Two Suitcases

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Behind the red hammock you see the door to “B5″, my tiny staff quarters on the Maldivian island of Kuredu. They consisted of a room just big enough for a queen size bed and a wardrobe, and a tiny bathroom with a view of the equatorial sky. I loved this little home. Especially sitting on the comfy chairs in front of my door, sipping an early morning coffee, listening to birds and geckos chattering away, while the coffee machines of my neighbors roared loudly behind paper-thin walls.
I am now 44 years old (well almost) and the entirety of my worldly possessions still fits into two suitcases. One of these days I’ll settle down somewhere. At least as far as to have a “harbor” to return to after going out into the world once more. For now though, I am happy to be able to be unhampered by possessions. I feel immensely lucky and treasure my freedom.

The Three Ma’s

the three Ms

The last 10 years of nomadic life have brought me to three places starting with “Ma”: the Maldives, Macau, and now Malta.
These names have sort of blurred together in my mind. You will find me sitting in a Maltese restaurant, asking the waitress, “So, what are your Maldivian specialties today?” Or I’ll take a cab and say, “Ah, Macauan traffic is really bad today, isn’t it?”
Nevertheless, I do realize where I am: in Malta, my third “Ma”. And, as we say in Germany, all good things come in threes.

The Magic World of Books

2001 in shelleys trailer

Books have always meant the world to me. From as early as six years old, I used to read three to five books a week. And I’ve never stopped. Back in the early days, my grandma would laugh and say, “Slow down child, you’re devouring them, not reading them!”
This passion of mine has always run deep. Reading enables me to dive into another world, another life, another dimension…

Then I started writing my own. No one ever told me how to, but I found myself moving forward instinctively. Having read thousands of books over the years, letting my own story flow from my heart into the file on my computer felt as natural as breathing.
I’m far from done, too. I need to get this first one published… and then I want to aim for the stars and write many more. Hopefully they will measure up to some of the brilliant literary works of art I’ve immersed myself in over the years.

So Much Has Changed

1995 photoshoot with oliver 1

In the fall of 1995 I was still two years away from my gender alignment surgeries. I hid my boobs as well as I could. I practiced looking grim and – I thought – manly. I wore my hiking boots wherever I went. Looking back, I am surprised I didn’t wear them to bed as well.
So much has changed since then. I am amazed by how complete I feel now, how utterly free from having to fulfill the stereotypes of any gender. I am happy being the unique little man that I am.

There Is No Life Without Art

2012 making a cast

I can’t imagine a life without art – be it reading a book, going to an exhibition, watching ballet, dance, opera, theater, a movie, or listening to music… Then there is the joy of writing, photographing, drawing, painting and sculpting the odd piece myself. My entire spirit lifts whenever I invest myself fully in these endeavors.
As it did the last fourteen months while writing my very first book. Looking back on that particular creative process and holding the final draft of my manuscript in hand, I am a bit in awe. How did I manage to do all that?
The next few months will show if what I wrote is good enough. I hope I will find a publisher who will share my enthusiasm. Keep your fingers crossed xxx

A Magic Circle

1985 with philip at DBV youth camp

In 1985, I went to a summer camp organized by a German environmentalist group. I met many Maltese youths there and one of them became a friend for life. I was fourteen at the time and, all of a sudden, the world wasn’t just a small disk anymore.
My friend and I visited back and forth for quite a while. Our friendship enriched my soul. Later Malta became a milestone for my sister and I. Then, in 2003, I went back to the charming Mediterranean island to tackle the life-long dream of becoming a scuba diver.
Today, thirty years after my first, very formative, Maltese encounters I have moved to Malta for a new beginning. A magic circle is closing.

Hello Malta!

valletta_malta

Today was the day: first day at work on the island of Malta for this ‘Fortunate Nomad’. Everything had happened so fast… one day interview on the phone in Germany… only three days later already in Malta… I was full of doubts when I went to my new place of work, hadn’t slept all night and wondered what I was getting myself into.
And then, I did what came natural. In the morning, I simply said, I wanted to wait with signing anything, then took the first chance that presented itself to speak very openly with the HR representative about all I wasn’t sure about.
Soon, she was able to clear everything up very satisfactorily. I gladly signed my contract. Now I am ready for this new adventure and it is time to find a little cozy haven to rent in one of the small cities close to my new work place. I see lots of flowers on our balcony, a cozy couch, evening walks at the sea side and, of course, yet another chance to meet many interesting people and broaden my horizons.