December 29, 2011

Ode to tuna.

These days I find it sometimes hard to know what a person should or shouldn't eat. A dark grey zone for me is tuna. One that I usually tend to ignore the controversy, because I simply adore tuna. Today I may have gone over board a bit though. Starting with my dinner of a tuna tartare the size of my 2 fists together, I also had this for lunch:

In case you are unsure what you are looking at - it is of course rum punch accompanied by a tuna steak, medium rare, topped with two slices of foie gras. No kidding.

December 28, 2011

Vacation diaries.

Things got progressively better after the first incident of the airline almost loosing my luggage. Here is what you have missed so far...

I ate THE best macaroon ever. That is important, especially for my friend Julia to know. 

 I managed to taste myself through 5 sorts of rum punch so far, the highlight being our lunch chez Madame Cannibal yesterday where they offered over ten different varieties, all already stationed on our table.

The result: except for the very fancy lunch spot we found today, which offers punch at a shocking EUR 7 (to give you a comparison, they are usually about EUR 2), they all have too much rum, which makes them quite potent and quite delicious.

Though the travel guide was lying (“short stretches lead steeply uphill”), I managed to hike all the way steeply uphill to the place of 3 waterfalls and a scared the tourists who I met up there by jumping over rocks to get my pictures done. I thought after that hike the risk was worth it.

I escaped the fog and hiked up a little volcano, knowing quite well I would have to make my way up here again: 

I call it Biskop Steps to the power of ten. 

 I had my Dad tell me about 534 volcano jokes.

I learned that there are in fact mosquitos at 1500m height.

I had an afternoon nap here: 

 I managed to order red wine in French fluently. What more does a girl need to know?

December 27, 2011

House punch.

One would assume vacationing with your father in a tropical paradise and meeting a boy you really like are a sign of 'life can't get any better.' Especially since one would assume that being quite aloof and the perfect holiday version of yourself with the guy, will only work to your advantage on the short and long run.
I realized only today that life is not that simple and one needs a lot of Punch a la Maison aka rum punch to survive such endeavour.
The overall problem might be quite simple – you are not quite yet in love but very much in lust and sharing a room with Dad is just not all that exciting. On top of it all your luggage being lost for an hour at 6am local time, being 4am your time, doesn't help to improve the mood. The cute man in charge of finding the luggage only helps improving the mood when he actually, finally does indeed find your luggage. You enjoy the drive to the hotel all of a sudden, knowing that the shower awaiting can indeed be followed and enjoyed by a change of clothing.

A nap, a dip in the pool, renting a car is followed by the search for food. Difficult in a French department where apparently hair salons are more important on a Sunday noon than lunch. Thinking of Thekla and Adam I call the crappy lentils we have with rice for lunch, Dahl, and everything feels good with the world again.

The drive to Hell Bourg, a little Creole mountain village, is simply majestic, mystic, and mind boggling. We are swallowed by lush and wet green mountains, dips of rain, cascading waterfalls. If it wasn't for the narrowest roads and the craziest drivers, I would have asked my Dad to stop every 100m to take yet another picture.

When we arrive there is more rain. Sprinkling. The air feels thick and moist with or despite the rain. There is fog, clouds, and more lush green all around. Amongst all of this a little crappy garden gate with a nest of light pink orchids. I cannot recall ever seeing orchids in the wild.

Coming back to a room that smells like water (some people call it mildew, I call it ocean and I love it), I channel my friend Julia's poetic text messages. Or so I think. The reply seems a bit demure. Though I guess someone calling me 'baby' mustn't hate me. More rum punch helps my case. The mountains have disappeared in rain and darkness. I will now disappear in sleepy darkness and knowing that one maybe can have it all, yet having it all is always easier with punch.
Flowers after 2 glasses of punch.
My Hell Bourg "office". 

La vacation and butterflies.

So there - I feel like me again for the time being, getting annoyed by the flight attendant bumping into my arm for the forth time and the plane air making me freeze after almost suffocating us while we were still on the ground.

Life has been good. Life has been so good that I seemed to suffer from a little anxiety attack this morning. I think it was brought about from being too happy or something. No Christmas chaos and last minute present shopping was able to change this. Quite the opposite. Life has been so good that I am listening to countless Adele to remind me that it isn't always like this and one should cherish every moment of it. My life has officially become somehow quite perfect. I'm a calm sea of smiles with a few butterflies to go along with the smiles.

Just in case you haven't gathered what is going on … the flight attendant annoying me is on the plane, taking my Dad and me to La Reunion and the butterflies are curtesy of a guy. A guy waiting for me to return. Or so it seems...

December 21, 2011

Happy kitty holidays.

I wish I could sound all grown-up and cool and pretend I prefer Thanksgiving to all other holidays as it is in fact the least commercial one and I think should be celebrated by all, American or not. Saying thanks with family is simply nice and everybody should do it.
Alas, I cannot. I adore Christmas. I adore presents. I love giving presents and I love getting them too. When I was little I combined the two – I would use my pocket money to buy presents for my dolls, which ultimately ended up looking very much like things I had added to my wish list already. My mother had a hard time reinforcing her mantra to keep things excited for Christmas Eve – you mustn’t buy things you want, just because you can, when Christmas is approaching. Now that I have been out of the house and away from her watchful eye for some years, her mantra is completely gone. These days as most parental presents come in some form of money, it seems to reinforce my pre-Christmas shopping craze. Though I do love the fact that no matter how old I get, they still always get me something for ‘under the tree’.
My love for gift swapping hasn’t subsided since I moved here, but the overall holiday feel is lacking a bit. As much as I don’t want to exchange sunshine for snow, fair weather is just doing a bad job in creating a festive atmosphere for me. I have been less than enthusiastic to decorate my flat or even considered getting a tree; it just feels all wrong. That was till I went to Raith’s the other day, found this, and couldn’t resist:

A Knusperhäuschen was one of my favourite things during Advent when I was little and Hello Kitty, well, Hello Kitty just makes everything better anyhow.

That was the idea. This ended up being reality:

No need to point out that it has been a while since I decorated a Knusperh√§uschen and yes, I truly suck at it. It doesn’t matter though, I love it, and the Kitty faces covered in icing sugar instead of being properly glued onto the cookies actually just make me laugh. So there – first cheesy holiday decoration in history, guests are actually allowed to laugh at…

Happy Holidays.

December 16, 2011

Eternity and silliness.

I want to travel, I want to be in New York, I want to write, I want to have intelligent conversations, I want to be someone else every day.
And then I want so much more. I want to feel a tiny bit crazy. I want to be just me. I want to have this beautiful knot in my stomach. I want to blush ferociously. I want to have a secret little grin on my face. I want to be exactly where I am. And just for this little second I want to capture the way I feel... for eternity.

December 14, 2011

Yeah yeah yeah.

I sometimes wish I was one of those people who could get away with writing or saying things like “Hell yeah, bitches!” It may not be very proper or polite, but sometimes it just feels appropriate. I am not one of these people though. It makes me sound like an idiot and I am fully aware of it. Today however is one of these days when I just have to make an exception and just go with. So here it is … a triple “Hell yeah, bitches!” for … my Dad arriving today… us going here on vacation here …

… and for pizza nights when it’s raining outside

December 9, 2011

Of weddings and vampires.

This was supposed to be a straight on wedding reminiscence and congratulations post, not sure how it happened, but the vampires just snuck in somehow…

Weddings, even when not your own, are a tricky one. The line between just going down to City Hall and a big white Hollywood thing a la Breaking Down is actually quite fine. I would say I don't want either, but I will admit I was completely mesmerized by those hanging tree branches covered with white flowers in the latter that made everything just look magical. Or for me magical as in vampires eating Mississippi Mud pie, which I totally dig. I know - no more True Blood for me. Anyhow back to the real weddings…

The only wedding I really remember is my friend's Deniz, who in fact went all out and avoided an either or scenario by simply having three weddings. One at City Hall in NY, classical with post-yes dry martinis; one in New Orleans, and one in Istanbul. I attended New Orleans and that may have started my Mississippi Mud pie wedding craving, because at that time no vampire except Brad Pitt or Buffy had ever be seen on a TV screen.
I remember it was beautifully hot and humid, everything we ate was fried, and we convinced Kervin to not only buy, but also wear a t-shirt saying “I have the body of a God (unfortunately it's Buddha)”. In addition we just spend an overall great amount lounging by the hotel pool, drinking Coronas, and convincing even the bride to cancel her hair appointment so she could join us for the fun. The outrage Gladys and I displayed when Ipek got us egg salad sandwiches instead of Po'boys for lunch that day still makes me giggle and long for a fried oyster Po'boy.

I was fortunate enough to never attend a traditional wedding, where a pink bow on my butt or similar scariness would have been required of me. It looks like my wedding luck continues as here comes the next bride who is so chilled in fact I seem to have more butterflies than she does. My amazing, wonderful, beautiful cousin, and best friend Thekla and her Adam are getting married. After some thoughts, a long engagement, some more thoughts, tomorrow now is the day. No big ceremony, no big white dress, no bridesmaids (I will just pretend a little bit and use it as an excuse to go to the spa). Simply two people saying yes, two witnesses, two kittens followed by champagne, family, friends…

Simple or not, I must admit I am still excited like a little child with the genuine feeling of complete selflessness – two wonderful people are getting married. Both are great. Together they are even greater. I believe in that and I will remind them if they will ever need a reminder.
Sorry, getting a bit teary here (not that you would actually know), but...that's okay, bridesmaid or's a wedding!

Big kiss and the best wishes for your life together, Thekla and Adam Salmon!

December 2, 2011

Work and play.

It is an untypical Friday afternoon as the office is quiet and there are no last minute pre-weekend emergencies. Pure bliss and I am using the time wisely for a sneaky little post before getting into the inner debate of whether I should do a yoga class after work or drink wine.

Due to my co-worker getting very drunk last night and being m.i.a. till I got a very hung over SMS this morning at 08h30, I was thinking of what my Mum always told me: if you can party, you can work. An unfit translation, but I think it gets my point across and she got hers as I always stuck to this rule. Mind you there were definitely days I only survived with massive amounts of muffins, coffee, KFC/Mc Donald’s/Full English breakfast, but I always made it to work and with one half exception always on time. And so the story goes…

It was the night of Marie’s and my first going away party (yes, we had more than one) at a beautifully dodgy place somewhere in Alphabet City. I was due to fly for a last job to L.A. the next morning and little organized me had booked a shuttle for 06h00 to meet at my office to collect 10 trunks of wardrobe and take me to the airport from there. I am not quite sure if staying up all night was actually part of this plan and since I like my sleep I would assume not. The party though was too much fun and I don’t remember much except the Oreo cake someone had given Marie. This cake landed on the floor at some point. There is a picture of my red toe nails in navy Old Navy flipflops next to this cake. Luckily the cake was the exception to the rule and landed on the right side. Which Kervin didn’t know so there is also a picture of him pulling a face when Deniz tried to feed him with the cake after we had recovered it.

This incident actually sounded funnier in my head. Guess one had to be there…

The next thing I remember is sitting on my bed thinking it a wise idea to rather stay awake instead of attempting to sleep for 2 hours. Then my eyes closed and I was more or less woken up by a phone call from my frantic driver inquiring where I was. He was in front of my office with 10 trunks and well, I was drunk and in bed.
Sometimes I am amazed by my own organizational skills, who seem to be able to work on auto pilot when times are tough.

I: Shower and getting dressed.
Driver: Driving to my house.
I: Packing my personal stuff as in throwing random pieces of clothing in a bag.
I actually do not have a clue why I didn’t do that the night before, such a rookie error!

Driver & I: Driving to my office.
Driver: Loading 10 trunks and counting twice.
He could see I was in not state to do that, I didn’t even have to ask.

Driver: Hitting the gas hard.
I: Requesting him to pull over for Gatorate and a snack.
He didn’t even argue, he knew I wouldn’t make it out alive without.

Driver & I: Actually arriving at the gate just in time.
…to be told that if it was just me they would let me on board, but since it was me + 10, no sorry can’t do. Alas, this story only counts as a half exception as I still blame the luggage for having to catch the later plane and not making it to work on time.
Call it work and play German style and imagine my smug grin here. Though the Gods did punish me: still drunk plane rides are no walk in the park and neither are bright orange wallpapers in the hotel room once off the plane.
Therefore I will be eternally grateful that even in healthy and chic L.A. one can order a plain old greasy burger with fries for second breakfast.
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