Thursday, December 31, 2015

Carpe diem, if you like

Dear future hubster,
The older I get, the more I hear, and, much worse, the more I say "those were the days". But then the more I say it the more I know that although this statement carries a certain proportion of truth, it is not entirely correct. Especially the implication that compares "those" days to "these", suggesting that "these" are not the days.
And that is so wrong. These are the days, dear future hubster. These are the days we're living, these are the days to make ridiculous mistakes and achieve great goals.
These are the days that are never coming back; they will only become "those" days.

Monday, December 14, 2015

We are all made of stars

Dear future hubster,
can we go stargazing sometimes? By which I mean, actually going somewhere remote (or on the roof), and watch the stars? The shooting ones, in particular? I can of course always be impressed and carried away by anybody having (or pretending to have) any knowledge about the stars, since all I can recognize is the Orion, the Big Dipper, and, since recently, the Southern Cross, but watching the shooting stars and having a wish for each and every one of them would be even more of a cliché romantic experience. 
I would probably wish that we can come and watch them again and again, at least twice a year. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The fist and the stove, part 3

Dear future hubster,
The very idea of that proverbial picture perfect housewife, the one who looks impeccable but doesn't look like she's trying to, who is a goddess in the kitchen and in the bedroom, is defeated when any given woman is throwing a dinner party. There is no sequence of getting yourself pretty and having all food ready and fresh where your hair wouldn't smell like kale chips, garlic bread, or chocolate muffins.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Makes the heart grow fonder

Dear future hubster,
I think everybody should be in a distance relationship at some point. Not for a long time, because it sucks, but for a bit longer than a weekend apart. 
Of course nobody wants to be alone, and when you find your person, you simply want to be with them all the time. And that's the trap. It's so easy to happily become part of a team, a couple, a unit, to be "one item", and forgetting to still be an individual. 
If you are geographically apart, you have no choice but to have a life on your own. You can't identify yourself on a daily basis as the boyfriend/girlfriend/secret lover/sassy spouse/significant other of somebody. Being in a relationship is part of who you are, but it shouldn't be all that you are. And when you're separated by distance, you grow more confident of yourself as a person, you develop an "I can do this alone" attitude. And that's healthy! Your boyfriend/girlfriend/secret lover/sassy spouse/significant other chose you for who you are as a person, not for who you are as half a couple. And if you know you can manage to be by yourself, you become a lot less desperate - being with somebody becomes a blessing, not a need.

I know, I'm so wise. I could be a self-help book. Only that I actually don't like waking up alone.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A life skill I don't have

Dear future hubster,
please note that I am probably the worst negotiator on the face of the planet. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that
1: you shouldn't send me to an African market because I would pay the sticker price. My mind just can't accept the idea that there is a price that is not to be taken seriously by any means, and we need to engage in some obscure ritual, at the end of which I'm probably still being screwed over, but maybe a little less.
2: I'm not to be trusted with buying a car with diplomatic discount (or any discount, actually). Same as above, I have a hard time haggling for something we both know I should get. 
3: if you want something, or don't want something, you should just say it please. I get very anxious in conversations where I suspect there is a condition I'm not aware of because it wasn't explicitly communicated. You don't want aubergine four times a week, say it. But don't come up with pseudo-scientific arguments about the effect of too much purple food on the human brain.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

To the nines

Dear future hubster,
Even though I will tell you that in my age it takes a significant amount of time to prepare for such an event, and I will have to spend the next day recovering on the sofa, please note that I do enjoy a fancy dancy night out time and again. You know, red dress, black tie, waltz the night away and all that jazz. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And difficult choices at that

Dear future hubster,
have you noticed how life is but a sequence of choices?
If I put on sunglasses to walk to the bathroom across the parking lot, I feel stupid. If I don't, I look angry. Not to mention wrinkles.
You understand my dilemma, don't you?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Then we can move on to the Global Goals

Dear future hubster,
let's focus on the important things. Can we stop this three kisses on the cheek business already? It's tiring, confusing, and utterly unnecessary. One is largely enough. In most cases, that already is a generous gesture. I'd rather just wave.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Literally or figuratively

Dear future hubster,
I don't know how much it tells about my commitment issues, but I never fully unpack.

Monday, November 16, 2015

To keep your balance, you must keep moving

Dear future hubster,
sometimes, when you spend a weekend in a haze, captured and overwhelmed by what is happening in the big world, and in your own little world, and first you're shocked and your emotions overtake and overbear your day, but then it pushes you further down the road to question your patterns of thinking, the way you form your opinions, what you consider important and why - you spend those days entirely isolated from the outside world, looking out your window at the rainy streets, feeling that everything is so unreal.
But then comes Monday, and Mondays, dear future hubster, are powerful creations. It still rains, you're still processing the mandatory regular changes of your own little world, but in the meantime, you have to go on with your mundane routines of putting on clothes, getting to work, declaring "there is cake in my office", fighting with the coffee machine (and losing), pushing paper and interacting with people. 
And then you find yourself reminded that despite all bad news, or no news, existential crises, moments of dark self-doubt, of loneliness and bitterness, there is a life out there. One we can't ignore, but one we can and should make a little better every day. One that may not be a victory march all the time, but one that is real, come rain or sunshine.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

And then you're responsible for your rose

Dear future hubster,
have you ever considered how making (new) friends is a deeply unnerving experience, requiring quite some courage?
Basically, you meet a person, observe them for a while, evaluate their pros and cons, and at some point you decide. You decide to willingly make yourself exposed and vulnerable, and say:
"Hey, you, person! I kinda like you. So here you go: all my dirty little secrets, teenage crushes, barely acceptable political views, complete ignorance in most domains, questionable choices in the 3M (music, movies and men), cheap wisdom and childish manners, on a silver tray. Over to you. Please be gentle, this is all I have."
And all this leap of faith based on what? That it worked out last time you tried? 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's where your spare contact lenses are

Dear future hubster,
if you've been on the road for a certain amount of time and are longing for a real bed and not having to dig in your suitcase every single morning, then it doesn't matter that you're not citizen of the country you're going back to. When, after 5 hours of waiting in transit, finally they call your last flight for boarding, you will say, and mean it: "At last. I'm going home."

Monday, October 19, 2015

I'm ok with that

Dear future hubster,
If going to Kigali for the weekend feels like going to Brussels used to, because it takes about the same amount of time and sometimes I'm as eager to get into the taxi and sleep as I was looking forward to that train ride, and I'm never sure which language to use and always wonder whether they will get offended if I pick the wrong one, and I always hopelessly get lost, but appreciate the shopping opportunities and the different vibe the city gives off, then what does it mean? That I'm trying to relate everything I experience to something I used to know, to delusion myself to a comfort zone that doesn't really exist? Or does it mean that no matter how far I go, I will always look for the same things, and look at them the same way?
That no matter the scenery, I will always be me?

Monday, October 12, 2015

How dare they

Dear future hubster,
although I'm old-fashioned enough to still frown at the idea of selfies, I'm also vain enough to appreciate good pictures taken of me. Taken, as in by somebody else. 
And somewhat related to that, I will always be a tiny bit jealous of great pictures taken of you. Taken, as in by somebody else than me.
Because somebody else had the chance to be there in that moment, in the sunrise, under the rainbow, in the snowfall.
With you.

Monday, October 5, 2015

If you never try you'll never know

Dear future hubster,
I'm sure some wise person said it before, but still: being brave does not mean not being afraid of anything. That's rather just being stupid. 
Being afraid (nervous, worried, scared sh*tless) about something (because the unknown is so terrifying, because you have considered all things that can go wrong, because you're so unsure of yourself and what you're capable of), but taking a deep breath and doing it anyway; now that's a lot closer to what I understand as brave.
(Occasionally it can also qualify as being stupid though.)

Friday, September 25, 2015

That, or watch me being high on double coffee every morning

Dear future hubster,
my mokka makes coffee for two. Which comes very handy in this current life of living with people, and makes me the unrivaled coffee queen of any food-related event I host (and frankly, all events I host are food-related).
But sometimes I picture mornings when I wake up in a life and flat of only you and me and the baby goat on the balcony, and then I get anxious about my mokka. Waste of coffee is not something I can accept. 
So if you are not a coffee drinker (I heard those creatures exist), please make a point by walking into my life with a mokka for one.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I look good for my age though

Dear future hubster,
the self-conscious part of me sometimes spins out of control and makes me wonder for days:
He said "Since you're the most senior around". Did he just call me old???

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Nothing I have is truly mine

Dear future hubster,
sometimes I notice I fall back into the same pattern: I'm looking out for kitchen stuff (currently tiny bowls for soy sauce and slightly bigger ones for snacks and apéro), I am thinking of redecorating my living space, I fix the loose hems and sew pression buttons on all my shirts as boob situation so requires, I actually consider buying larger items for when I grow up I have my own place.
The romantic midle-class lingo calls it nesting; in reality, I'm just trying to make a home.
And it is a rather scary feeling. To the point that it is often accompanied, and sometimes replaced by the urge to run away.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So please brush up on your Kundera

Dear future hubster,
please don't be surprised when you see me inspecting your book collection basically the first time you let me in your apartment. It will help me pick up hints about secret hidden corners of your personality, but more importantly, that way I could know whether you already own two of the most important books about (human) relationships.
It would be a huge relief if you did, because I usually hand them out upon breakups, and I have no intention quitting you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Dimples are allowed

Dear future hubster,
I hope you have a wicked sense of humour.
Because I like to think I'm funny, and I will require your confirmation on that.
In other words: I will enjoy making you laugh. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's times like these when my faith I feel

Dear future hubster,
for a very long time I didn't understand why the concept of having a crush was forced on me by life. I didn't understand why I need to be tortured with butterflies and sleepless nights for something that doesn't go anywhere. For something, that in all fairness may not even exist but in my head.
But the thing is, it's good for you! We all know how it feels when you want to impress somebody. You want them to realize you are the best thing they can have. 
You make an effort to look good (mind you, swahili has an actual verb for that), but that's the least of it. You want to appear smart, and funny, and entertaining, educated, witty, caring, independent, sporty. You want to be a good cook, a good listener, a good friend, you want to be motivational, supportive, blunt, honest, accepting, kind, curious, intriguing. 
You want to be everything they would find attractive. 
Except, you probably don't have the faintest idea what they find attractive. So all those things you want to be for them is actually your idea of being a good, a better version of yourself.
And you make all those efforts, and they may or may not acknowledge your existence, but at the meantime you acknowledge the existence of your own better version. And that's quite a revelation, and a reassuring one at that. "I'm a person I find attractive!".

(Disclaimer: no revelation, no matter how reassuring, can make the eventual rejection sting any less. Just sayin'.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What have you learnt from the last one?

Dear future hubster,
beyond the critically acclaimed yet very theoretical and philosophical benefits of sharing your life with somebody of a different culture, language, history, there are some very practical ones to that too. Ones that stay with you long after the person has walked out of your life.
I, for instance, excel in backwards parking and make competitive banitza.

Monday, August 31, 2015

And who doesn't like another chance?

Dear future hubster,
before the eternal summer took over and I lost all my remaining sense of time (never had much of it to begin with), I used to get excited about things returning to normal in September even long years after I'd finished school. 
With the new school year, weather would become forgiving, the colours would burst into reds and ambers and fiery oranges, people I care about would return tanned, rested, energetic. It has always been a time of getting back, of "I've missed you!"-s and "I have so much to tell you!"-s.
It has always been, and in my head it still is, a time for a clean start. Last year's mistakes are left behind, and we are given a new chance to learn, to improve, to make brand new mistakes.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Where all the things meet

Dear future hubster,
I'm afraid I'm developing a twisted, with-or-without-you love affair with (my corner of) Africa.
A love story we both know to be doomed from the beginning. One that we both know can't go on for much longer, let alone forever. One that we, I, am nonetheless unable to quit just yet.
Because even though the everydays tire and annoy me sometimes, there are moments when the beauty of it just hits me, intensely as the green of the Rwandan hills, and leaves me with an over-exaggerated, deep longing, a bundle of feelings I'm not ready to give up.
In those moments of madness, I try to remind myself that I'm looking at this unreal affair, that has grown on me slowly and sneakily, from inside an air-conditioned car, where „You Are So Beautiful” and „You Light Up My Life” play. That I'm excited about coming home because I've been away, and there is nowehere else I belong right now. That it's always easier to stay with what has become familiar than it is to move on to the overwhelmingly unknown.
This surreal relationship is also borderline abusive, in the sense that sometimes I feel guilty for wanting to leave at some point, for knowing I will leave. I feel guilty beause it is not enough, because I think I am not trying hard enough; no matter how well I know that leaving will be the only way for me to go on.
And even though I know I haven't been this happy, this aware of being happy for quite a while, I somehow also know that my feelings are this intense because I haven't been this aware of something eventually, but inevitably, coming to an end either.
It is beautifully painful, and let's be honest, dear future hubster: we both know I love bittersweet.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Still don't have a selfie stick

Dear future hubster,
Have you thought about the evolution of people taking pictures (of people taking pictures)?
First, there was the urge of documenting the moment. If you were the one doing so, you wanted to make sure that the moment looks absolutely wonderful. If somebody else was doing it for you, it was crucial that you look absolutely wonderful in the moment.
Now we have moved on to the need of documenting our presence in the moment, absolutely wonderful all around.
When was the last time you didn't feel the need to do any of this, but just try _living_ the moment?
Hint: it's not easy. But the self-help book in me says it's probably worth it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

And so does the show

Dear future hubster,
whenever we are facing a situation of loss, or simply a change we don't like but we don't get to choose, please, please don't give me the "life goes on" routine that is somehow always accompanied with a dark look that implies "... although I don't know what for".
The fact that life goes on should always be stated with joy, and a hint of hope. Going on is the best thing life can do!  
Because you know what else life does? It passes. And the next thing you know you're dead. (Not trying to be dramatic here or anything.)
So as long as it goes on and we're still here, there is a reason to celebrate. Bring out the wigs now.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Where your book begins

Dear future hubster,
when asked about your motivations, you need to consider the people. Fear, faith, dreams, and people.
People who believe in you and whom you don't want to disappoint. People who need you (I'm a big champion at that, going the extra mile because somebody needs me to).
But also people who don't believe in you. People you want to prove wrong, who try putting you down, who make you question whether you can actually do it. They ignite the famous „watch me” reaction, and that, dear future hubster, often makes you do great things.
The there are those you admire, those you look up to. Their mere existence is inspirational, but it goes further. You want to grow, to be better at who and what you are, because you want to be good enough for them. (Ironically enough, you probably have always been good enough for them, but that's a whole different story.)
And then, my favourite group: those who don't really care. They are motivational, and you know why? Because you can change that! You can turn their "whatever" to "why not", to "fine". Sometimes, yes, it will become a "no way in hell", but that's still better than the original "meh". 
Oh I love me some indifferent people. They are a goldmine of possibilities. And that, dear future hubster, is what really is motivational. To see a pool of unexplored possibilities. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ICE ICE baby

Dear future hubster,
do you have any idea how awkward it may feel to ask somebody if you can put them as your emergency contact person? I mean, if you have to ask, doesn't it defeat the complete idea? Shouldn't my ICE person be the closest thing I have to family, and, by definition, know who they are? 
Also, can I please have your contact details and be done with it, once and for all? ;)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

That's dedication!

Dear future husbter,
you don't know just how far you can go until you've made béchamel with soy milk. To go with your zucchini lasagna.

Monday, August 3, 2015

We call it socially selective

Dear future hubster,
I think I'm officially a closet introvert: I consider my weekend a major achievement not only because of having made it up and then down the mountain, but also, and almost more importantly, because I have spent it with a group of people I hadn't previously known, and was anxious about it only about half the time. I didn't even panic!
I think I kick ass. Or, more accurately, I would, if I could move any part of my body.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I'm going to take it as a compliment, in any case

Dear future hubster,
if someone tells me I look smashing, do they mean I look like I could smash things? People? Souls? Did they actually call me potentially kick-ass?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Not dating material

Dear future hubster,
I really hope you are a creative one, and have a solid plan for meeting me. Because here's a hint: that good (?) old dating thing ain't gonna work with me.

I'm not even sure I understand what "dating" means, but I do know the idea stresses me out. When I (finally) meet you, dear future hubster, I want to feel comfortable. I want it to be simple and relaxing. Ok, relaxing could mean that I'm screaming my lungs out because you took me to an amusement park and we are on a rollercoaster (excellent idea, by the way), or that I swear like a trucker (I'm no lady, you'd better get used to it), because my everything hurts because we are climbing a wall. Or because I can't figure out how to put together that sneaky piece of Ikea furniture, and NO! I don't need you to fix it for me. Just let me have my moment.  

But please, please don't put me in a situation where I have to dress up and go to some lovely restaurant and pretend I have manners. Don't get me wrong, I love dressing up and there is nothing wrong with lovely restaurants (I like food, too), and on occasions I can actually be well-mannered, but... _knowing_ that it's a date and I will be measured and evaluated is just terrifying. 

You will probably have to date me without me noticing. Or, you know, you could just... come home.  Honestly, if food has to be involved in my evaluation, we're both better off if I cook. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not everything is a twistcap

Dear future hubster,
I believe that every grown-up woman, regardless of social or marital status, skin or hair colour, sexual or mental disorientation, should be able to open the basic bottles without any help or trouble. And by basic I mean water, beer, wine, bubbly. Help may be asked in serious cases of jars. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

For Paris is a moveable feast

Dear future hubster,
silly it may sound considering all the places I can visit from my home base in the lands of eternal summer, sometimes, and recently more and more, I just unexpectedly miss Paris. Actually, and quite nostalgically, France as a whole.
Could we please meet there, take trains and walks and boats, travel the countryside, be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A heart that hurts is a heart that beats

Dear future hubster,
can we please stop once and for all with all the BS about not getting hurt? It's an impossible hope and an ignorant goal. If you get involved, you get hurt. That simple. 
If you want it in a fairy tale framework, there you go: If we are really, really lucky, and this is for real and for happily ever after, one of us will still get hurt when suddenly the other one is gone. Nobody lives forever, I heard.
So if you didn't want to hurt me, or get hurt in the process, you shouldn't ever have come anywhere close me. Because the moment we decided we care, we accepted that sometimes it is going to be deeply painful. That's how you know you're still alive. Good old Bono said it himself. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Even cases of man flu

Dear future hubster,
you should know that I am ready to take care of you whenever you're sick. I have tested my methods on the boys, and it has been proven: almost all health problems can be cured with ginger tea and/or pálinka.
And if those fail, there is always love.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thy name is woman

Dear future hubster,
while it's safe to declare that I quite enjoy where I am, geographically and in a more figurative sense, sometimes, when I walk around in the other world, I look at the shop windows with a certain envy. (I almost lick them, as the French would say.) For brief moments I wish I lived and worked in a place that would justify more regular purchase of clothing items. Also, where I could wear a little shorter, a little tighter, a little bolder pieces from time to time, and still feel comfortable. 
Ah, the worries I have in this life.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Dear future hubster,
I have come to the conclusion that we can have the best of both worlds. Only that we have to put up with the worst of both, too.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I don't think of your smile

Dear future hubster,
your Captain Obvious future wife strikes again. And tells you how missing somebody feels.
Odd, that is.
Because you think you are prepared for it, you expect that big void somewhere at stomach level, and you are surprised and almost disappointed when you can't feel it. You are missing the void, really?
Thing is, it will kick you like being homesick kicks you in a supermarket, somewhere between the candy and the cheese aisle. Randomly, antipoetically, without quiet and sad background music.
You don't miss people 24/7. You miss them in situations they used to be present, and you expect them to be present in. You miss them when you wake up and they are not there, looking grumpy and not talking to you. You miss them when you wear something they used to love. Or make fun of. You miss them when you cook their favourite food; you miss them when you keep checking everything you buy to fit their allergies. You miss them when you make a stupid joke nobody else would understand; you miss them when you use an expression you picked up from them. Indeed. You miss them when you do something that used to drive them crazy; you miss them when you wash your bananas. And always keep your frisbee clean. You miss them every time, and painfully so, when you remember something you said once and you think hurt them and you never stopped feeling guilty for it, even though they probably wouldn't even remember the incident. You miss them when you see a movie they would enjoy; when you listen to music they couldn't stand. You miss them when you walk down a street where you used to spot them; you miss them when you go to their favourite bar. You miss them when you suddenly have a groundbreaking thought you want to share; you miss them when you want to tell them that a lady on the street complimented on your dress. And the guy wanted to sell you a painting of Martin Kobler. 
Basically, you miss them every time life reminds you that they are not where they used to be. That is, around you.

The Earth says hello

Dear future hubster,
sometimes it's worth getting up a little earlier and watch the world come alive for another day. Even though here the sun rises fast and almost unnoticed, there is something promising in the early hours. The air is cooler, the noise level is just starting to rise, the brave people jogging on the streets are a motivating sight, and the day is full of possibilities, because we haven't yet had time to mess it up. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The right kind of pilot

Dear future hubster,
If I'm ever accused of never being fully satisfied with given situation, in certain cases I may have to plead guilty as charged.
It appears that while I certainly wish for some attention and feel unappreciated if I don't receive any, I also dislike and feel uncomfortable if there is too much of it, or if it comes from sources and in ways I didn't particularly wish for.
In other words: attention is flattering, but only if it comes from whom I want it to, the way I want it to, when I want it to.
I may be flexible in all other aspects.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

What if there was no time

Dear future hubster,
sometimes I wonder whether you should be addressed as "Dear Could-have-been Hubster". 
Because there is a chance, and probably one that gets fatter every day, that by the time you and I meet, you will have grown tired of waiting for me and built up your pretty normal life with your pretty normal wife and pretty normal kids (optionally pretty normal dog), while I have been doing what felt right, or what felt the least wrong, or what I wasn't afraid of doing but wasn't dead bored thinking of doing. 
None of us has done it wrong, but doesn't it scare you from time to time that one day you'll be sitting there, hit by the sudden thought that "bam! she could have been the one!" and knowing too well that that boat is gone?
(Side note, albeit an important one: pretty normal is not something I could do.)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Strawberries, cherries, and an angel's kiss in spring

Dear future hubster,
where seasons change, where snow and rain and heat still come and go, where days get longer to get shorter again - summer nights smell different there. A hint of absolution for sins we don't remember, a taste of promises we have no intention believing, a glimpse of daydreams that haunt us in the midday sun. They smell like everything could be possible - if only we weren't so afraid.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Don't mind the spelling

Dear future hubster,
at some point, there will be drunk texting. Or at least late night texting. It will be existential, philosophical, and most probably will make no sense to you, because I tend to leave out mildly important details - whom or what do I refer to, for instance. 
Nevertheless, it's important. The days when I randomly drunk texted just about anyone are long gone. Nowadays I only do it to people I trust, have something to say to, and, most importantly, think of late at night, drunk or not. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

From this place I love I've had enough

Dear future hubster,
Not having the faintest idea of where I'm going may be one of the most defining conditions in my life, but one thing has become clear recently: "back" is not a destination. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

A field experience

Dear future hubster,
I've expressed the requirement of you being willing to join me in my festival haze, and although I'm not even sure anymore that it has to be you, it never harms to tell you that: 1. If and when said common festival experience of ours happens, I will not look pretty. Well, I will not look pretty when it starts, and will look absolutely destroyed by the end. and 2. There will be extended periods of times when I won't be talking to you. Don't take it personally, that's just how it is.
Actually, it's rather a good thing. The less put together I dare look and the longer I can be not talkative with you, the more comfortable I feel. On the way to intimacy, I guess. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I always come with bags

Dear future hubster,
you will find out very quickly anyway, but here's an early warning for you: when I show up in your life, or anybody's life or house, even if it's only for a visit, the impact is visible immediately. My personality of a significant size manifests through exploded suitcases and growing number of bags all over the place. And sunglasses. And pens. Books. Keys.
Also, when I leave, temporarily or for good, I tend to leave traces behind. Watch out for jewelry in particular, but I've had clothes sent after me several times too. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

On the yellow brick road

Dear future hubster,
While trying to be wise and supportive and understanding about the ups and downs of the expat life, I suddenly realized that there is one deeply intimidating field where I can't offer any advise or share experience, for I have none. I have never returned. When I go, I go somewhere else, but so far, never back.
That is apparently something I yet have to learn.
But then again, maybe it isn't. Maybe I don't. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tell me more tell me more

Dear future hubster,
I had to realize and therefore I have to mention that living in the Land of Eternal Summer does not mean that one has access to long summer nights. Or to proper, long, gradual, promising but almost painfully slow sunsets. 

Another rhetorical question

Dear future hubster,
why didn't anybody tell me that making mistakes could be 1. so much fun and 2. so rewarding? I've been trying to avoid them all my life! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

You always had it in you

Dear future hubster,
can we stop for a moment and reflect a bit on the famous notion of "if it doesn't kill you it makes me stronger"? For many of its aspects require clarification.
To begin with: nobody needs to get any stronger. We already are strong enough. Difficult situations don't make us stronger; we get through them because we have the strength We just have been fortunate not having to test just how strong we really are. What those hard times do though is to empower  - they make you realize just how much you can deal with, and how. That you don't need to get that strength from somewhere - you just need to display it sometimes. Some being the key word. If you feel that you have to be strong all the time, something is seriously wrong. 
Another misinterpretation is that not saying that something is hard means you are strong. It doesn't. It just means you're doing yourself a disservice. By not acknowledging the difficulty, you're making yourself feel guilty for struggling with it. By not acknowledging it to others you're setting yourself up for a permanently diffuclt condition: your handling it will be taken for granted. 
Accepting and expressing that something is hard does take that strength you probably didn't know you had. It's not easy to say "it's not easy"! But it also sends a powerful message, much more so than just clenching your teeth and getting it over with. A message, loud and clear, saying: This is hard for me but I'm going to deal with it anyway. Because I have the strength in me. 

(I know I know. You have a pretty damn sophisticated future wife here.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

I used to live alone before I knew you

Dear future hubster,
you know I love belonging - to places as much as to people . If I was a person of bad puns, I would say, I long to belong. I find beauty in being alone together, and I will believe till the bitter end that the point of this whole journey is to be able to share it.
But sometimes, unexpectedly even for myself, I do enjoy walking alone. Not being considered as part of an item, may that be household, group of friends, relationship. I enjoy not being identified by who holds my hand, or doesn't, or used to. I do enjoy taking that country road all by myself - so when I do find my way, I know I arrived where I was meant to. To a place, once again, where I belong.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

You and I we're gonna rise again

Dear future hubster,
being 32 doesn't scare or worry me, but that doesn't mean that sometimes I won't act half my age. Including, but not limited to listening to tacky britpop about imaginary relationships that I shouldn't be having, and about coming of age that I supposedly should have done already.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Your Top 5 Monday Morning Songs please

Dear future hubster,
it may or may not be a Nick Hornby - John Cusack influence, but my new secret wish is that somebody make a music mix "tape" for me. Personalized, way too obvious, with inside jokes and tacky references. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I bruise easily

Dear future hubster,
you may need to work on a couple of good cover stories, because I am one of those people who do walk into doors and tables and random pieces of furniture and then end up permanently black and blue. At times, it can look suspicious. Just sayin'.

Friday, June 5, 2015

No man is an island

Dear future hubster,
When Jaime Lannister said "things I do for love" before attempting child murder (it didn't quite work out, that's one tough family - please also see the meaning of stark in any given German(ic) dictionary), he was a bit restrictive.
It's not for love only, far from that. We go out of our ways and make significant efforts to belong somewhere. No matter how original and unique we are, there are moments when we gladly blend in and take a label. That moment, when the "them", the "you people" becomes "us" - admit it or not, it's comforting. You may still be on your own, but so are "we". Now we are on our own together.

Monday, June 1, 2015

But then you put on The Killers. On full blast.

Dear future hubster,
when those surprisingly welcome Mondays kick in, they usually start like this:

When Mondays are welcome, you know something is off

Dear future hubster,
do you remember those weekends from your younger years when so many things happened that come Monday morning, you were actually happy to go back to school, to resume a somewhat normal life?
I says a lot about my teenage tendencies that I just had one of those. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Dear future hubster,
have you ever thought about the influence emojis have on your (any type of) human relationships? Because I have. And I find that it's oh so much easier to express yourself through them.
Honestly, how many times have you actually kissed someone you've sent the :* emoji to?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Such a fragile balance

Dear future hubster,
I'm sure there are many challenges in the life of independent modern women, and most of them, by definition of the independent modern woman, don't have and shouldn't have any relation to one's looks.
But can we stop for a moment and give a thought for the efforts we all make time and again to look good, without looking like we've actually made an effort?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I don't need your Maybe

Dear future hubster,
please don't be one of those people who are unable to say a straight No. Because they always leave me feeling disappointed, somehow cheated, and mostly, not respected. Like I don't deserve an honest answer.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I don't think it's irrational, actually

Dear future hubster,
I know the internet talks about that irrational fear of wasting a good outfit on a completely insignificant day, but I still believe that the frustration of a another situation also needs to be recognized. 
That is, the frustration of spending days being all dolled up, feeling confident about your looks and good in your skin, in a generally attractive mood, but not even once meeting that one person it is all supposed to be aimed at.  
And it can still be topped up with the "oh no" of that one afternoon when you decide to not care and run around in sneakers and without make-up, and yes, you have guessed, you run into that one person. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Really, it's not about the glasses

Dear future hubster,
even though in high school it used to mean you're doomed, and now it probably means you're vain or self-centered, I figure I enjoy being a smart girl. And I no longer mind being considered as one. As long as it is known and accepted that I can also say extremely silly things and be ignorant about many, many things in life.
Oh, and I retain the right to let myself loose on playgrounds. I never said a smart adult, did I?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sneaky little beasts they are

Dear future hubster,
let me tell you one thing about the butterflies. One thing that somehow everybody always gracefully omits.
That they are not fun. The ones in your stomach, I mean.
And you know why? Because they feel like an anxiety attack. And that, dear future hubster, is anything but fun.
Think about it for a moment: when you are about to fall for somebody, your stomach squeezes and your breathing somehow feels superficial and you have the impression that you don't get enough oxygen. (Which, by the way, may explain why you suddenly can't think straight.) Doesn't it sound like what they call hyperventilation, often occurring as a panicked response to fear?
It may as well be. Because butterflies, dear future hubster, are damn scary. You know you're heading for a fall and yet you keep going the same direction, bracing yourself for impact. Your attempts to saving yourself are lame. You know that butterflies can't be eaten away, they can't be drunken away. They can't even be jogged away.
I'm not sure there is a universally accepted anti-butterfly treatment. You just sit it out and see. Either you suffer temporary brain damage and will for a while be roaming around with a silly grin on your face (case of butterflies shared), or will at some point suddenly feel stomach and heart empty (case of butterflies unrequited).
Ironically enough, the moment you lose them butterflies, you will wish you could have them back.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

You always take the weather with you

Dear future hubster,
I don't think I expected it, but it makes sense that a perfect summer weekend here, in this life, isn't that different from a perfect summer weekend in the style of the other life. 
Meaning: a little Return of the King on Thursday, girls' dinner night out on Friday, getting drunk on G&Ts while binge watching Game of Thrones on Saturday, lakeside girls' talk on Sunday, and sweet lazy reading on the couch in between isn't that different from movies with Bea, dinner at La Matese, drinking G&Ts while watching terrible music videos at the Heikkila Cultural Centre, and gossiping over coffee at Konrad's. 
The only different thing was the jogging, because I can't find a way to shuffle my music, so instead of a mix of Milow, Mika and Moby, I'm still running to the beat of the Complied Artworks of Her Majesty Madonna

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Who are "they" anyway?

Dear future hubster,
what they say is tre, life is too short to drink bad wine. But if you don't listen to "them", and happen to drink bad wine, boy, your day will suddenly become soooooo long. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sometimes size does matter

Dear future hubster,
I have expressed several times before that I enjoy sleeping like a starfish, and that a king size bed, especially under a mosquito net, is the perfect size for one person, but to be honest, there are days, especially under a mosquito net, when a king size bed is simply too big, even for a starfish like me.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Southern Cross

Dear future hubster,
in case you were wondering (and you should have been, because I was), yes, the stars are different here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's quite a plan, oder?

Dear future hubster,
I'm not sure why the Universe keep throwing people in my way who don't know what they want, but it really isn't funny.
Maybe the Universe is trying to make a point, hinting that my figuring out what I want has been long overdue.
In that case, dear Universe, here it is:
If money didn't matter, I would love to run a cultural centre that would provide comfort food for body and soul. We would have movie clubs, book clubs, listen-to-music clubs, organize cultural trips to Paris, London, Barcelona, Prague, and Werchter. We could even group them around a theme, and go on a classic Kafka-tour in Prague, and a Hemingway-spree in Spain. The brave ones could set out for a safari in Kenya, tracing the steps of Denys Finch Hatton. Food would always plenty, and on occasions healthy. We would later include a pool and a gym, because a good workout can bring along a good mood. 
And no, it is in no way against my initial dream job of a drunk writer in Spain. Our creative writing workshop would always have to be supplied with good wine.
Should you be interested, dear future hubster, please note that applications are accepted continuously. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The question is rhetorical

Dear future hubster,
it's probably no news to anybody else on the face of this planet, but I just recently realized why the friends with benefits plan is not an attractive one to me. If we enjoy benefits of the bedroom and happen to be friends in any other aspect of life, then please somebody explain to me again, why is it not a good old(fashioned) relationship?

Monday, April 20, 2015

You'd better get used to it

Dear future hubster,
in an ideal world this would go without saying, but it doesn't harm mentioning that for people like me unpacking is not a priority. In fact, we feel safer if the travel toothbrush and the luxair socks stay in the suitcase, their natural habitat.
As for the suitcase, it stays on the floor, sorry. In some corner, and if you're lucky, it's closed, but within reach. Just in case. 

Direction sky

Dear future hubster,
just for future references: we are not taking the children on any transatlantic, transcontinental, transanything flight until they can read. And have at least a vague idea of what it means to be in a can for 6+ hours.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Imaginary love to start with

Dear future hubster,
I should have been warned. Somebody should have reminded me that this is the time of the year when spring happens on full blast. Somebody should have known, and informed me, that it's easy to not miss winter when you live in eternal summer, but the end of winter is a whole different story. That the moment when winter ends, and the whole world seems to be coming back to life is not something one can ignore. Certainly not me.
For I was caught off guard. The silent, relieved sigh of the world, realizing that it is not over, that there are new chances and fresh starts, caressed my soul, just as the soft cool breeze caressed my face. To nobody's surprise, I got carried away: the morning chills and the afternoon warmth, the setting sun in my face when I drive and the winds in my hair when I walk filled my little heart, the one that hasn't been in use for quite a while, until I felt like it was going to explode. And I would have gladly had it explode.
For it felt like being in love. With life, with the sunshine, the smell of stinky trees, with the open spaces, the way the lights change, with the passing time, with eternity and the end of things. With love itself.

Friday, April 10, 2015

That will do

Dear future hubster,
if you want to make me insecure, nervous, irritated, confused, all at the same time, there is only one thing you need to do. Make me wait.
Oh, and be unreachable through all means of communication.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

But I believe in pink!

Dear future hubster,
I think I have to stop wearing this pink dress. Last time I put it on I got stuck in the toilet, and today, I got stuck ... on top of a rock. With my car. In the middle of the street.
I think the Universe is trying to tell me to refresh my wardrobe. Basically, it's sending me shopping.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Finally facing my Waterloo

Dear future hubster,
I know I am like that history book on the shelf in that ABBA song and I am always repeating myself, but.
But I had a weekend of very little physical activity which almost logically means that I had a weekend of increased mental activity. In other words, I was thinking a lot. Plus, we also talked a lot. 

About our preferences in men and women, about the alpha male we systematically fall for, and try to back up our bad choices by arguments of genetics and evolution. About dream jobs that would require significant amounts of savings because they are not exactly profit-generating. That, or a rich husband. And about female empowerment, about being independent women in a men's world.

I came to the same conclusion I've expressed before: the crucial element is to have the choice. It's all right to be independent in your work and then be submissive in bed as long as that's what you choose to be. It's your prerogative to choose a man who could take charge of all aspects of life, as long as you can point out the ones where he doesn't have to. It's OK to choose to be that proverbial drunk writer in Spain and let your man bring home the bacon (or cheese). Just the same as it's all fine, and should no longer cause a single raised eyebrow, to choose the complete opposite of all of the above. Choose being the keyword here. 

This is my #HeForShe.
I know, I may have mentioned this before. The history book on the shelf.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why does it always rain on me?

Dear future hubster,
I'm afraid this eternal summer is turning me into a demanding little thing in sime regards.
If it rains for three days (which it has, recently), I become a whiny zombie, wanting to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and hot chocolate, wondering if the world is coming to an end and why nobody likes me, blasting Travis and Tom Waits in alternance.

Friday, March 27, 2015

You're too sensitive, Dunyasha

Dear future hubster,
do you ever feel like there is an exhausting personality around you; somebody who is dragging you down and needs to be slapped or shaken back to reality, get a life, something? And that you would want them to avoid you until they get back to being their better selves, because you really can't handle their lethargy, only to realize that this temporarily dead weight person is... you?
How do we handle ourselves when we are being whiny little chekhovian anti-drama queens?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's the way back home

Dear future hubster,
if I had to describe with one word, what's missing from my life right now, that one word would be intimacy.
If I was given a few more words though, I could detail it a bit. What intimacy is.
It's eating from the same plate. And possibly stealing all the cheese bites.
It's me choosing your shirt.
It's you telling me to wash my feet before I put them on the fancy cream sofa (seriously, who has a cream colour sofa??)
It's you letting me loose in your kitchen. Because, you know, I'm not a guest.
It's you tucking me in when I need a nap.
Actually, it's me feeling comfortable to take an afternoon nap. It's also not always needing you by my side when I take said nap.
It's me letting you play your music in the car when you drive. It's also you trying to fiddle with the radio when I drive, and then stopping it when you see me glare.
It's waking up next to you, yes, but not only that. It's waking up next to you, grumpy and messy as I always am in the morning, and it's not having to talk. It's you kindly pushing me in the right direction, making sure I don't hit the doorway or the closet that I otherwise would. It's me making your tea while waiting for my coffee. It's you messing up my hair and it's me breathing in your morning scent, from the hollow of your neck. It's you asking me if you need a jacket, and it's me telling you I'm not your mother. (And then asking you to wear a scarf as well, because I act like a worrying mom sometimes.)
It's asking "how was your day?", but not as a routine, but as a starter of a real conversation. Because it's you laughing out loud when I tell you about the office drama, and it's me pointing out that you want to play the lonely hero at work. It's understanding where our limits are, and it's knowing that life and work are just not that serious.
It's me resting my head on your shoulder in that tacky romantic movie-way, and it's you poking my belly in a way no romantic movie ever shows.
It's you holding my handbag in the mall when I go to the bathroom; it's me carrying your keys and wallet in said handbag. 
It's me no longer feeling the need to leave the room when you call your mother; it's you commenting on my phone conversation with my best friend.
It's you not pretending everything is all fine when there is smoke coming out of your ears; it's me not feeling self-conscious burying my face in your chest, even when I know I'm upsetting myself over something irrelevant.
It's being comfortable with who we are, in the presence of somebody else.
It's intimacy, and it's not that easy to achieve, or to accept.
It's still what we should both be aiming for.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Definitely a #firstworldproblem

Dear future hubster,
another difficulty of a life in a place where summer is pretty much eternal: one (especially if that one happens to be a woman) continuously displays a relatively large surface of bare skin. And one, driven by cultural norms engraved in them, usually feels that said relatively large surface of bare skin should be perfectly hairless. At.all.times.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A warning sign

Dear future hubster,
for your information, and future references, the Universe usually knows better. I had to learn the hard way, again. I should have been smart enough to call it a day, quit trying and take a nap right there when I got stuck in the toilet, sometime around 10 in the morning. It was an uphill battle from there. In a pink dress.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Most probably a #firstworldproblem

Dear future hubster,
It's lovely to live in a place where summer is pretty much eternal. However, I wouldn't be me if I couldn't find something to stress about even in a place where summer is pretty much eternal. My fellow females, especially those with mild to serious body image issues will understand what I mean when I say: it's always bikini season. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Because boys

Dear future hubster,
besides the office whining buddy, I am also in desperate need of somebody who can talk to (and more importantly, listen to) my 16-year-old self. I suspect it would have to be a woman. A girl, really.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Good enough for government work

Dear future hubster,
today, as celebrations of International Women's Day were going on, and I'm sure many powerful speeches were delivered, I did what I normally do: trying to make other people's day better. Not because I'm a wannabe Mother Teresa, and not because I'm a woman. It happens to be my job: I issue their visa letters, sort out their leave days, make sure their contracts are extended. It doesn't sound much, but for many, it's all they expect for me.
For the rest, I take my red skirt for a walk from MILOBS to Civil Affairs and back. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Even the stones

Dear future hubster,
to motivate myself to return to exercise after the Indians lifted their ban, I announced that I need to get (back) that bikini body I never had by the time we go to Mombasa. Then I started wondering - who would actually care about my bikini body, or lack thereof? I quickly came to the conclusion that the answer is nobody, except for the sharks.
And I was quite content with this result, until I was told that there are no sharks in those water.
Not even the sharks!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

And send birkas to each other.

Dear future hubster,
I have identified whom or what I miss from my office work sometimes. 
I'd love to have that office communicator thingy, and a person on the other end of it, so I can bitch about the cleaning ladies hanging out in the kitchen the whole day, and giving you the dirty look when you dare going in, but you need to go in because coffee has become increasingly more important, due to the construction works outside with drilling and chain sawing and hammering for days, which is already ironic because we have just moved to another compound and were so happy about leaving behind the engineering workshop with their constant background noise but apparently they have followed us, and also due to the  pile of grappa bottles the flatmate came back with, and he doesn't rest until we finish them all, and then the stupid whatsapp that wants to update itself every 3 months or so, but I don't have internet that's powerful enough to do that, I haven't even been able to download my economists for the kindle for weeks, and now I can't buy my flight ticket because me credit card bounces back and of course the only browser that supports the stupid java application my online banking has crashes every single time... 
So yeah, I need somebody I can swamp with my firstworldproblems during office hours.    

Monday, March 2, 2015

I like them tall and pale

Dear future hubster,
you know already that if and when you see me drinking my coffee black, you should worry. Especially if I also wear flat shoes.
Don't worry too much though - it may be an existential crisis approaching, but it may as well just be shortage of milk. And this, dear future husband, is definitely the textbook example of a situation that ice cream can significantly improve.
Not that I can imagine any life situation that ice cream couldn't improve.

Friday, February 20, 2015

True story

Dear future hubster,
if you want me to keep quiet for a little while, send me up a mountain. A hill, really.
No matter the view, the climb itself will take my breath away. And quite literally.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Barefoot but not quite pregnant

Dear future hubster,
I have come to the understanding recently that it's somewhat difficult to be credible in your support to women's empowerment when your kitchen is known to be your natural habitat. And no, it doesn't help if from the kitchen you go straight to the living room to watch the semi-final of the Africa Cup. You're just feeding yet another cliché. And about 10 of your friends. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

And there's nothing I can do

Dear future hubster,
I ran a check in the mission's phone directory; we have 20,000 troops after all. Still, Major Tom doesn't work here. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A little party never killed nobody

Dear future hubster,
I'm sorry to say it, but I don't agree with Gatsby's Jordan when it comes to parties. I prefer small parties to large ones. Maybe because I don't look for privacy in parties, and because intimacy for me means being around people I know and feel comfortable with. Don't worry if you see me sitting in a corner with my drink - come sit with me and we can watch the people together. They are fascinating when they think they are in the privacy of a large party.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Just in case

Dear future hubster,
Today I had to submit my tentative leave plans for this year. It's the 16th of January, for crying out loud!
It always feels a bit unsettling when I'm asked to plan far ahead. Once somebody asked me in December what my plans for August were, because he wanted to coordinate his parents' visit with my summer leave. I thought that was the cutest thing on the face of the planet, but it also made me incredibly nervous, because... I don't know... because it meant that he thought my whereabouts would still be important for him 9 months later?
So, umm, I don't mean to stress you, but, for information only, I need to be in Central Europe in the second half of April, and I'm doing everything I can to be in Werchter the last weekend of June.
Just in case.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Not a dude

Dear future hubster,
Maybe it's surprising, maybe it was expected, maybe it's cliché, maybe I should put a dollar in the sexi(e)st jar for saying this, but there are days when I miserably need female company. Pretty much anybody in a skirt would do.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Carry on, carry on

Dear future hubster,
when you live somewhere where music is not what you're used to, and not what you are willing to get used to, and where the radio in the car never stays on one station for more than 2 minutes, it comes as a very welcome surprise when Bohemian Rhapsody suddenly comes on, doesn't fade away and stops just about when you park. Makes you feel like the world is giving you a reminder that life actually is pretty cool.
(The cat wasn't impressed with my Mama uuuu-uuuuu-uuu-uuuu though.)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gold in them hills

Dear future hubster,
If you see one of the thousand hills of Rwanda turning red in the first sunrise of the year, and then later Lake Kivu glowing in an orange light from the first sunset, you know you've had a good start.