Wir sind 849 Tage um die Welt gereist (11. Juni 2013 bis 07. Oktober 2015). Unsere letzte Station war Bangkok, Thailand.
Wir reisten 71844 Kilometer durch 26 Länder. Jetzt sind wir wieder in Deutschland und planen unsere naechste Reise.

Donnerstag, 15. Januar 2015

My Rubik's Cube

(music recommendation: Emancipator - Natural Cause)

You know, it is nice to get to know a place well. I mean... to 'dive into' a place - this is how we would say it in German.

And I can even tell you how it feels, how I can see that I really arrived here.
First of all, of course, boom, I count in Chinese. I'm obviously so used to pay with Yuan, that I can't even imagine dealing with another currency right now. I don't calculate in Euro, Dollars or whatever. No, for me, the notes with Mao on them is everywhere. (Well...I wish...)
Second, my balcony - under the blue sky, in the afternoon sunshine, under the crystal clear night sky full of stars - became my home. Here I think about life, feel the cold sneaking into my body, listen to music. Here I keep my plants, that need water every few days. Here I create my own reality. This is my quiet spot, if the world around me is too loud.
This place is now mine. It's inside me. Its part of me.
I know, that one of the concrete slabs in front of my seven story building is loose. If I want the activate the light (because most Chinese buildings use Acoustic Switch Light), I just have to drive over it with my blue 'flying bird' bicycle.
1st Floor - The sticker of the Rubik's Cube - (and what a symbol it is!!) - that I put on the fuse box is the warm welcome of the 老外 (Lǎowài - foreigners) from the top floor! J
Half way to the 2nd Floor - The rabbit on the post box wears sunglasses.
It's exactly one hundred steps to the 7th floor.
The light on the 4th floor doesn't work.
The door of apartment 701 is the only one, that is not locked twice. In fact...Never mind!
The sticker of the Hot Air Balloon indicates: Here, People Can Fly.
Strange: The lock opens, if you turn the key anticlockwise.
Nobody would ever find the light switch in the kitchen, unless someone would tell you.
The TV in the living room is the biggest I've ever seen - and never been used. No one knows if that thing works...
It's nice to tame a place like this. And especially that it is a place in China, even though, at the beginning this was probably the country that I had the least in common with. Man... I can't even tell you... how things can change!
Not that I want to say, I became Chinese. Well, I certainly did, in a way. But, in general: Many things don't bother me anymore (not in a nihilistic way). I worry less, understand more, get behind many differences and get over with struggles that I had at the beginning.
It's been a challenge.
But I've made it. These past few months,...actually it's more like half a year already, have changed my life - drastically!
I started studying Chinese language (and continued studying Chinese people). And you don't only study language. And - in my case, at least - It's inevitable to learn more about Chinese culture, if you get into Chinese characters. You find yourself going deep into Chinese modern society and understand more about their mentality. It's mind blowing! For me anyway.
After such an intense time here, I know the city by heart. I know where to get cheap clothes, where I can treat myself with good coffee, where I find French bread, good cheese and cheap pasta. I can meet foreigners in the few bars that are famous among westerners.I know (still too few) awesome places for local food and the shop owners already know what I want. They show it to me with a smile on their lips.

To get to know places also means to respect and treat your surrounding and the people with love. More than anywhere else, I've learned this lesson in Kunming. Once an old homeless lady with laugh lines, wrinkles all over her face and with smiling eyes tickled me so hard, that I couldn't stop laughing. I tickled back and we both were so happy. I've probably seen her many times before. Now I can't forget her face. She also opened my eyes in a way.
And there were plenty of situations like this.

I know that sentences like 'Seize the moment' are kind of worn out and became set phrases for most people. But... If you've ever experienced anything like tears in your eyes, simply because the moment was so overwhelming and beautiful, maybe you can agree with me, that experiencing the present consciously is so powerful and strong.

There is at least one question that might come up regarding this insight.
How did I get there?
It needed everything. I had plenty of time to think. And I got to understand many things better by simply looking at things again and again. I learned to accept and to be less afraid. (And of course I never stop learning!) I had to go through rough patches and experience to be lonesome and to be in the darkest corner - alone, with a hungry soul and a thirsty heart. 
I had to go through something, that Paulo Coelho calls 'the dark night', in his book Brida.
I had to experience joy that shot me up in the clouds and showed me, how amazing all this is. 
But more importantly, than moving from one extreme to the other, I learned how to lead a life in balance.
I found peace, that needed time to move inside me. I needed to be pure in the heart and aware of the moment, free in the mind and alert with all my senses!
And then,...there might be another question.
Can I keep up that feeling?
Well. The only honest answer I can give, is:
We will see.
Time will show.
Now is now. Here is here.

"qui e ora" - Cuihu, Kunming - 4th of January 2015
el. J

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