West of the Atlantic

I wasn't expecting it. Thinking it would be business as usual, whatever that could be. And within minutes, oblivious to the stressful day, the cold and tiredness, I was completely swept away. The extraordinary - perhaps made (more?) so because it was not planned?

Whether this shall evolve or not - and it really does not matter - it set something, even if as of yet only abstractly defined, in motion. Perhaps just a coincidence, but perhaps the (expectation of) exciting times ahead actually reverses cause and effect here?

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty... ah, my friend, certainty is absurd.
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Travelling - or perhaps, the idleness associated with boredom during flights and airport stays (certainly not a new idea here) - and the associated movement across large distances allows the mind to wander and through such, put some things in perspective. Businessmen jet-setting for meetings, families resettling, youngsters off for vacations: for one so used to a self-contained routine with minimal external interactions, an almost welcome opportunity to be confronted with a whole breadth of different people (humans! humans everywhere! what do they all do?) .

Besides the WSJ, grabbed a copy of the international edition of the NYT as I boarded my flight. On the front page, an interesting piece on Canada's welcome to Syrian refugees. Fitting, not only because of where the story took place. Flying to Brazil for a short vacation break, it almost as if invited me to ponder the subject through my own lens.

There are distinct terms given to migrants, depending on where they come from or what drove them away - each associated with different perceptions, some more pejorative than others: refugees, fugitives, expats. The country I (voluntarily) left behind is certainly not war-torn to the same extent experienced in the Middle East. Nevertheless, civil violence is an ever present threat (indeed, with such banal commonality that it is almost no longer makes the headlines). And the constant disregard for rules and institutions - appreciated by many, but maybe a tad too much for this Prussian descendant...

I was fortunate enough - by grace of rules almost arbitrarily defined - to be able to relocate without so much as having to apply for a visa. To the bureaucratical eyes of my host country, perhaps strictly speaking I am not even a migrant (the exact status being still an open question). Still the article rang some bells. My attempts to bring my family closer together, the repeated efforts to find ways for good friends to also move. And the feeling of guilt for having found a better life? No, definitively that does not apply.
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Thirty eight.


Sunrise at London Heathrow

Reaching the apex of my Canadian adventure, I wrote a post moments before boarding back to Germany, "Sunset at Toronto Pearson Airport". Connecting with a soul mate and jumping headfirst into the unknown remains the single most exhilarating experience I've ever been through. Full stop.

That notwithstanding, as our story progressed and we focused on keeping our heads above the water and ultimately finding a routine to settle on, we somehow allowed that magic to slip away. (Also, blog entries became more and more scarce... ).

Over time, I rationalized that developing a narrative - whether an academic course, a sports career, a company, or likely any craft or art - requires an immersion and a degree of structure that often times is in direct contrast with those in place when starting anew. The apparent boredom of a strict training regime, for instance, allows one to thrive in a sport that rewards commitment and long hours on the saddle - ultimately awarding one with experiences of a completely different character from those obtained through the thrills of discovering a new activity. And again, I've learned to make the most of such condition and have found great joy in such pursuits.

But - on the subject of relationships, it was more as if I had simply resigned, or perhaps learned to come to terms with such outcome. Or so I thought. A catalytic discussion in a most unexpected setting left me questioning such conclusion. Does it really, necessarily also apply to interpersonal interactions? Can there not be a (stable?) balance between the two?
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If only for an instant, however brief and fleeting - the glimpse of that spark reminded me of the feelings that dwell in new beginnings. And this morning, as the sun pierced through the scattered clouds and shone on Heathrow's Terminal 2, I couldn't hold back, and had to cry my heart out once again.

Thank you, T. .



A trip to the Square Mile requiring an appropriate outfit. My matching brown shoes, which gave up on the sole. And that gift certificate from Starnberg's Sportsman of the Year awards, a 50,- voucher for a local shoe store: an evening's mission.

Left the office way too late, got stuck in the perennial traffic jam at the end of the A952, finally parking the car 18h16 - exactly fourteen minutes before the shop's closing time.

Walked in, quickly scanning the premises, and with laser-like accuracy found it. Colour check - matches. No, wait, wrong size, 43 - two rows down. Right foot in, would you like to try the other one? Sure, why not. Yes, it fits, as expected. I'll take it. Here's the voucher. And the remainder. Have a great evening!

Back to the car - damn, forgot the parking ticket. Back to the store. Hope I still catch them open. Hi, did you perchance spot a - oh, yes, exactly. Thank you SO MUCH. And a great evening once again!

Still managed to manoeuvre it out within the garage's 15 minutes courtesy time.

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Now, if those were cycling shoes...