Monday, July 25, 2016
Last Sunday, I was pretty shaken by news that my long-term boyfriend TD's father, whom I knew of course, died following a tragic accident. Even though he was relatively old and had had a full life, I was shocked that literally one wrong step could result in death and bring sadness to a family. At the same time, an acquaintance's 7-year-old has just recently diagnosed with very aggressive leukemia, to name just a few things tragic I heard these past days.
Life may be good or even great one moment and the next it can all be upset and you wonder how you could have moped about your miserable job, your fat thighs, or not finding the right shoes to match your dress. It does not need a crazy psychopath or terrorist attack to wreak havoc on your or your loved ones' lives, it can be a simple coincidence. All the more reason to make sure to fully enjoy every moment of your life, change things while you can, and be kind to the people you love - you don't know how long they will be around.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Do you know this phenomenon at all? Let me give you some context. I live in 70 square metres all on my own and when I revamped my bedroom a few years ago, I had a little "creative corner" custom-made with a fitted desk and shelves. I could virtually see all the creative projects that would get done here:
I also recently gave away the huge desk in my guest bedroom/study that was the only "furniture legacy" from the days when I lived with Mr. TD and replaced it with a small desk that would take up much less space in the corner next to the window and just invited itself for novel-writing. Don't you agree?
In fact I have not sat down once since I put it there and not used my bedroom desk recently either except for painting my nails or filing letters. Where I spend most of my waking time in my flat is in fact here:
My trusty living-room sofa. Not even the most comfortable specimen, but still the place where I sit/lay most of the time. I can only explain this with some strange gravitational forces. Is it just me and my apartment?! Please don't tell me it is.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Week 28: Paradise Lost | Bad Connotation
|Image from crimetoday.tv|
When I turned my phone on (or rather de-activated airplane mode) on Friday morning, I had 2 WhatsApp messages and one SMS by concerned friends asking me if I was in Nice and whether I was fine. I was confused and immediately checked orf.at. Needless to say, I was shocked when I read about the horrific attack and asked Mademoiselle to check if our landlady of the place where my friends and I stay in Nice every summer is fine. Thankfully, both her and her friends and family are not affected and I don't know anyone who is.
I will, however, travel to Nice next month. Not for one minute did I contemplate cancelling my holiday plans, but it brought back memories of previous holidays when I travelled to "crisis areas" and got very annoyed by well-meaning people worrying and asking me are you SURE? Yes, I am, since I am pretty fatalistic and a firm believer in the Lightning doesn't strike twice theory. Needless to say, I won't flirt with danger and knowingly seek out situations and environments that "invite" terrorist attacks or natural disasters of any kind, but let's face it: anything can happen anywhere. I could be run over by a car or knocked out by a roof tile right here in Vienna tomorrow, but still would not lock myself in my flat.
That said, I can't help having a very selfish and childish reaction when hearing about horrific events right at a place where I am travelling to, thinking "Oh NO, now everyone will forever associate this place with disaster and give me strange looks when I say I'm going there." Essentially, I don't want my holiday destination be known as a news headline as it kind of puts a damper on the carefree time I am planning to spend there and invite bad jokes. Am I making sense? Example: the only time I actually did cancel a trip was when I had planned to travel round Japan in cherry-blossom season in 2011 and the Fukushima tsunami happened. MM and I did the same trip, copy/paste, the following year and it was great. Even a year later, some people found it very "risky" for me to travel to Japan and there were plenty of "well, let's see if you come back glowing in the dark" types of jokes.
This does not only apply to places where bad things happened, but to so much more. I think it will take a while until anyone going on a Germanwings flight (which I did last week) won't hear comments along the lines of "Well, let's hope the pilot has a good day". *Slaps thigh* Not.
Since this annoys and saddens me so much, but it's so easy to join the banter when it's not something close to your own life, I have made a deliberate effort to not do this myself. Horrible things happen, but life goes on and you should not let a country, community or company suffer just because of one black sheep who turns it into a negative headline.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Week 27: Blurred Lines | Hanging Out
I was in Hamburg for about half of last week. My relationship with this city is mostly linked to my current job. More than 9(!) years ago, I had job interviews there and remember finding it very fancy and "grown-up" that I was flown in for them on company money. Since then, I have been back many times for internal meetings and trainings and over the years, I have made many friends among colleagues here. Whenever I am in Hamburg, I have no problem finding dates for dinner and drinks among my pool of work-mates past and present. Just how unusual it is to get on really well with your colleagues (the Turkish word for them is actually literally"work friends") and not make a distinction between people I know from work/school/parties, you name it I realised when chatting with one of my Hamburg evening dates, a former colleague from the Firm. He replied to my chat regarding a possible dinner venue - I had suggested a restaurant recommended by the colleague I had the drink pictured above with - "but this is actually very close to your office, you might bump into people from work there, so let's perhaps go to this Chinese place I told you about". I read his message and since its message was such an alien concept for me, I actually misread it as "my" instead of "your" colleagues (it's easier in German to confuse meine und deine than in EN) and thought "Wow, obviously he is planning to rant about work tomorrow night, must be really bad". It was only later that I re-read his chat that I was struck by his assumption that I would prefer a place in an area where chances were slim that I would bump into anyone from work. True, I might not want to hang out with just any person from the Firm (oh, no, trust me on that!), but overall, making friends with awesome people is by far the greatest and most underrated perk of all.
Monday, July 04, 2016
Week 26: Deflated | Not My Week Last Week
Can you please remind me not to jinx things? Last week's happy fuzzy sunshine mood was followed by a generous package of awfulness on several fronts, of the type where you feel a metaphorical ball of concrete in your stomach gaining size at an hourly rate. Not nice. And I'm not just talking about GB brexiting and Austria having to go all Groundhog Day when it comes to presidential elections (I fear for the worst!). While I actually despise people myself who are all about hint-hinting and don't reveal what they are so cryptic about, I'm just going to be one of those people today. Bear with me. Weirdly, when I am very upset (and the indicator for "very" for me is whether I have reached "projectile-nosebleeding-status"), I gravitate towards "strangers" for confidantes and value my friends for providing distraction and allowing me to forget what I am upset about for the duration of our conversation/time together. Thus, I had a pretty nice weekend. Am I weird? And, no, yours truly is not going all manic-depressive on you. I'm still confident that everything will be all right in the end. After all, I bought a bracelet with exactly this message to remind me.