Happy birthday to me, or how to survive your first birthday abroad...

Me: One day I'll look back at this picture and say: Look, kids! This was on my 26th birthday!
Boyfriend: Why! And your kids will say "Mom, can't believe how slim you were!"

(ha-ha. I hate you.)

That's right. Last week it was my birthday. In all honesty, I wasn't expecting anything at all, given the fact that I've been far, far away from the people who actually care about me (most of them being in Mexico), and also being the new kid on the lab, the likelihood of someone knowing the date of my birthday (and doing something about it) is somewhere between improbable and impossible.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of the best birthdays I've had to date. Dear boyfriend and I decided to celebrate it in Berlin, because of what it represents to me: one of the biggest achievements of my life, the beginning of a new and exciting adventure, and a most needed reminder that I can do anything I set my mind to. I managed to come here through a incredibly intense process where I had to be smart, trust my abilities and play better than anyone else, and really put myself out there (you know, "Lose yourself" Eminem-style and all that); in the end, I nailed it. So, there's a nice background for celebration.

One of my labmates is the sweetest and kindest girl ever (a sort of Miwako from Parakiss), she coached me in the very beginning when I had no idea of how the work of the lab was done, and also helped me a lot to finally get a flat for myself. After stating my date of birth on the lease agreement for the flat, she realised it was that very same day (yes! Coincidentally, I finally got an apartment to rent as a birthday present), and in a matter of two hours, she managed to produce a birthday card signed by all the people in the lab and a piece of cake, which she left at my place for me to find:

Isn't that lovely?
  At lunch time I received a call from two of my good friends from Mexico, who now live in Lisboa. It was completely unexpected, we had a really funny chat, and it really moved me that they still care so much, even though we are quite far away now. I felt very lucky to have friends like them. Around 5 in the afternoon, the boyfriend was finally here, and we headed to make the first toast of the day with -what else- Schlängenbiss, at Hops & Barley's (remember this post?). After that, we headed to La Pulquería, as I craved for a (real!) mexican meal after being tortured on a daily basis with the creamy-fattening-insipid and overall bland food served at the Clinic's cafeteria (more on that later). I had a glorious Sopa Azteca, and Tacos de Bistec with salsa. The boyfriend? Enchiladas de Mole served in a rather elegant way (unseen in Mexico, where taste is all that matters):

We finished the night in a Shisha Bar in Friedrichshain (I forgot what the name was), where we relaxed alternating refreshing drinks with the smooth, watermelon-flavored smoke. 

The next day, I also had lots of birthday messages on facebook, beating my personal mark on birthday wishes received so far. My family also sent good wishes via e-mail, since I cannot skype with them yet. Dear boyfriend and I went to a fancy salon to get much needed haircuts. The stylist who cut my hair (he was called Konstantinos, because you know, stylists can never have names like Chuck or Gabe) did it with german millimetric precision: countless iterations of measuring, trimming and texturing. The cut took over two hours to be finished, but the result was flawless. It is the same style as I had before (long with long layers), but improved to a whole new level, and it makes the colored bits in my hair stand out.

Since we were in the neighbourghood, we decided to try a highly unknown cuisine: Abkhazian. The restaurant was called "Bei Violetta", and I, being such a fan of Xavier Velasco's "Diablo Guardián", just knew it was meant to be. The food was really good and interesting; similar to greek food, but with an unfamiliar twist that makes it unique: walnut sauce, little sacs made of pasta-like cooked dough with a delicious meat filling, fresh mashed kidney beans salad with a touch of pomegranate. The Georgian wines (he had red, I had white) that accompanied the meal were superb. The company of the owner's son, who joined us after the meat for a chat, was delightful. He even spoke a few words of spanish (damn us and our non-existent german speaking skills).

[to be continued...]


Our time is running out...

- * -

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...

- * -



Postcards from the Future

It's been a while since my last post in The Passenger's Diaries, a.k.a. "The Blog that Nobody Reads".

Rather than pitying this poor and lonely forgotten piece of writing, I prefer to look at it as a crystal hidden in the stone waiting to be discovered: the triumph in the occurrence of beauty against mathematical improbability...

With the acquisition of my beautiful Violetta, a white iPhone 4, emerged the possibility of documenting each episode by taking quick snapshots of the scenes that compose each unexplored day. Instagram has become my new vice: Polaroids for the 21st century. Still I'd rather own the real thing...

Full speed, half blind. Train arriving on a Friday. Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

Lazy Sunday Morning.

Modern Fairytale.
Retro-clinician. This fine gentleman caught my attention as he was leaving Campus.

The Fitzgeralds of the Third World. Visual testimony of our hedonistic weekends.
Summer solstice.
Auf Wiedersehen...