I spend so much time traveling sometimes I wonder if I can even keep up with it. The year started “slow” with a trip back from New York over New Years to Berlin sometime in the second week in January. After a restful February without any flights anywhere, I began to move again in March making my way to Madrid and London. Then came April where my mom and I got to know Istanbul, Pammukale, and Selcuk in Turkey. May brought on a long flight to Asuncion, Paraguay and with June came Rome, Paris, and another trek down to Asuncion.
I sometimes wonder if there’s even any point in having a home in Berlin at all, given that I am hardly ever there, (thank god for good friends who are happy to water my plants or should I be thanking the gray and rainy summer weather they’ve been having lately?)
Last year I remember feeling so depressed at the weather situation in Europe. A summer filled with rain clouds and constant wetness made me second guess my decision to live in the wilds of Germany. And so I made a vow to spend as much time outside of the country (or continent) as possible this year, given my assumption that it would be the same as before. So far I have kept my promise (and Europe has seemingly delivered!)
While I am excited for a few weeks back in Berlin, mostly to test ride my new bike which has been waiting patiently for me for about a month now, I will be happy to get on the road again in late July to wherever the road may take me.
Reading is like an unquenchable thirst that promises a sweet nectar with every page turned. No matter how much I read, no matter how fast or slow, I feel a dull ache with every book I finish, and an empty gaping hole staring at me until I fill the void with a new treasure.
This thirst causes me to buy books endlessly. I must always keep at least 5 yet unread books at the ready should I a) come across a book that doesn’t do justice to the hunger I had to read it in the first place or, b) finish a book and yearn to immediately dive into the next. The fear of not having enough to read, or even more, not having the best of the best – a page turner, if you will – available for consumption keeps me with ever-stocked shelves (literal or electronic,) of new literature or non-fiction.
The best part about keeping books on hand is every time I open a new book it becomes something I get to discover. I slowly unfold new characters, new settings, new eccentricities, new styles of description. The whole world within those pages opens before my eyes and my imagination takes hold to create a world full of visual and even aural details. In my latest book I am taken to the workshop of a taxidermist described so precisely I feel I am sitting across from his desk watching him marvel at a perfectly preserved Howler Monkey he prizes highly from 30 years prior. Or even taking a bite of the juiciest and plumpest pear described with such precision your mouth waters at the sensory buffet lain before you.
What I’m currently devouring
I often want to share my joy of reading with others only to remind myself they don’t belong to that world, but to another one completely. They are not lost in a different era as in The Time Traveler’s Wife or caught up in the worries or fantasies of a teenage hermaphrodite as is the main character in Middlesex. And in some cases the heyday of a particular piece might lie in a time long forgotten, even though the story unfolds anew for me alone whenever I choose to indulge. As Yann Martel put it in Beatrice and Virgil, “Because though his novel belonged to his past, it was fresh to every reader who read it…”
Reading is a pleasure I wouldn’t give up for the world. Where would I be without the pure human essence of the Paulo Coehlos, the heart wrenching love affairs of the Anita Shreves, the self-discovery of the Judy Blumes, and the laughter and originality of the Bill Brysons?
And so I keep my shelves stocked full of my next favorite books, patiently waiting until I pick their spine from a number of other eager and worthy candidates.
Here we are on Day 7 of our mini Euro trip. After much searching, and even more eating, we’ve been mostly disappointed with the food in both Rome and Paris, (how is that possible?!)
One thing, however, that we’ve found to be consistently delicious, is the Pan au Chocolate from any French Patisserie we pass along the way. I introduce the best Parisian breakfast!
Can anyone help us out of our mediocre food rut?
And here she is!! All 11 kilos of her! Now complete with a heavy duty, top-of-the-line lock, back rack, kickstand, and water bottle holder (so strange the things that aren’t standard fitted with bikes in Germany!)
Can’t wait to test her out!
My long-awaited bike is finally home, safe and sound!