June 18, 2007

Black and white - a fragment of thoughts

Last August, I wrote in this blog: "This might sound absurd, but as much as I am excited about flying to Austria on the 25.9., I have to say that I already can't wait for the day I'll come back!". If everything goes as planned, that day is less than two weeks away from now.

I've always been good at storing and archiving memories and lately I have been letting some important ones from the last nine months play through my mind like a movie. Sometimes when I'm in the tram, on my way to a rehearsal or just taking a nap, I listen to music and let it accompany my string of thoughts. Most of all, what I see is faces of people. Sometimes I look deep into their eyes. There are all sorts of memories: some among the best ones of my life but also bad ones, memories which I know will stay for me forever, and memories which may seem trivial and unimportant but actually define very well who I have become here. And sometimes a memory pops into my mind which I had thought I had forgotten - yet there it is, triggered by some little word, thought or sight.

I feel an incredible peace of mind right now. I'm getting ready for bed. The window is open and the curtains are drawn. It is raining outside and there have been some strikes of lightning. I've had a long and fulfilling day. Transfer Flatmate C gave me a cd of French jazz and I'm listening to it now. Two doors away in the kitchen, Thomas is cooking for a friend. My cell phone just announced the arrival of a text message but I'm in no hurry to read it. Earlier I got a huge surprise when I got a very unexpected postcard.

There are things I'm really looking forward to and things I'm afraid of. However, the near future seems irrelevant to now. I'm leaving in less than two weeks, but I'm not thinking about that now. Now is the best moment.

June 07, 2007

On cheese and underwear

Once again, a Catholic Feiertag: a sure sign for the money on my mobile phone to run out, which it did today in the middle of a phone call, and also the perfect day to realise we haven't shopped adequately enough for tonight's dinner party which we're hoping to celebrate in the garden (as soon as it stops raining...). Well, it's not as bad as it sounds: with a little cooperation and scraping together leftovers from music students' fridges, I think we'll be able to put a nice banquet together.

A whole lot has been going on since my last entry. First of all, the Kunstuni hosted the Redoute, its yearly ball. The food was expensive, the salsa band didn't play nearly as long as we wanted it to and the musical performances on offer were so many as to overwhelm, but all in all this was a very successful evening. When we finally decided it was time to get Thomas home (4am), I suggested a detour to the Schlossberg to watch the sunrise, but the girls' shoes were not quite compatible with such a long walk.

Our flat.

Martin and Emma came to visit me for the weekend from Freiburg and Mainz, and we had a very enjoyable weekend. Apart from the Redoute, it included an evening at the theatre, something Petra and I have been planning since around the middle of last November. My memories of the weekend include a lot of sleeping (until around 14 one day) and nightlife, provided by the ever-reliable Thomawirt and Buddha bar.

18:00. Time for breakfast.

With little time left for me here in Graz, it feels like even the studies have taken on a wilder side. Under the initiative of some enthusiastic conducting students, our class is arranging an opera concert next Monday, where we will all get to role-play as conductors, accompanists and, of course, opera singers (I get to dramatically collapse on the floor at least twice during the evening). The evening will include scenes from works like Aida, The Barber of Seville and Turandot, and if we counted right, it'll be just a bit shorter than Wagner's Valkyrie. While the rehearsals admittedly been pretty chaotic, the project has also been huge fun. The Studiochor rehearsals are coming to a critical stage; I'm getting ready to perform my whole 15-minute harp solo repertoire I've worked on this year; Prinz gave out copies of Ligeti's Lux Aeterna for sixteen-part choir a cappella for us to study, and in general the university is buzzing with countless concert projects.

Martin starts his trip to Florence.

Despite all this hullaballoo, there has been plenty going on in terms of free time and leisure as well. Here at home, we are still all waiting for Jana to get rid of thatcheese (Anna suggested we all sign a petition and glue it on the fridge). Maria is leaving back home to Timisoara after tomorrow (you wouldn't think it, seeing how meticulously she is cleaning our toilet right now). Petra has been busy, among other things, negotiating with our landlady to make sure we all get our deposit for the flat back. As for Thomas, it seems like late nights out aren't the only place for him to get some action: take a look at these underpants he found among his laundry some days ago:

It might perplex you to know I was the first one to be suspected of this mistake (?) when Thomas came knocking on my door at midnight. After having a good laugh, we decided to leave these lovely undergarments hanging on the mirror of our bathroom to see who took them away first. For decency's sake I won't mention who the culprit was (although you might interpret the hint in the title of this post). But the funniest thing was to hear that Anna almost wrote a post-it next to them asking people to please be more discreet when they hung their laundry. Being discreet is very well, but with only two drying stands in our home and rain hitting our balcony every day, I also have my underwear mixed with some anonymous bras right now.