Little Souvenir

Nobody intends to put up a wall
(Walter Ulbricht, Leader of the GDR, June 15 1961 – 2 months before the Berlin Wall was built)

And this his how life goes.
The wall was built, the country divided, the world got a cold and after staying in bed and curing their illness, not willing to take chances the wall was teared down.
Happy People. Happy Germany. Happy Europe. (Maybe)
And then one day the astronaut Chris Hadfield shot this amazing picture over Berlin.

Colonel-Chris-Hadfields-p-012
The yellow east part with sodium light bulbs vs the fluorescent west side. The warm cozy community vs technology and progress.
The statement of the furniture department simply was: we haven’t had the money to equalise everything.
Can’t some things just remain different? Aren’t those sweet reminders of our history? Non violent, non predominant but calm and peaceful souvenirs, only noticeable from space.

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Time Travel

Facebook. The funniest, saddest, weirdest diary of all times.

“Would you like to see, what you’ve been up to one year ago”? Wuaaaaat really? That was a year ago? You must be kiddin’ me! And look at the hair!

I like this little album filled with quotes, pictures, wishes, thoughts. One could maybe also just have a normal photographic album at home. But would you invite all your friends over to comment on or discuss them? To place some of their favorite pictures right underneath? That would be quite nice in fact, but very expensive ;).

My best friend didn’t know I was going to end up at sea. One day she posted a picture of two pin-up seamen at my wall. They weren’t the reason I started sailing. I mean, not entirely. Even though I was curious about those seamen. But now, every time I see this pictures I can’t stop giggling, because – you might see it coming – they are not like you picture them. Remember The Captain from HIMYM? That respectful, well-tempered, awkward guy? Not even close. Ok – they are not wearing big beards. That’s about it with the similarity. 😀

Those little things keep me smiling when I once in a while travel through time in FB.

But there are others. Posts with a wagging finger. And they shout at me, and I wonder: what changed since then? Most of the time the devastating truth is NOTHING. And that is the point when I turn my phone off and start writing!

Blog Stats

How many people visited my blog today? Only 3? Why? Am I not interesting enough?
How many people liked my last post? Only 10? Was it not funny, or touching enough?
Best posting time 3 o’clock? Timing is everything, so I better hurry up with my post today!

Does that sound familiar?
One of the first comments I received was: “It’s good if that idea spurs you on to be more creative, but one thing I love about WordPress is that it doesn’t feel like competing to me, even when hundreds of us respond to the same prompt. Just being ourselves gives us all the difference we need.” which is true. But aren’t we still hunting for “likes”

“Likes” – are motivating for new posts, giving new ideas, inspiring. But what if your “Stats” don’t impress you? Are you still motivated to blog? Or would you crumble your notebook and head for a walk trying to get your head free, blogging….bah….who needs that.
Every beginning is difficult 🙂
The most interesting statistic for me is the country overview. Maybe some of you know the online game Ndemic Creations. “It is a unique mix of high strategy and terrifyingly realistic simulation. Can you infect the world?” The goal is to infect the world with a virus, bacteria, plague etc. by using any kind of resources that can help spreading a disease. Animals, Humans, Transportation. You can even evolve your creation by making it resistant against temperature and medicine. It is one of these games that sounds horrible in the first placeand as soon as you try it you wont be able to get off the hook. Where was I…. Country Statistics. Isn’t it great to be read by so many different Nationalities? Remeber in times, when language was a huge barrier, books were travelling mainly around the own country and ideas that evolve in the east spent decades for a Travel to the west. So in order to follow the line of Ndemic Creations I want to get one hit of each country at least once 🙂

For the rest: I will continue doing it my way, not paying too much attention to the hits and likes, because as soon as I start chasing them, I wont be able to write about what moves me to move you, but checking how to please you in order to please me.

Monthly Update

For this one I will need your help! I am very willing to keep this Blog going. There is a lot to write about, but to keep the focus on something regularly, I would like you to tell me:

It’s gonna be more fun, if you are getting involved as well. So thank you all in advance.

Getting up on the wrong side of bed

Splash!!!
The first noise after I stuffed the alarm clock under my pillow…
My water bottle left the upper bunk by itself, after the boat cranked in a wave. Well. It happens… It doesn’t necessarily need to break, or loose the cap. But it did. So I did what I normally avoid for weeks, I mobbed the floor. At midnight. Night shift of a shifter.
I entered the messroom, still with parts of the pillow in my face (no, mobbing doesn’t  take it away really) and stored some food in the fridge for my lunch break at 6 o’clock. Meal at midnight equals dinner for the day shift – steak, fish, pasta – everything you need for a good start in the day. I stuffed a few cereal bars in my pocket and scuffled to my office. A room full of PCs. One could think – oh that’s nice and cozy. Normally offices are. This one is a fridge. Air conditioners are running non stop to maintain a good temperature for those buddies to work. And for me to freeze. Who would think of packing a scarf and a hat when working the Caribbean Sea. My fault. Clicking, staring at screens and further clicking. Music – Elvis Presley.
A break every now and then to refill my water bottle…oh did I mention? It flooded my cabin. So I hate my bottle for today.
More clicking and staring at the screen. Music – Nina Simone.
Co-worker starts soft gun fight. Got hit in the head. Like everyday. Didn’t strike anyone myself. Like everyday.
Sunrise: 5:42 – I can see it through my little porthole in the office. No time to go to the Bridge to take some pictures. Music – Manu Chao
6:30 – Breakfast. Well, not for me. It’s actually my lunch break. But who cares about a shifter. Bread, eggs, bacon, beaked beans, can fish, fresh fruits… every day. No cheese…(note: I am on a french boat. I am still not over it!)
I grab my fridge food – microwave – bing. Half an hour off work conversation with co – workers. Mainly Philippinos – never growing and up-growing heroes. My mood starts to climb up with every joke they are giggling over. Music – Nelly Furtado.
Colleague throws a fit and starts cleaning. Not only his desk, but also mine. Thanks a lot. Now since I know the germs are there, I can’t work without seeing them everywhere.
As the sun starts heating up the boat, the important people crawl out of their big cabins, with ocean view. Music – Stop!
Back to clicking and staring at the screen. Water – bottle – fill – up. Still mad at the bottle.
I take my coffee break at nine. Best 30 minutes of the day. Just me and the coffee standing on the bridge wing watching a flying fish race. Sun.
Finally time to write the post!
In 20 minutes I will pack my stuff, leave my glasses at the desk and scuffle back to my cabin.
Further hours are going to be packed with leisure. So what shall we do today? Watch a movie? Read some pages of my book in the sun? Go for a walk on the Helikopter deck? Smash the gym? Give me some ideas. I have three hours to fill 🙂

My journey

My journey began. I closed the door, shouldered my bag, crossed my little garden. One look back, a silent “goodbye” and I did my first lion-hearted step towards to world. I crossed villages and small towns, tracked through fields, meadows, rivers and a mountain range.  After one week, my feet started to swallow, showed blisters and I started to limp. So far, I could survive from berries on the road, little injured birds, and every now and then I stole an egg from the farm I passed. The little money I had, I spend only in a case of need. I slept under the stars, covered in my jacket. My skin became the colour of the earth, my heart started to be light as the wind. I loved the rain, because then, I could avoid looking for a spring in order to allay my thirst. And I enjoyed the peaceful width of the land in front of me. I assumed, that it would take me two more weeks, to cross the border and reach my destination.

My journey began. I could hear the horses outside. I closed the window, grabbed my bag and jumped out at the street. The carter opened the door to the carriage and I crawled in. Few hours later, we arrived at the train station. I gathered my luggage, strolled along the platform, waiting for my train. I could smell the steam, heard the dull rumble of the steel wheels on the rails, waited excitedly before I could catch sight of the loco. Once the squeal ebbed away, I climbed up the wagon, and took my seat. There was 5 people in my compartment. Three of them were reading newspapers and books, one was smoking, leaning towards the window. The last one, giving way for me to sit on the window as well, was an old men, friendly laughing. As soon as the train started to roll, the fields started to roll by, he introduced himself. Talking about work and family, business and politics the time went by quickly. After 10 hours, several stops, a few cigars a hand full blessings I heard the conductor announcing my destination.

My journey began. And this time, it was only me and the road. I already picked my favorite music, some sweets on the passenger seat. And there I go. Moving my head to the rhythm, leaning out of the window, feeling free – for five hours, before I got stuck looking for a parking site.

My journey began. The taxi was tooting, I hurried down the stairs from my appartement. I was a little late, but already checked in, only hand luggage. It’s gonna be alright. I emptied my bottle of water, impatiently waiting for queue the to move through the security check. “Final call…” a bit of running, a bit of barging, passport check, boarding pass aaaand stop. The gangway was crowded, of course, people sitting in the front seats are always embarking first. Makes sense. NOT. I was nervous. I am afraid of flying, it’s unnatural, but it’s quick. The conversations with fellow passengers have always been rather unexciting. So I crumble myself into the seat, and wish for the next to hours to pass quickly.

My journey began. I glanced at the watch. Half past 10. I am sitting here since 8 in the morning already. Give yourself a rest, they say. During the first week, we want you to be alone with yourself. To reflect. To retrieve your own voice. The world spins without you. You don’t need the world to spin you. I am exhausted from rushing around, from being at thousand places at the same time – not being anywhere at all. So I started the journey back to myself.

What about the whales…

Food probably remains one of the most recognisable difference between cultures. Even though we can eat almost all kind of food everywhere, we are still referring to the origin of the dish. Japanese cuisine, French cuisine, Italian oder Brazilian, Russian or Chinese, Indian or Greek. The Restaurant already gives us a hint of what to find inside, by pointing out the area or region. It’s also true, that picked up dishes appear in many variations suiting their country.

Also I could come up with somehow very unpleasant experiences, when diving into the french cuisine (like andouillette, snails, foie gras) I ‘d rather share my experience about a delicacy that you will mainly find in Japan, Iceland, Norway, arctic parts fo Canada and Alaska – whale meat.
After a trip on an Exploration vessel, the whole crew ended up in Svalbard. An island north of Norway, that is inhabited by Norwegians, Russians (mainly scientists and former mine workers) and polar bears.

Whale hunting stays very controvert, especially when it comes to commercial whaling. So far, mainly indigenous people (as Inuit) or countries (Iceland, Greenland, Norway) are carrying out the old tradition of whale hunting, but the fighting goes on, whether or not the sanctuary should be lifted.

Nevertheless, the crew gathered in a restaurant and whale meat ordered. At that time, I wasn’t a big fan of creatures from the ocean, whether it was Octopus, or Shrimp, Oyster or Mussels. But just like all the other times, I couldn’t resist trying. Eating a mammal from the sea was very new for me, but I must confess I liked it. I would describe it as a taste of smoked fish, but with a beef – texture, whereas the meat itself is very tender and juicy. That time, I was lucky, I was actually liking what I was trying.

After becoming a “no industrial meat-eater” I am glad, I got to taste it in Svalbard. I wouldn’t touch it if I would find a “fresh whale meat – right from the arctic” bag in the freezer of my local supermarket.
Some stuff just only tastes right in the right place!

This post is part of the Blog Event “Monthly Travels Challenge” that I joined.

Refreshed?

Is there anyone out there who can concentrate on only one thing when he/she’s refreshed? Most of the times, when I roll up my sleeves and get to work, pick up my pen and want to start there is… Nothing.
No matter how many miles I strolled through the forest, how many refreshing teas I’ve been drinking and how man socks I folded – my fingers don’t want to receive any message from my brain.
No honestly, for me, having a plan and an agenda is helping a lot.
My whole childhood my mom preached “make a list”. So of course, it was the last thing I was doing. Who do they think they are…parents.After I fell flat on my face for several times I grumpily picked a little piece of paper and a pen, trying to think of what I should write on this bloody list. 8 o’clock tomorrow? 19:00 on Friday? Whatever!
The grumpy face gave way to the relieved one when I finally figured how to do “list”. And so it happened with my writing. Without prompts, topics, notes, quotes, other people posts, news flashes and so on and so on, I wouldn’t be able to post everyday. Because than I would have to think of “what do I really wanna say”. And it is not easy, to have a statement or an opinion on something everyday, neither is it easy to always create something what you want to share every day.
So for now I try things out, and so far, my favorites have been posts which I was writing after seeing a picture. It was easy to let the story flow out of my fingers…
So it goes: Pictures inspire me most.