Amitabh Bachchan and Maarten Schäfer

Meeting Bollywood legend ‘Amitabh Bachchan’

“I’m here to meet Mr. Amitabh Bachchan,” I say to the security guard at the entrance of Film City in the northern part of Mumbai. “My name is Maarten and I’m from CoolBrands.”

The man silently scans the “Expected Visitor List’. “We have a meeting at eleven,” I add.

The man makes the typical Indian head movement, which looks like a cross between a nod and a shake and continues to study the list.

“Was that a yes or a no?” I ask myself. Continue reading

Stad Amsterdam

“In the footsteps of the great explorers” – by Maarten Schäfer

I’m cycling through Amsterdam’s historic centre, a UNESCO world heritage site and an enduring testimony to the city’s rich history. During the Golden Age in the 17th century, Amsterdam’s port was at the centre of a global trade network, with ships sailing to Asia, Africa, Brazil and the Americas, and merchants trading goods across Europe. Continue reading

maarten schafer storyteller for CoolBrands and CoolTravel in chad - CBNWS ATW80B

“Photo shoot in an orphanage in Chad” – Maarten Schäfer

Chad has a chequered history marked by civil unrest, instability, poverty and, more recently, streams of refugees flowing in from neighboring Sudan. Recent developments suggest Chad may be entering a period of greater stability and prosperity. For the time being, however, tourism remains virtually non-existent in Chad, making it difficult for visitors like us to discover the country. Continue reading