- When you ask the hotel receptionist in German if you can fill up your waterbottle in the tap, and she says yes, then proceeds to take your waterbottle and fill it with scalding hot water from the coffee machine…thank you?
- Chatting with your colleague in German and asking what kind of guitar he plays, to which he answers that yes, his sister is a vegetarian too but she eats fish and he has been thinking about going vegetarian for some time now and blah blah blah…you soon realize he has mistaken the word guitar for vegetarian because of your mediocre accent and you now have to decide whether to correct him or to just go with it.
- Carrying a bouquet of flowers on the subway and accidentally poking your eye really hard with the wrapping. The man sitting next to you laughs and says, “Ouch!”
- Going out dancing with friends for Halloween (to a sala club, which you can’t dance) and accidentally missing the last train home, forcing you to sit in an empty bar for three hours and wait until the next one.
- Asking a colleague what her grandson will be for halloween, to which she responds that she in fact has no grandson…
- My colleagues and I took a trip to Flossenbürg, the concentration camp in Bavaria where Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprissoned and ultimately killed. We work at Dietrich Bonhoeffer school, so at the end of our tour we held a small ceremony in his honor. We laid a wreath of flowers on his grave, sang a song set to lyrics he wrote, recited the Lord’s Prayer, and read a few words from his works. As difficult as it is to learn about this era in history, I was struck by the earnestess of the people standing next to me, and it filled me with a strange sort of hope for the future.
- Thai food with an old friend who now lives 15 minutes from me!
- Finishing the book “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid. Tears were shed Reader, tears were shed.
- Waiting for the Straßenbahn when an acquaintance from Syria walks up. Strike up a conversation and end of having a great time. He lets you ride on his ticket so you don’t have to buy one and invites you over for dinner next week.
- German coffee.
P.s. Photo of the chapel in Flossenbürg that was built by former prisoners years after the war.
Last week I packed up everything I own in my car and set off for Texas with my dad. The trip from California to Texas is beautiful and, well, long. We stopped in Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert to explore for an afternoon. It is one of my dad’s favorite places in the world, and he tries to go at least once a year. But this was my first time! We are going to the U2 concert in a few weeks, which celebrates their seminal album “The Joshua Tree,” inspired by this place. They don’t have anything like this in Ireland, so I can see why it captured the band’s attention. The landscape is so harsh, yet strikingly gorgeous. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!^The valley stretches on for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see^Selfies with my DSLR are always an interesting experience haha^My prized possession 🙂 She’s done really well on this long trip and it makes me proud^Trying to pose like Bono^Couldn’t resist the filters on these last two! I’m still stuck in 2010 apparently (lol)^We passed through this tiny town that reminded me so much of the movie “Cars.” The little motels, the signs, everything! I was looking around for Lightning McQueen ;pHave a good one friends– I’m off to drive another couple hundred miles today…
P.s. Stay tuned for photos from the Grand Canyon and Santa Fe
“A good soup attracts chairs.” -African proverb
“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” -Plautus
Johnny Cash, when asked about his description of paradise: “This morning, with her, having coffee.”
“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.” -J.D. Salinger
“It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” -The Catcher in the Rye
“RETURNING TO LIFE AFTER BEING DEAD – When I am feeling dreary, annoyed and generally unimpressed by life, I imagine what it would be like to come back to this world for just a day after having been dead. I imagine how sentimental I would feel about the very things I once found stupid, hateful or mundane. Oh, there’s a light switch! I haven’t seen a light switch in so long! I didn’t realize how much I missed light switches! Oh! Oh! And look – the stairs up to our front porch are still completely cracked! Hello cracks! Let me get a good look at you. And there’s my neighbor, standing there, fantastically alive, just the same, still punctuating her sentences with you know what I’m saying? Why did that bother me? It’s so… endearing.” -Amy Krouse Rosenthal
P.s. Photo by Sofie Sund
Tonight I watched the sunset from the Santa Monica pier. The past week has been really rainy, but it cleared up today to leave us with a gorgeous view. I could see clear across the bay to Catalina Island and beyond. The pier was jam packed at sunset, yet strangely quiet. Everyone was mesmerized by the orange sun sinking into the navy blue water and the only sound was a violinist performing a hauntingly beautiful tune. I felt a sense of camaraderie with the crowd, as if we were all silently asking each other, “How did we get so lucky to live in a place like this?”
I hope you are able find beauty around you this long weekend friends. Have a good one.