Monday, July 27, 2020


At one of my last conference at the Firm, I took part in an eye-opening exercise where the (international) audience had to place sticky notes that had been hidden underneath their seats on paper hats depending on what the facilitator told them to. There were instructions such as "if you grew up in a country where it is not safe for women to walk home alone in the dark put a post-it on your hat", "if you grew up in a house that had more than 100 books take a post-it off", "if you have ever been discriminated because of your religious beliefs, add a post-it", and so on. Essentially, it was an exercise in diversity, but it really showed me how privileged I was, above all! I have never in any way felt deprived of anything, nor harassed or discriminated against because of my gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, you name it!
In the past few months as we have been bombarded by horrible statists of Covid-19 related deaths, collapsing health systems and leaders making questionable decisions, I have felt incredibly privileged to live in a country with a stable and reliable health system, to hold a well-paid job that does not require me to work in unsafe conditions in times of a pandemic or in general and to be able to make the best of this situation. I really do appreciate it every day.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Just Like Any Summer

Last weekend I was in KLU for a rather spontaneous long weekend. The weather was almost as unpredictable as on my last visit, but after an unsuccessful attempt that had me hide from a thunderstorm under an umbrella in the restaurant area five minutes after I arrived I eventually was able to take my first swim of this season in my beloved Wörthersee. In the water, I could briefly forget that this summer is so different from any other. The day before I had learnt that one of the few people I met recently suddenly became a potential Coronavirus "suspect" and took a test as precaution because one of their colleagues was infected and contacted them. Unless you lock yourself up in your own home indefinitely and only interact with people dressed in biohazard gear everyone of us can get into the situation that they need to change their plans, postpone holidays and appointments because there has been a "case" in their child's school or kindergarten, or they had dinner with somebody whose colleague's husband is infected. A disheartening prospect, but I refuse to live in permanent paranoia and choose to cherish those moments where you can pretend the "old normal" is a reality.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Stay Away From Me

Last week, a colleague vented her anger about an acquaintance of hers who had completely disregarded her refusal to let him kiss her on the cheeks by means of "Hello" at a party. She said the only word for such people was "asshole" as it should not be that difficult to keep a little distance and follow a few rules in order not to completely destroy weeks of sacrifices that many other people paid a much higher price for (losing their job for instance) and brought herself on the verge of a nervous breakdown many days thanks to home office and home schooling. While I don't agree with her extreme label for such "offenders", I do feel extremely uncomfortable when I end up in situations where I feel I can't escape (potentially contagious) closeness. Until recently, I had managed to avoid shaking hands or exchanging kisses, but then I suddenly didn't and in both situations I was both annoyed in equal parts with the other party's naivety and/or denial, and my own weakness. Sometimes you feel you just can't lecture others about what is the sensible thing to do, or you (literally) don't want to be the party pooper. It's a fine balance and I definitely wish everyone decided to err on the side of caution. 

Monday, July 06, 2020

Everything is Better in Summer

Summer is finally here (let's not jinx it) and I am my happiest. I love those long days, slightly sweaty nights and being able to eat dinner out in the sun. Followed by ice-cream as dessert. Bliss! I am incredibly happy and content right now and there's nothing to add, really. Hashtag blessed, I suppose.
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