Friday, 4 April 2014

Europe in six days III

Sticking out my mother tongue some sounds have to make a long way round … I don´t like the impact my German has on the sound of my English. I don´t like how my German colors my English, covers my English.

We are eating alphabet soup. Each one of us has eaten too much of his favorite letters. We are swimming in alphabet soup. We have different letters as water wings slid onto our arms, which make us drift on the surface of the soup. They are both handicap and air mattress at the same time. Little islands which attract the others, because they are exotic but can be only reached by us. The specific sounds of each language are like roots you can trace. Like the roots of trees growing next to the pavement, bursting the stone open. We are playing scrabble with our broken English. We ourselves are like gaming pieces, like letters. Laid down next to each other we are making sense. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Europe in six days II

Bulgaria was just the starting point – Приятно пътуване!

Greece ran the marathon with me – Καλό ταξίδι!

Latvia came from the earth towards me – Jauku ceļojumu!

The Netherlands awaited me always on time – Goede reis!

Serbia made me fall asleep – Srećan put!

Slovakia made me laugh with self-irony – šťastnú cestu!

Czech was quick at repartee – šťastnou cestu!

France taught me cheese philosophy – Bon voyage!

Denmark appeared like a fairy-tale – God tur!

Lithuania remained a sweet mystery – geros kelionė!

In Finland I spotted some gold ornament – Hyvää matkaa!

In Turkey I thought of one thousand nights – Yolunuz açık olsun!

Armenia had the brightest smile – բարի ճանապարհ!

England had the fanciest style – Have a nice trip!

Poland was easy-going – Przyjemnej podróży!

Spain was crazy – ¡Qué tengas (un) buen viaje!

Gute Reise! – die wünsch ich euch auch.

Europe in six days I

Kristina is Greek. Jakub is Pole. We are in a hotel in Hisar, to meet other European volunteers. Standing in a cycle and looking from one to another, is like looking north, east, south and west. My head is spinning. Kristina is Greek. Jakub is Pole. I cannot remember any other name. I have hardly slept the night before it feels as if I was drunk and could not get sober. I am excited. And I am willing to get lost in translation. If getting lost in translation is as good as getting lost in a city.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Goodbye, Lenin - Hello, Holy Wisdom!

We missed Lenin. Until the year 1991 we could have met him in Sofia, towering above the intersection of Maria Louisa Blvd. and Todor Alexandrov Blvd. in the commercial heart of the city. But finally we found him, near the metro station G. M. Dimitrov, named after his colleague Georgi Dimitrov, a theorist of capitalism and Bulgaria´s first communist leader. There they are resting together, in the Museum of Socialist Art. Embodied as giant statues, larger than life, never looking down, but looking severely to that point of horizon wherefrom … Accompanied by their “comrades”, the workers, imaged as titans with Hulk-bodies but the look of Greek philosophers. Scaryland of ideology, I think. And wondering through this park of squeezed out “art”, I think about the sculptor of Lenin and what may he have thought, while shaping Lenin´s monstrous moustache. And about all these Lenins with their moustaches, spread all over the world and all the hands by which they have been formed. And what these hands looked like. If they were clapping, clenched to fists, or crossing their fingers. When they are old now and wrinkled and stiff, do they wave dismissively or are they folded in prayer. I think about my hands. And that they should shake all those previous hands, for not working on a moustache with a Lenin anymore, for the blessing of being born late. For mercy. Cause from wisdom, I am afraid we are more than just years away.

Wisdom came in 2000, as a 24m-high monument. Lenin has been replaced by none other than Saint Sofia, standing on top of a column, holding the wreath of victory in her right hand and balancing an owl on her left arm.  The personification of wisdom and fate made of copper and bronze.



I know that I am late and what I still have to write, it´s all water under the bridge now. Well, what shall I say to this? I am adjusting myself to Bulgarian lifestyle? I might be an Austrian, but I am definitely not a German girl? Everything flows? Or: the repetition?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Честита баба Марта

Eine glückliche Oma oder Bulgariens beliebtester Brauch

„Баба“, die „Oma“ ist in Bulgarien eine Respektsperson. Баба Marta ist eine Matrone. Wenn sie kommt, dann wird es Frühling in bulgarischen Herzen. Die Kinder zwitschern. Oh ganz gewiss bist du die beste aller Großmütter. Ihre Augen glitzern noch von frischer Farbe, pure Sonnenstrahlen prickeln auf der Haut und jeder Atemzug verstärkt den süßen Rausch.
Wie jede Oma verwöhnt auch diese ihre Enkelkinder. Aber da баба Marta eine besonnene Frau ist, wird sie die Kinder auch in die Schranken weisen. Frostig, kaltschnäuzig, wenn es sein muss. Damit sie nicht kranken am Überfluss. Oft kündigt sie den Frühling Anfang März an und gegen Ende des Monats kommt es dennoch zu Schneefall.

Man will das vermeiden, man zeigt, dass man ihr dankbar ist, nicht nur an sich denkt, sondern mit anderen teilt, besonders so große Geschenke wie den Frühling. Am ersten März sowie in der darauffolgenden Woche, schenkt man sich Martenizi (мартеници, Pluralform), kleine rot-weiße Anhänger Quasten, Püppchen oder schlichte Armbänder aus Stoff, Wolle oder Baumwollfäden. Rot für rote Wangen, weiß für weißes Haar und hohes Alter. Als Talisman für Gesundheit und ein langes Leben. Man trägt sie auf der linken Seite (dort, wo das Herz ist) oder als Armband auf dem linken Arm und zwar so lange, bis man ein erstes Frühlingszeichen sieht, einen Storch, eine Schwalbe oder einen blühenden Baum. Dann (spätestens aber zum 1. April) hängt man sie auf einen Baum oder legt sie unter einen Stein und wünscht sich etwas Schönes. Dass баба Marta noch lange bleiben soll zum Beispiel, oder irgendwas anderes, was sie glücklich macht.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Vibration of Creation

Play with someone for an hour and you will get to know him better, than you would by talking to him for a year?

Our first Workshop for the local kids. On a playground in the neighbourhood of Yoni and Andrzej.