Saturday, March 10

It was the kind of day that got away from me. Woke up very early, not even really feeling rested. Turned on the computer, and it now beats me what it was that I did, but it was not writing, and it was not dealing with the unanswered email either. What did I do? Was it writing after all?

Then I thought that I would return to bed, but before I knew it, it was 7 a.m. and the alarm went off and I had not yet had breakfast. Saturday, and the question is always, will I go to Karate kata training? Yes, I made it. Packed my gi, towel, almost forgot an undergarment – a serious inconvenience for a woman – and walked down the hill to just make it with two minutes to change. Getting ready and on the tatami needs longer these days, I need to tie my hair back in a pony tail. It is good and extremely humbling to be doing katas again after well over an year, actually almost two, of not practicing any of them. We started with tekki shodan, and then went through the heian katas (shodan, nidan, sandan, yondan, godan) a few times. Somehow my body remembered more than I did, and I actually worked up a sweat. It was however also the day to clean the dojo! This is now the second time this year that I help with the clean-up of a dojo and it seems that the approach to this task is as varied as the two disciplines. In the end the result is the same, the mats are clean and the whole place is sparkling. Nothing like a clean dojo!

Oh, I had almost completely forgotten that it was dojo clean-up day, and I had intended on helping out, however I did skip the fondue afterwards and went shopping. I am not fond of shopping, so I have wondered if I should not have a DNA analysis done after all… do not all females love shopping? Let me bitch a bit about this. I have some stringent restrictions on the types of food that I can eat without getting a rash or some other intolerance reaction. The list is simple: wheat, spelt, rye, cow milk and all cow milk products, eggs, lemons, and apples. I have however no problems with sheep or goat milk and soya anything. If I stray off the list, and sometimes I do, I do suffer, and really you do not want to read about that. However to get bread that I can eat is a major challenge in any country because not all gluten-free breads are wheat, spelt or rye free. Sometimes these also contain eggs or milk products. It gets complicated, and I consider it an intelligence test. Goat or sheep milk or yogurt have only recently shown up on the shelves of Swiss supermarkets or markets of any size, however they can not be found in the smaller shops or outlets and this does restrict the location of the shops that I go to. The ones in my neighborhood do not stock these specialty items, so I need to go downtown for them. No big deal, I live within fifteen minutes walking distance of downtown. After katas, I went shopping, I mean food shopping. It does bore me.

Not being in this dojo for so long does bring the consequence that there are some faces that I had never seen, and that these do not know me. I still get irritated about the question of where I come from. Today one of these new faces asks me where I come from and I look at him and tell him that I am Swiss and that not all Swiss speak dialect or German for that matter. He still wanted to know where I was born, and this question annoyed me too. No wonder that some people think that I am a bit arrogant, or that I have something to hide, or that I do not like where I was born. All wrong, I just have heard the question so many times, I am tired of it. I am intolerant – I do confess – I do expect others to get out of their comfort zone and deal with the fact that I do not sound like a local. As a matter of fact, I do not sound like a local anywhere, not even in that sunny and beautiful place where I was born! There too, they ask me the same question, and there too they label me as a foreigner. I am tired of this too, I have been asked these questions all of my life, and I seem to not get used to it.

After the shopping I met with Frédéric for a coffee at the Café Literaire and quickly realized that I was not much in the mood for conversation. Two people who have played a very major role in my life for the past two years, my accountant and his life-partner, saw me at the café and came to say hello, and that made for one of those wonderful moments in life of being happy to see somebody just like that, without appointments or issues to discuss.

I returned home with a lot of good intentions about giving the place a serious clean, and then… it did not happen. First I IMed with Mark Kuznicki for a while about LinkedIn, Facebook and Meyer-Briggs personalities. Interesting, and this is an ongoing conversation.

Laid down with a book – Oracle Night by Paul Auster – on the bed, and before I knew it I woke up a few hours later and had slept longer than I had during the night. Sometimes I do need days that are free running. And sometimes my humors are not quite all that bright sunshine and fair weather kind and I get annoyed and irritated at people’s natural curiosity and interest in me. It drizzled here today inside my mind, my smile needed a rest. All is good, much change taking place, that’s all.

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