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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Der Schattenparker

Ich bin Schattenparker.

Dieser Satz fiel mir ein, als ich letzten Samstag in Berlin gegangen bin. Nö. Es hat eigentlich nichts zu tun mit dem Ort (ich war zu dieser Zeit im Kreuzberg). In Wirklichkeit fand ich Berlin total ausgezeichnet --- eine besondere Mischung von kulturellem Ausdruck, Kunst, Freiheit und einer Art Kameradschaft. Egal wer du bist, wie du aussiehst, wirst du in Berlin akzeptiert.

Dieser Satz fiel mir ein, als ich über manche Details, die ich am diesen Tag von jemandem hörte, nachdachte. Leute sehen nicht alles. Laut Spruch, Leute sehen nur was sie sehen wollen. Er st wahrscheinlich wahr aber vielleicht ist es auch wegen der begrenzten Vorstellungskraft des Menschen. Und ich war zwar so und hatte ein Bild vom aktuellen Ereignis im Kopf. Dieses Bild zeigt wie ich etwas sah und verstand. Mir war dieses Bild echt wunderschön.

Allerdings hat mir jemand mehr über das aktuelle Ereignis erzählt. Laut ihrer Erzählung war dieses Ereignis tatsächlich bunter und verrückter aber auch abenteuerreicher als mein Bild davon. Als ich zuhörte, sah ich, dass mein Bild langsam in Fetzen zerfiel. Ich hatte nichts von diesen Farben und dem Abenteuer gewusst. Ich habe sogar nichts davon gesehen. Vielleicht war das wegen meiner begrenzten Vorstellungskraft oder einfach weil ich ein blinder Idiot bin. Aber die Wahrheit --- diese bunte Farbe, die mein gerissenes Bild einfüllte --- erschreckt mich. 

Die Welt ist etwas anderes, als mein Bild davon und ich brauche noch was Zeit, um mehr zu verstehen. Wahrscheinlich am besten im Schatten. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Get that blueberry muffin

It's a game of sorts: fluffy pieces of baked goodness which only costs 1.50€ per piece but in your head, a handful of reasons, excuses, and arguments race one after the other, pro and contra, trying to make sense of the seeming trivial situation.

What?!? That would've only cost 25pesos where I come from!
Oh but 1.50€ is so cheap! It would've cost 2.25€ at the bakery a block away!
That'd put all the handwork --- not eating rice nor potatoes at lunch while ravishing that half-chicken -- to futility. 
I'm not fat, at least not that fat yet, so one muffin won't work.
It's a cheat. Better to make your own muffin. Not only would it be cheaper, it would be healthier.
I have an entire afternoon of work ahead. Do I really want to have coffee with nothing on the side for 4 hours more?
I want you. 

When confronted with choices and opportunities, most often than not we argue with ourselves so as to see which side bears more logic and thus more likely to bring us benefits. No, I'm not just talking about blueberry muffins here but also about career opportunities, travels, investment houses, insurance packages, and, yes, which restaurant to go to for dinner. It's the rational thing to do, weighing all advantages and disadvantages. We use our heads, not our guts, unless there's no basis or data available for our heads to process.

But it takes time and, more often than not, going with our instinct and raw preferences is the simplest way. Do we really have to justify everything we do or choose? Do we even have to choose which activity needs justification and which can just be relegated to the gut?

Is doing what you want just for the sake of wanting to, if I may refer to previous words used in reference therefor, in fact juvenile, irresponsible, selfishly hedonistic, or barbaric?

I cried.
But why?
Because I felt like crying. 
No, really. What happened?

I'm moving to South Africa.
I just want to.
But why South Africa? What about your job here? Your family? Have you thought about this?

I signed up for capoeira lessons. I'll be starting on Monday.
Why capoeira? Have you done that before? Are you interested in fighting?
No. I have the time. That's it.

Yeah, yeah. I know. When people ask, they're interested and curious (and curiosity is always good for personal and cognitive development) and you don't even have to answer if you don't want to. But sometimes, it's your own self who asks the questions and presents the pro-/contra- arguments. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why do so (except of course for those morally questionable or illegal choices, which of course entails you to stop and shake some sense to yourself)?

We're wasting time trying to stir sense into everything. Why not have more whimsy?

Oh, and yes, I got my muffin.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hitting the wall

"I was on my bike, waiting to cross an intersection, worrying about things, and doubting myself. Then a random girl turned to where I was at and smiled. On her shirt were the words: "Things will turn out fine." - myself, on 21 April 2012

As I read it again today, one word popped into my head: "Really?" 

It comes appropriately, I would say, as I am due to graduate tomorrow morning from my Master of Laws (LLM) program. And I do not know exactly where that would take me, if it'd take me anywhere at all. 

Next month, in October, I might possibly finish another graduate program, which I had taken up simultaneously with my (LLM), given that no problems would go with my research on the European Union. And then, what?

Perhaps, like what most people had been telling me as I was worrying about my LLM thesis, I worry too much and needlessly. I was a shoo-in for graduation, they had said. I might even deliver one of the best theses and defense. I didn't have that much faith in my abilities, though. I always thought my work was insignificant and substandard. Even while on my 18-day long vacation, which has left me broke and broken, I constantly worried and nitpicked on every single error I could remember - glue stains, grammatical lapses, stylistic issues, and the likes. D-day came and I was the last to present. After hearing panelists throw insults and harsh criticisms over footnotes, stylistics, content, skewed arguments at my colleagues all day, I walked up the podium with dread all over my system. But as I took each step, bits and pieces of hesitation and fear fell away. When I began my presentation, I felt nothing. I thought of nothing. Everything became mechanical. I was an unthinking, unfeeling robot, programmed to deliver and finish the presentation I had prepared just the day before. 

They asked me legal, absurd, hypothetical, and practical questions. Still numb, I answered without thinking too much. I was spared of the bloodbath. Like all my friends and "supporters" had told me before, I did fine and quite well, if I can say so myself. 'See,' they said, 'we told you there was nothing to worry about.' I merely nodded because there was nothing more I could say.

Hours later, I found other things to worry about - a much larger thing, actually: the future. I voiced these worries out. I got the same response, which echoes the girl's shirt back in April: Everything will turn out fine. And other assurances that go along those lines. 

As these friends' and supporters' assurances and words had always turned out to be right, it would make a lot of sense for me to finally believe them now. However, the fear of hoping comes back. I am afraid to hope. I am afraid to be positive as the fall might break me into pieces. I am afraid to think that yes, everything will surely turn out fine, as I feel that I would be deluding myself all too much. And then later on, what then?  

Don't get me wrong. I do want everything to turn out fine. But I also do not want to feel the sting, at the very least, of disappointment. Once I do fail and fall, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to hope anymore. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Birthday message to self

One week in advance.

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.” 
― Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Let me sound so naive and idealistic here, but why does pain have to happen? Is it necessary for you to learn things? Why can't the world, or the person, just give you a dossier of information with the following items:

Scope, limitations, and period of interaction
Things you are recommended to do
Things I might possibly do
Things which would happen if you go beyond the given scope and limitations
Things you are not allowed to do; Ramifications of
Things you ought to learn from the interaction
Things you may learn if you violate the scope and limitations and perform the prohibited acts

That way, you can just read and be informed about it. Better yet, it scares you enough to not even go through any interaction at all.

Cowardly, yes. But when you wake up in the morning with heartache and a wounded pride tugging at every crook of your body, you would wish you had gotten your copy of the dossier too.