Spring in my step

012

Every day on my way to work I pass two magnolia trees. I didn’t even release this until this week because suddenly, the trees are in bloom. Suddenly, they are bursting with color, showing off their gorgeous pink that you already spot from afar.

Suddenly, the evenings become light. The weather is in double digits degrees. I changed my winter coat for my spring coat and these past days, I didn’t have to care about gloves at all and instead had to remember my sunglasses. Spring is here and hopefully it will stay. I have seasonal dementia, I always forget what the different seasons feel like and so every year, I am also equally delighted by spring and realize it’s so definitely my favorite season.

At work today, we opened the windows to let in a light breeze and my co-worker said, “SĂ„ skönt med  lite ljummen flĂ€kt” (How nice with wafting breezes) and as “ljumma flĂ€kt” is my cue, I started humming, only to be joined by the intern, proclaiming summer spendlor.

And while I at the same time suffer from spring tiredness and not everything goes my way (you don’t even want to see that negative list), I have a bit of spring in my step. Maybe it’s also because in two days, I’ll get to go on my first work trip to Stockholm which will prolong into a weekend of seeing many of my dear ones.

“It was the coldest winter we had ever known. But with the sun finally warm again, against her skin, Kristina grows stronger every day. She tells me how exhiliarated she feels to hear the first drops of melted snow falling from the roof. And how joyous to see the first tender blades of grass! She says she has never felt more alive.” (Kristina frĂ„n DuvemĂ„la)

Citatsamlingen del 29

NÀr det var tentaperiod och jag pluggade tittade jag mycket pÄ Sagan om Ringen. För Frodo hade det alltid Ànnu vÀrre Àn jag.

Han har lite Helentendenser.

Ich muss gucken, wie meine Laune ist, ich hab dafĂŒr so eine App.

Jag Ă€r lite autistisk med mitt skrivbord. – Jag skulle sĂ€ga du Ă€r drottningen över din arbetsplats!

kollega 1: Ja, vad Àr ditt favoritlag dÄ, Helen?!

– Elfsborg!

kollega 2: Jag kan ingenting om fotboll men det dÀr köper inte ens jag.

Wir sollten von dem Mantel nicht verlangen, was er nicht leisten kann.

Die beiden Teile sind aus der selben Farbfamilie, haben aber nicht die gleiche Temperatur, deswegen solltest du sie nicht kaufen.

Picture Parade

monday

It is never a good idea when I go to bed too late or sleep with disregard to the sleep cycles which I have identified as a source of regeneration (maybe it’s just placebo effect but that’s fine with me). So today, I was not a happy camper. All the people who did not answer my important emails, all the interns who said stupid things in their interviews and the elevator that is superslow, it all irritated me a little more than usual.

So instead of continuing to nag about who everythingissoannoyingandwhydoiliveindĂŒsseldorfwherenoneofmyfriendslive I invite you to a picture parade from the weekend that I spent with my mom, aunt and cat at home.

IMG_3029

Last Friday, I decided to not take the very expensive train because I feel that I am soon to be an unofficial stockholder in the Deutsche Bahn just that I put lots of money into the company without getting official representation at the annual genereal meeting. Also, it takes four hours to my parents’ place by train and two and a half, three by car.

So I thought I should be young and free-spirited and opt for carpooling. The website that you use for that answers to the very sophisticated name of Blablacar and claims to be world’s leading long distance ridesharing service, connecting drivers with empty seats to people travelling the same way. In reality, I waited two hours in the central station because the driver got stuck in a traffic jam. I could not even be mad at her really because she obviously didn’t cause the traffic jam. On the way to the station, I walked (unlike all other days when I take the bike) and had time to look at the rather peculiar houses and decorations. The East European Institute, for example, has chimes on their facade. Each bell represents a region from which East Germans were expelled (the whole refugee thing is not that new to Germany as millions of Very East Germans fled to the West 1945). The  former eastern territories of Germany and the expulsion is still a big deal today. Under the chimes it said, “In Memory of the Old Homeland. In Thanks of the New Homeland”. Rather touching indeed.

 

IMG_3028

I also passed the Lohnsteuerhilfeverein which is an association that helps you do your taxes. Still wondering why they thought all kinds of different houseplants would be the most fitting decoration for a tax office. Also, I love how this picture could have been taken 1991 without you noticing. True Dizzel style.

IMG_3035

My mother does not really share my historical interest so much. Or rather, she did not have very inspiring teachers that ignited the spark of historical inquisitiveness in her. So since 15 years, I try to educate her about history. I don’t even remember how the subject of the Prussian kings came up but apparently I deemed it very neccesary to make her a post-it list of all the kings with easy-to-memorize cues. Really, you never know when you end up on a quiz show needing to know which one of the Prussian kings liked men.

Spring, my favorite season (I think), has found its way into Germany this weekend. We greeted spring with apple cake and sitting outside without a jacket because I can’t find my transition jacket (as we Germans call the not-so-warm-but-not-really-summery-clothes you wear in spring and fall).

IMG_3049

Even on the way home, I booked a ride with Blablacar and by then, I realized that their name does have a meaning, that is to say that they want you to keep the driver company and talk (hence “blabla”). I, despite being talkative most others times, love to watch movies, read or listen to podcasts while travelling. Instead, I bombed down the Autobahn with a 50plus commuter who liked listening to Gothic Rock and Pop. At least I was home in 2 hours and 15 minutes (!) which gave me time to watch the new Swedish series “Finaste familjen”. The show can hardly be described as high quality tv but at the same time it is fun to watch the quirks of the Swedish upper class as a comedy. It is just a little too close to reality I suppose.

IMG_3047Now you know how I spent my weekend. As a bonus, I am posting a photo of my adorable cat. You’re welcome.

Valborg outside Uppsala

Valborg 2014

Valborg 2014

It is that time of the year. It is the time when the lilacs, syrenen, bud. All over town – over that particular fairy tale town – there is a sweet smell of spring. It is the time of the year when you can get out the sandals but you need real shoes when the sun goes down. It is the month when the sun wakes you and your bike tires finally make the sound of tire against gravel again because the snow has, finally!, melted. It is the time of the year when Facebook tells me, “Nicola is attending Valborg pĂ„ VĂ€rmlands nation” and “Christian is going to Kvalborg Kathuska”. And it is the first year I am not there, there where one should be, on the last day of April.

Champagne has an important role on Valborg.

Champagne has an important role on Valborg (Snerikes nation, 2014). Obviously, when I speak of the spirituality of spring, I don’t mean the drinking and wild parties. Even though they are an important element, too…

The last day of April never had any significance to me. In Germany, the first of May is the day you celebrate. When I started studying in Uppsala, I was taught what greeting spring really meant. After a long winter, I experienced a rush of happiness when we got to lie in the grass again. The longing, the joy, it was almost spiritual.

“With the sun finally warm again, against her skin, she grows stronger every day. She tells me how exhilirated she feels to hear the first drops of melted snow falling from the roof. And how joyous to see the first tender blades of grass! She says she has never felt more alive.”

This year, I consciously decided to not travel to Uppsala for Valborg. It is part of my fondest memories but it is also the day that can make you feel, oh, so old. But of course there will not – never? –be a last day of April for me passing unnoticed anymore. Today is the day the light, the warmth, the life is welcomed back, and in Hamburg it rains. When I look at the calendar, April 30, 3 p.m., there is that thought of “I should be on Carolinabacken right now, waving that hard-earned hat”. Nothing can compare to Uppsala. But – now the sun just came out, and I will grab that sĂ„ngbok and lots of warm layers, we will go the beach and light a big fire. We’ll sing all those Valborg songs with the choir and there will be that Valborg speech. All those traditions will be brought here, just a little different, just somewhere else. And even if my heart yearns for that town and its people that I hold so dear, tonight will be a night to make new memories.

At the Uppsala castle 2013, hearing the Valborg speech and songs

At the Uppsala castle 2013, hearing the Valborg speech and songs

Gamla Uppsala Hills, close to the big fire

Gamla Uppsala Hills 2013, close to the big fire