Tuesday, April 19, 2011


What would have Swiss author Max Frisch told us about his life and his relationships with women in "Montauk", had he written this novel in 2011?

He might have skipped details about his impotence (or maybe shared some knowledge on viagra effects) or have had his Montauk affair with less  thoughts on aging...I am not sure, but I like to fantasize about it.

I like to imagine him as my potential neighbor,  while he is walking in pajamas here in Berlin (he wouldn't be an exception)...but probably he wouldn't have mentioned that - from his home in Friedenau - he could hear the noise of airplanes flying to and from airport Tempelhof .

"... Die Wohnung liegt in der Flugschneise Tempelhof; die Flugzeuge kommen niedrig, so daß es im Hinterhof dröhnt ..."

"..the apartment is located in the flight corridor Tempelhof; the airplanes fly low and there is a constant drone in the backyard..."

When I moved to Friedenau, in 2005, I could hear the Lärm (noise) of airplanes starting early in the morning. But now Tempelhof is closed for good.
In May 2010 it became - after many discussion on its usage - a huge walking, biking, skating, kite surfing (you name it) park.

Yesterday I took the kids there for the first time and it was very  puzzling to walk (actually run) on a former runway.
Somehow you had the odd feeling that the city space had an infinite dilatation and that you were nowhere, except that everybody else wanted to be there, too. Just in some non-place, or some sort of utopia.

Slideshow of Tempelhof from 2008 here
and the related article that describes the story of the airport to its nearly end...

An interview with Max Frisch on the Paris Review
A travel to Montauk with Alice-Lynn in the Faz (in German)

Monday, April 18, 2011


鯉 koi is a general name for a carp in Japanese; its omophone means "passionate love".

We spent quite some time looking at this beautiful carp in the pond in the Marzahner Gardens yesterday.

Cherry Blossom Festival - Gärten der Welt

Two years ago one of the dearest friend I had in Berlin (an Italian woman married to a German diplomat), moved to South Korea.
She lived in Prenzlauer Berg, which is a basically on the other side of the city from where I live.

Of course I was very sad, knowing that I might not meet her until 2012, but soon after she had left, we ware also moving, so it was one of the many changes happening and not only the sudden loss of a friend.

Coming back to Berlin in winter 2010, I felt her absence a lot more.
In the first place I wasn't riding the train as much as I used to, nor being in her cool area to visit her.
In the second place I started feeling a bit lonely; she was really a good friend. She still is, even though we have to make appointments to talk on skype (see time difference), instead of just seeing each other.

Anyway: I am very happy for her, because - in spite of the potential danger of a nuclear attack from North Korea - South Korea is a beautiful Country; it has a very rich culture and the people are very friendly (sometimes over-friendly, maybe). I won't start talking about the delicious food (yum).

In other words: I could spend some time in Korea too. 
As for now, I find my "Little Asia" here in Berlin.
Yesterday, at the "Cherry Blossom Festival" my family and I enjoyed Korean dances, a Tae-Kwan-Do training session (kind of loud), Korean drummers and also some Korean food.

I was taking a number of pictures for my collection of "Orientalia".

On the of the most hilarious things was...a Korean duo singing "'O Sole Mio", which must be a traditional Korean song, right?
They were very good, no question!

Aware: East is Calling

This year the concept of hanami (花見)  seems to have found its place in the speech of the non Japanese speaking masses too.
I don't mean to say it's negative: the reason is so much rooted in the bad news of the past month to be completely happy about it, but generally I am glad when something concerning beauty and nature becomes more accessible to everybody.
Originally the term refers to the cherry blossom viewing (and the cherry blossom being a symbol for a beauty that has to end which better metaphor for Japan?), but hanami literally means "flower viewing".
And I had my share, too.

Yesterday I was at the "Cherry Blossom Festival" in Marzahn, at the Gardens of the World. Marzahn is still part of the city of Berlin, but from our place is sort of an eternity away - more than an hour by public transportation.
Needless to say, it was totally worth the long train ride!I decided not to take pictures of cherry trees, though.

Not only flowers...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sketches from my Life in Berlin - Some Post-Modern Poetry


This put an end my lament:
The Bosch Appliances Repair Guy took care of the dishwasher broken vent
He came in with his electric Bosch screw-driver and Bosch spare parts.
With little or no comment.

He fully inundated our apartment with his scent.
(Probably Hugo-Bosch...)