I: thought about armpit hair and the euro zone crisis
What I said: “I met a girl once who let her armpit hair grow nice and bushy so that she could weed out the guys that were more interested in her grooming habits than her intellect.” more
I: moved to Berlin
What I said: “I’ve lived in the same house for 24 years. I know its every nook. When I come home, my father is where he is supposed to be. As I push open the gate, I look in the window and see the back of his head and his arms outstretched.” more
I: tried to open a bottle of beer with a garlic crusher
What I said: “I have seen cool people open beer bottles with their teeth, or by levering the edge of the lid against a counter-top.” more
I: considered becoming a scientologist
What I said: ““First of all, look at these metal rods I am holding,” said Karl.
They looked like dumbells.
“Obviously they are not going to give you an electric shock,” he said. “Look, here I am holding them and nothing is happening.”
“Yes,” I said.
He handed me the rods and I clutched them with all my might.” more
I: took a train ride through the Franconian countryside
What I said: “‘What. the. FUCK is wrong with the toilet?’ she screamed. Do you never need to TAKE A PISS?’
His lips flickered, indignantly.
‘Madam. I made a clear announcement to the effect that one of our toilets was defective,’ he said. ‘I explained that due to an act of vandalism, a blockage had occurred. more
I: had a run-in with German customs officials
What I said: “What does this mean?” I said, thrusting an official letter from the Federal German Post Office at my flatmate.
His eyes darted from left to right.” more
I: went to Vienna to take up a dangerous sport
What I said: ““What does this mean?” I said, thrusting an official letter from the Federal German Post Office at my flatmate.
His eyes darted from left to right.” more
What I said: “‘Keep your gaze fixed at the back of the room,’ LSB had said, against the conventional wisdom of imagining your audience naked.
I instinctively disregarded his counsel, and fixed my eye creepily on a number of individuals I believed would be sympathetic.” more
I: discovered Penneys in Berlin
What I said: “One girl I saw had stopped dead in front of a €2 pair of wine-coloured tights. She picked them up and stroked them” more
I: read over a man’s shoulder in a coffee shop in west Berlin
What I said: Right at this very moment, a man with grey floppy hair and a stripy woollen jumper is sitting in front of his laptop in a coffee shop in west Berlin, reading, what I suspect is his own story. It’s called “The Tutor” and begins: “Even with the fan beating her naked body, Gloria was dripping wet.” more
I: met a Republican
What I said: “Ha, I thought. So I have finally met a Republican. I was disappointed by how nice he was.” more
I: braved a German hairdresser
What I said: “‘“These wispy bits at the back of your head are borderline catastrophe,’ she said, kindly.
I’d chosen her salon because there was a winter-themed model train set in the window. Tiny carriages chugged around and around a snowscape and up above, as if by magic, a hot air balloon carrying a family of dolls battled through the blizzard.” more
I was: unemployed, restless, devilish
What I said: “I have few accomplishments to recommend me; I cannot draw, my recitals on the pianoforte are clumsy at best and I have neither a talent for embroidery nor the gift of graceful movement. The one area in which, after much searching, I have found myself to excel is in the ability to produce plausible-sounding Gibberish at will…” more
I: found a job, was still devilish.
What I said: “I check my e-mail before going to sleep and there’s a Valentine e-card in from LSB! I think: “Aw, what a sweetie”. I open it up only to find a Fine Gael cartoon canvasser tell me that “Labour are red, Fine Gael are blue, we won’t raise your taxes like they want to do”. Then he winks and looks shiftily (seductively?) to the side. I send one to every member of my family signing it Eoghan Murphy xxx, the name of the Fine Gael candidate in my constituency who topped 98 fm’s “hottest election poster boy” poll…” more
I: had a quarter-life crisis
What I said: “There was once a raven-haired fortune teller who, tracing her forefinger over my palm, told me that I would live to be in my nineties. I was alarmed when I realised some time ago that I had reached quarter age in spite of her promise of longevity. This realisation, coupled with acute post-graduation panic (PGP) has propelled me to a life crisis…” more
I: tried to forget about my Quarter Life Crisis by taking a trip to Sligo with LSB
What I said: “We’re leaning against a stony wall by the riverbank. I’m unzipping my camera case gingerly because I want to remember the stillness and his solitude when a blonde-haired man of about thirty staggers, stony-eyed towards us.
“Don’t you dare take my picture”, he yells. “You’ve no right, you sons of bitches. You’ve no fucking right at all”…” more
I: thought about my younger and more vulnerable years.
What I said: “I was 16 and practically the same but for a hideous mane of long, straggly brown hair with orange highlights. I had just finished struggling through The Satanic Verses. I’d taken it to Germany where I spent many a journey on slow trains, puff-puff-puffing their way through the Bavarian countryside, with the battered book on my knee, trying to make sense of it all. Bizarrely-named angels, and evil and the Muslims didn’t like it: it went something like that…” more
I: took up a political cause
What I said: “As they beat their hammers on their oak writing tables and whisper “Objection” in advance of September’s Referendum, the twenty-two dissenters will inevitably privately concede that the scrapping of Article 35.5 represents good riddance to bad rubbish. Objection over-ruled…” more
I: thought about pens and penises
What I said: “Unless it’s accepted as equally scandalous that the proportion of male nurses is equivalent to that of female corporate executives, a discussion of gender can never be detached from a social weighting in favour of money…” more
I: attended the annual Familienfest
What I said: “As I was tucking into my vegetable bags (or Gemuse Taschen) I had a sudden sinking feeling: I had forgotten to pick up the bag of black sausages!…” more
I: admitted that I don’t have the first clue about the economic crisis
What I said: “Every weekday morning, I brush my teeth while listening to the business news on Morning Ireland. Once the weather comes on, I know it’s time to spit…” more
I: realised that there’s nothing quite like an Irish Presidential election.
What I said: “The struggle for the presidential candidates to find many more words than the Queen of England herself during the “Irish Language” debate revealed the incongruities that are still gripping this little nation, which – desperate for an export-driven recovery from economic ruin- continues to struggle with its own identity…” more
I: went to America.
What I said: “Subways in New York are grubby places. They are for poor people and for people who read large books with city library stamps printed on their spines…” more
I: finished learning the Arabic alphabet!
What I said ““That is a beautiful and new car!”, I said pointing to a rusty 1993 fiat punto. “I am Kate Katharina.” “Pleased to meet you.” “Give me a falafel please”.”… more
Thank you all so much for making 2011 lovely and for taking time out of your much more exciting lives to leave comments. I appreciate you all enormously. ❤