Monthly Archives: March 2015

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.”

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I am making my way back home from an early morning meeting. It is stormy and as I ride on the bike path a wind gush literally steers me into the bus lane. Luckily there is no bus behind me, and with a bit of skill and the wind receding I manage to navigate back to the bike lane. I drop by the tailor to get some items fixed and dry cleaned. It takes longer than anticipated and when I come out there is no bike to be seen. Did it blow away or am I just tired? I decide on the latter, and turn around the corner where I find my bike on the ground.

A voice asks friendly in Dutch if I need any help. How most unusual I think. I turn around whilst I am raising the bike, politely declining the offer. I study the young man in front of me. He is Dutch, in his mid 20’s but I could be wrong. As I hang my bag on the steering wheel he asks me where I am from. I look at him again, this time more intensively. Isn’t he fishing in the wrong fishing pond? When I say Sweden he counters with that he could swear I was Dutch. Hmmm…not sure if this is a an insult or compliment. It’s like saying I look Russian which I hear all too often. No offense, but Sweden has a long history with our mighty neighbour (well once was anyways) and the last thing we want to hear is that we look Russian. Now bare with me…it gets worse.

For now I take it down to a well meant compliment, but then he stuns me by asking if I am a ranger. A ranger? What kind of question is that? Now do I look like I have just lost my rifle? Perhaps the compass is not showing north and the bear trail has gone cold. He points to his bag and proudly displays the WWF emblem. My mind is suddenly jolted back to reality. Yep I sponsored that organisation between the age of seven and twelve. This was before I became a staunch anti-death penalty supporter and joined Amnesty International. He asks if I want to become a member. According to him I look like someone who cares deeply for the animals. I almost want to say I am a vegetarian but of course this will only lead to me opening my wallet, so I keep mouth shut.

He studies me and then my leather gloves lined with rabbit fur. There isn’t much that makes me feel uncomfortable but suddenly I feel like a predator amongst a valley of bunnies. I quickly make my excuses….I am here on holiday, so would love to sign up but can’t for obvious reasons. I will check it out after the vacation. In my case, it looks like I’m in for one looong holiday…

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You write only to delete the sentences so carefully constructed moments earlier. You are hurt. For once you are hurt. Wounded. If you would be a good writer, which you are not, you would say something along the lines of “mortally wounded”. You would add the flair and drama only a great poet could craft. But you are not a maker of verses. In fact you struggle with finding the odd words that will give you any kind of description – even a single epithet.

Or so matters stood…evenly and with great self-conviction. You told yourself you were empty, void of feelings, an uninhabited shell. But now that image is shattered. Perhaps for good. As you sow, you shall reap, and has the harvest ever tasted so bitter? No, you stand corrected…bittersweet. The latter only for the briefest of moments, now lost to time and space…

You take a few even breaths and regard with self-pity the sorrowful shambles only you can be responsible for.

So you tell yourself, over and over, like a mantra rolling over your lips, whispers in darkness only privy to you. You did the right thing. There is no rescue. You can only save yourself…

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Just home after meetings in Amsterdam (Art Otel – where else?), a late lunch before catching a ride back home. Quite a few things on the agenda for this evening, so anticipating a late evening. Luckily I feel great, the sun is shining and health cocktail certainly did the rest of the job :). #HappyMonday everyone!

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I’ve landed. Yes literally and figuratively speaking. Sitting once more by the fireplace, with meetings planned for this afternoon in Amsterdam. I won’t be in the office today, too many email, laundry and unpacking. But for now, memories of Istanbul. Hope to be back soon.

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no cameras please

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ok, this one only

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…and a few more I had no idea of

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A long day but very good

Came home just in time to celebrate my beautiful girl’s 17th birthday. A super evening at restaurant Hout with gifts, good food and laughter. Love you loads Beauty! xxx

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Seventeen…from my baby to lady

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presents for the birthday girl acquired in Istanbul, Paris and Amsterdam…lucky gal!

IMG_4749Unfortunately the plane was delayed but luckily was there just in time for dessert

 

 

It’s late in the afternoon and you haven’t even had breakfast yet. The time table you originally set has come under close fire. With so much to accomplish, and so little time, what did you expect? You know you need routine and perhaps that is the one thing you don’t find when you are en route. Eventually you took off in the search of Hagia Sophia. You didn’t find her, as dusk was setting in. You crossed the Bosporus straight, leaving Asia behind and returning to the old and for now mystical Europe. You walked on cobblestone Bazaars and transported yourself 1500 years back in time. To the age of the East Roman empire and later the Ottoman Empire.

You see faces, different every time. Where are they coming from? What are their stories?
The Urals, Seljuks, Huns, Greeks, even traces of those Gozitas that were carried off to Turkish captivity in 1551. How many of them survived? Did they eventually just integrate and became Muslim Turks?

Questions, questions…You step over the boarding ramp that takes me from the ferry to the mainland. You are met with the warm and savoury smell of roasted chestnuts. It’s nearly dark now and it’s just then you realize how ravenous you are…

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farewell to Asia

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..for a little while only..

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tonight Europa is my lover

 

“I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
The drunkenness of old times
In the wooden seaside villa with its deserted boat house
The roaring Southwestern wind is trapped,
My thoughts are trapped.

I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
A bird is flying around your skirt
I know if your forehead is hot or cold
Or your lips are wet or dry;
Or is a white moon is rising above the hazelnut tree
My heart’s fluttering tells me
I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed”
― Orhan Veli Kanık, Bütün Şiirleri

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Late take off, Late arrival. Your carefully structured action list for the next 3 hours gets thrown out as the cabin door closes. You are now confided for 3.5 hours. Lana del Rey. You fall asleep to her deep, floaty voice singing Carmen, Carmen…

Carmen right? Accident or providence?

You listen to it in the taxi. Arriving short of 2 am. Or is it 03:00? You haven’t yet got around the Turkish time difference. So you order a cosmo. For once…the alcoholic kind. Instead of working on your melatonin levels, you catch a second wind. Just before 5 am you are ready – with the presentation. You have 5 hours to sleep.

Good morning Istanbul!

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Radisson Asia side

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I needed a stiff drink after that journey

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…and 5 hours later I woke up to this view…

…Audrey Hepburn supposedly once said. Of course she would as how can one have breakfast at Tiffany’s without well polished nails? An absolute impossibility of course! So I had mine done yesterday in YSL’s Rouge Pop Art. Hot bright red does wonders to sun starved skin.

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