On 26

Commentary

Dear 26-year-old self,

To be clear, this is a letter of goodbye. You and I are being held together by nothing more than a cobweb string of a hours that separate us from the new and cool 27. You see, it’s still OK to look forward to the next self, there are no drops of perspiration as I extend my hand to meet my new older persona. We need to part, and I’m ready for it.

I’m sure going to miss you though, fool. Remember that time you decided to get a new piercing on the wrong side of your face? You kept walking around trying to convince yourself that it looked like the kind of thing you would do — the kind of thing you had expected even! Until your sister pointed out that there’s too much metal on the left side of you face, so you took the earring out just like that.

You were always a restless one though. You considered staying too long in one place the way to rot your brain and curiosity. It’s no wonder that you moved locations 3 times without blinking about it. And you loved the packing, the unpacking — the excitement of possibility. You moved fluidly between borders, you travelled mentally and literally and there was never a dull minute with you holding my hand. Remember Paris? Remember Berlin? I would have never gone ahead if it weren’t for your impulsiveness, your endless drilling. Let’s face it – you would never stop until you got your way. It worked to my advantage. Most times.

It’s normal, I guess, to have ups and downs, but your ups and downs were intense roller coaster rides. You went from deliriously happy to grimly morose in the flash of a second. I had to choose my words carefully when I talked about life, about love, about what it means to be free. This issue really kept you sleepless. You wanted to choose wisely, surely, independently. You wanted to be free but would talk endlessly about your fear that love cripples your freedom. And it pained you to place these two ideals as polar opposites, to force yourself to choose between such lofty ideals. You let love win every time, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a defeat you secretly welcomed gladly. You were a true contradiction, as such.

And then my dear old 26-year-old self, you had a bright idea. You needed some direction, even though you didn’t even know it then. You were a little lost but you had convinced yourself you were right on track, as always. It came in the form of a small box with an air balloon on it. Inside there was a bag of beads, and you were confused. Until you started to toy with the idea of using them. And overnight, awoke a new streak of creativity that lay dormant just below your fingertips. And then, you gave the act of creating, a name, and attached a blog to it. For that I thank you old self. Because of you I am here now and I am writing to tell the rest of the world what happens next.

I will miss you,

plain bananas x

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Paris, je t’aime

Musings

When I say Paris…

Think Parisian reunions in royal gardens.

Think too much wine and entirely too much cheese.

Think a hangover or two.

Think 700 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower (saved us €9)

Think buildings you fall in love with.

Think beautiful sounds you try to emulate.

Think that you’re really set to have a good time.

It was for a brief 2.5 days, but we met with some old friends who travelled halfway across the globe to find us. It was the kind of experience I thought I could only dream about. I even dished out my rusty French and much to my surprise, managed to carry a crippled conversation here and there. Since then, my new goal is to retouch on my French, and once I get my feet together, I’ll give the French Embassy a call and see if I can find myself a conversation partner, s’il vous plait.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Standing Tall: Notre Dame behind the greenery

Standing Tall: Notre Dame behind the greenery

Pretty hungry: Lovely restaurant

Pretty hungry: Lovely restaurant

Stop to smell the flowers: Not your average polytechnic

Stop to smell the flowers: Not your average polytechnic

So plush: The royal gardens

So plush: The royal gardens

A toast: To Paris and our reunion

A toast: To Paris and our reunion

A great idea: The ferris wheel

A great idea: The ferris wheel

View from the top: The Eiffel Tower

View from the top: The Eiffel Tower

View from the top: The Louvre

View from the top: The Louvre

Spotted: Sculpture of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein

Spotted: Sculpture of a brushstroke by Lichtenstein

Drop anchor: That dash of pink really makes all the difference

Drop anchor: That dash of pink really makes all the difference

Pause: How Parisian

Pause: How Parisian

Time ticking: The imposing clock at Musée d'Orsay, which was an old train station

Time ticking: The imposing clock at Musée d'Orsay, which was an old train station

Just a shadow: From Le Chat Noir, shadow theater

Just a shadow: From Le Chat Noir, shadow theater

So close: The Eiffel Tower

So close: The Eiffel Tower

Back and ready to crumble

Musings

It’s been what, a month? Surely it’s felt like longer for you, no? It has for me. Actually in the past month, time took on that surreal sense of going really quickly, but in slow motion too. It gave me enough time to pause and marvel at things I was doing, places I went to, wonderful people I’ve shared precious moments with. And all of this without Internet. Thank you divine idle time — your overabundance kept me quite busy indeed.

To avoid getting myself (and implicating you too, of course) into alarming high word counts, I have decided to break it down into different entries. That should keep all of our sanity intact. So I’ll let you know about the best buyer a world could ask for, show you a splash of Berlin, give you a little bit of that Parisian glamor and then relocate to Crete and its wonderful beaches.

This past month had quite a lot of moving; in fact we packed up our stuff and shipped it over to Cyprus and also emptied our entire apartment into boxes and moved to a temporary little furnished place until my boyfriend completes his thesis. My other half is working very hard as we speak, furrowed brow and all, in an effort to finish his thesis soon. Of that I’m sure.

As for me, I headed to Cyprus to find a nest and get back into the teaching wheel. Incidentally, hello from a new location.

But more of those adventures, as they unravel. For now, click and read. It’s good to have you back.

Math Monday

math monday

Math Monday

Today, I’ll keep the mathematics short. There are only a few numbers that matter right now and that’s:

  • 2 hours till we catch the ship to Athens. Let’s get the vacation rolling. Berlin and Paris, just around the corner.

That’s pretty much all the math I can think of right now, apart from:

  • 20 kg each is what we’re allowed to take on the trip. We’re sharing a small luggage and wonder if they’ll give us trouble (the airline is pretty strict). We don’t even have scales, so we’ve taken turns in lifting it and coming out with our very own humble estimations.
  • 5 is the number of dresses I’m taking.
  • 4 items left on my to-do list.
  • 28 hours till take-off.
  • 12 boxes packed as we prepare to move out of our beloved apartment.
Photo taken mid-week. The photo on the wall is now in a box somewhere too.

Photo taken mid-week. The photo on the wall is now in a box somewhere too.

My week has definitely had more numbers than these, but forgive me. All I can think of is packing and the trip. So this banana is off for a week of holidays and a couple of reunions with good friends.

Hold tight — I’ll be back before you know it.

Oh and by the way, how was your week in numbers?

Pass the parcel

Musings

I love giving presents. I am the relentless, year-round version of Santa when it comes to getting the right presents for people I care for. I never stop looking for that which goes beyond the typical. Add to that a sprinkle of surprise and your job is done, surrogate Santa.

I don’t think I’m the only one who likes giving presents – or receiving them for that matter. Everyone likes to feel a little spoiled. Even the most mundane thing in gift wrap looks thoughtfully sweet. So keeping this in mind, I make it a point to spoil all plain bananas customers by free gift packaging and throwing in a sprinkle of magic. Two packages were shipped yesterday, and here’s a sneak peek:

Spoil yourself rotten

Spoil yourself rotten

Each package is unique and the stickers are just a little extra bananas. I’m eager to hear your feedback.

I have mentioned in other posts how much I love receiving mail (and sending it). When it arrives, it usually waits patiently on the ground floor next to various other bills and leaflets until someone checks for it. It’s never delivered to our door on the fifth floor, because for some rather bizarre reason, in Greece apartments don’t bear a number. They are just doors to a floor. So I can assure you that this is not something that happens often (make that “ever”):

Spot the package

Spot the package

First question to pop to mind when I saw this was: How did it get here? and immediately after Why is it under the doormat? After I retrieved it I could feel that inside was a book and I also noticed it was sent from France and was in my boyfriend’s name. I knew he has ordered some travel guides for our summer destinations, but then I couldn’t help but wonder if he had somehow made a mistake and bought a Paris guide in French. Meanwhile, I was somewhat paralyzed, with package in hand, and began opening it slowly as though it contained anthrax or worse. Instead, there was a receipt in French from abebooks and the book Scaphandre et le Papillon. In French. This was a book I coveted since I saw the movie and here was the very first edition snugly under my doormat! My boyfriend later confessed that he bought it for me, though he had no clue as to how it got under there.

As for now, it’s time for a present for myself. I’m ready to buy some basic supplies for more plain bananas items. Before that, take a look at a small something I got to add life to my beading corner — I’m simply in love with it and still haven’t named it. I’m open to your suggestions.

Please name me

Please name me

Today is the day

Jewelry

I have three words for you:

BERLIN

PARIS

ETSY

Summer plans have been set in concrete after I spent most of last night and a lot of today checking for the cheapest prices, the best routes, dates, budget and definitely paranoid about not making any mistake. That’s the problem when you have multiple destinations and multiple tabs on your navigator. Something is bound to go wrong if you’re as absent-minded as me. Thus, the paranoia. But, Berlin is calling, Paris, je t’aime and summer, I cannot wait for you.

And speaking of not being able to wait, here is something I’ve been holding my breath for:

My virtual window display

My virtual window display

The digital doors are open and more of my jewelry will soon be on display. A photo shoot awaits me tomorrow, as does updating and general sorting out of the shop. I simply cannot wait to watch this project come to full fruition.

This day has been absolutely plain bananas: plans for travel have been confirmed, as has my plan to open a shop. It really does feel that the world is my oyster today, and all it took was the persistent shifting through multiple tabs on my Safari and a little creativity.