August 27, 2014

goodbye & hello.

in some cultures people don't praise the beauty of a child might it get snatched away by envious, evil demons. that's how i feel about my life right now. i kind of, dare not say out loud, no less in writing how flipping amazing it is. that i'm having butterflies all the time. travel butterflies, project butterflies, people butterflies. all the good kinds... and to make it even better – i did it myself. i took a leap, i jumped, i flew. i worked hard on my happiness over the last couple of months and now i want to enjoy it and shout it to the world, demons be damned and aren't they always? and besides my desire to share, and okay, gloat a little, i am grateful and more than anything i think gratitude needs to be shared, preferably other than in a 3 x day post on facebook – no offense to those who are doing it, it's just not my cup of tea. or as my cousin posted in response “nobody dare fucking nominate me for this crap!” nevertheless i am grateful and i like saying certain things out loud. just like i love you or you are an ass!, thank you sounds better in my mouth than in my head. well, in my case it sounds best on paper/screen.

that brings me to something else. i have a little business idea in my mind. i have had it for quite some time and it has taken and changed shape over time, but now i'm almost ready to get it out there. mind you there are still so many things to do, but the general idea is ready to emerge. but here is the thing...i am terrified of failing. i am actually frozen in inactivity, if i don't do it, it can't go wrong, right? today for the first time i admitted that to myself that the reason why i haven't started yet isn't that i don't have time or don't think it will work or that i mind hard work, i don't at all. i am pure and simply terrified of failing, because i question what dream will be left if i do. this is it, this business i am planning is the essence of me. of course i know that dreams change and shift over our lives and once they are accomplished there will be new ones, but to see such an important one crushed would be, well, crushing.

but with all the faults i might have i'm not a coward or a negative person and so i need to start. with that said something gotta give and it's going to be this little blog. you can probably tell from my infrequent blogging over the past months that my interest is shifting away and instead of letting it slowly go into oblivion i thought it would be nicer to make a clean cut. so this is my last post. i am still very much writing for the travelettes so you can follow at least my traveling adventures there and i will keep my twitter and instragram for now. as for my new baby i will introduce it once it is ready to come out.

till then a special thank you to thekla for inspiring this blog to come along, to my mum who always prefered a letter from me to an actual birthday present because she liked my writing, and to all of you who read me and told me you liked it.

à bientôt


that's me taking princess selfies in my bathroom at la sultana just before i flooded it (and the iphone) with my jacuzzi bubbles. 

July 6, 2014

living life. german style.

guys, i wish i could honestly apologize for the silence, alas i cannot. life in hamburg is, well, full of life. at this point it is everything i wanted it to be and never thought it actually could. things are falling into place in a way i never imagined possible and at a speed that is a bit mind boggling at times.

first of all there is a lot more hours in a day here. daylight hours that is (yes, even compared to a cape town summer) so i get a lot more done. because even when i am sick (which i was a few weeks ago and i tried) i cannot go to bed at 9pm when the sunlight is still streaming into my room. but regardless of the hours, i want to do a lot more. i have plans and meetings and projects and friends and … a life. i have become not quite a different person here, but a different side of me has come out to play. in the land that has the cliche attached that everybody is grumpy (which is so not true!!), i am not grumpy anymore. not annoyed. not irritable. how that happened, i don't know, but i am starting to appreciate my own grace to handle things these days.

the weather has been horrid for the most part and i don't even mind. i have borrowed one friend's boots and another friend's jacket and as long as they don't mind, i don't mind. this weekend has been hot and humid and all i could do was sleep, so maybe my german cold bloodedness is already back in full swing.

of all the things, i noticed that i have become really unpunctual. remember in cape town i was the girl who couldn't be late even if i tried. here it has become easy. mind you, i am not proud of it, but i am not really bothered by it either. i have learned to relax which again is funny that stiff germany allows me to relax when south africa didn't.

so for the time being i'm relaxed. i write when i want to write. i work. i do what i came here to do: hang out with my friends, go for dinner with my brother, be ignored by my nephew when his friends are around, call my parents for free whenever, watch my godchild take her first steps, fish euros out of my washing machine, buy myself overpriced diptyque candles (i wish i could say with said euros, but the spoils have not been big enough yet...), book flights all over europe (again, not quite, but that's the goal, and yes, morocco has become part of europe for all intent and purpose).

okay, so i apologize for the silence but i am not making any promises right now. life needs to be lived and sometimes that is far away from a computer or a phone, because usually my hands are busy eating ice cream - have i mentioned that i not only live next to the red light district of hamburg, but also the best ice cream parlour in town?

once i put the ice cream down however my new iphone (hurrah) and i have been getting nicely acquainted via instagram so follow me here and as per usual read my thoughts about travel and the big wide world on travelettes.  

June 8, 2014

great expectations. part II.

last week i wrote a story for the travelettes about how holiday memories and dreaming sometimes help me through reality. i started with one of my favourite quotes by anaïs nin who said “we write to taste life twice.”

this week it ain't helping to write about. sorry, anaïs, but sometimes writing is just not enough, after all writing isn't real tasting, isn't real living.

my tan is fading and so is vacation me. i am working so hard on making a life for myself here in hamburg and i feel like i am failing at it at each turn. i know objectively that my start here is as good as i could have hoped for, but i just don't feel it. i feel like i am constantly disappointing people's expectation and most importantly my own. i already need a holiday, mainly because on holiday there is nobody's expectation to disappoint and as far expectations of myself go – i have none. of course i do have expectations of gecko roommates and such, but those are easier to handle. which reminds me that you most likely won't get the gecko roommate remark as i haven't written that post yet and it is such a good story and i really want to share it and there it goes onto my to-do list. currently on place number 347. sigh.

i know that all is well and will be even better.

i know that a big part of it is that i worked really hard on my first local production last week so i am simply exhausted. also i haven't done any yoga, eaten little good food, drank much wine (yes, there is wine here too! and when i felt a bit homesick on thursday my brother bought all south african wines for me), and now got a cold. we all know who turns into a moaning, moping guy when sick, right?

oh, and did i mention that my wonderful friend marie got married last week and we all ended up having too much fun with our new york friends? now it's time for routine, time to calm down, time to work, and while i know i need it, i feel like all joy has gone.

i know that most expectations are in my own head. and that i just need to let them go because i am not only doing what i can, i am not just doing fine, i am doing great. today is just one of those days when i need a constant reminder of it and maybe a hug or two.

p.s. in case you wonder why this post is call called "great expectations. part II" - i already wrote one called "great expectations" and it is about expectations in my yoga practise and how wonderful it felt to let go of them. read it here, i quite liked reading it again and it still seems valid and appropriate for all sorts of situations. 

May 25, 2014

a new life.

welcome to hamburg! my first post from germany and if you expect me to write in german now i am sorry to disappoint. i still think i sound funny when i speak it and dotting my ü's is a pain when i have to write application letters and such. also i just blow-dried my boobs. what are you up to?

i also blow-dried my hair which in itself is a novelty i haven't attempted in ages and only did because i was so cold, but it didn't help my boobs which were also really cold, so i just stuck it into my t-shirt for a few seconds.

just another day in hamburg. while it is still freezing (or what feels like freezing to me after 4 weeks in thailand with constant sweat running down my face) today there is a bit of blue skies. that also is a novelty because since my arrival almost three weeks ago i haven't seen much of the sky. the weather totally tricked me because i got out of the airport and it was...nice. well, evening, but nice and warmish. i think hamburg arranged it like that so i wouldn't turn right back around and get on the next plane out, because had i known that since then it would be the most dreadful weather i can imagine, i would have run while i could. on top of it everybody keeps on telling me that it was amazing in april and i just think what the fuck?! and the they are all lying.

now i have been here for just three weeks and i am just very slowly getting out of my bubble. a bubble of hurrah, i am here! what the fuck am i doing here? why is it still light outside? will the sun ever shine here? wow, look at all these pasta choices! i need a job. sehr geehrte damen und herren, i am awesome, please hire me! i want to buy everything at COS. a look at my account makes me cry. yeah, so much bikram classes in a day. i am too tired for bikram today, i will go tomorrow. or not. i need my own space. i am so happy to have my bestest friends around me... yes, the bubble is slightly confusing and thus exhausting.

on monday i realized i need to chill. not in the sense of not doing anything, but in that way were you relax and let the magic happen, that only happens when you don't clench your jaw too tightly. i can say it is working. when it rains it pours and at least now that is not meant literally in hamburg.

while that worked for about two days, my wallet got stolen on day three.
agh, the karma that eating at mcdonald's will get you.
now things are somehow back on track and i am staying with my brother (who is an awesome cook, so it is no hardship to be here!) till i will hopefully move into my own place at the beginning of june. before that i have a wedding to attend and friends from new york to show around and a whole lot of general merriment so life ain't so bad here. oh, and they have macarons too! till i find time to sit down and actually write a story or two, find me on instagram (thanks to awesome internet connection, which is fast everywhere!) under #ilivehere - don't ask, it is an inside joke only friends from new york will get, so just go with it.

April 27, 2014

island life. a tough one.

i'm lying in my hotel bed, curtains closed, aircon at full blast. i feel like a lady with a migrane, you now that kind of woman who would put her hand on her forehead and theatrically sigh and say 'darling, i need to lie down, i have the most terrible headache' with a british accent. that's me today minus the headache and the british accent. welcome to phuket!

phuket has gotten to me. as soon as i set foot on the island yesterday i don't like it. that impression gets stronger when we arrive at the gibbon rehabilitation centre and learn all about the gibbon poachers who steal the babies from their mothers just to have stupid, horrible tourists take pictures with them for money. to be fair that doesn't only happen in phuket, but it is the first time i hear about it, so phuket gets to take the blame.

my friend says that phuket is for russians what mallorca is for the germans. that is true and not a compliment to either. it is loud and there is so much traffic while it lacks the charming big city chaos of bangkok. riding in a songtaew, fun till now, is horrid in the fumes. i can see i'm not the only one in my group that feels this way, we all wish to be back at deserted, quiet koh yao noi, the perfect island if there ever was one.

then i feel properly sick and can't bear the thought of fried anything or curry. for lunch i order a club sandwich. it arrives an hour after everybody else's meals and the bread isn't toasted. who doesn't toast toast?! i wish i would have gotten a toastie from 7 eleven instead.

in the afternoon i take a nap i cannot wake up from. my body feels like lead and i barely make it to dinner. before dinner we visit the local night market: t-shirts, soaps, fake handbags. once you have seen a stall, you have seen at all. the air is sticky and i miss the festive atmosphere, the laughter from the market in chiang mai.

today i try to find a breakfast spot and i have very few requirements: pancakes, some sort of a view, cozy so i can work from there. i walk towards the beach front and find nothing, everything is either closed or unappealing. meanwhile the weather is the most humid i have had. proper bikram temperatures, my face is dripping and my thighs stick together with each step, a vidid reminder of each pad thai and ever beer i had on this trip.

when i get to the ocean i am disappointed, but not surprised: even the beach here is ugly. who wants rows and rows of sunloungers anyway? the clouds aren't helping, the ocean looked grey instead of blue. that's not phuket's fault, but still i need someone/something to blame.
i walk back to my hotel and find the elephant cafe right next door. while it doesn't have a view it has awesome pineapple pancakes and thai ice tea, the waiter is friendly and the wifi is speedy. i am slightly mollified till my stomach is acting up again, i can't fault the pancakes so once again i just blame phuket; it gets on my nerves and has now affected my so far very happy tummy.

so here i am, the lady in her dark, cool hotel room. waiting till i can go to the next island, one that will be worth my time and worthy of my thighs sticking together.

(and just in case you will call be spoilt and ungrateful i will give you exhibit a) phuket beach and exhibit b) all other beaches i have been to and you can decide on your own.)

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