My memory feels worse than it used to be. Distant days are hazier or entirely gone. Somehow, I had vague impressions of events dated to my toddler years, the period from which they say you can’t recall anything.
I remember holding a Roman candle as the fireworks flew. My mother was holding my arm. I was very little. It was outside her mother’s garden.
Some memories had morphed. I was in a drawing class for pre-school kids. On the last day, I drew a wise man on a donkey. It was a grand masterpiece and got “Five Stars Plus”. Years…
I got my first shot today.
Afterwards I was chatting with Ivan — we are both expats working in tech, we mostly talk about languages and sometimes about Berlin. Ivan was keen to get vaccinated and a bit picky about it, and got his first shot just over a week ago.
I mentioned that the doctor who vaccinated me spoke German and native-like English, and offered Japanese as an option. Ivan’s into Japanese and had been trying with enthusiasm to teach me to read manga. …
“Look, it’s the Party Mountain!”
On TV it’s showing a story about young adults experiencing burnout in Sweden, and an interview was filmed on top of the Party Mountain.
Apparent, it’s a kind of epidemic in Sweden these days. There is something that stands out about this phenomenon of “burnout”, compared to being stressed or tired or over-exerted, that it centres around the loss of interest in carrying on with endeavours that were once imbued with optimism and exuberance.
It’s the disillusionment in one’s own sense of agency, the corrosion and destruction of morale, which starts with a vague feeling…
I love the new place. It has four rooms, an amazing view over the city and it’s easy to walk to work on foot without getting lost. My mother’s house in Helsinki is twice bigger but it isn’t the same. It’s about ten minutes from Hornsgatan and from the ferry to the small islands. I only found out after I had signed the lease that it is also a walking distance from the nearest bar. Not that I plan on drinking more than two cups of wine per week but if you plan on having any social life you need…
These days, I have a lot of lucid dreams.
Last night, I was in bed, and a woman in her late twenties with curly, reddish hair was around, approaching intermittently to give me playful kisses. I thought, “That’s very forward of her… This must be a dream!”
Soon we got closer and more intimate, my arms were around her waist. In dreams, the physical feeling of holding someone is quite real. I started lifting the edge of her winter pullover, in my mind perhaps a bit too presumingly.
“What are you doing?” she suddenly said.
After a confused pause, I was like: “Wait a minute, aren’t you not real?”
An intensifying moment of doubt about what is real roused me out of sleep.
Saturday night, 8:30pm. The store closes in 30 minutes and will stay closed tomorrow.
The fitness activity rings on my Apple Watch are yet to be closed. I’m on a streak this whole year, closing the rings every day — albeit sometimes through cheating, like dangling my arm back and forth for 30 seconds while in bed, to convince the Watch I’m doing the standing minute; or sometimes these fake exercises called “Other: Open Goal” by flailing and pacing around the apartment, somehow that counts — but anyway, it’s a perfect streak for 3 months and counting. …
A few years ago at a language-related expo, I saw a demo for a vocabulary app. It was for learning Georgian (because purportedly that was the data they had). There was a screenshot of a typical quiz:
What is the meaning of “და” (da)?
The multiple-choice options are:
C. Auto mechanic
Even the presenter himself was quite amused by Option C.
We have the intuition that a simple sound should correspond to a common word, rather than an advanced concept that became a thing recently.
Imagine in an alternative sci-fi universe where your average speaker is…
Not a thing can stall or hinder
Your yearning to be free
A life unbound and fantastical
Not a trace of worry or craze
Through the dim, muted years
At times bewildered and ambivalent
The moment you glanced down
To discover a path at your steps
In your heart, that miraculous world
So clear, pure, distant and lofty
Blooming, unwilting, for eternity
February 2021, Berlin
A plain translation
You are born free, and should be treated as equals.
You can have a true heart and good sense. …
I’m moving to Hornstull in October. It’s a very old house, built in the 1750s — from the street it looks like the Shire. It has a garden, and is close to the sea and the “Party Mountain”. Well, it’s just a mountain (by Finnish standards, otherwise a small rocky hill) but my landlords said they soon realised the Södermalm people go party there.