From dust we come
And unto dust we return
So they say
We are fluid beings
Conceived in, composed of water
Birth, death, later
From love we come
And unto love we return
So say I
Pic: Sulphur Lake at Mount Batur, Bali
This elderly, 80-something couple tottering hand in hand down the graffiti filled streets of St Pauli and having the time of their lives!
It’s obvious they aren’t in the pink of health- their knees creak, their voices are tremulous and their aged bodies no longer spring with the raw juice of youth.
Nevertheless, their joy is palpable as they explore a new city, painted in the colours of the next generation.
They giggle as they try a lame-legged skip and clutch on to each other for support.
Watching them, brought to mind exactly what I don’t want to do with my life partner:
Honey, I don’t want to grow old with you.
Instead, I want to:
-trot the globe and eat my way across it with you by my side.
-unlearn all that no longer helps me, and learn all that does. For instance, perfecting a Bratwurst. I got your heart and I intend on keeping your stomach too.
-ferret and find happiness in the least likely places- surprise me and I’ll repay the favor 😉
-try a new sport as often as possible. Whether it’s dancesport or surfing, let’s never say never.
-savor the magnificence of countless sunsets (I would have said sunrises, but they’re just too early don’t you think?)
-be responsible for nurturing young lives- we can decide later whether it’s puppies or babies or both. No pressure.
-and most importantly, even when we are on the wiser side of 90, I want to stay young at heart and rock your world!
That being said, I must begin with a DISCLAIMER: Be warned, this may not work for you!
1. Revisit the place you had your first date/met for the first time.
An overnight Indian train in our case. Impossibly crowded and filled with people who want to fight you for a seat that is rightfully yours. Fight them tooth and nail for it. They and your girlfriend don’t know it yet, but it’s a matter of love or heartbreak.
2. Surprise her with something self made.
Out came a healthy dinner of home made egg and cheese sandwiches with tiny coconut cups filled to the brim with Irish cream from my best friend’s wedding, a week before.
3. Wait for some peace and privacy.
This turned out to be nearly impossible as our over-friendly co-passengers kept stealing glances or just openly staring at the curious mix of skins they saw next to them. It seemed unfathomable to them that one of their own (read: brown young Indian girl) should be hobnobbing with a white man. Scandalous!
4. The moment will never be right. Just do it.
Oh and make sure that girlfriend of yours, now with a happy tummy, doesn’t fall right off to sleep.
It might take a few hesitant coughs and spurts but you will get there, one way or the other. Augen zu und durch!- German for – Shut your eyes and go for it!
5. Set the scene.
My now sweating boyfriend (purely from the heat, mind you) gave me a short and sweet recap of the years we had together. Tip: Proposer, you will be super nervous, but please let your narration sound cheerful or she’ll think you’re breaking up with her.
6. Get down on one knee.
Yes, we love it!! By now, I was the one sweating. Out of my eyes. And right there on that night train, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. In the affirmative.
7. Make sure she means her “Yes”
Take her Paragliding.
Just to make sure I was sure, my new fiancé had one big trick up his sleeve.
Off the train and into a Paraglider. He had to show me his extreme-sport-craving-side. We trained for three days to be able to fly solo at a beautiful place called Fly Nirvana. And Nirvana it was. Soaring over the heavens, conquering my fear of heights and falling even more in love with this boy of mine.
I accepted and celebrated him for who he is. His kind of crazy definitely resonates with mine.
I highly recommend that you http://www.flynirvana.com
And if you have similar experiences to share, I’m all ears. Err.. eyes. 😉
Let yourself love and let yourself fly, both will give you butterflies.
Now, now, what do Reggae, coffee and the Fish market have in common?! Sounds like a rather unlikely trio.
Enter Jessy Greaves.
Give me a minute brother! Let me set the scene very quickly before my readers scoff at your beloved trio.
Come Sunday morning at the Hamburg harbor and life is bustling with energy. The stragglers from last night refusing to go home, bring the party to the Fish market. There are live bands, food and drink until the gong sounds at 9:30am and then you really have to go home. Most have celebrated the night away at the Kiez or the Reeperbahn which is the rather famous or infamous (depending on which side of the world you’re opining) party street of Hamburg.
Those that are not red-eyed but with sore-throats and flushed cheeks are vendors at the many tiny kiosks selling vegetables, fruits, clothes, hats, chocolates, fish and plants. As the clock inches towards closing time, their prices drop and their offers get more generous. Of course, they claim, the offer’s only on because they are in a good mood and feel like being nice to you.
The chaos and color of the Fish market immediately appealed to me as a stark and vivid contrast to the general German orderliness and quiet efficiency. What a delight!
Then comes someone who defies all rules of conventional German markets. The Rasta man and his sinfully energizing Barista. Jessy Greaves markets his coffee like never before. His customers are treated to soul-searching, pulsating reggae tunes blaring from his cart while sipping steaming hot coffee and being enthralled with his antics. An unsuspecting lady found herself twirling in Jessy’s arms to the beats of Buffalo Soldier just as she leaned in to figure out what he was proclaiming to the mountains and tree tops and ships at the dock- “Lecker lecker lecker!!!” (Tasty, tasty, tasty!)
“Lecker” describes not only the coffee and this amazingly spirited man, but also the mood that catches on like wild fire once Jessy decides to turn on his charm. A startled man was asked “ Hast du Angst von dem schwarzen Mann?” (Are you afraid of the black man?) To which he quickly replied “No Sir!“ and Jessy bellows out with laughter saying- “But I am!”
If you’re in Hamburg early on a Sunday morning (5:30am even), you must visit the “Fischmarkt” and smell the aroma of the Rasta Barista!
Reggae is among my favorite music genres and as I let myself be swept off in a trance of Rasta happiness, I pumped fists with Jessy and sang along to say Thank-you. Floating away on my little cloud I suddenly realized how contagious we are to each other. Happy or sad, you do pass it on. Is your mood worth catching?