#1842| berlin baby

IMG_0801IMG_0595IMG_0765IMG_0743IMG_0769IMG_0815IMG_0740

imagesBerlin, Germany

As promised, stories of a happier Berlin. Berlin is really living proof of how important the weather is when it comes to travel. After an almost completely miserable first day in the city de las Artes, the sun came out in all its brilliance on day two. We did so much more on day one – the Wall, one war memorial, museum island, one flea market and countless famous monuments – but the second day was infinitesimally preferable. From the people just plopping down sun chairs in public and lounging around, to the mere two landmarks we managed to see, to cramming ourselves while giggling into the old school photoautomat booths littered around the city – it was incredibly fun compared to the previous day. And obviously ice cream is a must in any European city – it’s actually one of the cheapest things you can eat in Europe, which is a bit strange considering how it’s about ten times better than any ice cream you get back home. You’d think they’d charge a bit more for something so delightful, especially when you pay over three pounds for a cup of cancer-inducing bubbletea here..

After lamenting the sun for years, having grown up in Singapore where you’re slow-roasted all year round, i never though i’d say this but hey hey, we could all do with a little more sunshine in this part of the world.

x
♥jem

#1841| An afternoon in Stuttgart

IMG_0002IMG_0003IMG_0228IMG_0076IMG_0083

imagesStuttgart, Germany

So it’s been a month since I’ve settled into my new place in Universitat Stuttgart and about a week since I’ve finished Spring semester and started my Summer one proper.. and finally it seems like my life has some semblance of order – the past three months has had a sort of unshakably temporal air, being frequently on the move and taking prerequisite german language courses before being allowed a steady timetable. In other news, I can now pick up a woman in a german bar - du bist sehr schön; kann ich Ihre handy-nummer and all that. But now that I’m back in a regular term with proper hours and an actual timetable, making concrete plans for the next couple of months seem much more feasible and for that I’m thankful.

It occurred to me some time last week that I’ve not felt this laid back or relaxed for a long, long time – for as long as I remember I’ve always had some sort of paper due, or advertising / copywriting work needed, or work for the school committee needed done, and while it’s always been very fulfilling doing all these things at once and setting out to achieve as much as possible while young, i’ve always been prone to mild panic attacks waking up in the middle of the night going what?? what??? and worrying about whether i’d missed a deadline somewhere. At my worst I think I was copywriting for two advertising firms, on a tight filming schedule, running events for university still, overloading modules that semester.. and being jumpy, stressed and tired all the time. I somewhat remember looking forward wistfully thinking what a fantastic break Germany would be, though that’s a bit hazy now, panic obscured by time and the relaxed laziness that comes with the European pace of life. On the flip side, i have all this free time now to be doing things, even if said things are rearranging furniture in my room or googling 100 things you can do with a mason jar, also, it is very nice not to have shoulders that hurt all the time.

I also have all this time now to read – goodness, i’ve missed reading for leisure – over the past two weeks i’ve finished the entire harry potter series, all the sophie kinsella novels, 1984 and one day by Orwell and Nichols respectively – and they’re all re-reads, really, strange perverse comfort that comes with diving into familiar literary ground. Most evenings I spend either (re)watching FRIENDS or walking down the lake that is essentially part of our extended backyard with a beer in hand, wondering if this pace of life is something you can recover from. Mainly just feeling like I’ve made a sort of home here.. there’s nothing much to do in Stuttgart, really, but it’s such a comforting place to be living in I think. I’ve spent long enough rambling but – in general I suppose this post is more of a reminder to myself that there’ve been tougher times and this respite is so, so good for the soul, and to always be thankful for these seven months of what feels like a very laid back dream.

x
♥jem

#1840| Roadtrippin: Rheinfall

IMG_0009DSC_1744DSC_1748IMG_0058IMG_0067IMG_0090

imagesRheinfall, Northern Switzerland

I did say road tripping was going to become a thing, didn’t I – last weekend, we rented a Merc and drove up to Switzerland with the main aim of trying swiss cheese and healing all ailments with fresh air from the alps. Or is that the fountain of eternal youth I’m thinking of? Anyway. On the way, we made a stop at Rheinfall, Switzerland, the largest plain waterfall in Europe. As it was somewhat my first waterfall as far as i can remember – artificial ones in water theme parks dont count, I presume – I was completely mesmerized by the gushing sparkling waters and promptly took about three million photos that look more or less exactly the same while squealing nonstop. After the third millionth photo, it dawned on me that I was the only person squealing.. Aren’t you amazed? I asked some of the other girls. Not really, they said, we have quite a few waterfalls in South America. The boys nodded – they’d seen waterfalls in various points in Europe as well. Desperately, I turned to my boyfriend, the other Asian in the group. Isn’t this impressive? He looked at me and shrugged. I’ve seen the Niagara Falls, so..

Oh well. I thought the Falls were absolutely gorgeous, and we can’t all have seen the seventh world wonder. Beautiful sort of first-brush with Switzerland x

x
♥jem

Photos taken with Canon 500D and Nikon 1 J2

#1839| Film roll #2

imm026_00Aimm027_XAimm007_18Aimm006_19Aimm012_13Aimm010_15Aimm008_17A

imagesLondon / Stuttgart / Bavaria

Recently developed my second roll of Kodaks since coming to Europe – this roll spans london, stuttgart and bavaria, which really is a bit indicative of my calming down a bit in real life re: kodaks, i excitedly used up all 27 shots of my first kodak in Paris. Still, the relatively more sporadic use of the second kodak roll produced quite a few pleasant surprises upon collecting the roll at the photo shop – i’d forgotten i took half of them, and it was a pretty nice moment sitting there reliving borrowed moments in silence. I could go over the wonders of film photography once again – the nostalgic grainy quality one usually associates with home made videos from childhood, the magic element of surprise with not knowing how each photo’ll turn out.. but they’ve been said a million times already by almost every one who’s come into contact with a film camera. Still, they call them cliches for a reason, and if every reason is as pretty as this one, im not complaining surely.

x
♥jem