Not a Travel Blog – Here’s my life nowadays

I know… Shocking, right? I just scrolled back through my last five posts and all of them are travel-related. Well, I really don’t want to give out the impression that all that I do (or at least all that is worth mentioning) is travel. It’s really not. And even if I had the money to do just that, I don’t think I would because that will just remove the excitement from it all. Don’t you think?

I was at my sister’s 30th birthday party the other weekend and witnessed a packed pub filled with her guests, all of them are people close to her. I didn’t even know most of them, some I’ve never even heard about. I realised that by the time I turn 30, it will be unlikely that I throw a party like that. By that time, I will have been about just as long here in Germany as she is now but I’m just sure I will not even know that many people let alone be close with them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for her and for her eventful social life and I have long accepted the fact that I am not the outgoing and friendly one in the family – probably also because growing up, I did not have much of my own friends until the time I got to school and I usually just tagged along whenever my sister wanted to go out with her friends because she wasn’t allowed to go unless she brought me with her. Sometimes I still find it easier to befriend her friends than making my own. Trust issues? Probably.

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But first, check out this unicorn fondant cake my cousin and I made for sestra’s birthday.

Now, getting to my point: I am at a time in my life where I am actually truly happy. My marriage is doing well, I have a job that I love, I get to spend time with the few good friends that I have here, and I live in this vibrant city with a lot of opportunities to be a more open and better person. So I guess, for my own standards, my life is pretty exciting as well.

You see, traveling is not the only exciting thing in my life, but rest assured it’s the one thing that inspires me the most to do everything else. In fact, I have just started an A1 language course in Spanish which I am really stoked about! Every Monday and Wednesday evening I go for a couple of hours to the community college downtown for fast-paced lessons in Español. It took little convincing for my employer to give a little more flexibility on my work hours on these particular days (because I work shifts) – I told them I intend to use this foreign language for work as well so I hope I learn fast.

So why Spanish? When I was 12 years old, I’ve found some of my father’s course manuals which he had bought back when he took a language course himself. He’s never finished the course but he was happy when I told him I wanted to pursue it. I had been to Spain myself, and the goal is to go there or to any Spanish speaking country at least once a year. This is something I had kept up since 2015 and this year in December we’re going to Tenerife. It will also be my first time flying with the airline that I work for, finally!

Just the day before my first Spanish class, we were on our way back to Berlin from Bonn and I asked the wife to make a stopover in Kassel for documenta14, an exhibit I had been wanting to go to for months that was about to end. The most significant exhibit on this year’s event is the Parthenon of (Banned) Books, which is a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, covered in thousands of banned books from all over the world.

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And because the exhibit was nearing its end, they started giving away the books on that very day and I picked up one of the many copies of El Príncipe. There were not many options because they only put out a limited amount and most of them were copies of the same book but it felt like a good omen to me because it’s in Spanish and, who knows, maybe about a year from now I will be able to read and fully understand it!

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Coincidence? I think not!!!

Septoplasty – Correcting my Deviated Septum Part 2

I finished my previous blog post on this matter at Day 3 after my surgery with the promise of continuity. I am currently writing this on my last sick day and I am finally going back to work tomorrow. Yay! So I’ll just get started with the chronology.

Days 4 & 5

On the fourth day after my surgery, I noticed that I had stopped spitting out bloody mucus. I can’t get much out from my nose and that’s why everything has to come out via my mouth. It all didn’t feel much different from a common cold – stuffy nose and all, except in my case my nose was literally stuffed with the nasal splints, hence, it felt stiff the whole time to keep my septum in place. I even sneezed a couple of times, which I had to do with an open mouth to not put too much pressure on my nose. Day five wasn’t much different. It was a Saturday so we went grocery shopping which proved hard to pull off when you are around strangers and you have to keep breathing through your mouth. I always had a pack of Kleenex in my hand just in case something starts to drip off my nose, which it did on several occasions.

Day 6

It’s the last day of suffering with the nasal splints and I kept counting down the hours! Daylight savings also kicked in here in Germany so that saved me one full hour. At around noon I started feeling something coming down my throat so I spit it out and it was a long line of dried bloody mucus, around 3cm long. I felt my right nostril decongest and I was able to breathe through it! I concluded that the other nostril must be stuffed with it as well so I tried to get it out by inhaling deeply. It eventually came out in the afternoon and I was able to sleep well that night, for a change.

Day 7

I don’t remember how many different versions I dreamt that night of my doctors’ appointment going really badly. I am not a stranger to anxiety dreams and this night was one full of them. It usually went like this: I sit in the chair at my doctor’s and while he looks through my nose he tells me that I’m going to have to wear the nasal splints a few days longer because it didn’t heal as quickly as expected. When I woke up, I realised how badly I wanted these things out.

So at around noon I went to the ENT with my wife and he cut the threads holding the splints together and he pulled them out one at a time, right and then left. My wife was watching in horror because she had no idea how big those things were and neither did I. I’m not gonna lie, mucus was hanging down my nose after he pulled the splints out but I guess that’s to be expected. I was just happy to be able to breathe again!

Day 8 & 9

It’s nice to be able to sleep really well for change. While the wound hasn’t fully healed yet, I’m pretty sure I am breathing so much better than before my surgery. I still do experience the post-nasal drip but I guess I’ll just wait patiently for everything to fall into place, maybe my body just has to get used to the change. For the record, I still have a cold or at least I’m experiencing the symptoms and I guess this is all just part of the healing process. After all, my nose and throat area have been through a LOT this past week.

Day 10

I had my last doctor’s appointment today and he was really happy with his work. He just noticed that my nose was really dry and he prescribed me with an oil to moisturise it. It comes in a bottle much like that of a nasal spray, only it’s oil. I otherwise only tried putting vaseline on the wound which he said was perfectly fine, but he still gave me the oil because that’s what most of his patients used in their recovery. He also wrote my recommendation to the GP to check on the blood pressure drop I had during surgery and he asked me to come back with whatever the findings are so he could put it in my file. But other than that, I have no more need to come by, unless of course something goes wrong with my nose again which he said is unlikely. Even the post-nasal drip, he said, shall get better and I really do hope so. The best news, though, is that I am finally allowed to do whatever I want. I had been wanting to go to the gym this whole time and now I can finally go!

Day 11 & 12

I had some trouble with the dryness of my nostrils. At some point I even started bleeding, which is a common symptom of a dry nose. It didn’t bleed on the spot that was operated on, though, so I didn’t worry all too much. I applied the oil when the bleeding stopped and just let it work its magic.

Day 13

I can honestly say that I am ready to go back to my normal life. I still feel the common cold symptoms but I can at least breathe normally and, most importantly, I am ready to go back to work tomorrow! This whole experience, in general, has not been as hard as I had expected but it’s also not necessarily something I would want to go through again. I am glad I had done it and I do suggest you do it too if your doctor recommends it.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Live in Berlin

Let me tell you a story:

Back in 2011, when I just got back to Germany after living in the Philippines for 13 years, I was excited about all the things I felt like I missed out on in all those years. For instance, I’ve always wanted to watch my favourite artists live in concert but none of them would come to the Philippines. There are only a few international artists that do a show in Manila as part of their world tour and most of the time, they are not the ones that I actually want to see. So when I got back here, one of the first things that got me excited are the news of the upcoming concerts being announced on the radio. One of which, if you can guess, is of the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

But considering that I just got back, that meant I didn’t have a job. The frustration just grew bigger when I saw the opportunity to realise my dreams but didn’t have the funds to do so for it just wasn’t the right time.

The funny thing about giving up sometimes is that, when you’re lucky, another opportunity just shows itself out of the blue, reminding you that it’s not too late to still keep going. So my first job happened to be none other than serving drinks at the very location of all the biggest concerts in Cologne. Sure, the job didn’t involve watching the actual concerts that are going on, but I did get the glimpse of the happenings from time to time. And that’s when I first saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform live – for like five seconds.

Now, a good five years later,  and a few cents more than 80€ richer, I can finally afford to go to the RHCP concert. And I must say, they don’t seem to have aged a day! They have been around since forever but they still have all this energy to stimulate the crowd of the, not surprisingly, packed Mercedes Benz Arena.

I am so glad to have experienced their greatness the other night because, for me, it wasn’t just a concert, but something more sentimental than that. It’s a reminder of what I’ve achieved since their last world tour and it gave me something to look back to whenever I feel like a failure. ❤