Autumn

This post was due already a couple a weeks ago, but because of technical difficulties, a lengthy post that I wrote on a cold October night never saw the light of day i.e.  never made its way onto the world wide web. Sometimes my life feels rather hectic, even though when observing from a far, it isn’t, perhaps it is just my own mind that makes everything so difficult and complicated in my small world, but at times I feel that I need to unwind.

I often clear my head by going for long walks during chilly autumn nights, thinking about the past, present and future. One evening as I headed out, a scarf around my neck, a beanie on my head and a camera in my hand, I reminisced about a lot of things as I took deep breaths of  the fresh air outside. It’s funny how climate can bring to our mind our own past sometimes, as if those things had happened just yesterday.

As I walked in my local park, that had gone silent for the winter, inhabited now only by small bunnies running mindlessly through the leaf covered scene, I remembered how I always linked autumn to anticipating something. I remember how as a small kid I waited eagerly for the leaves to fall and the colder weathers to come, because with cold weather came ice and with ice came ice hockey. Even though I have had periods in my life when hockey hasn’t been that important, as a kid it was. Partly because that was where all of your friends also were, on the ice. Only now as I’m a bit older I’ve noticed that in fact my oldest and most trustworthy friends were indeed my line mates as I was 6 or 7. Some of my friends continued to play hockey, I didn’t, I moved onto skiing, downhill that is.

When I started to ski and film my friends for snowboard videos and stuff (LINK), I got into new fun circles for which I am to this day still damn grateful. Every autumn as the weather started to get colder, we watched ,nearly non-stop, the webcam of our local ski center, to see if the snow-cannons had started to paint the slopes white, and when they did start to cover the hill with what was more Ice than snow, we headed to the center to film something. Waiting for the ski season to start was for a long time a part of my autumn, but that changed once I moved to Helsinki, and especially now that I live in Berlin.

Sure,I could have continued to ski in Helsinki, but it would’ve been way too much of a hassle to travel to the nearby towns, with public transport, not to mention not having the familiar faces of my “crew” there. As if by accident my road started to lead back to my former hobby, although this time to the rafters. A good friend of mine started to lure me into going to see the hockey matches in Helsinki, needless to say it didn’t take long for me to be hooked again to ice hockey. As the hockey season starts usually around September, this “spectator sport” started to be the new thing that I awaited to begin during autumns, we even went to see my team’s (IFK Helsinki) training matches in August, because at times it felt that the season couldn’t come quick enough. Needless to say, I haven’t been to IFK’s games in a while having moved to Berlin.

I have tried to follow both my team’s games and the local Berlin team’s games here, but it hasn’t felt the same. I do still watch the Finnish league (and the NHL , if they didn’t have a lockout season), but nowadays I’ve noticed I enjoy spending a lot of time with my camera. Even on that cold October night, as I was kicking the maple leaf piles with my feet in the empty park, I had my Sony with me. I perhaps lacked the anticipation of something “seasonal” but I have a continuous hobby now, which is surprisingly chill and allows me to clear my head as well. Dwelling through the park, snapping photos and enjoying the lack of noises is just bliss at times. That night I spent a good few hours walking around, stopping now and again to sit on a bench to observe the wild life that had still stayed in the park for the upcoming winter.

I believe Nietzsche once said ” All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” and I do believe he is on to something there, since at least for me, when I walk alone in the evenings I am able to clear my head of the  less useful thoughts and focus on the good ones, which is something that for me is hard to do at times when surrounded by people. I might have walked out that night out of the door, with a big stressful mess of different thoughts, but returned with a much calmer mind and even a couple of nice photos, all thanks to a “sleeping” park and a late evening walk. I also know now that I do not need to have anything to anticipate during the autumn anymore, sure skiing would be fun, but in the end, taking pictures or writing nonsense isn’t a bad hobby either, and you can do it anytime of the year.

Me and my “best friend”

Last night I was again bored. Running around within the four walls of my room, without a destination.
I decided to make use of this “extra energy” that I had and enjoy the company of my camera in the form of a short walk around the borough of Schöneberg.

As often with my trips, this one got extended as well and went quickly from being a short walk around the corner to a full blown sightseeing tour, spending two full hours walking around Berlin to the beat of some fresh drum’n’bass songs.

Luckily, at least the weather was on my side this time and I didn’t have to seek cover from rain or snow. I played a lot with the shutter of my camera to make some use of my walk, other than the obvious health benefit of walking for kilometers at a good pace. Mr. Self-timer was also with me during this random tour of Berlin and it makes me wonder if I’ve gotten too used to using a self-timer, when I even tell passing by pedestrian that I do not require assistance whilst taking photos, as they offer to take a picture of me. Perhaps it’s just the simple fact that I don’t trust them to do a good job ( as if I was a professional, right…).

Having come home around midnight, I was already able to edit some of the shots, but left most of them for today, since I was a tad tired and didn’t have the energy to focus on editing. At least now I can say that I’ve seen the “siegessäule” statue up-close, since before yesterday I hadn’t had the energy to drag myself to take pictures of it.

Here are a couple from last night the rest and much more can be found in the IamMoments section.

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Groceries

“I’m back!” as if to try and be some sort of movie hero, I shouted these much used words as I entered the 20 square meter room, that is my home here in Berlin for the next months to be. Even though there is only one hour time difference between the cold up north (Finland) and Germany, I still had a strange feeling of “jetlag”, falling to my bed trying to sleep for half an hour, only to realise that my attempt was a failed one.

Today I had the pleasure (strange but yes) of enjoying a flight operated by AirBerlin, a company stuck in an intersection of sorts; not being able to decide whether to turn to being a low-fare airline or premium one. On the flight of this confused airline, I was able to enjoy the “comfyish” seats and non-advertising atmosphere (not to mention having a full 3 seats to myself, being apparently too scary for anyone to sit next to). And wait there’s more! I had even the possibility of choosing my meal! Yes, I could choose the “hotdogish” creation or what I presume was an apple muffin. Now, I know, I know, I shouldn’t be complaining about the snacks, but what I’m saying is that even though the airline was nice and all, it did not quite fulfill my culinary needs, so to speak. Lucky for me I have truly wonderful roommates who suggested that they would make “Flammkuchen” a German/French specialty, which I had once before tried in Strasbourg, the runner-up capital of the EU. Needless to say, I almost cried tears of joy, receiving this kind of a welcome immediately after being back here for only a couple of minutes!

The meal was in short: superb! I had a smile on my face once again and got just the start for my second round of Germany that I needed!  Being smart and all, I quickly realised that I would probably need to eat something in the morning as well, as my digestive system surely would break down every inch of the previously enjoyed delightful meal during the night, leaving my stomach rather empty. For those who don’t know, it might be good to point out that Sunday in Germany, is not a day to do your shopping. All major grocery stores, kwik-e-mart’s and you name its’ are closed, geschlossen, as the all too familiar sign says on many store doors. However, as with any major law, this one also has a loophole. Apparently IF a store is located within a railway station it may stay open even on a Sunday (somebody correct me on this if you know better). As if I was carrying a lucky rabbit’s foot in my pocket, my surprisingly good luck seemed to have no end to it. There was a local grocery store, within walking distance of my home, and more importantly within an inner city railway station. I decided to make use of this trip, by taking with me my trusty companion, my camera, in hopes of snapping some random photos on my way to the store.

As I walked in the misty outdoors, which climate wise reminded me more of mid-May in Finland, I could not help but think to myself at times, “where are the people?”. Berlin, a city of more than 3.4 Million people should be buzzing with pedestrians. Still on many streets there wasn’t a single soul in sight. Having spent the last couple of weeks in a Finnish town of 20.000 inhabitants, it was almost funny how similar some streets of Berlin seemed to be to those of Jämsä (The town), in the sense that there were no cars or people moving on them. Frankly told though, the lack of people didn’t really bother me much. I had my earphones on and was clicking my camera to the beat, trying to get at least one decent shot to have fun with on photoshop later on.

After a purposely done detour, I finally put down my camera and headed to the store, where apparently all the people that I was previously wondering about had found their way as well. Happy with my simple choices of a water bottle and some quark for the morning, I went on my merry way and headed home. To my displeasure, I was sad to notice that most of the pictures I had taken were harshly out of focus or otherwise blurred due to possibly the rain that had blessed me with its presence. After playing with photoshop for a while, I managed to “save” a couple of photos which, although are not nearly in the category of great, can be at least looked upon, without having a “frowny face”.

If someone actually had the energy to read through all of that, I tip my beanie/hat off to you, simultaneously chanting “hazaa!hazaa!hazaa!” to magnify this gesture of gratitude. That’s all for now and if you have some opinions on the photos or on life, do share!

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