

“Of course,” I replied, here is a pic of me. I’m a pretty big fan of Great Big Sea and I got to meet Alan Doyle recently while he was promoting his autobiography, I was stoked to get a photo with him. Feel free to send a pic back! So if I pass the photo test, how about 2pm tomorrow at the cafe? :)”

I wanted to meet this girl. It’s rare to establish an enjoyable email exchange like the one we had going. I was definitely curious.

I thought quite carefully about which picture to send her. I have a lot to choose from, but I specifically settled upon this one because it shows my interests, it’s a face + body shot, I feel like it’s a decently attractive pose, it includes the very awesome Alan Doyle from Great Big Sea, and altogether I think it sums me up pretty well.

Four hours later, this is what I got in response:

 

Reddit Rejection

Aw, nice photo. You certainly pass…but I have to be brutally honest, you remind me a lot of my ex it’s eerie. Beyond sharing the same name, you look A LOT like him. I’m so sorry, I know this is an incredible shallow reason not to want to get to know someone, but it’s bothering me that I’m even thinking about him in any capacity right now. It was a real pleasure speaking with you these last couple of days and I’m sorry I’m being weird. I wish you well.

 

Ummmmmm… ARE YOU SERIOUS? Am I really that unattractive? Or is this actually a thing?

If anyone can explain what the fuck this rejection is supposed to mean, I’d sure appreciate it.

 

Posted in Blog, Dating

Toronto street art

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November 9th, 2014 Posted 9:14 pm

This afternoon I took my camera and went for a walk along the streets of Harbord Village, Kensington Market & Alexandra Park – all home to a whole bunch of freakin’ spectacular urban artwork.

Here is a gallery featuring 60 reasons I fell even more in love with Toronto today.

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Tommy Thompson Park

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November 3rd, 2014 Posted 5:16 pm

I love Google Maps. Sometimes I bring up Toronto and explore the city from above, searching for interesting streets, suburbs, towns and green areas around the GTA to potentially explore in real life.

 

A few months ago I became curious about this peninsula extending into Lake Ontario, south of Leslie Street in Toronto’s east end:

 

I soon found myself researching Tommy Thompson Park to see if it was worth visiting. I was surprised to learn the peninsula, known as the Leslie Street Spit, is entirely man-made out of millions of tonnes of concrete, rubble, earth and dredged sand. Construction began in the 1950’s with the intention of providing port facilities for Toronto’s outer harbour, but the demand declined in the end due to a decrease in shipping across the lake. Nevertheless, there was still a need to dispose of disused building materials from the ever-expanding city so construction of the headland continued primarily as a dumping ground.

The headland was opened to the public in the early 1970’s with a huge transformation taking place in the decades that followed, from that of a refuse ground into an area of environmental and recreational significance. It’s with thanks to organisations such as Friends of the Spit that the people of Toronto can today enjoy a beautiful green space boasted as North America’s most remarkable public urban wilderness, complete with over 400 species of plant life, 300 species of birds, cycling tracks, walking trails and some of the most gorgeous scenery you’re likely to see so close to a major city.

I paid my first visit to Tommy Thompson Park in July of this year, where I was quick to note its impressive greenery. Unfortunately it was a gloomy day and I barely made it a few hundred metres into the park before the skies opened up and I had to turn around. I did manage to snap a few pictures that day, which I took as a brief introduction to what was yet to come:

Tommy Thompson Park-1

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Awkward dates (part 2)

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October 19th, 2014 Posted 8:19 pm

A while ago I wrote a post called Awkward Dates, where I recounted three scenarios from years gone by that could potentially have led to romance but instead ended up, well, a little awkward and unsuccessful.

Not much has changed over the past 17 months so I figured it was about time I posted an update of two more recent experiences, plus a long-forgotten gem from the past. Bear in mind I’ve chosen to only write about people who I no longer have any form of contact with – believe me, if it wasn’t for that, I’d have enough material to write part 3 as well. Maybe I’ll do that next year.

If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you cast your eyes over my original post first before you continue on here to the second instalment of AWKWARD DATES.

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Garliced out at the Toronto Garlic Festival

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September 21st, 2014 Posted 10:25 pm

Way back in 2009 while living & working in London, my delightful colleagues and I embarked on a team night out to Garlic & Shots, a restaurant in Soho that serves no meal without said ingredient. I recall ordering a pasta dish (the sauce of which was absolutely piled with the spicy white clove) and washing it down with a garlic beer before rounding off the feast with a huge bowl of garlic ice cream. That’s not to mention the shot of garlic honey vodka we sampled in the Swedish gothic metal bar below the dining room. I never thought I’d ever experience so much garlic in one sitting again.

Well, I’m pleased to announce today was the day I broke my garlic consumption personal best by a long shot, thanks to the Toronto Garlic Festival. Held annually at the picturesque Don Valley Brickworks, the festival celebrates the harvest of garlic throughout the province of Ontario. With around 80 exhibitors taking part in this year’s festival, punters were spoilt for choice when it came to the sheer variety of the bulb available for purchase, garlic-themed cooking demonstrations and garlic-inspired culinary delights – both savoury and sweet.

My afternoon at the event began at the garlic sampling booth, where friendly festival staff spent their time peeling & crushing ‘shots’ of raw Ontarian garlic into the hands of whoever dared to try. There was also lemon & parsley on hand to add some zest to the fiery mouthful.

Toronto Garlic Festival-1

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Evicted

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July 18th, 2014 Posted 10:15 pm

Almost immediately after I scored my job in Toronto in October last year, I went straight onto Craigslist to look for a shared apartment to live in. Prior to that I surfed a handful of hostels and cheap hotels around various parts of the city for two weeks, waiting on that elusive moment where I secured a local income and could afford to pay rent. I was super keen on finding somewhere to live in this exciting new city and couldn’t wait to finally have my own private room, with access to a half decent kitchen!

And indeed I found somewhere. Surprisingly quickly. I responded to one ad, viewed the room that evening, and moved in the following day. Now, it wasn’t the nicest apartment in the world – I could tell from the outset that it was to be the overall dodgiest dwelling I’ve ever resided in. But I couldn’t fault its location on the outskirts of the beautiful Kensington Market, not to mention a bunch of awesome flatmates who quickly became good friends, and my comfortable little room which kept me hell warm during the frosty winter months. Aside from our shifty landlord and the feeble wifi network that was often unusable for weeks at a time, I couldn’t really complain.

Everything was going more or less ok at my pad on Dundas West & Augusta until Tuesday last week.

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The Love Locks of N Seoul Tower

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June 17th, 2014 Posted 7:55 pm

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of love locks.

I used to see them fairly regularly on my strolls across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Lovers young and old would write or engrave their names onto a padlock and fasten them to the metal criss-cross fence lining the eastern pedestrian walkway. The key would then be thrown into the harbour below, symbolically rendering their love unbroken for all of eternity. On occasion I would count upwards of 100 love locks, and I took much inspiration from stopping to read the names & messages that appeared on their metallic surfaces. I’ll always remember one in particular that simply read “Ugné + Darren” – it was late in the evening as it attracted my attention, catching a reflection from the passing traffic. I smiled and silently wished this unknown travelling couple a lifetime of happiness, knowing they’d experienced their very own moment of romance standing at this exact same spot with the majestic sails of the Opera House peaking perfectly in the background.

Eight months after leaving Sydney, I found myself in Seoul visiting the N Seoul Tower. Being the tallest structure in South Korea at 236 metres, its overall height is further boosted to nearly 480 metres above sea level due to the fact that it sits on top of Namsan Mountain; the observatory at the top offering spectacular 360° views across the sprawling metropolis. But it wasn’t the view nor the tower itself that I found most fascinating about my visit to said attraction – it was its famous collection love locks that roused my senses the most.

It was a busy Monday morning in the centre of the city, and I’d spent around half an hour walking through Namdaemun Market before approaching Namsan Park on foot from the northeast corner. The uphill trek toward the tower was stunning – it was almost unbelievable just how peaceful and pristine the forests of the park were, considering its proximity to one of the largest cities in the world.

Eventually the forest cleared and the N Seoul Tower stood out majestically above the canopy. I always try to reach the highest point of each city I travel through, and I couldn’t wait to see the urban sprawl of Seoul from the observation deck above.

It wasn’t until I arrived at the base of the tower that I began to understand the true extent of the love locks. I mean, I’d read about them in my guidebook but it simply described the sight as being ‘trees’ covered with padlocks which symbolise eternal love. I knew to expect a few of these trees, but much to my surprise I was greeted with an entire kaleidoscopic fence full of padlocks, key rings, phone cases, tags, hearts and toys – there was such an array of dazzling paraphernalia attached to the railings!

N Seoul Tower Love Locks-4

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Dogs, cats & sheep: the many wondrous pet cafes of Seoul

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June 2nd, 2014 Posted 2:59 pm

It was back in May 2012 that I first came across the concept of the pet cafe. I was travelling through Tokyo at the time, and I’d heard about a craze sweeping through the city where cat-loving entrepreneurs were opening tearooms full of kittens, allowing their clientele to play with them, watch them, relax around them and ultimately fulfil their desires for feline affection while sipping on a matcha latte.

I visited one such venue with my friend Shino, a delightful cafe in Shibuya called Hapineko (it translates to ‘happy cat’ – how kawaii!). You can read my TripAdvisor review on it here, but altogether it was a very pleasant way to spend an hour, chilling out in a room with 15 or so cats at our disposal.

I didn’t think too much more into pet cafes after that, until only a few months ago while I was busy researching unique attractions in Seoul. I had a 3-day stopover in South Korea last month on my way from Australia back to Canada and I felt like venturing a little further away from the typical touristy things that my guidebook recommended me to see. Thanks to the kind folk of Reddit, I quickly came to realise there was an area in Seoul which was abundant in pet cafes – there were not only cat cafes, but dogs and even sheep were covered! So I booked myself a room in the university district of Hongdae and happily explored the many wondrous pet cafes of Seoul during my time there.

Bau Haus-7

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Coco the adorable staffie

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May 22nd, 2014 Posted 6:16 pm

Meet Coco!

She’s an awesomely adorable 4.5 year-old staffie who lives with my mum & dad on their property in Bluewater, North Queensland.

Coco & I hung out quite a lot while I visited home earlier this month.

This is what we got up to 😀

Coco-1

Massive smiles!

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You’re The Voice

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April 20th, 2014 Posted 11:14 pm

Earlier today I trawled YouTube for cover versions of Australia’s other national anthem, You’re The Voice by John Farnham.

Known & loved by (almost) all Australians as one of the quintessential Aussie songs of all time, it featured as the lead single from Farnham’s hit record from 1986, Whispering Jack, which to this day remains the highest-selling album in Australian music history.

My discovery of one cover version on Youtube led to another, which led to another three; each of them leading to at least another six… basically, the song is so epically awesome that I spent a great couple of hours coming up with a huge list of my favourite (and not-so-favourite) studio recordings, remixes, reality TV performances, a cappella versions and amateur videos, which I shall share with y’all right here.

So here it is – the highlights of You’re The Voice on Youtube!

 

We begin with…

The original & the best: John Farnham

Now’s your chance to refamiliarise yourself with this classic Aussie film clip, a masterpiece from the mid-80’s. What a splendid profile Farnsey had back in the day. What a mullet. And don’t you love those bagpipes?

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