Around the world in 80 attempts.

All of a sudden, when shopping for a globe, they are so decorative, I came to realize that I have seen nothing of this planet, nothing! Not once have I made it all around the globe. The most western place I’ve been to was San Francisco, or Los Angeles, don’t know which town is more western than the other, basically it’s all California, let’s leave it at that, and the most eastern place was the Maldives, tiniest place, too, I made it through the island in six point five minutes, the most northern spot was Reykjavík, and the most southern location was, quite amazingly, also the Maldives, Northern Africa just sounds southern, but, as the name implies, it is quite northern a place, I never made it lower than Morocco, mapwise. So, what does that sudden discovery leave me with? Regret. Nothing but regret. I must start traveling to places that I haven’t been to before, I guess. Sounds like a good plan. I shall miss Paris in the future though, it’s such a nice place and I’ve only been there 1,472 times…

Covered with ivy and confusion.

Why that is, I couldn’t tell you. Hence my confusion. I think, it all started with some ivy planted to cover some ground where nothing else would grow, the ivy, however, spread, beautifully even, and thankful as we are, we allowed it to spread further, and farther, it then started to climb up trees, our very old apple tree at first, then the cherry, then the plum, giving it an allure of a French country garden’s forgotten but very romantic corner, then, flattered by that French allure all that ivy was so beautifully insinuating, we couldn’t wait for the ivy reaching the pine, the catalpa, the maple, the other cherry tree, the walls, too, of course, the house, the, well, everything, so we started to grow our own ivy, which is actually easily done, just cut some, water it and wait for some roots to sprout, and now, die ich rief, die Geister, werd’ ich nun nicht los, luckily Goethe has a quotation at hand for any kind of situation, the spirits I had conjured up, now, they won’t let go of me, so, once again, I have to leave you with the awful truth of my life’s trials and tribulations, as our garden has been devoured by ivy, our house has semi-disappeared, some delivery people have difficulties finding it, that’s a true story, we actually helped DHL find an excuse, I hope you enjoy some schadenfreude every now and then…

Grey’s Anatomy is my anatomy.

Many a thousand years ago, when I was very sick, I needed some distraction from coughing all the time, ever so heavily, sniffing, too, less heavily though, I needed something to entertain me while sipping all these litres of lindenflower tea and trying to actually taste for once the chocolate I was eating all day, my tastebuds are always the very first to give up, when a friend brought me Grey’s Anatomy, season one. I was hooked immediately and made him get me seasons two and three at once, which he did. It was pure relief. Utterly comforting. I started binge watching long before that term even existed. How could I not? That show was great. Miserable people with miserable lives just like mine, they all fell in love with the wrong people, worked long hours, had obnoxious colleagues to endure, had terribly hot colleagues to have sex with, and to regret it the next day, it all was just like my life, apart from their strange medical endeavours, I never had to separate conjoined twins while being hung over from last night’s waving happiness good bye or transplant an entire respiratory system while recovering from being stood up at the altar the night before, but then again, work in advertising can be pretty similar, at times, at least, in some strange way, but that’s another story, anyway, I’m still hooked, after all these years, after all those seasons I’ve seen after finally recovering from my flu around season three’s episode 14. I do miss Cristina Yang though, the toughest of them all, and smartest, if I were ever to be reborn, I want to be her, she’s such an ass kicking character, her disappearance was quite ironical by the way, she left Seattle for Zurich the very time I left Hamburg for Zurich, isn’t that amazing a coincidence? I never met her in Switzerland though, all those four years in Zurich our paths never crossed, not once, although I was always looking out for her, always, all the time, believe you me.

Too good to be forgotten.

We ate all day. From 11 am on, we had everything one could ask for, I spent most of the time between 11:15 and 12:29 passing sliced duck breast on a bed of rocket with a very mustardy vinaigrette, tasting slighty Japanese, then there was none left, and people started asking why, why is that so good and why did you make so little, by that insulting and praising at the same time the life and death of the two ducks whose breasts had been sacrificed for our Easter brunch, but I at least was left alone then, at my end of the table were only the jugs with water, lemoned and pepperminted, and some of the minor salads, they weren’t paid much attention to, politics and a collectively hated friend, let’s call her Madame X, provided enough distraction anyway, at least until, very late in the afternoon, a lentil curry was served, prepared with none other than lentilles vertes du Puy, cumin, coconut milk, mustard seeds, red onions, chillies and coriander leaves, all of it interacted heavenly, creating something so good, everybody lost track of the conversation, time stood still, and those ducks, well, the poor bastards and their breasts, however good, had obviously died in vain, as they had already fallen into complete oblivion.

The disaster called Easter.

Life is complicated, especially when eggs play a major part in your routine, like, say, during the Easter holidays. First of all, you need so many, try to buy 60 organic eggs from happy chicken without overdrawing your bank account and having money transferred from Zurich, then try to carry these 60 eggs all at once on a bike without breaking any of them, you’re driven mad by all that overcarefulness, transportation issues, that’s what a shrink might name it, but shrinks know nothing about life’s real challenges, do they, then try colouring them politically correct meaning organically, pink and yellow turns out fine, okay, but if you colour a white egg orange it just looks like a brown egg, there’s no fun in that at all, and when you try to transform the left over eggs into lunch, an omelette should be not too much to ask for, these chickens pay some strange kind of transmogrified revenge and let your beautiful mushroom omelettes stick to the pan, you end up with a shapeless mess, let’s face it, eggs totally let you down, there’s no escaping this awful truth, the mess on your plate, however, just needs a little upgrading, call it omelette à la façon des religieuses du Périgord and your Easter house guests are thrilled and keep toasting your culinary accomplishment, and as far as these disastruous orange eggs are concerned, just hide them well enough to rot in hell.

Gardening meunière.

After all this cold, 12 degrees Celsius appear as summer temperatures, so, after some minor gardening, essentially detecting that the azaleas were soon about to bloom, we decided to have lunch outside. Realizing that in fact it would be for the very first time this year and that spring obviously had finally begun, we went somewhat cocky and had trout meunière, Julia Child would have gone nuts, and some fine crémant from Burgundy, very pleasant to drink, now we’re all drunk and wait happily for pneumonia to set in.

Frankfurt Tales of Winter and Spring.

I was born here, well, not exactly here, the back entry of the Alte Oper, Frankfurt’s old opera house, but a little up the street, to the right, at the Bürgerhospital in Frankfurt’s Westend, my playground was Holzhausenpark, the former park of the Holzhausen estate, now open for public, now meaning since 1913, just an eighth of the original extent, a tiny leftover, rather Parc Monceau than Central Park, the Holzhausens, like all patricians of the 1800s, the Astors, Vanderbilts and such, have lost their fortune, and their male heirs, all that remains is their moated Wasserschlösschen, a little water castle from 1729, replacing the old castle from the middle ages, I always wanted to own one alike, a pond surrounding one’s house always seemed so appealing to me as a child, jumping in after breakfast in summer, skating on it in winter, but when I look at it now, it has lost most of its appeal, if I were to pick housing today, I’d choose Neuschwanstein, so wonderfully aloof, but that’s another story, anyway, winter doesn’t do anything for Frankfurt, it’s just cold and grey, one has to flee to a gallery, luckily, the Städel has one of my favourite paintings on display, August Macke’s still life of his children’s toys, here at least, in the rooms with the collection’s French impressionists, you can find some spring, it’s not real, just a mirage, but still, it’s properly done, in oils so vivid you can forget about that winter called spring outside.