Highbrow Helen


I recently noticed a lack of culture in my life. Now I already live in a city of quality journalism (I love you, Sweden, but Die ZEIT’s parlance outstrips anything I have ever read in a Swedish paper), art, music, philosophical-political discussion, you name it – and I just don’t take advantage. Despite me claming the title Highbrow Helen at work, my conversations have become a little shallow, my thoughts somewhat mundane (or political which is tiring as well).

Many people describe the transition from university life to work life like that. Suddenly, you need to focus so much on other things and are surrounded by people that do not care to the same extent as all your poetry-reading cultural studies friends that go to the opera regularly if they are not already busy contributing to an art project. And, of course, the fatigue of the end of each day and each week that stands in the way for uplifting yet exhausting confrontation with the fine arts.

Is that a reason to abandon the refined urban life? Ah, never! It’s just that, like most things, I need to actively choose.

So last Sunday, I got three expat Swedes to got to the Film Festival Hamburg with me, Anja and I bought tickets for the Gospel Concert in Hamburg’s famous Michel church, yesterday, I bought Die ZEIT (despite its prize and size) and every evening, I now listen to NDRinfo or NDRkultur, something I can highly recommend: Last Friday, I learned that Rosh Hashana was last week and that it is a Jewish tradition to eat apples dipped in honey. I tried it immediately.

Now I just need to work off all the Hamburg museums and go see the renowed John Neumayer ballett and then I can finally talk to my cultured friends again. 😉

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