Neuroticisms

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When I was driving up a steep road through pitch-black nothingness the other night with a bunch of people I barely knew, their two dogs and three chainsaws in the trunk, I thought to myself: “I guess, I’m not a particularly anxious person.” I eat crickets, I tell boys when I like them and my dream job has something to do with HIV, heroin and the Third World. In fact, I can only think of very few things that I’m really afraid of. I’m going to share one of those with you now, hoping for some reassurance. My other anxieties I won’t share, because they don’t make me look good. So don’t bother asking, I will take them to my grave.

So, one thing that I’m dead afraid of is not having access to the wild. As flower-powery as that may sound: when I go from one side of a city to the other and it takes me hours (plural!) and I don’t see anything natural, except for roadside flowerbeds, on my entire way, I get nauseous and tense. The idea of concrete slowly spreading all around me, acre for acre, until there is no easy way out, makes my breath go flat and my hands sweaty. It’s a kind of claustrophobia, I guess, but a mean one, since I can’t avoid it by just taking the stairs. It collides with my love for pretty cafés and cultural stuff, because you usually find those right at the core of those terrifying concrete deserts we call cities.

I only fully realise how living in the city gnaws on my brain, when I’m out in the wop wops (Kiwi for “janz weit draußen”). Then, I wake up to the birds singing, dance out onto dew-covered grass, hug a tree, make out with a sunflower, hump the ground for a bit and start my day feeling happier and healthier than I ever do in the city. Anybody with me on that? Or, even more fascinating to me: anybody who doesn’t feel stressed in the city at all, ever? People who actually like it? I’m seriously interested, so please let me know.

Ok, one more anxiety of mine for you guys, to round this up: You know how there’s crystal clear apple juice and the kind that’s foggy? The clear kind gives me the creeps. No idea why.

Oh, and the chainsaws were for making firewood not for a massacre.

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She’ll be right

Short update: to be quite honest, I’m a little concerned for my mental health. I know. You’re all like “Whaaaaat…? Where the hell is this even coming from??? What is this perfectly sane young woman talking about?!” But I’m not kidding. For the very first time in my life I fear there’s something seriously wrong with me.

It’s because I’m just so ridiculously happy in New Zealand for absolutely NO reason. It’s very upsetting. I should be miserable! I study full-time, I haven’t even been surfing yet and I only ever see any of those beautiful landscapes when I’m on the bus to my next course.

My friend Nicola and I came up with a fancy explanation for this phenomenon: It could be the smell. Auckland definitely smells like honey to me and Palmerston North- where I am at the moment- smells like fennel. Both scents remind me of my childhood, more specifically of being comforted with tea when I had a tummy ache. The sense of smell is the only sense that’s linked directly to our limbic system, which is responsible for emotionality. So smelling highly conditioned scents can evoke pretty strong emotional flashbacks. Consequently, it might be that I’m constantly high around here, because the air is full of childhood. Hm.

I’d normally say that happiness has something to do with the people that surround you. But that simply can’t be the case, because Kiwis are generally unfriendly, stingy, frigid, inhospitable and they have no sense of humour whatsoever. That’s probably the reason for my wretched leisure activities as well. I haven’t been to a rugby game yet (except twice), never have anything good to eat (except venison three times this week), never have anyone to talk to (except always), never leave the house and always just sit bitter and lonely in a corner of my room.

This was an attempt to be sarcastic. I’m being SPOILED ROTTEN. People literally push puppies into my arms, shove me into a hot tub and pour me a glass of wine while spoon-feeding me ice cream and chattering away about Maori epistemology and other interesting stuff. I LOVE NEW ZEALAND.

But yeah, it’s probably just the smell…

PS: This one is formally dedicated to Jakob “Se French Toast” Bachfischer. May he be ready to run a marathon forever.