Caffeine commemorations

Oh, sweet caffeine. Right as I’m writing this, my cup of coffee is standing next to me. Almost empty, unfortunately. Though I always like a good cappuccino in the afternoon, I must say that today I needed it. Let me tell you one thing: waking up at 3:45 am every weekday is quite a thing to do.

Quite exhausting, to be precise. I remember that once I wrote a friend about what hell was for me. I wrote that it meant waking up at 4 am every day, eating cat food and doing useless things all day. Except for the cat food, I’m living that hell. I wake up so early to go cleaning, that’s my job for a month, but in fact dust always returns. But of this is hell, well, it could be worse. I didn’t know it would pay so well here…!

Luckily, we take coffee breaks while cleaning, which are the moments I look forward to just a little too much. They have good coffee there, I have to say. Twice every morning, I have my cup of caffeine, and that makes me happy. I’m not even sure whether it wakes me up or not, but at least it gives me a break and liquid. It doesn’t matter whether the caffeine wakes me up, or the action of drinking something, as long as it does something. Needless to ay I’ve come to appreciate a good cup of coffee. I’m no longer stating that it tastes like plants (which I did when I was about 6 years old).

I’ve only recently discovered that I do have some coffee moments that I will never forget. Not only all these coffees at work will be whirling around in my memory forever. Coffee moments can be very intertwined with a wide range of emotions. Who knew!? The coffees at work remind me of the fact that I’m actually able to get up and work at 3:45 am every day, which is a very comforting thought.

Equally as comforting was the coffee moment on my last travel in Poland. It was a part-time solo trip, which I enjoyed more than I could have foreseen. Unfortunately I shared a hostel with very young and very loud people (I would have gladly thrown them into a well). So on the second day, I was very tired and I decided to go have a coffee. I ended up in a brown sofa in a cosy cafe, with barely any people, very good coffee, and my Polish book. It felt good. I was walking around all alone, sat there on my own, and I liked it. This trip made me realize that I’m okay with going to a cafe on my own. That feeling is worth a lot.
Also: very good coffee for not that much money!

Somewhat more sad was the coffee moment the day before leaving Poland. I had high hopes that I could go for a long walk past all the most important places that day, but unfortunately it was drizzling and raining all day. After having packed almost everything, the apartment felt too sad and empty to stay, so I went to our nearby coffee bar and had a very good and big cappuccino. Sadness was inevitable, as the weather was gruesome and the apartment too empty, but having that big, good coffee there was surely a good decision. A decent goodbye where all others failed because of the rain.

Last week I finally finished my bachelor paper and turned it in on the hottest day of the week. I wore my very much adored long black dress, put the thing where it belonged (far, far away from me!) and went for a coffee. By accident I was served by someone I vaguely know, who started speaking Russian with me (how painfully hard that was for me…!) and paid my coffee. It baffled me in the best possible way. Some people are so kind, I love it. While I was drinking this coffee and reading a bad book, someone I adore quite much showed up and we spent a good (warm) afternoon together. The free coffee and pleasant talk in Russian was a good start for this all.

On a related coffee moment, when my parents visited me in Poland, we had a coffee in a place where you had to order at the bar. So I stood there translating from Dutch to Polish. Apparently this caught the attention of the barista, who started asking me how I knew Polish, what and where I was studying and so on. It was hard to understand him, because he was making our coffee with loud machines, but we talked nevertheless. When the coffee was ready and paid, he shook my hand and said: “It was nice meeting you.”
I think I needed more than an hour to grab myself together. How often do baristas tell you “it was nice meeting you?”. How often do they shake your hand? I was genuinely overwhelmed. My parents started planning our wedding immediately. I honestly don’t even remember whether the cappuccino was good or not, but I think it was. At least it was the most memorable barista ever.

Very subtly coffee fought its way into my life and managed to be a part of some memorable moments. Who knew that the drink that tastes like plants would become a source of inspiration for a blog post? (This goes both for the coffee and the blog, actually.) Above all these moments remind me of the fact that actually, I can do a lot more than I thought. I can travel alone, live abroad, get up at 3:45 am, it’s all possible. All you need is good quality coffee. Isn’t that wonderful?

Inspired by Top 5 Coffee Moments (with some tm thing that I cannot reproduce) by Nicholas Conley.

Dear Diary…

There’s something strangely attracting me when I see paper and pens, and notebooks. When I was about 8, I wanted to be a writer, and since that moment, I liked writing. With writing I really mean the action of taking a pen and putting it on the paper, causing it to form symbols that mean something. Not only the action pleases me, but I also like the fact you put your thoughts on paper. And ever since my parents gave me my first diary, I’ve been doing that punctually.

We were on a holiday, a skiing holiday, when I was 8, perhaps 7. I was somewhere close to a closet, which my mother opened, and suddenly a notebook fell down. Of course, nosy as I was, I wanted to know what it was. Because this one wasn’t just a dull notebook, no way, it had the picture of a puppy on the cover and a lock. The fact that it had a lock made clear that it was serious bussiness, you know. This was secret stuff. And I liked having secrets.
It was a gift for me, from my parents who probably had no idea how far this hobby would go. Ever since that day I’ve been keeping a diary, and mostly I write at least once a week. In the beginning it was a matter of reporting what had happened, what was important that day for me. But as nothing important really happened, it turned out to be just a numeration of meaningless details. But hey, I liked it. Later on my diary became the place where I could whine about the people around me. Though I had quite some friends, I was a loner at heart, and a diary makes you less alone then. It was my partner in crime.
Years passed by and I began writing on how hard life was for me, how I didn’t fit in, ect etc. The regular teenage stuff to write. It wasn’t so important what happened during the day, what really mattered was how I felt. I wrote about that the entire time, though I wouldn’t recommend that. Don’t overthink feelings. No good.
Luckily I was never the ‘dear diary’ kind of person. I sometimes named it, but never maintained that kind of thing. It’s not a person, but just paper, which is even better. No overly girly stuff for me, with pink pages and stickers – as I grew up, I wanted regular paper with lines, and not a line saying ‘DATE’ at the top. You can’t force these things. If you try to write every day, you will fail and give up. You should write because you want it and the best way to give  yourself as much freedom and neutrality as needed is by not buying a real diary with ‘DATE’ and a lock. (The keys are all the same anyway, so it’s not even safe.)

Not my dairy, but someone else’s.

The good thing about diaries is that you will forget a lot, but you have written it down so it’s not completely lost. It’s also hilarious to read some parts again… I took myself very, very serious, and that’s pretty funny (and embarrassing). But above all it’s an outlet for what you think and feel. It’s really helped me to put an order to things, to understand things, to deal with everything. And by now, I start to miss that little notebook when it’s not around.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen to all these notebooks – I have quite a lot of them already – and then I wonder if someone would ever read them. I would feel incredible vulnerable, but at the same time I don’t want all of that writing to be lost. Diaries can be important and interesting and touching, they can become very famous. Anne Frank is of course the best example. I must say that there are parts and sentences that even surprised me when reading them again, and I would like to spread them somehow. But then again, maybe it’s just me liking them, and I would feel exposed.

As a drama queen and collector of memories, I cherish my diaries and I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing one. It’s become so important I would miss it too hard. However much I change, its role will just change with me. Nothing is as patient as a notebook, lying there, inviting you to create your own place where you can store your thoughts. Oddly enough experience taught me that one notebook, however big or small it is, will be able to cover a year approximately. I’m almost done with the current one, which is so filled with memories that it will feel weird to put it aside.

But then I’ll take another one and fill that one with new memories that will not be forgotten.

Do you have diary? Did you have one? What does it mean to you?

Darkness – the bright side

It seems like lately I’ve been writing a lot about darkness, sleeping, and melancholia. I guess that kind of sums up how I’m feeling at the moment! Let’s have a look: on darkness I wrote this poem and this story, and this poem has got darkness starring. Sleeping is the main role here, and here as well. Melancholia is sprinkled over all above mentioned posts, but also in this one, and this.

But don’t think though that I’m on the edge of weeping and sobbing all the time. Mostly, I’ve got weird ‘not feeling anything really’ state. Then I’m not sad, but not happy either. I’m something in between and that feels a bit weird and uncomfortable.

But! After all, I’m still alive, and perhaps it’s better not to feel anything rather than to be depressed. To return to the above mentioned posts though, I’ve been talking a lot about darkness lately. Like, a lot. It may seem like darkness is a metaphor for sadness or death or something, and once it used to be, but now it isn’t anymore. I mean, darkness can be really soothing, and that’s something I especially realized lately. I like to keep my curtains closed until noon. It makes me feel like I’m in my own little cave or something.

Next to that, darkness gives good circumstances for a good conversation – it’s easier to be honest and at ease when you don’t have to face the other person. And the night is a very good setting for great memories. When I was thinking about this, I discovered quite some recollections that took place at night or in darkness. So it’s not always a metaphor for bad things, for sadness or anything. It’s also a metaphor for something more peaceful, almost soothing. Like rest. But not the dead kind of rest, if you understand.

What is darkness for you? What are your best memories that took place at night or when it was dark? Do you like nighttime and darkness or not at all? Tell me.