Life in Colour :Green Obsessions

When I was younger, I am addicted to bags and shoes.I needed different bag for each day and I wanted to wear pretty shoes.I often wear heels at work and I really don´t mind them on my feet.When I got pregnant and had a child, I opt for comfy ones, something that I can run with it and my bags turned into backbacks full of my daughter´s things.

I prefer also large Tote bags and sling bags, since they are so practical , wearable while cycling and when we are always on the run.

But something had changed. I got hooked into plants. Green plants mostly.

I got obsessed with green.Lots of green living plants inside our home.Through time I got to know different kinds of plants.First I saw them online, there are lots of trendy plants in Instagram and I frequently visited garden shops.I think my environment now influence me a lot since a lot of people here, not only expats like me love the urban jungle phenomenon.

It started with one pot, then comes another, then comes another, then the rest is history.Most of these plants are a year younger than my daughter now, so basically, these plant babies ” grew” up with us.We got older, they blossomed, pruned, and had babies as well.

I love being with them and though it´s a lot of work to take care each of them, it makes me happy.I also killed lots of them.I overwatered, I pruned too much, and learned from doing trial and error.I ma overjoyed when I see new leaves, or new sprouts.When my purple Oxalis Triangularis bloomed, I was jumping because they are so pretty. She had so many babies and I already gave away to my friends some of it.Some of my all time favourites are the Monstera Deliciousa, Adansonii, Mother in law tongue or snakeplant, ZZ plant, Fiddle Leaf fig tree, Rubber plant, African Milk tree, Arrowhead, Weeping fig, and Pilea Peperomoiodes.

Now that it´s Spring, my plants are happy to get more sunlight, extra dose of fertilizer and new soil. Some of them got moved into a bigger pot. It´s the planting season so they are really gearing for a new growth spurt.During the pandemic, I noticed that most of my friends, here and abroad have opt to do gardening and getting into plants.I felht good, and I know its really great especially when you have something that you are passionate about.

Besides, growing your own veggies and herbs are really cool. Nothing beats it when you personally grow it.This Spring, I planted carrots, radishes, herbs, paprika and tomatoes. I can´t wait to see them grow and hopefully, land on our plates.

I think living with plants requires a special dedication. It requires patience and hardwork. Maybe people loved only to design their homes with plants, but that also requires attention since plants are living things. You can´t ignore them once you put them in the corner.For me, each plant becomes a treasure.I bought them when they are so small ( I only buy baby plants ) and watching them thrive and grow gives me such happiness.

I frequently visits the library and borrow books about different plants and how to take care of them. Some plants really need special care from the other and that makes sense since every plant has its own personality. I mastered the watering schedule and pruning times, and I become addicted as well of propagating them. I have a big Pothos now and they mostly came from cuttings.

I think aside from painting, I would love to continue taking care of my plants until I can do it.

They are beautiful, cleaning the air we breathe, and they make our tiny home so liveable so I cannot ask for more.

I guess, this is the kind of obsession that I wanna keep.What about yours?

This post is totally inspired by the exciting Life in Colour Challenge hosted by Hey Jude which coincidentally themed with “GREEN” colours.Definitely, for me, green obsession is a kind of life, a lifestyle where green plants are the stars.

Anyway, tomorrow is maundy Thursday, and here in Germany, we called it “der Gründonnerstag” .Traditionally this means that we need to prepare and eat something that is “green”. Spinach, kale, green beans,lettuce and alike are normal favourites!

Soon it will be Easter, Until then, Tschüss!

Wordless Wednesday

Spring Adrenaline rush

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.Anne Lamott

This week is Holy Week.
Schools are having their 2 weeks Easter break (Osterferien) so we are stay at home and trying to survive each day.We visited the Library few times to get more books.We need to get the girl her new big bike and for her to master her inline skating skills.We need to plan and prepare something for Easter but I haven´t figured it out yet.
The number of Corona cases are still rising up so tight restrictions are bound to be implemented over these days.Hard to think that it´s almost been a year since pandemic started and we are still in the same situation.I don´t think travelling is encouraged over here in Germany, we don´t have anywhere to go to. Since most of the shops are still closed and Easter celebration is coming, I guess we make something at home.The only luxury that we can afford during this time is out in nature, playgrounds, and social distancing.

I said to myself that there´s no need to fret and rush.

While on the other side, at least there´s a lot going on. There´s a kind of “rush” that is going on, the kind that I like.Every morning, I am awaken by continous singing and chirping of the birds, there´s much sunlight now as we entered the “Sommerzeit“, or summertime over here in Germany. Sunny days, and finally it feels warmer now.I can tell you that it is indeed Springtime.I know that for sure, I never doubted Nature, its true to it´s course.

Somehow this Gallery shows the Adrenaline Rush that Spring brings us.Just like Marty Rubin´s words–

The deep roots never doubts, Spring will come….”

Coming up is BBQ and grilling season.There´s nothing cozier than having warm grilled meals in the garden.We don´t mind the rush, but it´s awesome.We just take a long bike ride and run just in case we eat a lot!

It´s still chilly in the mornings but in the midday, the sun is really enjoyable.Most of my neighbours are working hard on in their garden as we did. We did new flower beds and I planted seeds for our elevated garden. I hope I succeed in propagating carrots, radish, and more herbs.Mind you, Germans take gardening seriously. In my trips in the garden shops, people swarmed over buying pots, soil, seeds,plants, fertilizers and wood and more gardening things. Almost all supermarkets here sells different kinds of plants and flowers. I spent almost a day repotting and transplanting all of my indoor plants. I was personally amazed at its amount, it´s exhausting to care for them but then it´s all worth it.I never regret that I have become a plant-lady, it´s not a prestigouos achievement, but the rewards are incomparable.

There is really a kind of green rush when Spring comes.It feels great to feel the chilly wind and not cringe anymore for fear of frost, to smell the dirt from the soil, and the simple genuine pleasure of decorating balconies and terraces with plants.Anything that blooms and grows signals life..For me, the sight of “Reincarnated gardens ” are amazing!

With all these, I am just grateful that we have a small garden to tend to.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. “– Charles Dickens

Indeed, Spring had sprung and we are not complaining.

What about you, what kind of “rush” are you into right now?

I don´t have anything grand to share, just wishing you all to be safe, healthy and enjoy some time under the sun!Until next time.

Tschüss.

Wordless Wednesday

Silent Sunday

Not to Scale (NTS) Expat life

Dominating the skyline in Kuwait, the Al Hamra Towers

What do people usually means when they say “Not to Scale“?

Looking back in my college days where we are asked to draw a floor plan, elevations and everything, this term is very common and eventually it becomes a normal terminology. Triangular Scale is a very important tool that I have often used, and through the years, I have learned that in reality, not all things can be presented with the exact proportions. Everything depends on how you make your own perspective.

Just like we gain and lose weight as we grow old…

Idealism has a fair play through the years.I asked myself before where could be a perfect place that expats finally call it a “home”?

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The view of the Skyline of Kuwait from the Liberation Tower , here despite the dusty weather, everything seemed quite a normal day.

To scale means allowing us to understand the relationship between a drawing or an illustration and a presentation or a scale model—against the Reality. If you are able to draw accurately as per scale and you can immediately shift from one scale to another, like from 1:100 to 1:50 then you can do very well in doing architectural drawings and spatial design.Looking at scale models help us to have a perspective of what would it look like once it built, a bird´s eye view, a glimpse of the vision into reality.

I can very well use the principle of Scale in my life as an Expat.

After we leave our homelands, we , too have a perspective in minds. We all carry a luggage of dreams, hopes and expectations.

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Beautiful well-preserved Gable Houses in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I know from a fact that from an Expat eyes, everything is different from the tourist’s view and from the locals itself. A Tour Package always highlights the best, the most sought-after destinations and attractions, the off the beaten path are reserved for adventurous ones.As tourists, we want to see the icing of the cake.

What´s in? where´s the famous places? where are the top attractions?

The quaint beauty of an old Fortress ,Kaprun Castle where in 1645, the Salzburg Musketeers once occupied

A place is only a setback of your expectations, dreams and aspirations. Everyone has their own reason why they decided to move to a new place—either for work, better life, education, to bridge a relationship, or to just simply fulfill a wanderlust—the longing for a change.But in reality, the moment we started to see things in a different way, our perspective of the new place is changing.Probably this is the stage where we start to integrate, accept and ” do as the locals do“.

Pre Covid-19 Virus Era, where touring historical places like the Reichstag in Berlin can be a good place to entertain your 4 year old daughter and listen to audio guide telling about the charms of this City.

I grew up not knowing what is “Recycling ” or upcycling is.But since I came here, I started to obey and do what is norm and not just to avoid the angry stares of my neighbours if they ever saw me putting plastic in the Restmull, the black container.I started to dispose the Green, white and brown glasses in the Glass Containers as well and yes, I got acquianted with the “Yellow Sack” as well. In my bag is always an extra shopping bag, even in my bicycle and in the car, there is always a place for shopping bags.

Why, because here in Germany, you bring your own bags and pack your own grocery. I even observed the Rühezeit, the silent Sunday where we don´t mow the lawn in the garden and no loud music.I remember our times in Kuwait where the shopping cart is alwys full of plastic bags. There is no recycling there, people totally just throw garbage everywhere.Littering is quite a norm.They are really a big fan of using plastic bags there for grocery shopping.I think you collect up to 20 pieces of shopping bags for every grocery!

Now that I remember it, I felt odd.

Fast forward,5 years after, I began to look at Germany, especially Bavaria, in a “Not to scale”terms.Do I really belong here ? or this place does even exceed my expecation?

Cycling in my new neighborhood offers a new freedom to explore places

If you have your own terms of measurement about the quality of life that you want, or your preferred surroundings, then it is better not to put borders. If you expect too much and then ended up into a mountain of dissapointment, then you just feel worse.

“Why are people here are so unfriendly and “cold”?

“Why the weather keeps on changing every four hours?”

“Why Winter here in Germany is too long”?

” Why learning German is necessary to survive here?”

” Why customer service here sucks or totally non-existent?”

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Because in reality, things can be crooked, out of proportion, partially twisted, and though it looks to be perfect, it will have uneven features. I call this “Reality bites in the life of an Expat.”

As an onlooker, with naked eyes, I always ponder on the views that I see. I think it´s normal.For 5 years that I am walking the streets here in Bavaria, I still am not that fully integrated yet…or maybe I am, but sometimes, I feel like I am feeling at home.A combination of these rollercoaster feelings.

I hate it here during the long winter months but I really love it here during Spring and Summer. I loved how good the roads are and how communting can be so easy and flexible, and yes, that everything adheres to punctuality. I loved that I can even worked from home during this Pandemic times ,do part time jobs and have a job security. I appreciate that women even can take longer maternity leaves to care for their babies and come back to their jobs.

I loved the fact that my child is growing up in a kid-friendly environment and we are surrounded with playgrounds and nature.Its even amazing that traveling becomes easy, and I don´t need to worry about cash when I get sick because of the good Health Insurance System here. I even got new vaccinations ( all for free!) since I came here.

Speaking of Not to scale scenarios, here in Bavaria, the tallest building ( a Tower or a Turm) actually that I have ever been to is the Olympic Tower in Munich and the Pfeifturm here in Ingolstadt, which is btw a former watchpost. The tallest building here in Bavaria is actually the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt, reaching up to 259m.Actually, Frankfurt is the only city with lots of Skycrapers.Here in Germany, they try to preserved the German cultural heritage therefore the historical, Medieval and Renaissance skyline still dominates most of the old towns up to this day. It´s actually its unique charm.

There´s nothing compared walking into lovely, German old Town´s unique streets lined up with well-deserved architecture and rich history.

Exploring my own little town where not seeing “Skyscrapers” is actually also nice.The Architecture and landscape is so nice and very picturesque.
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The view deck from the interiors of the luxurious Al Hamra Towers in Kuwait

This is an absolute contrast to the former views that I have while living in Kuwait. Kuwait is a small city but it has skyscrapers and modern buildings. Quite a few are worthy to mention actually, just like my favorite-the Al Hamra Tower, the tallest building in Kuwait.It´s even named as one of the best inventions in 2011 by Times Magazine.After we left I´ve heard that there are more sleek buildings and modern architecture built.We´ve got used to the norm that modernity and functional aesthetics comes with beautiful modern buildings.

Speaking of malls, I haven´t seen quite comes close to the Avenues in Kuwait.It´s really a shopping mall with beautiful architecture.This mall itself is an attraction there.While here in Germany, shopping is like taking a leisure stroll in the inner city lined with authentic, unique shops.I haven´t really had that “mall feeling” even from our local Ingolstadt Village where “branded” marks have their boutiques and it´s already considered high end .I am not a shopaholic and into top end brands.I am more of the functional shopper–getting what I need and love to ogle some pretty nice things.Nowadays, a trip to the Greenhouse, Botanical gartdens and anything with plant shop is my thing.

But then I guess, “not to scale ” in Expat life also means that you perceive things depending on your taste.When you have seen beauty and therefore your standards have been set, then others can either comes to second or outweigh your preferences.

I prefer sightseeing in the beautiful streets where there are unique , wood-timbered houses looks like a fairy tale land.

But, looking through Kuwait from above made me realize that scale is really not important. Some things might quite look a bit odd, or lacking in proportion, but then, it embodies the urban presentation of the area.

Why would the local ladies dressed up to kill , heavily make-up on, nails are done and perfumed when they are covered in Abaya with only the eyes being shown , in stilettos and doing grocery shopping?”

Or why would most of the drivers love to speed up their cars, with children in front without seatbelt and with loud banging music?

Recently we came across a car and it´s driving a bit faster than allowed, with loud Arabic music in the background and then suddenly, I realized that I already made an assumption .They are absolutely Arabic ( doesn´t matter if they came from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon or UAE; or even Kuwait) but when I´ve heard the word “Yalla , then I am sure I haven´t been wrong.

Was my mind programmed? or were my ears gotten used to these local behaviors?

I am sure I would probably recognized in a crowd that they are German,or coming from Bavaria if they say ” Servus, Grüs Gott! ” as well!

What do you loved the most in your city?

Wishing you all Happy Sunday and Stay safe.Tschüss.

Wordless Wednesday

Silent Sunday

Soaking up in Natural Light

Watching the sun rises in a glorious morning.I couldn´t freeze this moment but then at least I took a snap of it and put in my memory bank.

“Natural Light uses the sun as the natural light source..”

The theme for this week´s LAPC is natural light.I love this theme since I am fond of watching sunrises and sunsets.It´s one of my favourite subject to photograph.Photo above is my very first encounter watching a naked sunrise before my eyes, up close and personal.I managed to get up at 4am and did some hike to Kiltepan Peak then watch the skies turns into dancing palletes of different colors.This is truly special for me.I remember this time I haven´t had a good camera, only my old Sony phone I think.But then, I can´t trade this experience for other thing.

A gentle Tropical sunrise and the clouds slowly descending from the mountain peaks to the valley.(Kiltepan Peak)

Sunset in Arabian Gulf, Kuwait

Oh we had a such abundance of natural light from the sun in Kuwait.I´ve been wearing sunglasses everytime I get out since I can´t help but to squint since rays is too strong for my eyes.

There´s not much nature to photograph there since it has a dry, arid desert climate but then I love watching the sunsets & sunrise there.Because of its soaring hot temperatures, enjoying the sun is not as favorable as here in Europe or in Asia. We have dark curtains and windows are often closed because of dust. Thank God I was living 5 minutes away from the beach and yes, I do miss the views of the beach from our bedroom. We have abundant scorching sun even past after 7pm, together with humidity and heat as high as 49 degrees in summer. During sandstorms, the skies are totally grey, dark and sickening.

Endless Horizons in the Arabian Gulf

Here are some of my favorite spots where I spend countless times walking and watch the skies turns into orange, and pink to purple.So many golden precious hours….my favourites were taken from the Marina, and the endless seafront along the 5th Ring Road in Salmiya.

In the broad daylight, natural light brings bright colors from Kuwait´s unique marine and aquatic architecture.The displays of Dhows and marine life becomes so alive and the culture itself is so enticing. Mind you, it seldom rains in Kuwait, I think only 2 times in a year and it´s like a light drizzle compared here in Germany. Kuwait´s skies is often cloudless, clear and blue .

Lovely sunrise in the Arabian Gulf

A magical sunset in Bavaria, southern Germany
There´s a quaint light at the end of the path

The first time I saw this rippling orange purple skies during Fall here in Germany.It was quick but it was definitely worth the wait! I took this photo just outside our bedroom window.Amazing!

Just watching this pink skies in my neighborhood

Soft bright light turns an ordinary view from the Danube River into like marble slate finish.

The dancing Date Palm trees in Kuwait creates a wonderful backdrop for a purple blue skies.

I think light portrays a vital part in this cascading greens in Munich, Germany.Natural light gives nature more power to affect us and makes us better storytellers.

The rugged hills in Mittenwald on a crisp, bright morning and during dawn it looks like flaming mountains.

Below photos are taken from my neigborhood where I spent countless running and walking.Ordinary places becomes special and go through into a metamorphosis depending on the season and weather.

The Glacisbrücke in the warm tones and cold light during a quiet Autumn morning.
I think without natural Light, these Red Poppies won´t shine bright as it is. ( Take me Back to Summer )

This view is the reason why I never stop exploring and wandering.Afterall, the light is there to guide my steps…

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #138 : Natural Light

Until then, Tschüss!

Wordless Wednesday