Samstag, Oktober 14, 2006


Ein Feuerwerk sehe ich
Aus meinem Dachfenster
Da draussen feiern Menschen
Und ich sehe nur zu
Als Zaungast bei ihrem Fest.

Ich besuche meine Freunde
Und kehre zurück unter mein Dach
Auch zwischen lieben Menschen
Fühle ich mich
Als Zaungast bei ihrem Fest.

So viele bunte Feuerwerke
Betrachte ich aus der Ferne.
Das Leben ist ein Fest
Und ich schaffe es nicht,
über den Zaun zu steigen.

(geschrieben im Jahr 2001)


Sometimes I am busy and active, travelling abroad or just spending time among friends, colleagues or other people. Then I do not even think of my singledom.

But sometimes there are days like today. Days when I work at my computer at home; days when I have no reason to call anyone and no one calls me. Communication happens via email, if at all.

Around noon I might go downstairs, to empty my letterbox and do some shopping in the little supermarket across the street. After some more hours at work I cook a simple meal for myself, watch a DVD or read. When it is time to go to bed, I realize: I have not spoken a word to any living being all day.

Like today. There was no phonecall, not even from my mother (who, although retired, has a very busy life, loves travelling, and does not always remember to tell me if and when she is at home). I did not have a reason to call a friend, I did not even feel lonely until now - and now it is well past midnight and much too late to phone anyone.

So I will go to bed after a day of silence and work. A hermit's day, but without prayer and without a blessing.

Mittwoch, Oktober 11, 2006


A friend is leaving. Not just for a holiday or another town, but leaving the country for good. Yesterday we had dinner and a bottle of champagne together, for what may well have been the last time ever.
We have met a few years ago, felt attracted to each other, were lovers for a little while...
...we even managed to become close friends again after that little while...
...and now it is over.

I knew it for months, but now it is reality. A part of my present has become a part of my past. It left a huge hole in my future.

Samstag, Oktober 07, 2006


When I started working as a free-lance documentary filmmaker and TV journalist, I made a number of reports about energy politics and climate change. At that time, 15 years ago, the science was already sound and believable, but politics and industry managed to make the idea of climate change sound like some mentally deranged treehugger's armageddon scenario.

I remember how much I hoped for some insights, for political movement, for people using their imagination to see and prevent a future of heat, drought, storms, melting ice and rising sea-levels. I even was naive enough to believe that my films and articles would make a difference, however little.

Kyoto came and went; but basically, neither scientific proof nor the real experience of the hottest 10 years in known history (all of them happening since then) made a difference to the rising CO² levels.

At some point I gave up making those films. Today, the electricity I use comes from renewable energies; a little difference that cost me a few cents each month - no big difference for me or the planet, but I always wished more people would do something. Just a little bit of awareness could still make a difference - oh yes, I am still naive enough to hope.

Especially since now there's another filmmaker tackling the subject: Al Gore. His film 'An Inconvenient Truth' will release soon in my country, and I am looking forward to watching it.

(see )

He may have a real chance to make some difference with his film. I wish him the best!

Mittwoch, Oktober 04, 2006

Can you spot the Australian?

Dienstag, Oktober 03, 2006

Memories of Wonderland

Have you ever been to Switzerland? For me, coming from a neighbour country, it is not a long journey. Others travel halfway around the globe, from Australia, Korea, Japan or India, all the way to that lovely, little country with its valleys and mountains.

Most of those travellers from faraway take the spectacular train ride all the way up to Jungfraujoch, a ridge between glaciers and peaks. There you can get drunk on thin air and phantastic views. I do recommend the trip, in fine weather it's definitely worth the (lot of) money for a train ticket. Up there you will find Wonderland, a unique landscape in black and white, rock and snow, sky and ice.

Last week I went there and was lucky enough to spend a long time outside, surrounded by tourists from many countries. I loved to observe how everyone took their own memories with them. Many of the Japanese and Korean groups took photographs and videos of their friends in front of just about anything - mountains, signposts, trains, souvenir shops, postboxes and even dustbins. Often they had less than one hour to see the sights, before the next train took them away downhill and to their next destination. No time to sit and enjoy, only just enough to take a memorycard full of digital photos, maybe buy some Swiss chocolade and a t-shirt and feel the breathlessness of thin mountain air. A few had been to Switzerland only for a couple of hours and were quite surprised by the fact that the country has its own money: You can pay for souvenirs or postcards with US-dollars and Euros, but the change comes in Swiss Franks. That was a bit of a shock for many of the foreigners; they simply did not accept these coins and demanded their dollars back.

I smiled at the many travellers from India, who danced and sung Bollywood film songs in the snow. Of course, lots of Bollywood movies have been shot in Switzerland. It was great to see enthusiastic grown-up couples play and dance in the snow like kids, although some of them were dressed a little odd, especially the ladies - in a thin and flowing cotton salwar kameez or saree, with a warm cardigan and wooly hat, but bare feet and slippers. Nevertheless, unimpressed by below-zero temperatures they still danced a few steps with their husbands, who took pictures of the whole fun with their brand-new digital cameras.

Young Australians obviously have to undergo some initiation rituals on arriving up there. Those whom I saw all went straight outside to undress in the snow. Males with naked chests then seemingly have to throw snowballs at each other, until their white skin has turned a distinct purple.
And some Aussie girls took photos with a little snowman - no, a snowwoman - dressed with only a bra. The girls themselves didn't wear a lot more, either...

Germans, Austrians, Italians - how boring we all were. Most of us Europeans simply admired the landscape, some silently observing the strange ways all the others celebrated their visit to Wonderland. Incredulous, amused and a little envious.