Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Oft gefragt

I have forgotten what's good in these uncertain times.

When nothing in sure, it is easier to have your attention drawn to weaknesses in yourself and in others than to look for fleeting moments of life being ok. To paraphrase Robert Frost, the thing about life is that it goes on. There is no use in dwelling upon hardships and despair because all this overthinking will do is pull you deeper into the darkness.

But man, it is hard to stave it off when your sword is a stick and you bunked on the day there was an introduction to fencing. So now all you can do is go tilting at windmills, ever forward, always getting back on your horse.

Enough with the literary braggadocio - this weekend was good. From Thursday on, it was good. Good came back swinging. Good showed up at the group exhibition of What The Weekend Is Gallery at Urban Spree when the music was jamming and some of the art seemed like you'd want to put it up on your wall. Good continued on Friday with the Yemeni Film Festival, which introduced the parkour scene in the bombed city of Aden as well as the importance of hip-hop and breakdancing in Cambodia, Uganda, Yemen and Colombia through the Shake the Dust documentary, and then at the opening of Hans-Peter Feldmann's photographic exhibition at the C/O.  Good persisted throughout the night with Critical Mass riding by, crashing an architecture-meets-art party because I needed the bathroom and staying to enjoy free wine and a lady playing at a white piano whilst an elderly man fell asleep on a chair holding his Chardonnay, and then checking out a Russian grocery store with bottled tomatoes, meringues and sweets whose wrappers looked more enticing than their content.

Good did not give up after an already solid couple of days. In sauntered into Saturday whilst strolling through Mitte for Berlin's Gallery Weekend, where we mainly didn't understand the art and made dozens of gifs of ourselves with light installations. We continued on to a second-hand market where I bought pants that look like a dress and are wonderfully airy for the hopefully impending heat of summer. Aww jiss.


After a nap we pre-drank nasty-ass Mexikaner (shots made up of Vodka or Korn with tomato juice and Tabasco or something. It is like downing a tiny Bloody Mary) and danced to the glorious music of the Backstreet Boys before going to a club where we hip-hopped into May. I am pretty sure my dancing skills are not great, but just shaking all the negativity off through the beautiful sounds of 90s hip-hop was close to sublime.

Good hit another six on Sunday with warm weather, a neighbour-barbecue and meeting a friend with her friend, the two of whom were in town for a concert. We hadn't seen one another in more than a year, so catching up on the details in person filled in the blanks between Skype sessions and phone calls. As they went to Yann Tiersen I headed to the May-1st-demonstrations because I didn't want to return home just yet and protesting in SA usually means people toyi-toying and destroying things, so I gathered that this could be equally interesting. More interesting than the clad-in-all-black crown of protesters and gawkers was the clad-in-all-black police: their uniforms look like the armour of ants, and their synchronised drills made the whole protest run smoothly. When I left, no cars were burning, no one was fighting, but to my dismay no one was really chanting their dissatisfaction either. Weirdly some of the officers also had what appeared to be video cameras on their helmets, to what purpose I am unsure of (identification of possible threats? recording all attendees? state surveillance?).

And then good had to prove one last time why it is aspirational: Monday meant writing applications that actually were responded to and then meeting up with the friends from Sunday before they left the city. We got ice-cream at Hokey Pokey and just chilled in the park for hours before they departed for the train station and I got to enjoy some time in the sun before another friend showed up and regaled me with his tales.

I shan't forget again - something good is always around the corner.

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