192 hours

In Germany, when you can’t afford to travel during your vacation (or don’t want to, like my late Grandpa), you spend your holiday in Balkonia. What sounds like a previously undiscovered Balkan state is actually just your balcony. I am lucky to rent an apartment that has a balcony and despite the fact that I’ve planned to travel abroad as well, I want to enjoy my extra room which is eight metres long (yay!) and one meter wide (nay). Last weekend, I thought I’d get it all ready for spring, clean it, plant flowers and acquire furniture. Well, in the end I cleaned it, figured out it was not at all facing south but east and took an ugly but functional bench with me that I found abandoned in the street. (Balcony furniture is unaffordable.)


Now that the compass app told me my balcony faces east, it suddenly make sense that the sun usually wakes me.

The local art house cinemas (only meaning they show films that have not been made in Hollywood) had a Nordic Film Week last week that was opened by the Swedish film “En man som heter Ove”. I generally support these cinemas but if they give you free meatballs and wine before the movie, I am even happier to attend. The film was actually quite good, better than the average Swedish Sommaren-med-Göran-comedy. What I maybe liked most was the unproblematized existence of a non-ethnic Swede: Parvaneh was just there, spoke flawless Swedish and dealt with normal problems. The movie is out in Germany now, after taking Swedish audiences by storm, and if you want to see something that is not shallow but not so heart-wrenching you cannot sleep at night (unlike “Room” which is very good but hard to watch), you can go and see Ove.


I also went to look at a location for our junior organisation’s jubilee. I was lucky with that one, I’d heard of the location in connection to an event some years ago and took the chance to contact them. The place is right in the middle of Düsseldorf, but once you step onto their land, you feel like you’ve come to some oasis in the 1890s. I liked it so much I started to consider getting married there (but then I remembered by archipelago wedding plans.) The place has a park behind it in which you find interesting art, fountains with integrated rainbows and benches that have legs that look like twigs.


German employees pay a lot of money each month to their health insurance. I think I might be one of the people who has a good return on investment there. I had my aching pinky x-rayed and am sent to the MRI this week for reasons I won’t go into here as “part of the answer would only unsettle you”, as we say in Germany.

I also went to the dentist who broke the news to me that I apparently heavily grind my teeth at night. The dentist made a good impression on me otherwise but I still find their motto a bit too, ehm, screaming.


On the weekend, we were blessed with spring weather and I went to the People’s Park. A popular meeting point at the entrance is “the clocks”, an artwork I actually find very cool. After wandering through the park, we arrived at the petting zoo where some incredibly charming goats and a big pig called Doris lived.

I also saw a barefoot person in the local supermarkt, encountered a van owned by the family company “Low Butt” (Niedergesäss) several times and learned that something called trout pear exists. Now you know what I did in the last 192 hours. What did you do?

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