Five years later, they are all still here. Mads, Nicklas, Jacob, Daniel. The guys I used to hang out with when I lived in Copenhagen. The stories we share now over coffee, sitting in bars, or sitting on living room couches reveal heartaches suffered, cancers survived, projects started, and lovers found. Meeting them brings up memories of sweet moments shared half a decade ago. Just Matthias has moved to Berlin, but I am staying in his old apartment and so am reminded of him anyhow. Continue reading “The healthy life in København”
My room is the room above the kitchen. When I wake up, it is just beginning to dawn outside. I open the little window overlooking the garden, the sunflower fields are covered in a soft blanket of damp morning mist, and I can smell that Sara is baking bread downstairs. It is August, a few weeks before my thirtieth birthday, and I am on the French country side. Continue reading “My beautiful Lola”
On Saturday afternoons the sidewalk in front of Saint Andrew’s smells of fish and salty water. The morning market has a seafood stand, and little pools of Irish ocean color the pavement around the stand a dark, smelly grey that lingers long after the market is over and the stand dismounted. When I pass by, I wonder who’s bought fish that day and whom they will cook it for, and I also wonder if other people wonder about things like this as well.
Continue reading “Vermeer on Sunday”
The question of how much of my time I spend doing things I love versus just doing things occupies lots of my brain’s capacity. Like, what the hell am I doing in Ireland out of all places? It’s gorgeous here, mystical, totally unexpected. People say things like, Hey lads, and What’s the craic?, they eat lots of butter, and I love them for it. But still. I don’t mind going to the office either, I don’t mind calculating things and analysing things and planning things, but it doesn’t fill my heart with joy. Here’s what does: Jumping into freezing cold oceans, indulging in scrumptious veggie meals, feeling connected to people. I guess it’s the latter that keeps me at Google, because I genuinely do like a lot of the people there. Continue reading “The things I love”
I suppose people change and relationships end, despite of what best-selling novels and Hollywood Christmas movies would like me to believe. I suppose life doesn’t always come with happy ends. Diseases aren’t cured, and distances aren’t overcome. Fathers die and don’t make peace with mothers. Promises and plans of a future life together disappear in nothingness. I suppose that’s a dismal, yet somewhat realistic view of the world. The thing here is this. I really don’t want to be realistic. Continue reading “I suppose & Swedish summer”
I’m on Bali. Bali is one of over 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia. Yes, that’s 17 thousand and not a typo. Did you know Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world with 245 million inhabitants? I did not. Bali is about one and a half times the size of Mallorca. Unlike most other places in Indonesia, it is predominately Hindu, rather than Muslim. What do I do here, you ask? I am staying in what one might call the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud. The city is nestled in the rice fields that line the beginning of the island’s central mountain terrain.
Continue reading “Bali, Hashimoto, and other things with foreign names shaping my life”
The day Paul Walker died we were in New York City. We had dinner reservations at Acquavit that night, where we found ourselves indulging in everything tasty Scandinavia may have to offer amidst warm light and warmer service. There were plates that married tapioca pearls and quail egg, langoustine and sea urchin, sardines and elderberries, foie gras and radish, cod and sunchoke, squab and apple, white chocolate and a bird’s nest, smiles and hands holding each other across the table. Continue reading “The day Paul Walker died”
Every Saturday, Nicola and I embark on adventures we like to group under the heading ‘Special Saturday.’ We take turns in deciding what novel activity could fill our Saturday, and have a lot of fun plotting during the week to reveal our plans to the other on Saturday morning. Last week’s visit to the Botanical Garden had been my ‘Special Saturday’ pick. So this week it was Nicola’s turn and he decided we should take a scooter trip to Sausalito. Here we go.
Continue reading “Special Saturday”
California is sunny and hot these days, San Francisco fog clouds nothing but my memories. It has almost been a month since we took off for Lihue International Airport. Can you believe this?
Continue reading “Kaua’i Part II & other stories”
I am sitting at the Copenhagen airport, clinging on to what is probably my third cup of coffee this morning—who’s keeping count at this point—in the hope it might heal the current state of pain my brain is suffering after only 3 hours of sleep last night. Memories of the week at home sooth my state of mind. Besides running endless errands, going home in my case always means indulging in delicious meals, indulging in many pleasant conversations with my grandparents, about the past and the future, and about how to live in the present despite them both, and finally, indulging in cuddles with the world’s cutest puppy, Madame Flo.
Continue reading “Home again”
Oh, life. One moment things are are steady, the pace of life as per usual, the course of events calm and orderly. The next moment, you find yourself packing a suitcase for an out-of-the-blue cross-Atlantic flight home for document-related matters, demanding in-person-appearance and illustrating the nuisance that is German bureaucracy like nothing else. It’s a routine event shaking up my routine.
Continue reading “Cross-Atlantic departures, of the unexpected type”
In which I am sending nothing your way but much love, pictures of this delicious breakfast and of this delicious man, who when sent to Trader Joe’s to purchase Tofu, returns with Tofu and a bunch of red roses. Happy Wednesday!
Continue reading “Tofu and roses”
Our upcoming Hawaii vacation fills me with a sense of indescribable excitement, joy, and anxiety. Bikini anxiety. Which I write jokingly, obviously, because all of the beaches on Hawaii are so secluded, no one will actually see my non existent abs in nothing but two small pieces of water-resistant clothing, right? Right. Jokes aside, there are more important things to focus on in summer than obtaining the perfect beach body and that’s finding the perfect frozen yogurt place. Because you only live once, and life is too short for icy frozen yogurt, and because of all the other inspirational sayings about froyo.
Continue reading “Froyo, yolo, and that beach body”
I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I am a sucker for all things sweet involving oatmeal and fruit. There are few things I enjoy as much as chewy, nutty, wholesome bites of a granola bar with my afternoon cappuccino. Except for that one caveat: store-bought granola bars are either so loaded with fat and sugar they cover a grown man’s daily calorie intake requirements, or–and I’m pretty sure this is worse–they taste of sticky nothingness with a hint of artificial sweeteners.
Continue reading “Oatmeal bars with strawberries: The chewy, healthy, guilt-free kind”
If you have previously heard about the concept of Third Culture Kids–people who have spent significant parts of their developmental years outside their parents’ culture, and as a result have developed their own ‘third culture’–then shame on you. How is it possible that no one has ever explained my struggles, relationship patterns, confusion, and general me-ness to me, by pointing out that I am, quite clearly, a Third Culture Kid?
Continue reading “Week 29”
One of my favorite things to do in San Francisco by far is eating dim sum for lunch on the weekend. Dim sum are bite-sized and steamed pieces of Chinese heaven, filled with lobster and water chestnuts and snow pea tendrils and ginger and pine nuts and pork and cilantro and every now and then also carrots. Dim sum is just. So tasty.
Continue reading “The best dim sum in San Francisco”
I was a bit skeptical, I will admit. But it turns out that stuffing zucchini flowers with silken tofu was a good idea, and one that pleased the palate. But don’t take my word for it. If a man, who considers prosciutto to be a good side for a plate of meat, eats a soy-bean-stuffed flower and asks for more, it’s really good.
Continue reading “Zucchini flowers stuffed with silken tofu: Surprisingly, this is not only edible, it is delicious”
Oh, it’s summer, and summer means it’s wedding time. Chances are all of your early thirty something friends are getting married right now. Ours are. We kicked off the wedding season this weekend, and joined Nora and Enrique as they partied away into holy matrimony. Don’t you just love this time of year? The endless flower arrangements, glasses of sparkling, drunken relatives, and decadently sweet wedding cakes? To my immeasurable disappointment, the latter two were mysteriously absent from Nora and Kike’s wedding.
Continue reading “The marrying type”
Scandinavians are peculiar in many ways, and I say that with the utmost love and affection towards humankind of the Northern European variety. After having lived in Copenhagen for some years, as well as in the unofficial capital of Sweden that is Barcelona—I met so many Swedes there it made me wonder whether anyone was actually left in Sweden—part of me likes to secretly consider herself scandinavianized. Driving to IKEA in California makes me feel homey and whole and that’s a sensation brought forward not only by hotdogs you get to top yourself and $1 soft serve cones.
Continue reading “Week 28”
As the true butternut squash
afficionado fanatic addict that I am, it could only take me so long before finding a way to incorporate this golden fruit of deliciousness into my favorite meal of the day – breakfast. That’s right: butternut squash for breakfast. Because it is so good. As a result of the detestable scarcity of butternut squash in my native Germany, it isn’t a squash in my mind anyhow, but more of an exotic fruit that grows in the lushest corner of paradise.
More of this deliciousness!!
Do you know that moment when you wake up and crave strawberry marmelade, and have no strawberry marmelade at home, but strawberries and sugar, and you figure that’s all you need to make strawberry marmelade yourself, and then you go and make it? Exactly, that moment.
Continue reading “Lazy strawberry marmelade recipe: Takes 5 minutes, is healthy, tastes insanely delicious”
Yesterday, my dear friends, was the 4th of July. Also known as the day America celebrates its independence. What one must really know about this date as a European:
Continue reading “Fourth of July, explained”
So, the state of California has decided that the eternal enemy of humanity is called gluten and that anyone looking to live happily and bloat-free ever after must stop consuming gluten immediately. Are you ready for this?
Continue reading “Gluten, it’s the enemy”
As any good story, this one begins with an ending. And some French toast.
After 6 months of working in a job that somehow is a pretty big deal to people at business schools and at some other places as well, I have quit. I bought a ticket and got on a plane to
Continue reading “Why are we so scared of living? Of when I quit my job and got on a plane to San Francisco”
It is Sunday, I am sitting in the café around the corner from my apartment, and the city outside is grey and cold. They just took a batch of freshly baked croissants out of the oven, and a soft, buttery smell fills the air. The last month has flown by, and lost itself somewhere between
Continue reading “Between here and other places”
Oh, you wonderful Magnolia! Here’s the promised update on our culinary experience at the restaurant, which the Michelin guide refers to as the “young star of national Italian cuisine.” How poetic. Let me tell you this up front – the service was more attentive last year, when we enjoyed the incredible cuisine of this place on a weekday, with only one or two other tables occupied. Last night, in contrast, the restaurant was
Continue reading “Cigar macaroons and potato pebbles – a tale of fine dining”
A bit of sun, a bit of shopping, and lots of good food – in other words. Today we wandered through the sun filled streets of Ravenna, had pasta and fish for lunch, and so many espressi that no one could keep count. And while it would never be my intention to make you feel even the slightest trace of jealousy, I may have to mention briefly here that
Continue reading “Un pó di sole, un pó di shopping, and all the delicious food you could ever want”
Here it is: The obligatory – yet no less heart-felt – Christmas greeting blog post from Italy! The coffee here is bitter and sweet, the streets lit by Christmas lights. Yesterday Nicola and I bought and decorated a Christmas tree, sat in front of the crackling fireplace in the living room, and
Continue reading “Buon Natale!”
Salve from Bella Italia! Welcome to a world of perfect cappuccini and paste for breakfast. And it doesn’t just taste, it even looks like heaven here. A couple hours south of Venice, we’re so close to the ocean, we’re constantly surrounded by thick, dense fog. Or clouds. Who can tell the difference.