“Madam, step out to the right, go back and try again. Earrings out.”
“Madam, step out to the right, go back and try again. Take out your passport from your pocket.”
“Madam, step out to the right, go back and try once again…”
… and again and again. I went back and forth the security check no less than eight times when the serious-faced, tall and masculine man warned me:
‘Madam, you will be randomly selected.’
Not knowing what it means – and even if I would have known, it simply wouldn’t change a thing – I stepped out to the right and tried it again. By this time, I felt very diligent and somewhat important. Or rather outstanding. I don’t recall wearing anything more any more than a plain jeans and a T-shirt. I got red light once again.
My serious-faced pal – though this friendship was rather…
Everything is a first. There are no seconds. There are no thirds. There are only firsts. Firsts have the juice. Firsts have the passion. Firsts have the thirst and the curiosity. Firsts are the things we live for.
It was June. A warm but hazy June. I could see the Central Park and the Hudson from above. That is all I could recognize. It was my first.
My palms were sweating, my heart was beating faster than a relaxed heart, my stomach was aching from the knot in its middle. It was my first.
My luggage arrived, and I was out bBreathing the warm, humid, smog –filled air. I was at home. For the very first time.
I got into a cab. It took me through the streets I saw for the very first time. Then I smiled, and my eyes got filled with tears. I just passed by the…
A ticking bomb in my soul. Something that wants to happen but I hold it back.
So, really. Why don’t I write?
‘I used to cry but I don’t have time…’ – this is the only answer I get while asking my question aloud under the shower.
I am in tears. The warm water caresses my body. I am standing with eyes closed. I can’t breath. I direct the water towards my face. I let the water wash away the drops that fall from the corner of my eyes.
It is not something new. I do this sometimes. I do when I want to hide my tears from myself. My heart pulses. My breathing is wheezy.
I was listening his words with stillness. He had five minutes. But when the gong gave its warning he was only half way through. The room was filled with excitement and tension. We all forgot the rules and just continued to slap our fingers louder and louder making an unavoidable sign that he must tell us it all.
“I went back to the hotel and saw all my clothes packed neatly in my wardrobe. Then I was thinking: I packed all my shirts, trousers, under-wears and shoes so nicely to the luggage in Israel. Then I unpacked all these so nicely here, and now I should pack it all back to the luggage only to unpack there again?! – It was too much hassle for me.
But I slept there sometimes, though. When they went to high-level meetings or trainings, where I couldn’t go with them. But I was too lazy to move there. But laziness can be rewarding. I wasn’t there on that night.
This was my first time when the wind of death touched my life.”
Teddy was a weightlifter, who earned the second place at Israel’s qualification competition for the Munich Olympics in 1972. His dream was taken away from him but he traveled to Munich to support his friends and get to the experience as close as possible. His friends welcomed him with warmth and invited him to live with them in the village and live the life of Olympians.
But just as much he would have loved to live in the village, Teddy also loved order. He loved to pack his shoes in newspapers before placing them in his luggage. He didn’t have papers anymore. The hotel cleaners throw them away while he was away. He felt lazy to move again. He felt his dream was already given back a little. He did sleep in the village when the others were out on duties. But he was too lazy to move there.
On the 5th September 1972 his friends were massacred in a terror attack.
My laziness saved my life.
We clapped. But it’s save to assume that we all wanted to hug him instead. His body moved back towards the chairs in the last rows. I didn’t see him anymore. I just stood still with my little hairs lifting up on my forearm. And before the event ended, he sneaked out. He only came to share his first time…he didn’t want more.
But it wasn’t my first time.
Walking back to the garage via King George street with a spring-like evening made my heart beat faster. I was still thinking of Teddy and how not getting what we want can give us a much bigger prize: our life. The passing people, the barking dogs and needy cats; the chilly but somewhat warm breeze; the no-matter-what-we-eat-outside noise of forks and knifes; the dim lights and tree-lined pavements; the knock of my high-heels and the strength of my tiny body – all echoed on the cracky asphalt. I felt so alive.
Fifteen minutes later a scream and an inestimably short moment later a bummm.
Not a bummm of an accidentally dropped plate. Not a bummm of an accidentally slipped woman’ body. Not even a bummm of an accidentally crashed car.
It was a different bummm.
It was a bummm that marched into my head and stayed there ever since. A bummm of two heavy, massive, steel doors, which lost control over their own life purpose. They collapsed with such weight and power like your heart collapses after he tells you ‘it’s over‘. I stood there still and paralysed.
The room was empty but echoed from car engines from afar. I was alone.
‘You almost died, do you know that?‘ – heard the whispering little voice in my head.
But a second later I was anxious about him. I turned and saw the door. He was left on the other side. The other side of the heavy-weight steel door. I pushed the calling button. And in the next 20 seconds million questions presented itself. Did the elevator fall down with him? Was is a black-hole that dragged him to other planets? Did he see the doors falling on me?
The doors that predestinate your soul to choose between life and death opened once again. Opened with gentle care as if they would wave you in their arms again.
He was nowhere.
And then bummm….the guillotine doors slapped again. And I started to shake. Now I saw what I only heard before. I saw the unstoppable power of the two steel doors. I saw their desire to smash my tiny body, and make a soul leave. But I also saw my body mirroring in the death-sentencing giant doors.
I was alive.
My phone rang. It was him.
He jumped out of the elevator a floor upper. He told me to stay where I was.
It wasn’t my first time.
But every rebirth screams only one message: you still have things to do here…
I guess I do.
But at that moment the only thing I could think of was a giant creepy pancake…and so I ate myself to intoxication…to celebrate the night I was reborn.
And that God damn door just crashed again…But then he hugged me…and ordered my giant pancakes…
When we last met Lev, all we could convey was a shout for help from a little village somewhere in Armenia, where the only school in the area was about to be closed forever. The fact that its people would not only loose a school but also the only working opportunity for many, meant little to the government both on local and regional levels. Though Lev might have expected the unexpected, we are sharing his journey from the last months with admiration, respect and a little dismay.
Read my story about how the will of a young man and the power of journalism can save schools in Armenia! Click!
I was walking into Noguchi Museum without expectations and rather un-educatedly. I only knew that Noguchi worked with Martha Graham (my beloved modern dancer & choreographer) on a stage piece. It was a windy and cold day; and while my body wanted to warm up, my soul was keen to discover something new. Here is what I have seen:
My relationship with Brussels is quite a roller-coaster ride, but one thing always adds to the up-rides: ‘Brussels is the center of Europe’. Of course not geographically, because that would be Budapest ( :) ), but in terms of accessibility. From day one I love that London, Paris, Amsterdam are just 2 hrs away; but going beyond the obvious, thousands of little gems also came to arm width by living here.
Though, there are countless list of travel blogs, I hardly find inspiring sources once you made the obligatorily evident circle of Brussels, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp Bruges, Gent, Namur, Liege. Each time when I call up our best research buddy as to ‘what to see in Belgium’ / ‘what to see around Belgium’, the above formed list jumps up from millions of different url bases.
The list is certainly appealing but what if we have done that all? What if we want to explore more? :)
Ever since I am living here, when someone decides to visit me I make one condition: ‘You must pick an other city than Bruges’:) and I continue to dig further, look for exciting destinations within and out of the country.
Therefore, I have decided to share with you (slowly but surely) all the little trips I discovered and continue to do so from the center of Europe, from Brussels.
A day trip to Dover (UK)
Trust me, it is not a simple day trip, it is a trip to heaven, or if you have ever followed my so-beloved child series, Road to Avonlea, then this trip is a time-travel to Prince Edward’s Island, just in England (not to travel so much).
What you need to prepare for the trip?
check weather forecast and pick a sunny day. No need for 30 degrees, 20 is just perfect, but the chance of rain should be minimized
once you have a day, you will need to arrange transportation(s) (more in a bit)
you will need some comfortable hiking shoes, no, flip-flops will not make it. Me, who have wondered in forests on high-heels in my peak times, I am warning you: get a comfy shoes.
and you will need a jumper even if it says warm,warm,warm,
Thats about this! Once ready with this short-smooth checklist, let’s go and get some moments from Heaven.
Two months ago I was still in my New York persona. No day passed without an attempt to soothe my thirst for art. I attended the controversial Jeff Koons exhibition at the Whitney Museum on its last day; both for the exhibition and the for the venue. Read my review here; or just enjoy the visual walk through the rooms and decide for yourself: is Koons an artist?