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Floreciendo

Claveles al sol.

© aNadventures

Floreciendo voy

Como claveles al sol

A brazos fuertes

The cheese is gone

The cheese.

© aNadventures

 

The cheese is gone

A memory of last summer

Fading away now

 

I’m letting it go

Chopping off the mold from it 

Some tasty parts left

 

Put them in my soup

Stir them around with a spoon

A healthy portion

 

Melting in my mouth

The taste is strong like candles

But burns no longer

 

Glad I could enjoy

Nourishing experiences

The cheese is gone

5 things I’ve learnt from esophageal achalasia

Juicy giraffes.

© aNadventures

Now playing: Nevermind by Dennis Lloyd

Having considered myself relatively healthy for most of my life, I was quite surprised when my esophagus turned ill in what felt like an out of the blue situation. 

It all started in mid-2018. I was having lunch with a potential employer when I felt a strange cramp in my throat and had to make a big effort not to throw up the delicious food I was chewing. I didn’t finish my plate and somehow made it through the remainder of the job interview with my troubles going unnoticed, or so I assume. 

The symptoms, however, started multiplying, regardless of what I was eating or drinking. My initial assumption of me having an allergic reaction to some specific spice or food turned less and less likely. When I finally had tests carried out in hospital by mid-2019, I learnt that there was a term for what I had been experiencing: esophagal achalasia. This is a rather rare dysfunction of the muscle joining the esophagus and the stomach.  

In a nutshell: Whatever I eat or drink may get stuck and pile up halfway, forcing me to throw up all of a sudden. It’s not painful but it can be quite uncomfortable, especially in social situations, as you may imagine. Nonetheless, there are some lessons this illness has taught me that I’m thankful for:  

1. Every bite matters

Throughout the last year, I’ve noticed that my behaviour towards food has considerably changed. I used to be a passionate foodie. I still am. But the pleasure I take from taking a decent bite has been very much reduced, I won’t lie. As my capacity to take in food is much more limited than it used to be, I now make very conscious choices of how to nourish myself. These choices mainly depend on fueling up my energy levels and getting as many nutrients as possible. I’m also forced to eat slowly and to carefully chew my food as every bite will take its time to trickle through the malfunctioning muscle joining the esophagus and the stomach. It’s not uncommon for me to feel my stomach rumbling all while the food is piling up in the esophagus. I then have to be particularly mindful with my body: Am I hungry? Or am I full? Let’s just take one bite at a time. I know for sure that every bite will matter. 

2. My body knows what’s best for me

Long before I knew there was something seriously wrong with my health, I started being in the mood for soups, soups and more soups. Two years ago, I got a hand blender for Christmas and we’ve been inseparable ever since. When the symptoms aggravated and I could eat less and less solid foods, I understood what my body had been preparing me for. Porridge, soups and smoothies are my favourites these days while it’s almost impossible for me to make it through a bowl of rice or an entire pizza. Never having been particularly fond of coffee, I now crave the substance on a regular basis, as I have the impression it makes my ill muscle relax in some kind of way, finally allowing the food to make its way to the stomach. Even if it may all just be in my head, I truly believe my body knows what’s best for me and makes me crave the foods I can handle best. 

3. My shape does not define me

As you may have guessed from what I’ve previously described, I lost quite some weight throughout the last few months, especially as the condition has gotten worse. I’ve been rather slim for most of my life but gained some curves throughout the last few years which I’d come to like about myself. People who know my previous foodie version are now rather concerned about how bony I’ve become. I tell myself that curvy or bony, I’m still me, regardless of my shape.  Read more…

Quote of the Day: The third cut

Fall feelings.

© aNadventures

 

I know the first cut is the deepest but the third one hurts just as much.

(aNanymous)

 

You can find other Quotes of the Day here:

Quote of the Day: Sunset

Quote of the Day: The perfect match

Quote of the Day: Trust

Quote of the Day: Happiness

Quote of the Day: The path

Quote of the Day: Belly

Quote of the Day: Friendship

Two steps forward

Buen Camino!

© aNadventures

Two steps forward,

one step back. 

We’re moving, aren’t we?

 

Let’s find out where this path

will take us. 

Step by step.

Just never take the bus. 

 

It’s not easy. 

But that’s part of it all. 

Isn’t it?

 

Let’s face this adventure

Let’s make it last. 

Are we living the moment?

Forgetting the past? Read more…

Wise words from Colombia

On my travels through Colombia earlier this year, the town of Salento located in the Colombian coffee region (Eje Cafetero) and its surroundings were among my favourite discoveries, mainly due to the marvellous nature as well as the tranquil spirit. 

Always on the hunt for wise words, I came upon these ones on a blackboard adjusted to a traditional restaurant: 

Wise words from Colombia.

© aNadventures

Nunca te avergüences de emprender algo aunque fracases.

Porque aquel que no ha fracasado nunca, es porque no ha intentado tampoco nada. 

 

Which translates into:  

Never be ashamed to tackle something, even if you fail. 

Because those who never fail have not tackled anything either. 

 

I like the encouragement resonating in these lines. We learn from trial and error, after all. I agree that it’s preferable to try and fail rather than missing out on the what ifs. 

How about YOUR thoughts? When was the last time you tackled something?

 

You’ll find more wise words here:

Zufall: A mere coincidence?

Wanting is ability!

© aNadventures

Yesterday, as I was strolling through the Berlin neighbourhood of Schöneberg, a second-hand bookshop caught my attention. I rarely buy any books as the minimalist in me prefers borrowing them from the library. Yet, my inner book lover encouraged me to have a closer look. So I approached the shop and rummaged in a few boxes exposed on the pavement. It didn’t take me long to find a book titled “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” by Julia Alvarez. My heart jumped with excitement. At this point, I should mention that my last name is García, too. I remember having come upon this novel at an earlier point in time but for some reason, I hadn’t read it, yet. As I strongly believe that some things are simply meant to be, I grabbed the book and walked inside the shop to pay for it. Read more…

You know you’re watching a Turkish series when…

Poster: Kardeş Ҫocukları

Photo courtesy of Sözcü Gazetesi.

I did it again. I started watching another Turkish series. This time it’s Kardeş Ҫocukları (Children of Siblings). I’d refrained myself from starting another one for over a year simply because once I start, I can hardly stop. I neglect my friends and duties and stay up late to watch an episode after the next. Yet, I somehow enjoy emerging into these stories and witnessing all sorts of drama. This would be my guilty pleasure, I guess. Watching such series has helped me considerably improve my Turkish language skills, though. I learn new expressions and start thinking in Turkish once again. So that’s a huge reward for all the hours I spend in front of the screen.

As it’s the fifth Turkish series I watch, I’m starting to recognize some patterns by now: Read more…

7 things I miss about Turkey

Turkish breakfast: Yummy!

© aNadventures

It has been seven years today since I moved to Izmir for my 1.5-year adventure abroad. I’ve been back in Berlin for 5.5 years now and not a single day goes by without me remembering my life in Turkey or without me mentioning it in any kind of way. Spending 1.5 years in Turkey helped me build a version of myself that I’m so very proud of, a version of myself that I adore being with, a version of myself that I deeply care about. I guess this means it meant a lot to me and shaped my personality to a huge extent.

I think my growth process started with me noticing the little things that matter. Many of those little things are the ones I miss about Turkey today. Let me share the following examples with you: Read more…

Colombia, always in my heart

Valle del Cocora, Colombia.

© aNadventures

Many years we were apart.

Colombia, always in my heart.

Your smell of coffee, clouds and soap.

Reminds me there is always hope.

To see your colours one more time.

To be inspired, shine and rhyme.

All sorts of tastes, fresh fruit and juices.

Your kindness, beauty, rhythm seduces.   

Mother nature loves you much.

Your mountains, oceans, pastures and such.

Adventures are about to happen.

Let love be your favourite weapon.

It’s you who knew me from the start.

Colombia, always in my heart.