It was raining upside down.
>> Photo taken by my sister B. at Southbank. <<
Every sentence should end with a punctuation mark. Likewise, it is my belief that every significant episode in life needs a mark to signal it’s ending, to break it apart from what’s coming next. For me, those punctuation marks are usually holidays. I’m an escapist, alright.
I’m back from a lovely break in the Canary Islands. It was a necessary way to separate the end of my master’s from the beginning of everything else. A punctuation mark to give me time to lower my voice, to process the meaning of that last sentence, to take a good dump – empty myself of all my old shit, to close my eyes, absorb sunshine into my soul and to imagine what could come next, to take a new breath and get ready to read the next sentence out loud and proud.
The sound of people around me chatting in Spanish has been comforting. I’ve never studied Spanish seriously, so I can’t understand it too well, which is all the better, because I didn’t have to worry about following other people’s conversations. I could simply concentrate on the melody without worrying about deciphering the lyrics. There’s just something about the sound of Spanish … to me it’s a language of wellbeing, of friendships, a language in which people take care of each other. Funny, how sounds can have such associations, no?
Take English, for example. To me, that’s a language of marketing and of beating around the bush, a language so infused with diplomacy, it’s possible to sell anything in English, to round off any unpleasant situation as actually not so bad, darling. Hindi is a language of endless quarrels (in public), of a billion people constantly grinding against each other’s nerves. In private, it’s probably a different story – I can’t think of a sound softer than a Hindi love song. German is a language of socially awkward 35-year-old men standing on higher moral ground, making caustic remarks and giggling at others with childish schadenfreude. French is a language of strongly-held beliefs, the biggest one of those being: everything is better in France. What makes this slight arrogance so endearing is that they are probably right.
Czech? Czech is a complicated language that makes me nervous.
“Mr. Hoshino?” Nakata said, breaking the silence.
“What is it?”
“The sea is a really nice thing, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is. Makes you feel calm.”
“Why is that?”
“Probably ’cause it’s so big, with nothing on it,” Hoshino said, pointing. “You wouldn’t feel so calm if there was a 7-Eleven over there, or a Seyiu department store, would you? Or a pachinko place over there, or a Yoshikawa pawnshop? But as far as the eye can see there’s nothing – which is pretty darn nice.”
(Kafka on the Shore)
Today I was saying goodbye my old friend Z.,as she is moving to Barcelona for the next four years. (You bet I’ll come visit.) I wanted to take her somewhere nice for our goodbye, so we went to the Kensington Palace Orangery. It’s right next to Kensington Palace (in South Kensington) which is where Princess Diana used to live. If you want somewhere lovely to have a cup of tea and maybe some cake, this is a good place. It feels quite grand and European … it reminded of the Palmenhaus in Vienna a little bit. Also, if you want to do the whole “English high tea” experience with the little cakes and sandwiches served on a tiered stand, this is one place where you can do it with a reasonable budget.