Tag Archives: food

The Minimalist

Noah J. was so kind to narrate this story in English. You can listen to it here:

This story was also translated to Polish and made available as a Polish YouTube reading.


His name is Sven. He is 27, blond and used to have a well-shaped body.

We lived together for three years, him and me. Nights with beer and peanuts and good talk and days that we barely saw each other because of my busy schedule. He is an architect, or maybe he just was, I’m not so sure.

In March he made his life dream come true. He travelled to Japan and for three weeks his Facebook wall was plastered with photos of temples and streets and people. But most of all there were pictures of houses, large and small, finally photos of houses and apartments from the inside. Besides one of the pictures, to this day, stands a sentence that I think started his obsession:

“The people here are really nice. Tell them you are an architect and ask nicely and any stranger will show you their house – just make sure to take your shoes off!”

In his posts and the two short phone calls we had during his time in Japan I noticed that he seemed to have a new passion: Minimalism. Simplify and declutter your life and you will simplify and declutter your mind.

“You know,” he said. “They have apartments here, not even bigger than student rooms, but they have everything! A shower, a kitchen, everything in just one room and you don’t even notice it!”

The first thing Sven did when he came back was to pack most of his life – first spare clothes, his game consoles and his TV, then also old gifts or random memorability – into boxes. He placed the boxes on the sidewalk and within the hour they were gone. Within a week more and more left his room: Old birthday cards, photos, trophies, even his heirloom grandfather clock. Soon all was at the side of the street. Soon all of it was gone.

A room with a near-empty shelf, a near-empty wardrobe, a desk and a chair.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” he asked.

And I had to agree: So simple, so clean, so relaxing.

No clutter. No memories.

No worries. Continue reading

Blue Water

Warning: potential trigger



There were three of us. One was from Kinshasa, Congo, like me, but we just met in that city of sand. The other was from Sudan, but don’t ask me whether it was the North or the South, I doubt even he knew which part.

It took me twelve weeks to get enough money to pay for the car – sometimes begging, sometimes selling refilled water bottles to the few tourists. One of them even came back, shouting at me. I think he wanted me to give his money back. Maybe there was some sand in the water or something of that sort. He gave up after a while, when I shrugged and shook my head.

Twelve weeks and I had enough. I suddenly felt as if everything was possible. It took me nearly a year to get to Egypt. I had never even heard that name before I reached the border, all I had been told was to keep going North.

North is safety. North is wealth. You can live there, that’s what we were told. We saw those pictures, in the magazines and on big posters and drawings on the walls. People in pools. We knew they had water, but how did they get their water blue? I never understood. All I knew is that I wanted to go there; that I couldn’t watch anymore while my own mother kept ploughing the hard, red soil with a plough even more broken than her back. Continue reading

The White Pigeon

It must have been around November of last year that I started feeding the pigeons. It was definitely winter and I remember feeling sorry for myself, that’s why I sat in the cold. And then, in the cold, I felt sorry for the birds. Most of them looked very thin, particularly the white one. They looked as if they were freezing.

My colleagues are rather unpleasant to me. They care about things like sports and movies and the previous and next nights of drinking while I rather spend my evenings quietly, maybe with friends and a bottle of wine or else alone with a good book.

No matter how sad or weird it might sound, the pigeons made me feel loved. Sharing my bread or couscous with them somehow seemed as if my existence and the dull days of spreadsheets and angry customer calls meant something. So since November, or maybe it was already October, I spent most of my lunch hours with them. Continue reading

An Acquired Taste

I’ve not always been this way. I was born normal and I never even met anyone of this kind. I suppose there might be a genetic component – a few times my dad told me about the day when he found his grandmother sprawled on the living room floor.

My great-grandfather was never caught, but when dad found my great-grandmother, he heard movement in the house. Dad was just ten or eleven years old so when he ran out of the house he screamed that an animal had attacked his grandmother. But when he grew older he began to suspect that what he heard wasn’t an animal at all.

For me it started with Sophie. We were together for three months. I liked her cute jokes and sweet smell and, to be honest, also her great body. Continue reading

If we survive this night I will never again step on an island

This was meant to be our honeymoon. This was meant to be a happy time and not something like this.

We managed to reach the police but the sea is too rough and they say they can’t do the five miles from the main island in this weather. They won’t be here until the morning. They told us to just “hang in there.” I think they also didn’t take us very seriously.

Tori is sitting in the tiny wardrobe behind me. I just pray that the doors and shutters hold. I don’t know what this thing can do but it looked strong. The last time I heard it it was scratching the wall as if it wanted to climb on the roof, but I think it failed.

We saved for this holiday for two years. Two years! We both wanted it – the tropical island, all for ourselves.

This place looked as beautiful as in the prospectus. There is nothing here except this hut and a small forest of coconut and palm trees and of course the beach to all sides.

The boat brought us here around noon. The chefs stood smiling in front of the round hut with two bottles of champagne and a feast of seafood and fruits.

We sank in the beach chairs and they served us food and champagne until we were barely able to move. The whole time there was no noise except for the clicking of spoons, the small generator that supports the light and the water pump and a single power plug, and of course the waves. Those damn waves. Continue reading

You might have heard that recently four large egg farms were shut down because of “bird flu.” That is a lie. Here is what really happened.

My girlfriend bought the eggs. It was at a big supermarket chain but I rather not say which one. She brought them home on Friday evening and Saturday morning I wanted to make crèpe for us. Crèpe, not pancakes, that’s been our Saturday morning ritual since Christmas.

I pulled the pack of eggs from the fridge. I opened it on the counter and took three eggs out. The first one was fine, or at least it looked fine, and went straight in the mixing bowl.

The second one felt much lighter but I didn’t think about that. I cracked it open on the side of the bowl like the first. The shell shattered into a lot of tiny pieces. It was empty.

It was a bit surprised but I figured that could happen somehow. Maybe the chicken was sick or something. I felt a bit disgusted but I didn’t think much about it.

I fished the shell out of the bowl and took the third one. It felt normal again. I bumped it carefully against the side of the bowl and had to try it four or five times until it finally cracked. The white and yolk flowed out perfectly normal. I examined it to make sure, but there was nothing wrong about it, there wasn’t even a fetus like you sometimes get with organic eggs.

But I needed three eggs. Without much thought I took another one from the carton and instantly froze. It was too light. I felt the shell give in under my fingers. Continue reading