Friday, August 31, 2007

the possibility of impossibility

Today I saw such an odd and clever show: French Circus group Collectif AOC's "Question de Directions".
What I can say?
It was like David Lynch and Charlie Chaplin films live on trampoline.
(They said it bit better in Guardian some time ago.)

Originally uploaded by Taiga the Fox.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Don't listen to your mother

Two weeks ago J (6) started his school. He was fairly less excited about it than I was and told me he already knows how to read and count. Well yes, I've told you about it here already.

Last week he tossed away his new and very good looking hat away.
The next day he wanted to have short hair, not girls' hair.
Day after that I saw a small bruise on his arm. He had been bullied and he had shown his fists to them, which led them to call him something as ridiculous as a "swan muscle".
We talked about it and I told him to tell us and the teacher if something happens again. I also told him not to show them any fists or that he is angry or hurt by their words, because that's exactly what they want to see. "Even better if you treat them as air", I said. "If they say something to you, act like they weren't existing at all."

Today one of the boys had locked his arms whilst the other punched him hard on the stomach.
"Why didn't you do anything?", I asked.
"I treated them as air, Mom", answered he.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I'm tired of the thunderstorms hanging around the city

before the storm
Originally uploaded by Taiga the Fox.

For nearly two weeks now, the black clouds have been shadowing my path.
I have been travelling, I have been working hard, I have been drinking wine, I have been in a party, I have been looking at art, all under a heavy sky.
I think I don't know anything. I think I am not told anything.
I have sent my kids to a new school and a new day-care, I have organized parties, shown them interesting places, taken them to a movie audition.
I asked them what they have thought about it all. J (6) answered: "I'm just thinking if there is a black hole, at what point you can still turn back before it sucks you in?"
Today it was yet another storm. After it I ran to the hill with the dog and sat down.
I looked at the dark sky. All those stars. All those millions of people around me, telling me nothing. Sitting there, on the top of the quiet hill, I have never felt myself so alone.

Baltic Fast Forward

I'm pretty much bored with the Baltic Snapshots. Who would like to have 8 more of these? No, I thought so. So, here you are, a quick player:

Day 3: We spend the whole day in the Aquapark. I didn't know it was such fun to stand under a huge pirates' water bowl.

Day 4: We find out that Jurmala beach is 30 kilometers long. I get tired of the paradise after 5 kilometers of walking.

Day 5: We see the widest waterfall in Europe, an odd village of dolls, canalrunning competition and spend a night in a b&b, which has got the most wonderful garden I've seen in ages.

Day 6: We find out that the Swedish-Finnish army has destroyed most of the old castles. I try to sound less like a hakkapeliitta. We find out that all the shops are filled with Finnish dairy products and chocolates. We see lots of Finnish banks, clothes and furniture shops and hamburger bars. I'm not used to the invasion I see, so I concentrate on looking at the castles and mansions, which aren't destroyed. We come back to Riga and see how a lorry pushes a small Fiat ahead. I look at the calm and quiet faces of the Fiat people and wonder what would my face look like if I knew I was probably going to die under a lorry in few seconds of time. I think about it all evening, even when I find out that we share an apartment section in the hostel with a large French man who wears only a towel and a cigar all day long.

Day 7: I wake up and try to get a shower, but I hear a low voice saying Bonjour behind the bathroom door. The kitchen is filled with smoke and a young woman wearing only tiny micro-shorts. We spend the day in the castles and caves of Sigulda.

Day 8: We leave from Riga and Latvia for good. It's Mr Fox's birthday, so we spend a night in Estonia in the Sangaste Castle, which is a sort of a copy of the Windsor Castle. Outside. Inside it's just like it was when used as a pioneer camp. We had bought two bottles of bubbly and thought to enjoy it in the library when the kids were in sleep. Well, they aren't. After midnight J is finally sleeping and A almost. I raise my hand towards the glass and hear a horrified scream Harry Potter! coming from his mouth just before he climbs to Mr Fox's bed and pukes all over him. We clean up. The water coming from the tap is green and smells like it was already used in 1949. I find a bottle of something, which promises to make floors shiny and clean, so I gently wipe Mr Fox with it. "Well, at least it was memorable", I say, "...and well, exactly xx years ago a midwife was probably doing something like this to you, so happy birthday."

Day 9:We drive away as fast as we can. Shower in Tartu.

Day 10: We accidentally find the grave of Herman Hesse's grandparents. Back to home.

More photos will soon be uploaded here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baltic Snapshot 2

Day 2

T Fox is absolutely in love with the Art Nouveau Riga, nearly free bubbly drinks and chocolate cakes.

Later she is climbing up the stairs. The hostel room is in the 6th floor and there's no elevator, but behind the door there is a huge quadruple room with four beds, dining table, two chandeliers, satellite tv, two sofas and a nightly Gotham city view.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Baltic Snapshot 1

One very early morning in July.
Mr Fox, A Fox (5), J Fox (6) and I stuff ourselves into the car and take a ferry to Estonia. We notice soon that one very important paper is missing.
[Note to self: place a sweet and softly toned domestic conversation number 1 here]

An officer in the harbour: Where are you going?
T Fox: To Latvia.
An officer in the harbour: Oh. I don't know... they might never ask the paper, but if they do, they will probably stop you and you have to leave your car there. You have two options now: go or don't.
T Fox: [after a very long second]We'll go then.

Three hours later we are in Estonia.
We drive through the country.
We stop twice.
Eight hours later we arrive to Riga without a proper street map. Do you know how many one way only- signs there are in that town?
[Note to self: place a sweet and softly toned domestic conversation number 19 here]

I take only three photos during the day. Imagine that.

Odd old things from an unknown place.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Travel Day 6

Another night in another city.
My colleague accidentally breaks another hotel room key. I don't have to pay for that this time, because I have my hoofs in my own room, where I watch the telly and find out that there is an upcoming railway strike in that exact area where we are breaking all the keys.

We eat a quick breakfast, pack our bags and hurry through an important media center meeting towards the railway station.
We buy four tickets to Baden Baden.
We wait for the train to come. It doesn't.
We wait for another train to come. It comes, but late. We hop in and are going to meet some colleagues of our colleague, but we are seriously getting late and we agree she should go alone, whilst we could just enjoy of the atmosphere.

We arrive to the railway station and notice immediately it is a wrong Baden Baden. The right one is several kilometers away, so we take a taxi and arrive to the right Baden Baden just in time to realize we have only an hour to spend there. My colleague runs away and the taxi leaves. There we are then, standing in the middle of the street.
T Fox: Has anyone been here before?
Colleague one: No. Do you have a map?
T Fox: No. Where are we going now?
Colleague two: Let's have something to eat. There must be something really nice near here.

There is. We find a place where former Russian novelists were eating greasy sausages about hundred years ago, before going to the spa. We don't have time for bathing, so we just eat some greasy sausages, except me. I eat greasy crusty kartoffel and look at lederhosen behind the geraniums.
We still have 20 minutes after paying the bill. Now the only thing is to find a taxi. It should be an easy job in a place like that.

We walk down the street. It seems to be a different one than we used before. We walk the street until we reach the end and that is when we notice it's only for pedestrians. We walk back and take another turn. There isn't any sign of a taxi, so we ask a shopkeeper. The lady tells us there is one in that direction. We walk to that direction but the only thing we find is an alley and the the only vehicle is a miniature sightseeing train.

We have 15 minutes left. We start walking faster, to the wrong direction, but we find an empty bus stop. Apparently it will take 20 minutes to the train station by bus and then it will be too late already. "We shall miss the train now!", I shout when we pass the bus stop. The bus comes. We run back, but it is too late. "We shall definitely miss the train now!", I shout. We turn left and find the restaurant we just left. "Can't we just go there and ask them to call us a taxi?", I shout, but the colleagues just walk faster. We turn left, but it's an even smaller street. We turn left and we are standing in front of the wrong train again. "I hate sightseeing!", I shout and take a photo. We have 10 minutes left.

Colleague one: How long did it take to drive here?
Colleague two: I think 10 minutes.
T Fox: I will call the colleague. Maybe she is still somewhere near.
I call her. She has arrived at the railway station already.
T Fox: We are still in the wrong Baden Baden and there isn't any taxi around. Where did you find one?
Colleague: I don't know what street was called, I just took a taxi. Hurry up, I don't know if there will be any more trains back to Karlsruhe and if we are missing the last train to Frankfurt, we will miss our plane back to home!

We start running. My colleague asks from a boutique if there is a taxi stop around. She points to the direction where we just were. We turn back and run faster. "There is a taxi!", I shout and wave my hand. The driver doesn't stop, but he shouts something at us. "Probably that I am the only taxi in the village...", I cry, but we have to go on. There isn't anything in that direction, except an empty square with a glorious fountain. We turn back and stand in front of the sightseeing train again.

My colleague sees an old lady. She is looking like she has sunbathed in Baden Baden since 1923 and her dog in the bag yaps, but she smiles at us like a queen of Saba and says: "Well of course there is a taxi stop here, love, just behind that bush".
We look at the nearest bush behind the miniature train. There are at least ten polished cars, just waiting for us.

- Later in the train to Frankfurt -
T Fox: If someone asks me to take part in Amazing Race, I have to say no.
Colleague: But, do you personally know anyone else who can say she has taken a taxi to Baden Baden, just to have a short lunch there?
T Fox: Oh.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Travel Day 5 - The Memory Returns

Of course I forgot because it was all in front of my nose. Or actually behind my nose, or whatever. It was all about my face, because I got my face as a part of a work of art. Oh, I almost forgot, my friends on the Facebook can see an unclear photo.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happens in Helsinki

In the meantime when T Fox was trying to remember what happened during the fifth day, she overheard this conversation in the metro.

Little longhaired, bit chubby girl, around age of 9, wearing shiny fake jewellery, pink dress and white socks sits on the metro with a woman who clearly isn't her closest relative.

Little longhaired girl: Did you watch The Serrano Family at the morning?
Woman: No I didn't. Isn't it for grown-ups? And haven't you been at the summer cabin?
Little longhaired girl: Yes. We've got a new plasma screen in the cabin. And I've got my own telly. My little brother got one too, because he screamed so much and got on everybody's nerves.

Woman: Oh. Haven't you been riding your new bike at all?
Little longhaired girl: No. I have never ridden a bicycle. I might hurt myself. I have tried my father's exercise bicycle once, though.
Woman: Oh. [long silence] Do you often travel by metro?
Little longhaired girl: Yes, quite often. Twice actually. We went to the shopping centre with my mother. She bought me a jacket. And new bra.
Woman: Oh. A new jacket.

Little longhaired girl: Do you want to look at my photos? [shows some photos of a black Labrador Retriever via her shiny new mobile. I look at them too, I think. Sorry, little longhaired girl. I just like to watch other people's photos.]
Woman: Who's dog is this?
Little longhaired girl: She is my aunt's dog. She's so nice. I could punch her straight into the face and she wouldn't say a thing.

I concentrate again on my paper. It tells me about a kleptomaniac Finnish squirrel who steals Kinder Surprise eggs.

Travel Day 5

What is it with the thing that you try to remember something and you don't remeber anything at all. It wasn't even something what happened 36 years ago, we're talking about days now. Anyway, all I can remember about that lost day was that we went to Karlsruhe and I saw a lovely Chinese screen with a moving image and my colleague ate an exploding Vulcano pizza. That's nothing much to tell you about, is it?