I have been privileged to see a lot of spots on this earth during my life time so far. I know that it is a privilege and I am very thankful for it. I have learnt that my birth country Germany is beautiful, but there are equally beautiful spots all around this earth.
If you have the chance to travel or live abroad for a while, take the chance. Earth needs more people who feel like earthlings, not narrow-minded patriots.
This summer, for the first time in my live, I traveled to Scandinavia, mostly northern Norway, especially the Lofoten Islands, but also northern Sweden, and Finland. If you ever get the chance to go there don’t hesitate, just go. Like any other place in this world it’s definitely worth visiting, if you get the chance.
The nice thing is that the people there seem to appreciate the land they are living in. There are houses and cabins almost everywhere along the roads, but they are small and for the most part unpretentious, and the people you meet love the outdoors. For the entire time of my journey, I had the feeling that people respected that the natural forces have the upper hand, and you live life to the fullest if you let them be.
It was also nice that it was a lot cooler than in Hong Kong in the summer time, and I enjoyed the midnight sun. I went on hikes late in the afternoon, appreciating the fact that I didn’t have to worry about being caught by darkness. 23 degrees Celsius (73 F) during the day with lovely sun was considered “hot”, it’s all relative.
I am a sucker for mountains right beside the ocean. If I can see them from the sea out of a small boat it’s even better. Lofoten in Norway is a good spot, but yeah there are plenty of others on this globe. Go for it!
If you are from Germany like me, you can’t help but notice the similarities to:
That’s the “Zillertaler Hochzeitsmarsch” an Austrian folk song performed by one of Austria’s most successful music bands the “Schuerzenjaeger”.
I was completely unawares of the Mexican-German polka connection until I was listening to radio music on a long drive in California a few years back. A lot of what is played sounds oddly similar to Alpine music. A friend enlightened me that it is Norteños, the folk music of Northern Mexico, which among many influences and home-grown developments uses polka as a rhythm.
Apparently, polka was brought to Mexico by the brass marching bands of Maximilian I, an Austrian prince who was made Mexican emperor in the middle of the 19th century. Is reign was short-lived, since Mexicans – quite rightly – resented meddling by European powers in their affairs, so they beheaded the wannabe king from Austria and only kept the polka. Wise choice.
While my music taste is eclectic and I have nothing against listening to well made folk music that comes from the heart, I have my difficulties with most of the “Volksmusik” shows that are a staplefareonGermanTV. It’s mostly easy-come-easy-go German pop music with a handful of traditional props thrown into the mix. The Oktoberfest “feel good” atmosphere is so heavy, that as a “Preiss” (Prussian) I get immediately suspicious. A few years back, cocaine was found in the artist restrooms on one of these shows, all I said was “I knew it!”, they are high on something stronger than Bavarian beer…lol.
The above probably sounds incredibly intolerant, but I merely think that German folk music deserves better. So, imagine my delight when on a skiing trip in Austria a few years back I heard this:
Alpine music that rocks! The artist is Hubert von Goisern. You probably can’t understand a word, neither can I. Contrary to most Bavarian and Austrian singers on Volksmusik shows who sing in high German, he sings in dialect of his native Upper Austria, which for Northern Germans is hard to understand. Still the song was a hit not only in Austria, but also in all of Germany, it just took a while for it to spread. As you can probably guess from the Vendetta mask, it ain’t a love song, nor does it describe mountain scenery.
Here is another one “Juchitzer”
No dirndl necessary to understand where it comes from. Even tradition deserves innovation every generation or two.
An afternoon can pass very quickly while playing it. But the nice thing is, although no dishes will be washed and no lawn mowed, it will still feel like you have not wasted your time. Cause you will feel smarter afterwards. I promise. And it’s good armchair travel too.
I played it together with little man, and we have become near experts in geographical detective work during one rainy afternoon.
In the beginning we played it quick, doing ballpark guesses. We mostly got the countries right, but the problem is some countries are awfully big. If you picked British Columbia instead of Ontario, you loose a lot of points, in fact too many points. Russia is big too. We bookmarked a Cyrillic script translator. It helped a lot.
One of the hardest countries to get right – I am talking yards not miles here – is to my surprise the USA. No signs for miles, just mailboxes and a house or two.
Can you beat me? I would love to know. Click on the links below and try to getter a better score:
I have just finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels. I am always late for these mass phenomena, some I skip totally. For example, I have yet to watch “Titanic”. I find that it’s often a good idea to wait until the initial hubbub has died down, the first negative reviews have been written, and special discounts can be had. For “Titanic” I waited too long. I think I already know 80% of the film from trailers, reviews, and friends talking about it. I would probably fall asleep while watching.
But “Fifty Shades of Grey” I have read. Apparently just in time, because a movie will be coming out next year. In case you don’t know – and if you don’t know chances are that you are male – “Fifty Shades of Grey” is an erotic novel written by E.L. James, a British woman, who wrote it as fan fiction for the Twilight Saga. What if there were no vampires involved, just humans, super sexy, impossibly rich, with a taste for BDSM sex. It’s E.L. James’s own add-on sexual fantasy. I read that she was very surprised herself about the success her books had. The trilogy has sold over 70 million copies world-wide.
It has plenty of scathing critics as well. In my opinion, it could have used a good editor. The male protagonist Christian is “enigmatic” and “mercurial” at least three dozen times. Although he is a self-made billionaire, he spends precious little time working. The female protagonist Ana, though shy and well educated thinks “Holy Fuck” whenever she is shocked or sexually aroused, which is often. I also hope E.L. James gets compensated by Apple and Audi, whose products the impossibly rich Christian not only uses himself but lavishes on his love interest. Some segments of the book read like product advertisements.
Moreover there is a jarring emphasis on political correctness. The fact that these are two consenting adults is stressed over and over. Ana is a virgin, yet already 21 years old, which is -I am guessing – the legal age of consent in many countries. Safe sex is stressed repeatedly throughout the book. Yes, it is important, but very detailed descriptions of how a condom is put on get very tiresome after a while. Once or twice is fine, for the remaining romps we just need a three word summary, please.
The actual BDSM scenes turn out almost PG-13. Well not PG-13, but no one is put in a cage and wears a collar. I am no virgin to reading BDSM erotica, Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy comes to mind, and “Fifty Shades of Gray” is harmless in comparison.
Despite of all the things I mentioned above, I still like it. The pacing is good, the dialogues are snappy, and there is an underlying plot in between the erotic scenes, which is unfortunately not as common as it should be within the genre. I have read plenty of fantastic erotic short stories, good full length erotic novels are few and far between. I guess it suffers from it’s smutty image, of being the porn equivalent for women.
No author is shooting for the Nobel prize when writing erotica, but it’s perfectly clear now that there is lots of money in it. Why publishers only recognize this now is beyond me. If the end result is fewer romance novels in which the English lord of the manor has to choose between Lady so-and-so and the gardener’s daughter with whom he only exchanges kisses, I will be eternally grateful to E.L. James.
It also got me thinking of why women like the story so much. It’s essentially a 21st century fairy tale. A bit of Cinderella with a good dose of Snow White, featuring an evil Mrs. Robinson, who held the teenage prince charming as a BDSM slave. What’s not to like about this version? Lol. Of all the modern fairy tale love stories I have read and watched, it is one of the more original ones.
The sex scenes help as well of course. I just hope no young girl reading these books takes the sex at face value. It’s as fairy tale as the rest of the story. I wish I could have orgasms from nipple stimulation alone and purely penetrative sex like Ana. Reality is that most women get orgasms from clitoral stimulation and by far not as often as four times a day.
I also hope that all real world Anas out there know that masturbating is a good thing. You and maybe a few toys and lubrication is the safest environment to test what you like and gives you an orgasm. In real life, most men, especially the young ones, don’t know. You can’t rely on a Mr. Grey coming along in his helicopter.
Under all the fairy dust sex there are however a few truths in the book. I think that good sex for women is very much about letting loose and giving up control with a person we trust. For women it is much more in the mind than it is for men. Of course the right technique and toys help as well.
I am curious what Hollywood will turn this into. Will they show how a condom is put on and anal toys are used safely? Lol… somehow I don’t think so, which is a shame.
I guess I should going again. Today I got an e-mail that I am paying for automatic, renewed hosting for this blog, which I agreed to because my heart and soul is in all the past entries. Then something happened in my life, and everyone reading this blog got occupied with what-you-see-in-the-mirror-book, the rest (really lovely people) clicked and clicked for a dozen of times but nothing new got posted.
Cosima is still alive. A little bit older, but not smarter, yet wiser, or though she thought until she encountered the next mystery in her life.
I write this for myself: Within the next two or three or four days you post something. You better do. Lazy old…
Me: Old? Who are you talking about? I am springy, agile, and only nap after lunch, which everyone should do. Scientists agree that it’s best.
Mirror Book: But I am still the ugliest in the land!
Just had a few scary moments while updating the cogs, MySqls, PHPs, and other whistles behind this blog. But can proudly announce that Cosima is now running on the latest WordPress version. I think creating a new bathing suit for Cosima Underwater will be next on my list. I still like the old theme, but it’s not very flexible for posting videos and pictures.
And if that is done, I may actually get around to posting again…
It’s funny. When I grew up it was in perfect balance, my need for the advantages of urban culture and seeing green nature. Berlin is a funny place. One German TV presenter described it as parks with a few apartment buildings spread throughout the green. And if you compare it to other 3.5 million + -inhabitant cities, Berliners should really put on a big green smile and shut up their complaining mouths. They are living in a beautiful city.
I left Berlin and ended up in Hong Kong. There are twice as many people here than in Berlin, on less acreage. Still, Hong Kong has wonderful green assets that Berlin doesn’t have: real, prime, jungle. No clipped parks, well two or three, but real natural assets “country parks” no lawns, but subtropical natural hills with only a few signs, trails, but still lots of natural slopes of subtropical green. On average, two or three people die in these country parks every year, not because they couldn’t pay their cocaine dealer, but because they underestimated the heat, the mountainous terrain, the critters. And that less than 50km away from a Gucci store. Incredible. It’s a wonder, thanks to one or three British governors who were hikers and did the right thing to make a lasting impression.
If you ask me, if you have the fortune to come to political power these days, the most lasting legacy you can leave is protecting nature from men. You will be remembered in a hundred to thousand years, I bet the well-being of my one and only offspring on that. Nature needs a break from us, it’s the most pressing problem of the twenty-first century.
From reading the above, I bet you can guess that I love wearing Birkenstock sandals.
And that I am mad that they are planning to build a waste incinerator near my home and the largest country park of Hong Kong. The problem with this city and in general with this age and time is that money is regarded as the most powerful god.
There are no big money interests near us, so the cowards view it as free territory. They don’t build incinerators next to 70 storey office skycrapers where the waste is generated and the money is made, they build it next to Hong Kong largest country park. Cowards and money eaters in high places plan it, and complacent, lazy donkeys in small apartments eat it. You are all the same, if you ask me, unless you speak out as loud as you can. So do it.
It has been so long ago that I forgot my own password. Oy vey, Cosima bend in shame. But (and now bow to Cosima) she is computer-savy enough to retrieve it.
Little man has been my concern lately, he always is, but special efforts are called for when the time has come to find a suitable secondary school.
My parents had it much easier. They send me to the comprehensive school five minutes away at age five, where I spent the next thirteen years and managed to attain my German high-school diploma and entry into the world of university education. It had good teachers who 95% of the time loved their professions, model architecture with classrooms flooded with daylight from two sides emptying out to big halls, big playgrounds, one small and one big sports hall, library, and all sorts of dedicated rooms for explosive chemical experiments and arts splashings.
Funnily enough, it wasn’t well regarded at the time. Left-leaning teachers, parent involvement, poor kids having an equal chance, teachers full of ideals…
In Hong Kong, I am now confronted with schools that pay very close attention where the parents work. Can they pay the tuition fees for seven years to come? Can they tell other parents how hard it was to get into our school and which academic rigor we apply? Will this kid meet all the credentials to get into Harvard, Yale, MIT, whatever? We have a reputation to loose, fuck about the well-being of kids, we have a high-brow reputation to loose.
On one hand, I am caught in the rat race here in Hong Kong that demands you to get your kid into one of the prime schools, which will get him into prime colleges… etc, etc. On the other hand, I just read a forum post of a mum about bullying at one of the above schools, and I know that everyone just cooks with water, and I know that parents, in the end, not schools educate children.
I want little man to be happy, confident, and loving life.
After a long hard search on the internet I found a secondary school that I feel is right. It’s not well known, it’s relatively cheap, it’s located in the boonies, but still I hope that little man will be accepted there.
It’s mum intuition that teachers there care about children, that they will have their happiness in mind, support them in meeting challenges, and love teaching them.
Yes of course, it’s not the only school I will send applications to, but it’s one of the few that truly deserves to teach little man. Press your thumbs please.