My uncle´s wisdom

This year I went to my hometown not exactly knowing if I actually wanted to.

I had invested a lot of time in my new home Berlin, and built a new life there. There were too many exciting things happening throughout the year of 2014 and I did not really feel like leaving. But christmas time is family time. So I booked my train ticket and packed my things for a week-long trip into my past.

And by the time christmas day came everything went just like expected. I ate too much, spoke too much and had a headeach from my relatives talking very passionately with each other. It seems like we have an unwritten rule in our family that forbids conversation between two people who are seated next to each other. It is much more accepted to shout across the table. The further your conversational partner away, the more points you gain.

I brought my analogue camera to capture parts of the spectacle. And I was also planning to hide behind it and look like I have something to do – just in case it gets boring or I have to escape to fantasy land because my voice is too exhausted.

However, it was not long after I unpacked my camera that my uncle started asking me questions about my analogue-toy. And it turned out he had a really nice, basically unused analogue camera in his house. He invited me to pick it up and give it a second life. An offer I could not deny.

Not the christmas break I expected

Two days later, I was sitting on my uncle´s couch with a glas of wine in my hand. And for the first time we actually had a normal conversation. I don´t know if you know what I mean.. But I tend to see my family members in the roles of how they relate to me. It is my mom, my aunt, grandparents, cousins and so on. Sometimes it is easy to forget that the “aunt” is also a real person with a character, real interests and hobbies. And most of all, that these people have amazing stories to tell and knowledge to share.

And on that evening I realized what I had missed out on all these years. The closest source of wisdom – my family. And when I realized how much I had neglected real connection to my family members a tear rolled down my cheek.

Some wisdom for sharing

Many things my uncle said to me that evening stuck with me and on my way home I started my voice recorder. The wine seemed to have enhanced my memory (or something like that) and listening to the recording now I seem like a drunk philosopher – or rapper. Regardless of my state of recording. I love some of the quotes from my uncle and I created images of them that I would like to share with you.

Clocks

Zoo_happiness

Big Game Life

2 days one night in the morroccian desert

We were suggested a trip to the desert and were both very excited for it since we have never been to a desert before.

The plan for the desert was to get there with a minibus and a group of approximately 15 people. Then we would sleep in a berber tent and drive back the same day. Some camel riding and nice views in the atlas mountains included. We were hooked and booked the package for 50€ each.

It´s funny, usually I am not a big fan of organized group activities where some travel guide is herding you around. But since we only have a week in Morocco and we want to see as much as possible – I was kind of happy about someone taking decisions for me.

Two full days on the bus – yep, that´s what I signed up for

The trip started early in the morning and as we only realized later on the distance to the desert was about 350 kilometers. Driving in a tourist bus with constant pee breaks and other breaks for snacks, lunch and picture taking means the distance was to be covered in the following 8 hours. Nevertheless, the drive was beautiful!

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Winter is winter – even in the desert

We came to Morocco to escape the German winter for a bit. And our gamble was pretty good. During the days temperatures rose up to 20 degrees celsius. Definitely sunglasses weather. What we kind of forgot to put into the equasion of our desert trip was that temperatures during the night went down to freezing. And we were sleeping in a tent. Good that the Berber people gave us one woolen blanket.

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We had a most interesting night with lots of shivers. Eventually we made it to the next day and the Berbers were already waiting in the food-tent for us with hot tea. We all warmed our feet up a bit before getting back on the camel and then back to our bus to drive us to Marrakech. The busride back was a well-used opportunity to catch up on last night´s missed out sleep.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the desert trip very much as an experience. Next time I think I´d rent my own car to drive when and where I want instead of being stuck to a group. And now I know that a desert is not always hot. It can be really cold as well. And then it´s good to have a warm camel in the area to keep you warm.

Pilgrimage to Yves Saint Laurent´s house in Marrakech

On day 2 of our girls trip to Morocco I got overly excited about Yve Saint Laurent´s house there. Nowadays people can visit the house of the famous french designer and his husband/ life partner in Marrakech together with the garden Majorelle – a collection of plants of the artist Mr. Majorelle.

According to our map the house was not far outside of Morocco´s old town – the Medina. The owner of the riad we were staying in told us we could walk the whole way there and would not have to take a taxi. He estimated our walk to be 30 minutes – or one hour. Who cares, when in Morocco?

We agreed to count the process of getting to our goal as being part of the experience and began the walk right after breakfast. We quickly made it out of the Medina and passed some colonial looking and generously designed parks on our way.

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Discovering the new Marrakech

Then we entered in what the moroccans call the “new Marrakech” – the new part of town. I could not believe my eyes! It was like we travelled through time or something. While the Medina seems really traditional and somewhat historic, the new part of town has all the fashion brands you can imagine. Also the people walking around in the “new-town” looked very european, women did not wear scarfs, the streets were full of expensive car brands and buying a coffee at Starbucks for the regular 4€ did not seem a problem in this part of town. What a contrast!

To be honest, I kind of enjoyed this excursion into the “modern” orient and took it as an opportunity to breath deep and sit in the sun for a couple of minutes.

Then we continued to find Majorelle´s garden and in it Yve´s house. I think it took us 3 hours or even more to get there. Sure, we were also stopping on the way, walking slowly and being touristy… But getting there in 30 minutes to one hour is simply impossible.

Majorelle´s Garden – heaven on earth

Finally we entered into Majorelle´s garden. As soon as we passed through the entrance gate, we were greeted by birds happily singing their songs and playing in a fountain. The garden was everything you would imagine of an artificially planted garden in the middle east. Opulent flowers, plants, jungle like bamboo grew higher than 8 Meters and created a beautiful roof for the little pathway that through the whole garden. The whole garden was well-groomed and there was plenty of staff making sure every leaf is on it´s place. I experienced the garden as very calming and peaceful. I could feel the love with which it was created and is kept the way it was originally created.

In Yve´s house is now the Berber musem where visitors can learn about the traditional berber culture in north Africa. Museum was kind of cool… But the house was even better!

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Arrival in Marrakech

It´s a new year… And a new year can become a great year when starting it off with a new journey. That´s why my friend and I decided to take a girls trip to Morocco!

When we arrived in Marrakesh we were completely overwhelmed by … well, by E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. To be honest, the way from the airport to the little riad we had booked was an adventure in itself. The taxi dropped us off at the “entrance” of the so called Medina – Marrakech´s old town with hundreds of small alleys. Then the driver handed us over to a little old man with a mideaval-looking cart. He put our luggage on the cart and lead us through hundreds of people who were casually strolling over the big market place Djemaa el Fna, dressed-up monkeys, dancing snakes, playing children and pregnant women. On top of all this there is also cars honking, motorbikes weaving through masses of people, and donkey carts transporting goods to shops. We felt lost here.

The old man carrier guy brought us to our riad, a moroccan guest house, and waited for his tip that he already suggested to deserve since we were half-way there. Exhausted we gave him a 1€ piece which he seemed to be happy with. Then, we were positively surprised that the riad Alamanda looked exactly as promised on the pictures.

Oh boy was I exhausted from our little walk. I felt like hiding in the hostel. The world out there just seemed too much. But we decided we needed to get some cash from the ATM and get a feeling for the crazy place out there. So we dared the first walk in the Medina on our own…

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