Saturday, February 26, 2011

Words

Ever since I have been a kid I've loved the sound of words. I remember my first french word: Dimanche. My first grade teacher said it out loud - I don't remember in which occasion - and I thought this word was sooooo funny that I couldn't stop laughing. I suppose it was the "sch" sound or because it was so soft (my two languages were German and Italian and they are not as soft as the French language).
Today, I smile when my 3 year old nephew laughs when I say: Salut! He can't stop laughing and this always makes me think of my first french word. I think that he finds the "ü" sound funny :-)
Growing older I started looking at names of cities. Fantastic! Do you wanna know my two favourite ones?

CASALPUSTERLENGO.

ALBUQUERQUE.

The first one, Casalpusterlengo, is a small village outside of Milan and I know it because there is a highway exit to it. Each time when I am travelling to or from Italy and I pass by this exit, I think: At least once in my life I have to go there. Or get to know a person who actually lives in Casalpusterlengo. Do you imagine asking someone: Where do you live? and getting: "In Casalpusterlengo" in return? I think I would faint on the spot!

The second one, Albuquerque, is in America, New Mexico to be exact. The Spanish name spoken in English gives it a wonderful sound. It feels good on the tongue, so to say! Don't ask my why. It just is: Albuquerque. Just cool. Maybe my next trip will bring me to New Mexiko and to Albuquerque? Wouldn't that be awesome?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life

Today is a sad day. A sad day because the father of one of my friends passed away. He wasn't even 70 years old. Not old at all. AT ALL. He has been sick over the last couple of years (sometimes doing better, then getting worse again) but a couple of weeks back the doctors gave up all hope. And tonight he as well, apparently. My thoughts go to my friend. My heart as well.

This made me think. Hard.

Death was far far away notion back when I was younger. But now, the older I get and my parents and their friends and the parents of my friends are getting older as well, death becomes somewhat more ... real. It's not a abstract subject in the future any longer but something that happens.
I don't think that one can prepare itself to death (one should think about living not dying) but one can do something else: Enjoy life. Every day.
Because life is wonderful.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Black and white











I'd like to do more black and white pictures and Picasa is helping me with that. I found out, though, that not every picture which looks good in colors looks good in black and white too.
Well, I'll really have to work on that... More to come...

Vorbilder?

Ich mag eigentlich keine Vorbilder (Gurus und Helden noch weniger), weil ich finde, dass ein jeder sein eigener Held sein sollte.
Doch es gibt Leute, denen gehört meine ganze Wertschätzung. Es gibt viele davon in meinem privaten Umkreis, von denen ich bewundere wie sie beispielsweise Kinder und Job managen oder solche, denen es an Ideen nie mangelt. Die Liste wäre endlos.
Dann gibt es Leute, die weder zu meinem engen Kreis gehören und solche, die ich nicht mal kenne, die ich einfach bewundere.

Beispiel gefällig?

Also, da gäbe es beispielsweise der Sohn meines Cousins (der in Italien lebt). Er Junge ist noch keine 20, geht gerne zur Schule und will, wenn er mal gross ist, Physiotherapeut werden. Gut, ihr werdet sagen, was ist daran so aufregend? Es ist die Art und Weise, wir er daran arbeitet, Physiotherapeut zu werden. In Italien lernt man das in einer Schule (ganz wenig Studienplätze für ganz viele Studenten). Unser Junge hat die Aufnahmeprüfung dieses Jahr zwar nicht geschafft, was ihn aber keineswegs deprimiert hat. Er hat sich einfach an der Uni eingeschrieben (Umweltwissenschaften) und will es nächstes Jahr versuchen.
Ich bewundere Leute, die nicht so schnell aufgeben.

Dann gäbe es meine Homöopathin. Sie ist 73 (oder so) Jahre alt und entdeckt fast wöchentlich neue Themen, die sie interessieren, über die sie Bücher liest und studiert. Ihr Wissen ist fast unendlich. Ich schwör's. Ich kenne keine andere Person, die SO VIEL WEISS WIE SIE. Über alles, von der Griechischen Mythologie, die Geschichte der Bibel, Quantenphysik und weiss der Himmel noch was alles.
Ich bewundere Leute, die nie zu lernen aufhören.

Dann gäbe es dieses Ömi, das ich immer im Gym treffe. Sie ist schätzungsweise gegen die 90 Jahre alt, ich übertreibe nicht. Sie trainiert mit blauen Gymnastikhosen, die wahrscheinlich in den 1960er-Jahren modern waren, einem grauen T-Shirt mit einer Schrift vorne drauf und einem blauen Wolljäckchen, da sie wahrscheinlich trotz der körperlichen Ertüchtigung nicht warm zu bekommen scheint (ihr wisst schon, von wegen Alter und so). Nicht zu fehlen in ihrem Outfit: die weissen baumwollenen Handschuhe (hat sie Angst vor Bakterien?), ihre Brille (die auch in den 60ern modern war), die geschminkten Lippen (rot), die gut frisierten Haare (wäsche / legä) und das Evian-Fläschchen, aus dem sie in regelmässigen Abständen trinkt. Sie macht Walking auf dem Laufband (meist neben den jungen knackigen Jungs), ein bisschen Krafttraining und hockt aufs Velo.
Ich bewundere Leute, die auch im Alter noch beweglich und mutig sind.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unterwegs sein

Unser lieber Johann Wolfgang von Goethe soll gesagt haben:

"Man reist nicht nur, um anzukommen, sondern vor allem, um unterwegs zu sein."

Ich liebe es, unterwegs zu sein. Das ist mir auf der Zugfahrt von und nach Milano wiedermal bewusst geworden.
Klar liebe ich es, fremde Orte zu entdecken etc. etc. Das hat aber hiermit nichts zu tun.
Ich liebe, einfach "unterwegs" zu sein. Flugreisen gelten nicht, gebe ich zu. Die finde ich anstrengend und die engen Plätze in den Flugzeugen geben nicht viel Raum, um friedlich nachzudenken. Too much is going on.
Aber Zugreisen oder auch Autoreisen - das ist schon der Hammer. Sich auf die Destination freuen (kann auch ein Wochenende bei Freunden in der Schweiz sein), aus dem Fenster schauen, fremde Leute beobachten, sich dazu Geschichten ausdenken, manchmal ergeben sich sogar nette Gespräche mit anderen Reisenden, zu sein.

"Unterwegs" zu sein ist sowas wie eine andere Dimension. Kann es schlecht beschreiben. Man ist weder "zu Hause" noch (nicht) am "neuen" Ort. Wie zwischen Stühlen und Bänken, aber auf eine positive, anregende Art.
Kann es kaum erwarten, wieder "unterwegs" zu sein...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Parco Sempione... on a rainy day




Have a closer look at the third picture: Do you see his face????

Milano - last day

For two days the sun was shining - on this last day ... it rains. Well, you can't have it all, can you? I visited the Castello Sforzesco because I had seen that there was a Michelangelo exhibition. But arriving at the entrance I decided ... not to got. Too many museums visited yesterday ... my heart and my mind can't take in any more information about art. Therefore, I decided to walk around Parco Sempione but with the rain? Aaaahh, no, not funny.

As my train left at 3 pm (meaning: I didn't have the whole day anyway), I decided to go shopping. One can shop when it's raining, right?
But, don't worry, I didn't buy anything (a wallet doesn't count, does it? I just spent 15 EUR ... naaah, this doesn't count). I did what you would call window shopping. It's always good to know in advance what "woman" is going to wear this spring, right?

Well, and then it was time to say: Goodbye Milano, I'll see you again!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some "Milanese" impressions











Museums, museums, museums

My back is hurting. My legs are hurting. And now that I think of it, my feet are hurting as well.

But I am happy.

Spent my day (on foot) doing a Milano museum tour. First there was this Arcimboldo exhibition in Palazzo Reale (I adore him - I think that his work is original and ... funny), then (same place) there was this video artwork of an Iranian woman (Donne Senza Uomini) - terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
Later I wanted to do the Caravaggio exhibition (Piazza Mercato) but the line was endless and I walked away. Same issue with the newly opened Museo del Novecento - endless line!!
Not to worry, I headed for Museo Poldi Pezzoli (wonderful old house filled with art!) and "la crème de la crème" came at the end: Pinacoteca Brera.
Wow, wow, wow, wow. I don't know what to say. Wonderful location with some masterpieces that I only knew from books.
I was sooooooooooooooo tired after all this looking at art (and walking and standing around) that I decided to have a late lunch at the Brera.
I finished my day strolling along Via Monte Napoleone where all the (high) fashion is at home. Too expensive for me anyway, but the new Miu Miu bags as well as the Prada bags are quite nice. VERY NICE, let me tell you.
When I got the my hotel, I first wanted to head for my room directly (I was so tired) but then I decided that after such a nice day, I needed a drink.
Un Americano - what else?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Milano ... first trip of 2011

I am on the road again. Took the 9 o'clock train this morning - destination MILANO. I want to discover Milano the way I have never done before - by visiting all its churches and museums and whatever will cross my path.

I arrived at Stazione Centrale almost on time (we had to change the train in Chiasso - no idea why) and immediately had my cousin on the line asking me if I wanted to have lunch with him and a client of his. "Your client?", I went, but he replied: "Take it easy - he is the son of one of my biggest client, he is young and quite cool. He doesn't mind you joining us."
Well, then, if HE doesn't, I won't either, will I?
I had a quick look at my room (quite nice!), put my suitcase in the corner and left immediately for "Open Cafe" in Corso Lodi (and had a very nice lunch - the client was really young - a photographer - and we chatted and chatted and chatted - you know how Italians do this SMILE And my cousin is such a nice guy - he and I could go on chatting for hours!).
Then Giuseppe (client's name) accompagnied me to the metro and explained the whole ticket thing to me. I wanted to go to the Duomo.
A really nice guy.
I visited the Duomo, la Scala, seen da Vinci's statue and just walked around and around. I ignored all the shops because I DON'T WANT TO DO ANY SHOPPING (no money) but, hey, it's quite a difficult task, believe me (I am actually not quite sure if I can make it. You know how it is with shopping...).

Let me tell you: I love Milano! The people, the buildings, the international feeling, the nice shops... wonderful.

Tomorrow I will visit some museums (they have an Archimboldo exhibit - isn't that a nice coincidence?). Will keep you updated.
Now, I am gonna watch some TV and then go to sleep.
What a day!

Milano







Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First colours


These guys may not be the first ones to bloom in our garden but they are the cutest!

Monday, February 7, 2011

too good to be true?

I am sitting on my balcony reading the newspaper. Without jacket. Without socks. I can feel how warm (hot?) the sun is, actually. I am almost excited about getting a sun tan this early in the year.

But then the sceptical part of me thinks: Hey, don't get used to this. We are only in February. It may snow again in April - therefore, DON'T GET USED TO THIS.

The positive part in me replies: What the f...!! I don't care! I just enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dentist

Zahnarztbesuche haben es so in sich. Vor allem wenn man/frau, so wie ich heute, seit ein paar Jahren bei jedem jährlichen Besuch als lochfrei verabschiedet wurde.
Da denkt man/frau: "Gut, was in den letzten Jahren gültig war, muss ja nicht immer gelten, oder?"

Ich nehme es gleich vorab: Ich bin lochfrei!! Yuhee.

Doch hier geht es mir um was anderes. Kennt ihr das Gefühl, wenn ihr mit offenem Mund auf diesem unmöglichen Zahnarztstuhl hockt resp. liegt, den Sauger an der Unterlippe hängend, die Dentalhygienikerin und ihre tausend Apparate "Ungewolltes" wegkratzend? Nicht gerade berauschend (aber das saubere Gefühl danach ist unschlagbar).
Amüsant finde ich hingegen, wenn besagte DH über deinen offenen Mund mit der Lernenden eine ... Unterhaltung über die Schulnoten des erwähnten Stifts hat.
Puh, einen Sechser!
Wow, wir sind stolz auf dich!
Was hat der Lehrer gesagt?

Ehrlich. Köstlich. Als würde sie nicht gerade in meinem Mund wühlen sondern in einem Café sitzen und mit einer Kollegin plaudern. (Nicht, dass ich innerlich nicht auch stolz auf den Stift gewesen wäre - einen Sechser zu machen ist ja schon was!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Strange?

Something is strange.

It almost hurts my eyes.

What is this?

Ah, now I got it: THE SUN IS SHINING!

My eyes forgot what it felt like to actually "see" the sun (after all these days of fog).

HAPPY SUN TO EVERYBODY

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ohne weiteren Worte

Kein Weg ist zu lang für denjenigen,
der langsam und ohne Eile vorwärts schreitet;

kein lockendes Ziel liegt zu fern für den,
der sich mit Geduld rüstet.

Jean de la Bruyère