What’s the opposite of a lullaby?

On dark days like these, we northern hemisphere dwellers can use all the help we can get when that alarm clock goes off in the morning.

All though I am actually very much a morning person, motivating myself to push back those warm blankets, leaving the world of dreams and pillows behind, is so much harder when the world is dark and cold. I like to take my time with that horizontal-to-vertical start up process.

My Wake-Up light helps me out by slowly lifting me out of my deepest sleep before setting in the bird sounds, signalling the moment I should really open my eyes.

My boyfriend needs some more persuading. For him, I have made a playlist of songs with uplifting melodies and lyrics. You know, the kind of songs that you can’t help but bob your head (or knees) along to? Those are the songs I want.

Our current list consists of about 15 tot 20 songs, but our personal favorites can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand, with Coldplay’s “Adventure of a Lifetime” lonely at the top.

This song is so catchy and positive and motivating and I don’t mind if it stays around in my head for the rest of the day. I mean, who doesn’t want to be encouraged to “turn their magic on” at the break of dawn?

Anyhow… As much as I love this song, I am always afraid of over-playing it and having its magic wear off.

So that’s why I am constantly looking for new songs to add to my “Wake up Songs”-playlist. And what better way to do this than to call on the wisdom of the WordPress oracle?

What song helps you open the curtains and makes you wanna dance around the room? Which song turns your magic on?

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The Blue Sky Tag

My fellow blogger and like-minded soul searcher, LazyHaze, threw a Blue Sky Tag my way. Thanks a bunch for that!

She came up with some cool questions for me, as well. Check out my answers below!

What is your favorite song?

Just one?? That question is hard… bordering on cruel… 😛

But OK, if I have to go for just the one, then I choose Todo Cambia, by the legendary Argentinian singer, Mercedes Sosa. Gives me goosebumps every time.

What do you like to do in free time?

she ra.gifHmm… I tell people horseriding is one of my greatest hobbies, but I don’t really do it that often anymore. I used to have a horse of my own, but that was more than a decade ago.

What I actually do in my free time is not that impressive. I love me some netflix time, I love goofing around with my boyfriend and I love spending time outdoors, all though I do suffer from “good weather syndrome”. My definition of good weather isn’t “warm and sunny” per se, but I am definitiely not a rain lover…

What movie genre are you into?

My taste in movies is pretty varied, all though I am not a big fan of corny comedies or cheesy lovey dovey flicks. I can’t handle Scarlett Johansson’s eternal orgasm face or Nicholas Cage’s droopy mumblings. Will Ferrel, Steve Martin and  Hugh Grant are also deal breakers.

Not sure I’ve answered the question yet… but I think that’s all I’ve got to say about that… (movie reference! movie reference!)

If you had a time machine, where would you go?

Hmm, I don’t really have time travelling aspirations… maybe I’d visit a time pre-dating humans? Just to see what it was like. Maybe see if I could tame a dinosaur and ride one of those. 😮

What is at the top of your bucket list?

Rock climbing is at the top of my list. As in, it as actually the first thing on it. But it’s not at the top in the sense that it is the thing I want to do first or most.

As I just moved into a new house a few months ago, I’d like to build something myself. A piece of furniture or a bird house or something. I’m actually working on some ideas. They’re not quite ready to be shared with the world, but maybe someday.

Are you afraid to live or are you afraid to die?

I’d like to think I’m not afraid of death, but that might be a lie. I’m an atheist (allthough sometimes my stance towards religion leans more toward agnosticism), so I don’t believe there is anything after I die. It just stops. And that is fine.

If I am afraid at all, I think it might be of the actual process of dying, not death itself… Does that make sense?

Who is your hero/heroine?

Michelle Obama kicks ass.

Oh and Malala Yousafzai.

Malala-most-inspiring-quotes-One-girl.jpg

What helps you get out of bed in the morning?

I am actually a morning person and have very little trouble getting out of bed in the morning.

What do you think of pornography? Do you think it should be banned? (Indian Govt. tried to do just that)

I’m not sure banning pornography is even possible… It’s a phenomenon stronger than any regulation can enforce and has been around for as long as history can tell.

I have no ethical problems with pornography in itself. I mean, I have no problem with the idea of men (let’s face it, it’s made for men… am I right?) watching naked people having sex or masturbating.

What I do have some issues with is HOW sexual interactions are portrayed. It’s so different from reality. And I do believe that people with little experience may get the wrong expectations from it that may harm women in particular.

Which blog do you read every day?

I am actually not very loyal when it comes to blogging or blog-reading. I forget about my WordPress friends for weeks at a time and then stick around for a few days and then disappear again. I’m horrible that way…

–=-=-=-=-=–

I tag:

The rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer their questions.
  3. Tag people.
  4. Give them questions to answer.

My questions for you:

  1. What is something you enjoy doing but are ashamed of telling people about?
  2. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
  3. What do you think of tattoos?
  4. Can you handle tickling?
  5. Which song do you know all the words to?
  6. What do you see when you walk out your front door?
  7. What does your dreamhouse look like?
  8. Are you a morning person?
  9. What’s your favorite piece of clothing?
  10. Do you celebrate your birthday?

Have a good weekend and happy holidays to all of you celebrating Easter, Passover, Pahela Baishakh, Songkran or some other festive occasion.

What a difference a morning makes

Any one who has been to Holland knows it is a very organized country. Maybe even over-organized. Both the Dutch weather and landscape are quite predictable, as is our infrastructure. Every thing really works quite well all though you would never believe it if you heard my fellow countrymen complaining about the train delays every day.

In some countries they wouldn’t bother to put out an announcement about a delay unless it is several hours overdue. In Holland we organize our days up to the minute which means a 5 minute delay is a big deal.

Den Haag zonesMy job is located right in between two train stations, being The Hague Central and the Hague Holland Spoor. This means I have the luxury of being able to choose which route I take to work each morning and no delay ever really affects my plans for the day. All though I love the variety I always end up regretting it when I decide to start up my day by getting out at the central station. I’ll tell you why.

In the map provided above you can see the two stations marked in red and the area that I work in marked in green. If I choose to walk from the central station I walk through an area with a lot of high government buildings and offices. This is roughly the area marked in yellow. The shops and lunchrooms on these blocks are well adjusted to the many men and women in fancy suits that come buy for a quick coffee or more elaborate lunchmeeting. Wifi and superfoods all around…

People tend to be in a hurry here, and tight deadlines make for short fuses, I guess. When the train pulls in, people squeeze to the door and start pressing on the “open” button even before the train has come to a full stop. When the door opens the rush begins, in quite an unapologetic way. They push their way to the public-transport-check-out-scanners in a survival-of-the-fittest kind of way and then click clack click clack their shiny shoes onwards towards their desks. I imagine their is a picture of their children there to remind themselves why they do this every day and some sort of inspirational card on eye-level as motivation.

I am not often in a hurry. On the one side that is because I always get up quite early and on the other side it is because my job doesn’t require me to be in at a very specific time. I also just don’t enjoy the feeling and try to avoid it as much as possible. If fate makes it so that on some morning I end up arriving at Den Haag Centraal station it is what I consider to a bad start of my day, because even though I am not in a hurry myself, the frantic atmosphere there does get to me.

It’s hard to explain how the sound of someone walking can spike someone else’s stress levels. I don’t see the person behind me. I don’t know where they are going or anything else about them. Just the sound of high heels in this determined, short-interval kind of way makes me want to turn around and slap them…. or trip them… or maybe give them a massage and help them relax. It varies. 😉

And there’s not just that one person behind me. They’re all over the place! Some are already getting their caffeine fix (and maybe a muffin) at their favorite coffee house. Some are smoking one last cig before entering the office building. Some are on bikes or even skateboards. And in that little moment in time I am one of them. One of the tiny little insignificant ants pouring out of the ant-hill that is the station. Following the flow. Walking, going, clicking, clacking. No eye contact allowed.

And then there is the other station; Den Haag Holland Spoor, on the other side of the city center. This side of town is more of a residential area (the blue areas in the map above) and some might even consider it to be a bad neighborhood (all though it’s definitely much better than it used to be). It is an area where a lot of immigrants live and the shops and restaurants illustrate this as well. People don’t rush here. They give you their blessings when you sneeze. There might even be some eye contact and an apology when you bump into someone. Either that, or you could get stabbed… at least that’s what people tell me… But I’m hoping that only happens to people with karma issues.

As soon as I walk out of this station and cross the street I am pretty much the only person walking there. The Turkish baker is already open as are the fruit and vegetable stalls. The hair dressers (for all types of hair) are usually still closed when I walk by but the occasional one might be open for the early cabbies or what not.

Sometimes I walk past the mosque where some activity might be taking place depending on the day of the week or time of year. Then I walk through China town where smells, colors and alphabet change again. Everything is still closed. The only shoes you hear are mine. I can also choose to walk another route that takes me past a park and an urban garden area. The last part takes me past the red light district where it is always surprisingly busy…

And then I arrive at work; completely chilled out but very much awake.