Wind brought the seeds from somewhere. Rain grounded them. Sun caressed them all Summer long and a field of herb flowers grew in the mountain valley.
Bees traveled every day, made love to the herb flowers, leaving pollen behind – saving the herb’s life, taking away nectar, returning loyally to the Queen bee and the hive. Honey was made out of that love.
I put a spoon full of golden honey in a cup of freshly brewed mountain tea, and as I close my eyes and take a sip, I inhale the scent of beautiful herb flowers and hear the bees buzz. My cup is full of love.
Yesterday Life wanted me to be strong – for the friend who confided in me she is considering a divorce, for another friend who finally lost it at work and quit her job, and for the one who needed no preamble to tell me “My Dad passed away”. I was strong and there for each one of them. As ‘there’ as one can be thousand miles away. I sincerely wished the world was smaller so I could offer every one of them a real hug.
Today I didn’t have to be strong. The aftertaste of yesterday made me feel vulnerable. It was my turn to call a friend and say “I miss you. A hug would be nice right now.”
It’s a beautiful summer morning and it’s Friday. Having just read ‘An Actually Useful Guide to Madison, Wisconsin’ I set on an ambitious journey of trying every single place it recommends for food, drinks and entertainment.
The article is written by Elissa Goldberg for BonApettit.com, but the low down of what to do in Madtown is given by Trevor Gruehn – the director of Bradbury’s Coffee.
Bradbury’s Coffee is claimed as one of the best three in town, so why not start my exploration there. It is located in a quaint corner space with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and it offers a pleasant view of The Children Museum and the busy crossing of Hamilton and Dayton streets. The cafe itself has an industrial feel with its bare concrete walls and high ceiling, with dark wooden tables and asymmetric tables layout. So far so good!
The barista I order my cappuccino from seems a tad melancholic (may be only in comparison to my super high energy level this morning), so I pretend not to hear what he says – he has to repeat his words to me and this tiny effort brings him in the moment, makes him conscious. This trick always works!
I sit on the one end of a long to-share table, a family with two toddlers in the other end. On my other side, two young professionals are conversing. As I sit down and exhale I realize this won’t be a lovely, quiet coffee time. ‘…there isn’t enough chocolate on it. I can’t taste the chocolate from too much banana’ – the blond 4 y.o. complains. “…this crepe is too thick” – he goes on whining. ‘…I’ve been working so hard on this article and I’m so glad it’s finally been published…My students are keeping me so busy all summer long…’ – the young man on my right switches between bragging and bitching with the same annoying high pitch voice, and loud, so unnecessarily loud.
And then I notice the guy in front of me, he is reading a book. Actually, it’s his book that catches my eye (ok, the guy is handsome too!) – ‘No exit’ by Jean-Paul Sartre. I’m in love with Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre’s love story.
The irony of the situation however is that ‘No exit’ contains the famous Sartre’s quote ‘Hell is other people’. Is it really? And when we find ourselves in hell, do we want to have an exit, or no exit is just fine? Is human hell good for us, will it build character?
My cappuccino arrives, Trevor himself brings it to the table – he appears friendly and very professional. I take a sip – Bradbury’s Coffee is truly as good as they say, as the rest is now just white noise…and No Exit is needed for now.
iliana.us first appeared on 25 May 2004. It was an easy way to keep my friends up to date on my adventures. At first my updates were appended to a Word document. Then I added a simple html code – a paragraph for each update, yes, the familiar <p>…</p>. Two years later, in October 2006, I switched to Google’s Blogger – a great and easy tool to blog. Life on the go was born.
Recently I felt the need for a more elegant way of presenting my stories and communicating with you. I decided to put iliana.us and Life On The Go under one roof. My photography – older albums are on igbg.shutterfly.com , newer ones on Facebook (FB friends only), and I hope to find a new ‘home’ for all photos soon.
Please be patient while the transformation is in progress… and let’s hope it was a good idea
And here it is… 1 Sept 2014 – the Empire State Building
In my school days, I loved waking up early. Around 6 in the morning I would get to the city’s square and just sit there – in the still, sleepy atmosphere, with only the fountain’s splashing water sound reminding me that life has not stopped forever. Occasionally, a street sweeper would pass by, or early worker’s footsteps would make me turn my head and smile to them, and then an utter calmness would take over again. There was something magical about knowing that most everyone’s asleep; it felt peaceful and safe.
Other days I’d head to the main train station and I’d watch the opposite – lots and lots of people getting on and off the trains, rushing, heading to or coming from who knows where, their faces sort of caught in between asleep and awake. Unaware of my gentle intrusion, their confusion makes me smile. Newspaper stands would be already open and their business was at their peak. After making up what the dreams and the daily chores of some of the people might be, I’d giggle at my own silliness and head to school with a smile.
Perhaps we are all fishermen, waking up every morning to the promise of another day.
I have had a soft spot for Dutch men for years. As luck would have it, I met yet another ‘special one’ just before I was to move to Australia. Being a hopeless romantic I was willing to give it a chance, but all my friends sang the same refrain ‘Wait till you get to Australia and meet that 6 foot tall, 6 pack abs, blond surfer dude – you’ll forget all about Dutch men.’
Slowly, but inevitably the image sank into my mind…
Seen the Las Vegas show Thunder from Down Under?
So I flew on the wings of hope, dreaming of a 6 foot tall, 6 pack abs ( and may I add 6 inch … you fill the dots) blond surfer dude.
On my first (ever!) flight to Oz, I was seated next to a 22 years old boy from Delhi, on his way to college in Brisbane. So much for fate and ‘love is in the air’ with a surfer dude
Four months passed by and none of the Aussie guys I had met was a surfer, let alone blond, 6 foot tall and all the other extras. They were not even that much fun! Then I went for dinner with a girl from Sydney. ‘Oh, you didn’t know? – she said to me. – Melbourne is for intellectuals. The surfers are in Sydney and the Golden coast.’
Aha! Armed with that secret, I booked a flight to Sydney and stayed with friends only kilometer away from Bondi beach. Bingo! I walked the beach, back and forth, shamelessly eyeing up everyone with a surfing board. If they were 6 foot tall, they were quite skinny, and if they had the 6 pack abs, they weren’t tall enough. The closer one would get to my dream image, the further in age he would be!
Perhaps not. Perhaps in some distant corner Australia is saving for me the perfect surfer dude – 6 foot tall, 6 pack abs, and … blond. And perhaps he will be looking for a 40 years old hopeless romantic
Until then, I’ll be betting my chips on ‘import’ – average looking guys from anywhere, funny, sexy and kind.
+1 charm point for being Dutch