Notes

The power of small changes

Millions of people make Monday resolutions. The same happens every birthday, the first day of the month/year/New Year/Christmas. If one could stick to all these resolutions for two days on average, that would give more than 33% of the days of the year. Each Monday resolution lasting for two days gives 104 days a year. If you can also do two days at the beginning of each month that adds another 24 days. Finally, we need to add another 6 days for birthdays, New Year and Christmas resolutions. In total this is134 days, 37% of the year.

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Short Stories

A Romantic morning

Saturday morning. 8am. She wakes up and goes straight to the kitchen. The washing machine is already full. She presses the button and the entire room is filled with the sound. Instant coffee. We sit at the table opposite each other. I can’t hear anything else than the washing machine. It’s so disturbing. She loves it. It relaxes her. Halfway through the coffee she suddenly stands up and starts spraying the table with some cleaning liquid. She asks me to move my coffee. Then she starts sweeping the floor and complaining that our nanny should have done it last night.

Short Stories

Obsessive measurement

He started recording his sleeping patterns at school at the age of 15. Then he was calculating the moving average of his grades. This was followed by the number of cigarettes he smoked, number of drinks, minutes he spent on the phone, times he had sex and so on. Then smartphones era started and he started tracking his location, daily steps, running times etc. You name it – he was tracking it. Now in his 40s, he is still tracking everything obsessively. This includes tracking the hours he spends on tracking. Patterns. I see patterns everywhere – he says. 

Short Stories

Bar in Hiroshima

“We don’t get too many people from Poland in Hiroshima.”

“Here’s your chance to meet one. How come you speak such good English.”

“Prison education in Japan is good.”

“What was it for?”

“Some petty crimes. Would you like a drink?”

“Why not. What’s life like in Hiroshima? Do you still think about the bomb?”

“Yes. We thank god for it!”

“Are you drunk already?”

“The alternative was to surround to the Soviets. Look at Poland after the war. You were ‘freed’ by the Soviets. It was much better to get these two bombs than the Russians for 4 decades.”

Short Stories

Undercover Search

“I got drunk last night and had unprotected sex with a prostitute. Nana Street in Bangkok has its own rights. It’s impossible to say no after a few beers. I now need to get tested. Can you help me to find the HIV clinic?”

“Use Search on your phone.”

“I’m too scared to do it. The minute I type that into the search box, it’s like telling the world, or at least 10 thousand companies, that I had unprotected sex and potentially HIV. They’ll start showing me condom adverts. I need to go undercover with this search. Will you help?”

Short Stories

Guided tour of Saramago’s house

No flash photography allowed. Time start: Study. Press 2 on your device. Saramago wrote here. Let’s read the passage from his book. Any volunteers? Next. Saramago’s living room. He rested here. This painting is about The Stone Raft – Saramago’s book about the Iberian Peninsula separating from Europe. Kind of Brexit scenario. Have a look at his bedroom. Press 4 to learn more. Saramago died here peacefully surrounded by loved ones. Let’s go to the kitchen. Coffee anyone? Then his garden. He loved his olive tree. Finally his library. 15 thousands of books sorted by author’s nationality and gender. Goodbye. Thanks.

Short Stories

Difficult question

I know Lanzarote island well. I’ve been here before, mum. On my own. I remember these houses and mountains. I was picking fruit and veg – avocado, beans and cabbage. I was crying and no one came to help. I was completely on my own. I walked here from London on my own feet. Mum and dad stayed in London. I was on my own. I’m now two and a half years old and I can clearly remember it. Why did you leave me here on my own, mum? I was so little back then. And I was crying.