It’s Ramadan and we get up early for a breakfast that will hopefully see me through the day. After several days of fasting it’s now – more or less – as usual, although some fine walnut bread is a welcome addition. Fruit of the day are slices of watermelon. As the wonderful angryegyptiangirl put it so nicely in her brilliantly furious article, »I fast because I’m free to do what I want. I’m a big girl. I can handle a few hours without eating.«
Since it’s too early for the studio I spend two hours at my desk, tinkering with my playlists, checking up on blogs and forums (MarocZone is down for »server updates«) and adding a few doodles to my sketchbook (see above). (I really should get up early more often – you seem to have more time for everything, and this even includes hugging my sweetie for no apparent reason…)
It’s a sunny, warm day and I put on my »butterfly« abaya – long and flowing, and the smooth light fabric feels soft around the curves (where there are any). The usual high heels (plus, I dig out a pair of my vintage nylons, since I just read all about those, fancy specialist vocabulary and everything!) and I’m off for a walk to my office.
Still more police cars than usual around Kottbusser Tor and Oranienplatz (fugitives and officials are still negotiating…), but the winos are having their liquid breakfast nonetheless and the ducks and tortoise colony in Engelbecken are getting ready for a day in the sun.
A lazy day at the studio – mostly digging out old drawings for »the book«, and around noon it’s three doors down for a few hours of freelance work for my former boss: assembling photos for a Calypso promo pack, and restoring even more Chuck Berry picture sleeves from South Korea and the Netherlands for the Big Box.
In the afternoon I go back to Oranienstraße; no sign of Ramadan in the cafés and kebab shops. There are new arrivals at the comic book store, and I leave with two more hardback volumes of »Tarzan« sunday pages from the 1930s (Hal Foster era!).
A former colleague from my advertising agency days will be celebrating his 60th birthday in a few weeks, and with some of the old crew it was decided to form a choir as a surprise for his birthday bash (we’ll all be travelling down south to his farmhouse). At present we are seven (four women, three boys, including our Chrissie who smiles like a fairground), and we’ve already rehearsed accapella arrangements of Cream’s »I Feel Free« and the Minutemen’s »Corona«. Today we meet at Karin’s flat to try the »Lumpy Gravy Theme«, hummed like the Beatles »Flying«. It’s a big laugh of course, but with a couple of rehearsals it’ll do, we all think. If we eventually do have the courage to actually perform – which some of us are not sure about yet.) It all ends with retelling the old tales, and eventually it’s too late to go to the gym (»You haven’t eaten all day and you’re thinking about visiting your boxing club?!!«), so I head back home.
Still some football viewing going on apparently; policemen are eating bratwurst or kebabs in their cars, tourists are everywhere, and muslim mums are carrying home big bags with freshly made bread.
It’s still hot (there were a couple of short, tropical rain showers during the day), so the evening is spent with windows wide open, lazing on the sofa in my underwear (see below), listening to the new Flaming Lips album (a »short« version of their 24-hour song), baking muffins for next day’s breakfast, and, finally – eating. And drinking.
I was invited to yet another maroccan wedding party. As the bride helpfully remarked, I was not expected to wear „anything involving a Ramones t-shirt and boots“ (thank you, Siham!).
Some shopping I did in February came in handy. The fabulous Muslim-Shop provided me with this fine dress:
Made of shiny, heavy fabric that flows quite fabulously, and it includes some strings inside to tighten it around your bust. It is quite long, however and even wearing high heels you have to move very ‚graciously‘ – but, as my partner said, „it’s not made for walking, it is made for standing still and being looked at.“
What’s not to be looked at (especially not at a wedding party) were these beautiful finds:
I recently found a shop that had these fascinating examples from the Rago collection: an old-style girdle with six suspenders (never wore one of those; you move differently, believe me…), and an equally old-style bra that somehow gives you those ‚pointy‘ curves that we all know from forties movies. So this was my look for the party – forties oriental decency (and a big thank-you to the bridesmaid’s mother who provided me with a simple, but stunning headdress to go with the butterfly dress).
It was a lot of fun in the end of course; although, unfortunately, no „Bobby Brown“ routine this time.
What’s underneath is nobody’s business of course, but on one of the last few days I might have been wearing a pair of short bloomers and a camisole, both with nice lace trim, a vintage Victorian corset with suspenders, and a beautiful knee-length slip dress from the 1940s. Goes nicely with a long flowing abaya, a ray of sunshine and a Calexico album on the turntable.