I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the Zumba class at my gym. I tried working out to online Zumba classes at home but it’s simply not the same without our teacher from the gym. She is a ball of fire, and with her 154 cm and vivid personality she manages to energize the whole room and everyone in her class.
I’m rather an introvert when it comes to participating in classes at the gym, especially when dancing is involved. Therefore I was hesitant like a chameleon (I’m gonna go! I’m not gonna go!) whether to try the Zumba class out or not. I'm so glad that in the end I decided to join.
I’m very self-aware and always wonder too much about whether I’m distracting the others by not getting the steps right. I’m terrible at multi-tasking; when I can finally figure out the steps and then I have to add arm movement to it. … Arrghhh!! That’s it! A short circuit in my brain. I’m still trying to get the hang of it but the fact that I’m still going every week proves HOW MUCH I’m in love with this class.
I hear the music, and I feel restlessly excited.
I’m dancing, and my heart is bouncing in my chest as if I’m in line with all stars.
The teacher does her wavering, high-pitched howl-like ululation vocal sound everyone joins in, and right when I’m about to let it out too … I sound like Tarzan with a cold, which just brings me back to earth! I so wished I was able to let out that ululation (that's a real word), just like the others because it’s the ultimate Zumba dance peak that makes all self-judgement disappear.
Coffee to go in the early morning
I used to work night shifts at my first job here in Japan. Only in the Land of the Rising Sun can you teach online German to students from all over the country from 10 pm until 7:30 in the morning. Though the job resulted in my first eye wrinkles I also got a taste of what a city with a population of almost nine million people feels like in the early morning hours: A clear sky, crispy fresh air, and the smell of roasted beans from your Coffee To Go in your hand. I always think that this is the time the city belongs to you, that it flirts with you, gives you its special attention by orchestrating Mother Nature to turn up the volume of birdsongs and caress your cheeks with sunlight. Your senses feel sharper. Maybe that’s why Coffee To Go in the early mornings tastes so damn good.
A good conversation in the car
Being in the car, preferably on the front passenger seat, and driving somewhere with your hubby or a very good friend, can be (the emphasis is on CAN) the perfect set up for a good uplifting conversation. It needs to be a longer drive that allows you to have different stages like a movie plot with a scene-setting, climax, and a conclusion; while if you sat in a cafe having silent moments feels rather awkward, a car ride basically insists on quiet times, as if the movie director shouts "Cut!". You can stare out of the window, play with your hair, put your legs up and listen to music. All that allows you and your company time to process what the other one said and takes off the pressure of having to say right away what YOU think. Maybe the fact that you being in this small space, going in the same direction makes you a better listener and I remember many quality-conversations in the car that felt like a refreshing shower after a long hot day.
I’m a very visual person. I often think in pictures and create little scenes in my head, which are hard to translate into words and thoughts. But that’s another story. I’m not sure if this is the reason why I love movies or whether I think in pictures and scenes because I was influenced by movies from when I was very little. Either way, going to the cinema for me is like going to church on Sundays for other people; I feel inspired, restless, filled with adrenaline, and sometimes sad, when it’s a damn good movie and I think to myself “There is a slight chance this could have been my story (in another time, in another life)”, or even empty when I don’t want to go back to the real world.
Watching a movie like Bourne Identity with brilliant and smart fighting scenes pumps me up with energy.
A movie like Locke with Tom Hardy that is a “dialog-driven chamber play consisting of one continuous scene” that takes place in a car, “uuuh”s my mind for days and days.
BUT! Nothing beats morning cinema and a classic movie. A scene towards the end from Roman Holiday when Audrey Hepburn looks right into the camera and we see a close up of her makes me cry every time because I’m blown away by her beauty and the spark in her eyes. Morning cinema is actually the only time I skip salty popcorn, which is a MUST when I go to the movies, and replace it with coffee and a donut.
I could go on and on about the thrilling sensation when the lights go off and the heavy curtains swing, when the surround sound sends vibrations through your body ... And then the grease on your fingers from your popcorn, and the trailer-feast-time ... Ahh! I think, you pretty much got the idea of how much I loooove going to the movies.
Catching up with my mom in her kitchen
I’ve always associated coffee with talking time. I was a latchkey-child. When I came home after school I used to heat up leftovers, finish homework and watch movies till my mom came home. The moment I heard her key turn in the lock, I ran to the door to greet her and started telling her about my day like a broken dam right the moment the poor woman set her foot in the house. She knew I was excited to see her but because she had a long day and needed a break she always told me “go make me some coffee, sweet pie, let me have a cigarette, and then you can tell me all about your day”. And that’s what I did. And still do. Every year when I visit my mom in Germany I usually arrive in the early afternoon. I go into her kitchen, make some coffee for us and when it’s finally done we sit down at her cozy table and talk, and talk … and talk. How I miss that.
Hearing my grandmother laugh her smoky laugh
My maternal grandma lives in Turkey. I barely have a chance to see her but once in a while I talk to her on the phone. Well, to be precise: I talk, and she screams. She doesn’t hear well. Never has. She is a good soul with a caring heart but she’s had some rough experiences along the way and has given up hanging on to life a long time ago. It’s more like life is clinging on to her. For her this world exists only of pain. And cigarettes. My grandma smokes like a chimney and sounds like Clint Eastwood … in Kurdish.
Just sometimes she forgets her sadness; out of the blue she finds something so amusing that she starts giggling with that smokey voice of hers and when she can’t stop, we all can't help but laugh with her. Moments like that with her are priceless.
Here, in titles, a few more things (by far not everything) that make me feel really good:
A good spot in a cozy cafe with a good coffee and a story to write
My handsome man patting my head when I feel down
Fresh colorful flowers on the kitchen table
Having a good time with dear friends
Duty free (window) shopping at airports
Having a reason to laugh hard with loved ones and then a fart escapes you and you laugh even more
Watching Fifty Shades of Grey with the right bunch of girl friends and making fun of the scenes
Driving for a while and then stopping by for coffee and enjoying the sun and the blue sky
Speaking on Skype with good old friends! Miss you all!
And not to forget:
The sight of palm trees and banana leaves!
A small note at the end: I noticed there is a lot of coffee involved in my happy moments. Hmmm!?!