Was mich angesprochen hatte, war der Titel 84, Charing Cross Road Mein Masterstudium hatte ich am Central St Martins College in London absolviert und das College lag direkt an der Charing Cross Road, DER Buchladenstrasse in London. Selbstverständlich fühlte ich mich dort, wie ein Fisch im Wasser und konnte jeden Tag in diversen Buchläden stöbern gehen und habe übrigens gar nicht so viel gekauft, sondern mich eher im window-shopping geübt. Regelmäßig habe ich in einem der großen Buchkaufhäusern aus einem zweibändigen Kaffeehausführer für London die Adressen von Kaffeehäusern abgeschrieben und diese dann aufgesucht. Ja, und dann ist dieses besagte Buch erschienen, in dem der Briefwechsel einer lesebegeisterten und bibliophilen Amerikanerin und einem Antiquariat in der Charing Cross Road abgedruckt ist. Kurz gefasst, ist dieser Briefwechsel einfach wunderbar und in einer Leseattacke habe ich ihn beinahe auf einmal ‚zu mir genommen’. Man kann danach auch herrlich einfach eine Seite aufschlagen und ‚stöbern’. Der Untertitel lautet: eine Freundschaft in Briefen...nun ja, ich habe jedenfalls gleich danach Papier und Stift gezückt, um einer Freundin zu schreiben...
Posted by steffi at 10:32 AM
Categories: books


A friend of mine gave me the soundtrack of ‚Lost in Translation’, which I like to listen to especially when I am on an ICE train. There are some points on the cd where there is sound from platforms and train or underground stations in Tokyo and whenever I hear this I experience a short moment of wonder, where I am, where I look up and something inside of me expects to see a familiat sign of a station on the Yamanote-Line in Tokyo.
Posted by steffi at 10:31 AM
Categories: misc

yellow, beige and light blue

When my friend Eva asked me if I wanted to come with her to the East-Sea f.or a couple of days there was no way to say no. It was my first trip to the German part of the East-Sea. The contrast between the not yet restored and the over-restored buildings and places is kind of confusing. Especially places like Kühlungsborn seem like pure facades or stages, so clean that they do look fake. Most houses are painted in light yellow, beige and blue. But to make the picture complete the major part of visitors is over 60 years of age and guess what kind of colours they are wearing? Yes, yellow, beige and light blue. It seems like a camouflage- Anyway the two of us reduced the average age and like children we collected stones at the beach. My preference were stones in the shapes of hearts and penises, while Eva focused on chickens’ gods(stones with a hole).
Posted by steffi at 10:30 AM
Categories: places

Garbage, divided in 44 categories

I love the mondays’ supplement of my favourite Süddeutsche Zeitung. It is a magazine with articles from the New York Times and usually a nice collection. In the last weeks edition there was an articles about the serious business of recycling in Japan. In some places the garbage has to be separated in up to 44 categories. If you wish to throw away a lipstick, you have to take out the rest of the actual lipstic and put it into burnables, while the ‚case’ goes into ‚small metals’ or ‚plastics’. Of course the foreigners will have a problem to read the booklet handed out by the city, 27 pages about how to waste. Well, maybe I left Japan in the right moment-
Posted by steffi at 10:29 AM
Categories: misc


ganz nebenbei

Gestern feierte Chris den 3. Geburtstag seines Ladens Zwischenzeit und lud dafür Dota ein, eine Musikerin, von der ich bis dahin noch nix gehört hatte. Wie soll ich sie beschreiben? Eine junge frische Liedermacherin, ohne Allüren, symphatische Musik. Ihr Name, Kleingeldprinzessin ist irgendwie auch passend- Ich weiss jetzt nicht, ob ich unbedingt ne CD von ihr brauch, aber wenn sie in der Nähe auftritt ist das garantiert ein netter Abend. Näheres, inklusiver einiger Hörbeispiele gibt es auf ihrer Webseite:Kleingeldprinzessin
Posted by steffi at 9:39 PM
Categories: misc

The Merchant of Venice

When I went to see 'The Merchant ov Venice' and I was expecting spectacular sights of the city of my dreams. I was prepared to get to know a love story, of course with some handicaps. I was also prepared to get a happy end. What I was not prepared for was the anti Jewish position and the very painful story, which overshadowes the happy end. At first we are introduced to the life of the Jews of Venice and their social status, but the way the story goes left a bitter feeling after leaving the cinema. Hate and disappointment make the mascerades seem tasteless and painful. And all this makes it very much unlike most of the Hollywood productions on Shakespeares plays. The longer I think about it, the better I like the mixed feelings the film puts the spectators in. By the way, the images of Venice were only few and the love story was just ‚nice’- Ok, you can’t always get what you want- I am not so sure if I should recommend the movie, but probably yes, as it makes you think and asks for discussion. So, go, see it and tell me what you think!more about the movie
Posted by steffi at 9:31 PM
Edited on: 2005-05-22 9:46 PM
Categories: movie


Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe

I was curious. Especially as there was this huge and longdiscussion about the monument, about memory and finding a form to visualise something one can’t imagine. Coming from the cool and modern Potsdamer Platz I was a little disappointed at first. The first colums start so innocently and small. I had expected a forest of colums, frightening, high and dark, but this was rather open and inviting. The mood of the people was curious and bright. Some were sitting on the smaller colums, children were playing, dogs were looking for their owners who had entered the part with the higher colums and disappeared. The ground is going up and down, so people can get out of sight and reappear even in the straight lines. The whole place appears as a kind of labyrinth. To all for sides the colums open to a street. I have to say that I don’t like the floor made of small neat cobble stones which seem too homely/remind me of private gardens. But the visible part is only one side of the monument, which goes on underground. And this exhibition is really impressive as it wants to bring the viewer closer to the people and families who have been killed by the Nazis. We meet souvenirs and photographs of individuals and the cruel facts of the holocoust. I was shocked that I had been aware about the numbers of Jews that had been killed, but not where most of them came from. Poland and Russia. There is a computer where you can search for names, see, which Jews were living in your city and read what happened to them. I recommend everyone to visit the monument and the exhibition; it does, what it is meant to do: it keeps in mind and tells names. link to official website
Posted by steffi at 8:36 PM
Edited on: 2005-05-18 8:40 PM
Categories: places

colour courage in Berlin

This is what I like about the east of Berlin- Maybe the winners of the fall of the Berlin wall/collapsing of GDR who had inherited houses in Berlin and wanted to show that something has changed, did so by painting some houses in bright colours that challenge the eye. Sometimes you just do not believe it, but the colour is still there after rubbing the eyes. Bright blue, yellow and orange make some houses pop out of the row. For me the colours always raise my mood greatly in this horrible spring, which forces everybody to carry an umbrella wherever you go and turn the heating on again and again.
Posted by steffi at 8:32 PM
Categories: places

moving on again

Again in a new place After my friends cold place, where I stayed fort wo weeks and which could only be heated with coal, I am now in another temporary home with central heating. How luxurious. And even though I had wanted to go to my Aikido lesson this evening I decided to spend the time next to the stove and write my diary. Here I have got a radio and a cd player and am able to listen to music again. The music from my laptop is ok, and the sound is surprisingly good, but still it feels a little like can-sound... This place is nice and in a friendly order which makes me jealous. Though my order is kind of perfec at the moment, with all my belongings in some banana boxes under my parenst pingpong table. Slowely I really do long for an own place, where I can stay a little longer than just a couple of weeks or days. Right now I am listening to a new cd, a supplement to a book by the German author Michael Schindhelm, ‚Das Kamel auf der Startbahn’- it is a book about a journey to Mongolia and the music from there is -very strange. Not so much the jurte-feeling I expected(and maybe longed for), but a good background for working. Unfortunately I have slept here before so there is no oracle to be expected from the coming night-
Posted by steffi at 8:30 PM
Categories: places


First nights in new beds

I arrived in Berlin late last night and in the apartment of a friend who was not there. I felt a little illegal at first, looked for a corner where I could put my suitcase to get out my pyjama and toothbrush. Of course I had forgotten my toothbrush and paste at my parents and of course my friend had taken hers with her(not that I wanted to use her toothbrush...but a little bit if minty toothpaste...). Ok I sighed and went to bed with the odd taste of 4 ½ hours on the motorway. When I woke up this morning there was this strange dream I still had on my mind. I had dreamt that I met a stranger somewhere(maybe Berlin) and we wanted to kiss, but I had this awful taste in my mouth, because I did not have a toothbrush to clean my teeth and mouth before leaving the house...so I kissed holding my breath (nothing I would recommend)... We say that the dreams you have in the first night in a new bed will come true- So first thing I did today was buying a toothbrush and some nice paste... stranger from my dream: now I’m ready!
Posted by steffi at 2:39 PM
Edited on: 2005-05-03 2:43 PM
Categories: misc