giovedì, luglio 12, 2012

First we'll make a shitload of money, then we'll take Berlin

Well, Baden Wuttemberg or whatever was nice, especially the trip to Metzingen where I bought a leather duffel bag for less than half its recommended retail price - my shopping aversion does not extend to medieval Swabian towns refitted as outlet malls during a euro crash, though luckily my blossoming, ever-expanding female form prevented me from buying any more clothes, which I need like a hole in my head. The damage was limited to that fucking beautiful bag and some baby clothes.

But the trip to Germany negatively convinced me of one thing: I really think we should move to Berlin, which I consciously decided to skip this year in favour of checking out the south. I love Berlin, and nowhere else is Berlin. Certainly not the south. I think we'd be as ill-suited to life in Swabia and Bavaria as we are, fundamentally, to life in Australia, for reasons that overlap a bit in terms of provincialism. A big part of the problem with Australia is feeling like I've fallen off the face of the planet and I suspect that part of me believes Berlin and cities like it is the face of the planet. Berlin's special aptitudes, of course, being that we can afford it, people aren't eating each other there much, it's a crossroad and theatre of all sorts of staggering and awful recent history, excellent green spaces and nature reserves in the surrounds, and that it's extra fucking awesome. Also the playgrounds there, from memory, are really good, though I was high almost all of the time I test-ran them.

Anyhoo, we'll probably make a return trip to Germany next year with the infant and think about it a little harder. One stickler is that the weather in southern Germany is a fuck sight better than the weather in Berlin and I suspect that is something I'll have to nurse the F-word, not to mention myself through - him through the idea of all that cold, me through the idea of all that dark. For now I'm in Paris, and not really noticing since I actually have to work today, and since I'm also mentally preoccupied with finding the perfect pram/bassinet for under $500.

lunedì, luglio 09, 2012

Javanese fantasies

I spend, I would say, a minimal amount of time fantasizing about what life would be like if I was fabulously wealthy. Especially these days, when by no stretch of the imagination can I complain about my lifestyle relative to 98% of humanity. On Sunday I indulged a little bit, though. After a quick breakfast wherein Elvis and I managed to overlap in Amsterdam - a real treat since after the week in Rome I didn't think I'd see him again until my next visit to Canada - I had a couple of hours free before catching my train on to here (southern Germany). Being hugely pregnant, I didn't spend them high. Novel.

Instead I went for a great big walk to Java Eiland and had my little "If I were a rich man" fantasy. I couldn't live in Amsterdam for the same reason I couldn't live in Brussels - shitty, shitty weather - but if I were a rich man I'd have a pied-a-terre there, and that pied-a-terre would be on Java Eiland. So close to Amsterdam, close enough to walk your luggage to and from the station, but so far. On a fucking island. Full of modern architecture and imposed green spaces. With all the damn boats.

Oh fuck, do I ever wish the F-word would just come here, where people give a bit of a fuck about things being nice, and that I didn't have to go back to Australia. The experiment has run its course. Australia is too far away. Fine. I get it. I understand. And yet here we are, with my ticket un-traded-in, because I make a lot of money there and because we bought a house. I need to quit fucking whining about this because everything is rolling out with the efficiency of a model German automobile factory but when I'm here I'm so much closer to my family - even the fucking West Coasters, what with the Pacific being so big - and . . . and . . . I need to go eat. Second trimester hunger overwhelms all angst.