Monday, October 25, 2010

Withdrawal symptoms...

Berlin, I miss you. I miss listening to German all around and feeling good about understanding a language I just learnt. I miss the plump pigeons. I miss wearing a coat and buttoning and unbuttoning it as you have to get inside. I miss the annoyance that it caused. I miss feeling excited about what new place I'd be seeing each day. I miss how scared I was to travel within the city on my own for the first time ever. I miss taking the U-Bahn. I miss walking into the Supermarkts and just looking, awe-eyed, at the sheer variety of everything. The sandwiches are missed, and the brötchen (a type of German bread which smells so fresh and tastes so good, you wouldn't want to ever have Indian sliced bread again). I miss googling about the weather forecast before stepping out. I miss missing India, ab und zu (translation: now and then). I miss seeing potential photos everywhere I looked. And I miss the people who made Europe, Europe for me. So G, it goes without saying, that doing mundane things together like walking around the city with you is missed. Sorely.

The tangible remains of Berlin- a few tickets (and a monthly pass that enables you to use all the public transport of the city. Isn't that super?), some spare change, books, Sandtiere (which I described to you that one time); and my much loved (and adorably little) Milano cup.

I guess it doesn't look that small in this picture I clicked, but I swear, it's daintily petite. And look - next to it, my spare Euros and cents :)

With uncrossed fingers, I must somewhat dolefully tell you that I didn't get admission for the next level of German I wanted to do, because well, just too many people want to learn German, apparently. So yeah, that hasn't worked out like I'd planned. But in the spirit of positivity that is suddenly bursting inside me and has nothing to do with anything, I think things will turn out okay. Within the next year. One always has hope, right?

The Cyniqueen.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Music to my ears.

Does that happen to you when you make a lot of plans with a lot of people and none of them materialize? It's happening to me this week and adds heavily to my staying-at-home-lethargy and makes me wish I could go *click* (because let's face it, this is the virtual world) and have this completely together and very, very clear life.

You know those people who are all standing tall and know exactly what they want in life? I want to be them right now. Ooh, and because I often have songs/music playing in my head according to the situation like background music in a movie, I can't wait for the moment till the following songs play as the background music in my life (Hmm... Must find better, more meaningful things to mull over in head):
  • A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson
  • I Can See Clearly Now by Johny Nash
  • Perfect Day by Hoku - OST Legally Blonde (but admittedly, it does play in my life now and then)
  • Several other songs, which I might add in later, but too lazy to think of right now. Do you have any?
...and, who am I kidding, most songs that play at the end of movies. I guess everyone just wants happy-ending moments in life. I know people say that happiness comes from within and that whether to be happy or not is a decision, but how does one just 'become' happy? I usually have a very Bridget Jones frame of mind going on, and I feel...clueless, to say the least. And please, this is so not about finding (or the problems with, as the case may be) love, or fulfilling a certain goal. I read this lovely post by Disguise a while ago and thought I want that. But whether that will ever happen, and whether, assuming it does happen, I would, at the end of the day not feel totally lost, remains to be seen.

This is a picture I clicked at Como (Italy) in a great big hurry (as I clicked most of my pictures) because G and CC kept walking on quickly. I don't blame them, of course. I guess the best way to get pictures the way you want them (angle, light, and so on) is to
(a)be alone, which *yawn* is not really fun...besides the obvious fact that it's not feasible when you're new to a place with limited time to spend. 
(b)go for a photo-walk, with other like-minded, trigger-crazy people. But who gets to choose the place? And also, it can look kind of strange to an outsider- a herd of camera-brandishing people all moving together and clicking things that seem to have no relevance whatsoever - also not a great option for when you're new to a place. AND, how to get people for a photo-walk when you're new to a place?
 Heh, waddya  know, I'm back to square one. But I should mention here that the CMYK phtowalks in Goa (from the photography class I did way back in May, about which you can read here) used to be so much of fun. Back to photography - I want a nice DSLR - I wantIwantIwantIwant. I'd even stamp my feet and grovel on the floor - but we must be responsible mature adults. Huh. The problem, as I have explained before, is simple - it all comes down to money. But do you think, may be, just may be, it will appear as though out of nowhere, on my approaching, impending birthday and we will have a happily ever after with lots of shutter-speeding, tele-lensing, manual-focusing fun? If only. On the other hand, if I was given a DSLR that was my very own, I would almost certainly die an early death from clicking too many photos. Hell, I even do that with digital cameras and mobile cameras. This one time, in one particular bout of what I believed at the time was a moment of photographic epiphany, I clicked several pictures of my hand. And I wasn't drunk or on medication. So you see. May be it's a good thing I don't have a DSLR.

Did I mention I was reading 'P.S - I Love You'? Oh, and did I mention I was reading it in German? Yeah baby. I'm very cool like that (is what I thought when I started off. Then I realized there are several words I don't understand and that brought me back to reality. But I do get the gist of most things and have almost reached the end now. So, yay!)

I have all intentions of an early start to my day for tomorrow, so I must away. Don't stay up too late y'all. And yes, drink lots of water. And why yes, I have reached my writing saturation-point, how did you know?

Yours slightly-deliriously,
The Cyniqueen

Friday, October 15, 2010

Snap back to reality (end of lovely and very stereotypical Italian accordian music that had been playing in my head everytime saw my last post about Italy. Sigh and sigh).

Some more random things about Berlin (the fag end)
  • Beggars there are better dressed than in India. But the weird thing is that they always, but always, have a dog with them. A really cute one. On a leash that too. It's the most bizarre thing, but I swear I never saw a Berliner Beggar who didn't have a dog (Hmm...that sounds like a song from a musical)
  • The market at Hackescher Markt every Thursday. I could go on and on about my very favourite place in all of Berlin, and I get dreamy eyed just thinking about it - Okay, truth be told, it's just a regular market with different stalls - but I dunno, something about it just stuck, and I kept going back during my time there - for different varieties of olives from the Italian stall (or was it Greek?), for second hand but almost mint condition German books at as low as 25 Cents a book, for bittery, soothingly steaming, sweet, floats-right-up-to-your-head type hot chocolate, for Sandtiere (cloth animals stuffed with sand - I bought a green snake and a lizard for 9 Euros -the cute kind, with buttons for eyes) which I bought at a stall that sold, among other things, Indian agarbattis and cloth posters of Indian Gods and Goddesses. If there was one single place I'd pick to go back to, Hakescher Markt would be it for sure.
  • And ganz in der nähe von (translation: very close to) Hakescher Markt, is this place called Oranienburger Straße, which houses the Tacheles Gallery, which is this awe-inspiring, intimidating, outlandish and honestly, a slightly smelly building where artists live and they have pubs and exhibitions and paintings for sale. Another thing Oranienburger Straße is known for besides Tacheles and its lively night life is ahem, the street prostitutes (street prostitution is legal in Berlin, by the way). One question - How were they not cold in their short-shorts?
After Friedberg, Berlin, Holland, Italy and Hanover, for the first time ever, landing in Goa was a bit of a letdown. The loyal Goan in me was appalled at the lack of tingling excitement that usually begins to tick inside me as I near Goa, but this new part of me, the person who went to Europe and fell right in love with it, wanted to keep on looking back to take it all in - all the way to the airport - kept wanting to delay the moment the plane tucked in its wheels inside and took off into the air, leaving German soil. In a nutshell - I miss it terribly. I returned to India and brought with me a desire to go back.

I was in Goa for about two weeks after I came back, which was a lot of family time spent visiting various cousins, playing with two very cute new members of the family - my niece and nephew - and it was all very fun. I was always scared of holding babies and mostly prefer to stay away from the giggling crowd of women who usually take to surrounding babies, cooing and cheek-pinching and kissing. I mean, of course babies are really cute, but I never understood the mad dash people have to like, cuddle and play with them. But after these two tots, babies suddenly seem less scary and less mysterious - Babies in general that is, not my own. Heh. That thought is still petrifying. Naturally.

I reached Pune two days ago, with a mixture of resignation and numbness - I've never loved the city (though I've been here for about three years) because let's face it, Pune is no Goa. And while I appreciate how much living here has taught me, I was still thrilled in May when I went back to Goa for an indefinite period of time, taking a break from the German courses. Somehow, in my mind, Pune life is real life, where I have to do all the work (buying groceries, taking care of bills, repairs, etc) as opposed to Goa, where there are other people who get the work done.
Anyway, the plan is that I do another level of German now (if I get admission - there's always a waiting list at the institute) so as to better my chances of going to Germany.

*Fingers crossed*

Yours hopefully,
The Cyniqueen