Mañana – Tomorrow  


I was born and raised in Austria. Admittedly, I am not used to having to pull a number when I go into a store to buy something. Here in Mallorca, you have to pull a waiting number for pretty much any business you attempt to do: whether you are buying fruits or whether you are getting a contract for a cell phone. Same story at the post office, IKEA’s furniture store, or when you want to rent a car.

When I was new here, it really ticked me off. It seemed that the longer the queue was for waiting customers, the slower the pace was at which the sales people worked. But I had no other choice than to wait again and again, to surrender to what I could not control.

There is a reason why the Spaniards have the reputation to say “mañana”, meaning tomorrow, when they cannot (or maybe don’t want to) do something and try to postpone it for some other time (which they are unable to tell you) in the next future. Maybe it’s just us biased Central Europeans clinging to an old cliché that wants to require citizens of other countries to conform to the standards of our performance oriented society. Or perhaps it really is just Spanish philosophy of how to live life.

Fact is, that I am starting to like this slowness. Even when it will probably still take light years for me personally to adjust to this pace (unfortunately). Observing myself I have noticed that deep down I hold the people of Spain in high regard. Nothing can shake their calm when it comes to taking enough time for things that matter to them. So, yes, they are totally able to just live into the day when they feel like it. Let’s hope that it stays this way and they won’t succumb someday to the pace of Central Europe. Well, if they do, I pray it will be “tomorrow”, after all, shouldn’t there be enough time for it “mañana”?


Tasting instead of Wasting

I only have to imagine how much food is being thrown away on a daily base for the simple reason that the expiration date tells you to do so – honestly, it bothers me in a big way. It makes me nauseous, to tell you the truth. Okay, so I don’t want to buy rancid nuts or moldy chocolate either just because they were doing overtime on a shelf. In that sense the expiration date does offer a certain protection for the consumer, but – think about it – perhaps even more so for the manufacturer? Because, if you chuck more, you can sell more, right? (Even, if the product is actually perfectly fine….) Just take a look at Himalayan crystal salt, for example – it is 200 to 250 million years old – but when you see it on the shelf of a store, its goodness expires apparently after a couple months….

I can still remember the times before expiration dates became law. Yes, that was a while ago. You trusted that your grocer was the honest kind and didn’t scheme to take advantage of you. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t last long in his business, that’s for sure. It’s harder to trust a supermarket chain, isn’t it?

There is a young woman from Berlin, named Lena Becker (www.restlos-glü, who truly had a stroke of genius. Her idea is to “save” grocery items that can’t be sold on the regular market because their appearance (shape, color and size) does not fit the norm. Consider that, in Germany alone, there are tons of grocery items that are being thrown away by the supermarkets just because they are labeled wrong or simply because the expiration date is about to pass. To this add German households that get rid of close to 82 kg (round that up to 181 lbs.) of food per year – you get the picture.

So here is another great idea: Nina and her team are planning to open a restaurant which will use exclusively food items that have been “saved”, from organic (if possible), local and seasonal production. Actually, something like this could be more than “just” a restaurant – a place where people of like mind, who care about taking action against senseless wasting, can brainstorm and cultivate their ideas.

Isn’t that genius? I consider it as a sign, however small, that the winds of change are blowing: they are bringing fresh and positive thinking into arenas that have become stale and rigid. This is a start, of course. Much more is needed, but you’ve always got to start somewhere. And again, the (grown up) “children of the New Age” are front and center when it comes to action!


New Year’s Resolution

I do not like New Year’s resolutions at all. Because if I want to realign my life, I do not do it at the beginning of a new year, but whenever it feels good and right for me. “Friend Saturn” (he represents structure, order, cutbacks, trials and realignment among other things) has been tugging at me for some years now. My horoscope shows that he has been sweeping across my sun sign Scorpio (whichconstitutes me as a person and character) and is going to cling to my Sagittarius Ascendant this year.

This allows me to redefine myself, reduce some things in my life, clear out and make space for new things, turn on the searchlight and be open to the signals of my soul and my heavenly companions. The relocation at the turn of the year certainly is already a part of this, after all it gives me the opportunity to have a good clear out and to free myself from material burdens (after all the new flat is smaller, another Saturn topic). The next months will show where my journey will lead me and who will participate in this journey or who won’t. Things will certainly remain exciting. All in all, there will be enough for me to do, because the first ideas and impulses are already coming up. It is certainly not going to be boring, with or without Saturn.

I wish all of us a hopeful, fulfilled and happy New Year! Every one of us steers their own ship of life and sometimes it is smart and important to relinquish the wheel to a higher, caring power. Happy New Year!

(Photo © https://www.laclassefranç…/…/paris/; VIEW, German edition 12/2015, p. 44 ff)



Our world is changing

After a strenuous day of work, I just love to “air” my brain a little. For this purpose, I like to pick up a magazine which is not too intellectually demanding and read the latest gossip about pregnant Swedish princesses or Queen Elizabeth’s latest hat styles.

Recently, when I was thumbing through the magazine VIEW, an article about the terrorist attack in Paris caught my eye. Sentences like “The world reacts differently to the terrorist attacks in Paris than the terrorists had expected” prompted me to read on. “People all around the world are united by their deep sympathy; also many Muslims grieve with Paris. From Paris to Rio de Janeiro, the landmarks are lighted up in the blue-white-red colours of the tricolour. … A very formidable answer to the terror is given by Frenchman Antoine Leiris. He, whose wife died at the concert at the Bataclan, posted an obituary for the mother of his little son, the love of his life, on Facebook, and in it he tells the assassins, ‘You want me to be afraid. Forget it.’”

One thing is very clear: We must not naively underestimate the major upheavals in our society along with their unforeseeable consequences, but that is exactly why fear is a bad counsellor. Again and again, we should get out of the hamster wheel of our fears and direct our thoughts and our whole energy towards a positive and peaceful realignment of our world!