Fara scapare

{12/09/2008}   Germany

– I’m going to Germany…
– Nuuu, nu rezisti acolo! Ai innebunit, Gaza a fost si a fost nefericita…
– Pai si aici se fac, stau si lucrez intr-o firma de trei oameni, unde se mai si cearta toata ziua…
– Of, dar nu Germania…
– E doar sase luni, n-o sa mor.
– Si… C stie ca vrei sa pleci?
– Stie ca vreau, nu stie exact unde si cat voi sta.

Viitorul meu sef ma sunase in timp ce ieseam de la metrou. Ma duceam sa ma intalnesc cu un prieten care peste ani a ajuns in Singapore. Si care imi gasise firma la care trebuia sa lucrez.
– E un tip super destept tipul cu care vei lucra, ai o groaza de invatat de la el!
– Hm…
– Intreaba-l pe Z. El iti poate confirma, se cunosc de mult.
(L-am sunat ulterior pe Z care mi-a confirmat ca viitorul meu sef era un mega-creier care lucrase la McKenzie si la PWC in Londra. Iar acum era antreprenor in Frankfurt.)
– Eu zic ca e ok. Plus e firma mica, deci poti invata multe. Mai multe decat aici. Si nu cer germana.
– Mi-e un pic teama de Germania insa… Am auzit ca-s … reci?
– Eh, te adaptezi tu, esti fata desteapta …
(„si hipersensibila, gandesc eu in timp ce-l ascultam… Doamne ajuta…”)
– … in plus e oras international, gasesti toate natiile acolo…
– Aham…
– Plus, e doar sase luni. Nu-ti place, te intorci! Nu e Asia sa fii la 12 ore de zbor…
– Ok, le zic ok atunci.
– Bun! Tine-ma la curent.
– Ok…

Hotararea nu e greu de luat la 22 de ani. Ce te tine acasa? Cand locuiesti cu parintii plus nepotica de 4 ani, lucrezi intr-o agentie care e la inceputuri pe un glorios salariu de 150€… si mai trebuie sa si negociezi pauza de pranz (!??!!)… nu prea ai chef sa ramai. Asa ca m-am decis repede. Parintii s-au ingrijorat dar au fost de acord. Mai greu a fost sa-mi anunt prietenul.

– Stiam ca o sa pleci…
– Stau doar sase luni. O sa fie o experienta buna. Dupa care ma intorc. Vii la mine!
– … Ok…
– Off…

Urasc despartirile. Am zis deja? Urasc despartirile. Despartirea de firma a fost insa interesanta. Am rezistat sase luni la ei. De ce? Nu prea imi placea ce faceam. Monitorizare de presa pentru un client. Intr-o zi am sarit un articol important si normal ca clientul s-a scandalizat. Din ziua aia m-am prins ca monitorizarea nu e my cup of tea… Plus la cate foi dai te sufoci de cerneala si citesti toate aberatiile din presa de scandal… „Traiasca relatiile publice„, ma gandeam eu, „cine m-a pus sa-mi doresc domeniul asta???”. Dar na, in viata faci si greseli. Eu gresisem firma. Si domeniul. Shit happens. Incercasem sa plec de la ei de mai multe ori. Germania era singura mea scapare.

Am anuntat in firma, simplu, ca intr-o luna plec din tara. Au fost surprinsi. Cine se astepta ca junioara timida si calma din firma sa plece si … unde? … la fritzi… Insa nu am plecat asa usor. Trebuia sa gasesc un inlocuitor.
– Auzi tie nu-ti place si vrei sa bagi pe altcineva acolo???? se burzuluieste una dintre prietenele mele
– Domle e o experienta, eu am invatat lucruri aici…
– De exemplu…
– Pai baza in PR. Si ca un antreprenoriat nu e neaparat cel mai potrivit loc sa incepi o cariera…
– De aia te duci la un antreprenor in Germania…
– Aia e altceva. Am incredere ca sunt ceva mai echilibrati decat noi romanii…
– Ai grija ce faci p-acolo!… Asa e A. Fata buna. Te cearta cu inima, dar cedeaza pana la urma.

Mai greu a fost cu prietenul meu si cu O (cea mai buna prietena a mea atunci). Aproape ca locuiam impreuna. Mergeam in Vama impreuna. Afara impreuna. La munte impreuna. Tocmai se despartise de prieten si noi ne lipisem de ea ca de o closca. In noaptea de Revelion cand a revenit acasa am asteptat-o cu paine si sare la gara. Si in diminetile de weekend reci ne fortam ochii sa vedem Bucegii de pe lacul Titan. „Ramaneti impreuna, da?” le ziceam eu „sa aveti grija de voi doi cat eu nu sunt. Si veniti la mine in vacanta”. Au ramas, sase luni prieteni buni, am fost in Praga impreuna, apoi cand m-am intors, pana cand fiecare a luat-o pe drumul lui…

Si uite asa am plecat in Germania… pentru sase luni.


{09/13/2008}   Separation

Yes, separation is immigration’s little brother. The tough one. Of course paperwork, visas, moving in and out of several appartments, language issues, food (what if you move to China, or let’s say even closer to England…) don’t make things easy.

But the toughest is the first months’ loneliness. That’s bad. All of a sudden, you’re aloneDuring the first days and weeks while you rediscover ridiculous stuff like in which direction do you stick your subway ticket in the stamper (if it’s the case), or at what time does your train leave from work to your home, reading traffic signs and direction signs in another language, etc… These things distract you from being alone, keep you from realizing. I found my friends, they’re in my head… They’re not quite next to you but the last club discussion stiks in your mind as if it was yesterday, and then there are messengers, blogs, skypes… That will keep you ok for some months, possibly maybe a year. Then one day you wake up alone.

When do you actually feel separation?
When you wake up alone. Yes, I’m not kidding, this strikes you. Ok, so you wake up, but he must be there somewhere outside, cleaning his car, shoping for breakfast, working, and he’ll come back tonight. I’m sure. I’ll call him now, chat a bit and then we’ll see eachother again. Well… no. You turn to take the physical void in your arms at night out of habit. No, he’s not there, but he’ll come back … not tonight, but next month.

When you’re sick. When you pick up the phone and stop yourself from telling your mom some stupid thing like I have a conjunctivitis. At home it wouldn’t have been tough, that’s life, your eyes swell, but it will go away until you get married… From here you can’t pronounce the word. You lock yourself up in the house for two weeks until your eyes take back their original volume, you call home every single day to say that you’re ok and check if they’re the same.

When someone is sick at home. Chain reaction. They won’t tell you either that they’re sick… what did you think??? You find out after several weeks of smelling te fishy stuff three thousand kms away… The finally tell that yeah, dad had something all of a sudden, but not serious… normal for his age…  Then you feel separation in its toughest. You block. What if something happens??? You write to a friend on GTalk to calm doan. Ok, you can go home, but when? Now, later? What can you do? If you’re lucky enough to gave a sister or a brother, at leats there’s someone back home to support them. And when he/she tells you the story in a more objective and a bit tougher way getting angry that you exagerate and oevrstress … you break down. Finally it goes away, and then you get a mature advice that makes you grow up in ten minutes… after a certain age, there’s always something coming up, and then again you can’t help them if you overstress.

When you fight with friends over stupid things. Messenger is great BUT not for delicate talks… Then you can see an interesting fact: two immigrants in two different countries will always stress, but for different reasons, react differently and deveop different paranoias. Cultural influences…

THE separation is when finally your boy/girlfriend – with whom you though you had a sucessful 5 years relationship – leaves you. Exactly when you were starting to realize that even if you had doubts, if he had made mistakes, if you had made mistakes, when you were getting proud you’ve made it while others failed, when you were starting to make plans… Suddenly one day you start to feel the separation shadow hovering above you and you stress. You start writing, calling, leaving messages, giving all the attention you failed to before… sometimes it works. It didn’t for me. One weekend around my birthday everything sunk. I’m not saying I didn’t see it coming, I knew long before that distance relationships don’t last, but I was hoping.
– You’re capavle of detaching yourself and get on with your life, not me. These were tought years for me.
(still HE was leaving me). And the typical phrases of being friends, I care about you, I don’t want to see you suffer, if you do I will, etc… After five years they sound … void. We all thought/said them once. I don’t think I will ever tell them again. If I ever go thorough one separation again (God, no!) it will be direct and simple. He’ll hate me and go on easier.

So, yes, separation is the tag of every immigration. If you cannot swim through it, don’t jump. Sure there are positive things, of which I will talk, but this si one daily reality you can’t deny.

{08/28/2008}   The Blues

My favourite colour. My favourite mood…

And as one of the Jazz piano teachers I met told me, THE BASIS for learning jazz.
I’m not going to make a speech about how the Blues was born. It’s such a long story.

Here is the basic advice I got:
– learn the pentatonic scale in all harmonies
– learn some blues riffs (e.g. Oscar Peterson riffs)
– try some blues standards
– watch „The Blues” series
– learn some history


Ten Things to Help You Become a Better Blues Musician, by Don Mock

Blues Recordings
Gather a large collection and spend lots of time listening to them.
A Willingness and Desire to Hang Out Late in Clubs
Spend time listening to good blues musicians play live — and be ready to „sit in” with the band if possible.
Patience is a virtue in blues soloing. A strong player with lots of chops patiently building a solo, „teasing” the audience, comes off much better than a player „showing his hand” in the first 12 bars. The phrase „less is more” is usually the key to blues playing.
Players with flashy soloing chops who neglect their rhythm playing will lose out every time to the guy who plays great rhythm parts and average solos. In blues, supporting the singer or other instrumentalists and making them sound better is as important or more so than big solos.
Being able to make the connection from the brain to the fingerboard to communicate emotions is key. Anger, fear, love, feeling blue, joy and even sexual tension are great to express in the blues.
Music Theory
Though not a style of music known for necessitating a lot of theory, blues can still benefit from a player who knows his stuff when it comes to theory.
A Good Ear
The best teachers are the musicians on recordings. And the best way to learn what they’re doing is to copy and emulate them. A good ear makes learning from recordings much easier. But having a good ear is equally important on stage. Listening to the other musicians and playing off each other is what live playing is all about. Not listening and not paying close attention on stage is a quick way to find yourself band-less.
Singing is blues, and is a goldmine for learning about phrasing, comping and fills around the melody. Learn the lyrics of a few blues tunes, even if you are a terrible singer. When no one’s around, pretend you’re B.B. King and sing a tune and add the fills in the correct places. On the gig, sing one if you’re brave enough, or simply let someone else sing it—either way you’ll gain a much better feel and connection to the music.

Year of the Blues 2003

For more about the blues, go here

et cetera