Walks

Sunday’s Little Moments

There is something special about Sundays in the springtime. Maybe because here in Hamburg we usually have to wait for ours – nature takes its time and blooming happens slowly, thoughtfully. But when the season is finally here, it’s glorious. It also feels earned!

It rained this morning first, but in the afternoon the sun came out and I seized my chance to take a short walk. I had one quick errand on my list and as I sped along underneath some lovely old trees the height of a four-storey building, a generous dollop of bird poo landed next to me with a plop, narrowly missing me. Or so I thought! A few minutes later I discovered part of it on my jeans. Yay, because I was worried – it’s considered a sign of good luck around these here parts.

Every café in sight has tables standing outside and people are clearly enjoying the conclusion of a (mostly) sunny weekend, stretching out the Sunday evening before next week begins. I get some ice cream and sit down on a bench to enjoy it. Within a minute there’s a long line out the door while I leisurely eat my dessert, so thanks to that bird.

Two small children, brother and sister, dart out, a cone with two scoops (like me) for each. Their mother instructs them in focused German on how to eat the thing: “Turn the cone and just lick all around the bottom.” Well! Now I finally know how it’s done! By this point it’s too late to test the technique, because I’ve already eaten my ice cream, but I’m certainly savouring (no pun intended) the moment.

In fact, I’d gotten my two scoops in a cone, and I’m actually wary of cones, even though I love them, because I worry about dripping or dropping, since the top scoop (if you get two) is usually  sitting above the rim of the cone and is therefore in more danger of toppling over if you don’t eat it carefully or lick away too much of the bottom scoop. This is an important topic! But it’s 2019, and my cone trust has grown a lot. May this year signal the arrival of a new era in ice cream consumption outside as well as more little Sunday moments.

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Walks

Walking

Walking is one of the most independent things you can do. When I was little, I would be taken along on one, not yet knowing the magic, the infinity impression of what was going on. I just stepped in (my own, slower) time, my small hand held gently in someone else’s, looking at the world. “Let’s go for a walk” was always an exciting thing to hear. It still is.

On one of the first walks I remember, we followed a forest path. It was summer. The shade of it, the coolness from the open heat of the road earlier enveloped me. The earthy floor was sprinkled with sand that others had brought with their shoes on the way back from the beach. Tall pine trees lined either side. Roots occasionally popped up on the ground and I was quietly reminded to step carefully. Then we (slowly) ascended a staircase to a bridge, with my sturdy, but still short legs determinedly mounting every step. The same process followed at the other end, downwards.

The conclusion to this part of the walk was magnificent. We arrived on an open train platform and in a few minutes a regional one always rushed through. For a few seconds there was nothing but sunlight, rushing air and noise. I was ecstatic.

This love of walking was opened up in me, and nourished, by my parents. It was a gift, because no matter where I am, when I do it, I think of them.

Walks are contained slices of infinity that can repeat themselves. They are part of discoveries in new places that you make for yourself, and yourself alone, and that you digest at your own pace, literally.

I walked as I grew up, everywhere I went. From the days when a bigger hand held mine, we would gradually walk next to each other with those who had watched over me, and we would talk about where our journeys on foot took us. One day, in a city that became my home, I discovered a river, and being around it became My Walk. That river was my point of focus during multiple times in my life. No matter what was going on, no matter how unsuccessful a day had been, or how much happiness about something was filling me up, I had that walk. For two hours I could enter something like a dream, as my feet carried me through comfortingly familiar, but never boring territory.

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Walks

Halloween Afternoon in Hamburg

This is what a stroll on All Hallows’ Eve looks like in Hamburg. Before night falls and I jump on my broomstick. So appropriate, the dark branches contrasting with all that fabulous foliage. I suspect we’re seeing the last days of our golden autumn, so I hastened to snap as much of it as I could. Absolutely glorious.

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Walks

I Love Going to the Movies Because…

Buying tickets is fun. Choosing seats provides you with necessary decision- making exercises (love seat – might want to move one over; four seats in front of chosen spot occupied and it’s a chick flick – might get loud with the giggles; splurge on the back row or not; almost everything is full, but I really wantto see this movie NOW etc.) Buying tickets online is even more fun, because the usually present ticking clock indicating for how much longer this operation will be reserved for you provides that extra kick.

It’s the only place where I can really cry, and since I’m not a loud cryer the cinema suits me just fine. Shedding a few tears during a well written and well acted sad scene is satisfying and cheap therapy (this also works at home – try the scene in Homeward Bound when Shadow slips in to a pit and is talking to Chance after he realizes he can’t get up).

For an hour or two the world outside is forgotten. The lights go out (yay!), the screen lights up and there is only the story, sights and sounds in front of me.

Seeing a good movie with your favourite actor(s) is a special kind of joyful experience. Seeing a bad movie with your favourite actor(s) reduces the amount of spitting afterwards regarding the badness of the movie due to the presence of the favourite actor(s). Seeing a movie where everything is bad reminds you that the things you love doing include a risk and some money.

Sometimes the audience claps and that is extra cool, because while we all know the people on the screen can’t hear us (though just maybe), letting emotions like happiness and enthusiasm in to the universe is a heart-warming shared experience.

 

 

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Walks

Surfing in Munich Airport

One can surf directly in Munich Airport during the summer.

Wait, really? Yes, really.

This year saw Munich Airport’s Surf & Style event take place for the fifth time, from the end of July and through August. The Forum of the Munich Airport Center  houses a large pool displaying a permanent non-breaking wave. This pool was also the venue for this year’s European championship in Stationary Wave riding. Surfing a standing wave is also a competitive sport – another thing learned.

The attraction has become so popular since it’s opening that enthusiasts had to register in advance. But admission was free, equipment was provided, instructors were on hand and beginners or even non-surfers could come in the afternoons, getting 45-minute slots each.

An example of interesting, albeit at first unexpected, use of urban space, in particular a large international transportation hub. But it seems to be working and these surfers definitely felt at home in Munich Airport’s beach bubble.

 

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