Gedanken übers Prokrastinieren

deepwoodsDie Prokrastination als Thema ist im Mainstream angekommen. Ja, man könnte sogar sagen, dass sie ziemlich gut verankert ist. Man kann Blogpost um Blogpost darüber lesen, Zeitungen von A bis Z haben darüber berichtet und wenn man nicht lesen mag, kann man ja sogar einem Ted Talk zum Thema lauschen. Das kann dann -sogar!- zu einer neuen Form der Prokrastination werden. Anstatt jetzt das zu tun, was ich eigentlich tun sollte, verschwende ich einen ganzen Tag darauf mich von Prokrastination, zu Konditionierungstheorien zu Pawlowschen Hunden zu Placebos bis hin zu Benjamin Franklin zu klicken. Habt ihr gewusst, dass der Sultan von Konstantinopel Süleyman I gelernter Goldschmied war? Interessant. Was mich aber wirklich gurkt ist, dass ich auch da prokrastiniere, wo ich eigentlich nicht will (beziehungsweise wollen sollte). Nämlich bei Dingen, die mir eigentlich total Spass machen. Also bei meinen Hobbies. Es passiert mir also, dass ich Lust hätte zu schreiben, fotografieren, kochen oder etwas Yoga zu machen, und stattdessen verbringe ich dann einen ganzen Nachmittag damit, eine Haarklammer zu suchen, die mir vor fünf Jahren vielleicht hinter’s Bett gerutscht ist. Und dass gehört wahrscheinlich noch zu meinen besseren Momenten, weil ich dann immerhin hinterm Bett gestaubsaugt habe. Lose -Win, was?! Mit der Fotografie nimmt das Ganze dann auch mal perverse Ausmasse an. Ich bitte andere Leute mich für den Blog zu fotografieren und poste es dann nie. Oder ich schiesse 500 Ferienbilder, die ich dann nie oder extrem spät mit meinen Mitreisenden teile. Hochzeitsfotos hab ich auch schon verprokrastiniert, vor mir ist da nix sicher! Und darum jetzt, hier, fast sofort ein paar Bilder die letzten Samstag spontan im Wald entstanden sind, als ich dabei war für einen Freund Plakate aufzuhängen (rechtzeitig!) und mich dann noch zu einem Spaziergang entschloss. Das ist also erst zwei Tage her. Das nenn ich jetzt mal Fortschritt und lass es dabei bleiben, bevor mir diese ganze prokrastinationsfreie Lebenslust noch zu Kopf steigt.

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jumpsuit: thought /// jeans jacke: mango (alt) /// schuhe: veja

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defending spaces

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On tuesday the gentrifying hipsters*  in my neighborhood showed the movie Koyaanisqatsi down on the square under our building. Coming back home from a reading session in the park, I heard the music and decided to go have look at their little festival. I sat down on a bench, a bit off from the small crowd and watched the film by myself. At some point a man and a woman, who had just arrived, recognized each other next to the food truck. As they were greeting each other, all excited, they moved away from the truck and the audience. They stopped about 30cm in front of me. My sandals even touched his sneakers for a second. Looming over me, completely obscuring my view they started chatting. I couldn’t believe it. We almost touched, her dress would flutter against me if there were the slightest bit of wind, yet they seemed utterly oblivious of my presence.

This is not the first time something like this happened to me

And while I might be wrong on this for many reasons (the present is not a good judge), I feel like this phenomenon is especially poignant in Lausanne. Nowhere else have I bumped against so many people on the street. Everyone seems to refuse to budge even a centimeter out of what they perceive to be their lane.  In the shops you will wait in vain, if you hope that the person next to you will step aside anytime soon to let you browse among the things between you. I cannot count how many times I stood still for five minutes in front of a rack, because the lady next to me laid a blouse over a section in order to examine it more closely. Elbows out, straddle-legged like your stereotypical 20-something guy, they will stare at the item of their choice as if the world stopped right there with them. How many times did I need to literally fight my way out of the metro, because the people wanting to get in would stand in front of the door like a stubborn flock of llamas.

No other city requires me to do so many breathing exercises on a  daily basis as Lausanne. And you know, each time I hope myself that it’s just the routine, that it is there in other places too and that if I leave for a while, I just might see everything differently upon my return. But then I do take a vacation, a weekend in Belgium, one week in Scotland, three weeks in Eastern Europe or a month at my parents- it really doesn’t matter how long I am gone. I can count on getting hit in the shoulder the second I step off the train in Lausanne. No matter how happily I skip onto that platform; the assholes are ready. How they do it? It’s beyond me.

When we were in Edinburgh in March a bookstore owner talked to us for the longest time. He switched casually from topic to topic, somewhat intimidating us with his knowledge. At one point he fluffed up when we got to talk about the people we crossed in the city. „People nowadays don’t have self-awareness anymore“, he said with a look out the shop window. And that explanation stayed with me. They (and more and more: me, too) lack self-awareness. Somehow humans are capable of forgetting where the borders of their private space are. And more importantly they forget that, what they protect with so much aggressive pride, is something that everyone has and values for themselves.

Because, yes, I do understand everyone who tries to defend their little space on the bus and being able to relax on their seat and the spot before the spice rack in the supermarket. I really do. I am the queen of spreading all my things on the seat next to me, hoping that it will prevent anyone from wanting to sit down there. (And for the record I do make space if someone decides they want to join my miserable face.) But what I don’t understand is how other people won’t think one step ahead and realize that maybe (just maybe) everyone else would like to have the same thing. Everyone wants the goodies for themselves, but your damn freedom to have those ends, when you cross mine.

I’m tired of this. Today I went out to ask my neighbor not to talk on the phone in the stairway, because I could hear every word through the paper thin walls and the good-for-nothing door. She seemed already agitated on the phone but when she turned to me, you would have thought she wanted to shoot me right there. Long story short she finished by telling me to shut my mouth. I ended up being just as nice to her and we went our ways, loudly ranting about each other. I wasn’t nice on the Tuesday I started with either. With all the irritation my 160cm could muster up, I loudly asked the pair standing in front of me, if they couldn’t have chosen a different place for their conversation. They laughed nervously in much too exaggerated shock, started making apologies, the woman even reached out to pat my shoulder before she took a better look at my face. In any case: they jumped out of the way immediately.

Yet somehow I felt more miserable than after my encounter with my screeching neighbor. Their reaction was all polite, yes. But in a way I find it worse because they had actually been so close to me without seeing me, feeling my presence- quite literally, too. I can’t really believe they didn’t see me. The Portuguese lady on the stairs was at least honest: she knew fully well what she was doing, she just very openly didn’t give a fuck. She doesn’t have much going for herself, but at least her assholery has integrity.

That’s something to build upon, even if it’s kinda the argument Trump supporters would give you for their choice of candidate. But at least that way I could call her connasse and get away with it. Sometimes it’s the small things that make you happy.

 

 

*if anyone wants to complain about me saying that: please explain to me why my flat cost 450.- over market value when we moved in, without the previous renter having contested the price (we did contest it in the end).

 
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tea classism

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The last time my boyfriend and I were in Belgium we had the pleasure to be invited by a whole bunch of friends for various meals, thus not only enjoying their company but also shamelessly being fed by different people everyday. I love eating. And I love being in other people’s homes. The fact that 3 out of 4 them also had dogs and were readily preparing vegan dishes for us (or letting us cook vegan for everyone) only made it better.

However there was one thing that struck us and ended up making me feel uncomfortable: tea. To be honest I’m not a huge expert on tea, so much by way of introduction. The only reason I know many types of tea is me having worked as a waitress in a restaurant with a ridiculously large tea selection. Which we had to know by heart in order to rain it down on unsuspecting customers, in case they would dare to ask what types of tea we had.
Apart from that we accumulated many teas in our flat ever since I made tea advent calendars for my friends and family, after which we got stuck ourselves with a ridiculously large tea selection (which then stayed there for ages, because it turns out we are not terribly experimental in that area).

But you might have already guessed it: when I talk about teas, I mean teas in fairly cheap little tea bags. No leaves here. No intricate, flavor-containing packaging. And so it came to be that I ended up feeling a bit out of space when one of our friends offered to make everyone a cup, upon which she spread a sizable collection of nicely packed organic teas on the table for us to choose. Monsieur and I shyly took one each, but as we both struggled to stuff the leaves into the infuser we looked at each other and realized we were thinking the same thing: at home we heat water in the microwave and then throw in a bag labelled peppermint. Which is fairly unromantic compared to bohemian raspberry and lemon vanilla tisane. And no, I wish I was making this shit up but I’m not. Recently we found a chocolate herbal tisane in the office cafeteria. Nothing can surprise me anymore in the tea kingdom. But while some of those names are just as silly is having 30 different packs of dried leafs in your cupboard (whether bagged or not), the situation still made me feel bad.

And then I realized why. The tea had become a metaphor to me. Not only the tea itself but having a proper teapot, a modern kettle, the cute sugar bowl and the ritual down to a science somehow seemed to mean that you had your life together. Surely someone who had matching Japanese tea cups was not hoarding dirty laundry behind the sofa. In fact, someone who is in possession of said cups is probably quite well organized, gets up at 6am and always has the spare time solve the crossword puzzle in the paper. Or so it made me feel.

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When we were in Scotland a month ago I bought myself those fancy looking tea bags. The name of this one is perfect peppermint, which on a compensational level is the equivalent of a man in his 40s owning a Ferrari. I liked the package and I liked the fact that I had bought them in a small take away restaurant on the Isle of Skye, where we – I kid you not – got custom vegan salads with seaweed. Which I guess comes close to the damn Ferrari having fancy rims or something. In the meantime my mother passed down her kettle to me. And well, I guess the metaphor still stands, but I feel a bit better, the water stays hot longer and I got my ridiculous little teabags looking nice in the Ikea cup. That’s one small step in the tea realm, but a leap for students getting their shit together.

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