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The fate of Shéhrézade
In Hemingway's Footsteps
Dar Karma
Domes, Fortresses, Walls and Bastions
Christmas Eve - X-mas Yves
Bonjour Tendress

from Autobiography, Prologue: Africa Here I Come

Rome, Palermo, Malta, Tripoli, Benghazi, Harare, Johannesburg, Cape Town. Nightflight over Africa
I look into the darkness and my eyes fall upon the wing of the plane. It twinkles with it's lights encouragingly and I declare the stary, stary night to be my travelling companion.
Thougths come, thoughts go, thoughts remain.
I have spent an adventurous life in Africa and had to turn to a quite different culture. Today I consider myself fortunate to be able to look back on these years, and I am glad to have experienced them. at that time I was not aware of the richness attached to my life variety. Today knowing how rapidly Africa has altered, I realize which treasures in form of experiences and adventures I bear inside.
Although this life was not only beautiful but very often painful, most experiences have remained in me like living pictures.
I intended to renew these memories, these pictures, whether beautiful or painful, miserable or gay, light or dark on this journey and will hopefully discover whereto I belong.
Because I am always homesick for the "there" when I am in the "here". Just in the same way do I feel homesick for the "here" when I'm in the "there".
I look outside. Grey fields of clouds lie far beneath me. The sunrise gradually appears in the east and renders night to day. The lighter it gets the whiter become the fields of clouds.
We glide, elegantly, through the air and swing over the country which is called Africa. The MD 111 takes course to Johannesburg. Side wings bring the wings to vibrate. A long river from East to West, in which the water of the rising sun reflects. It ends branched in many arms. The sunlight blinds me a little and linders my perception of nature's amazing play. Only the river remains visible, swings through the patches of fog and looses itself in the morning mist.
Africa's dark, tempting world, since centuries constantly changing, lies hugh and powerful below me. From a bird's-eye view it appears fantastic.... --- back to top ---

Extracts from: The fate of Shéhrézade

"Behold ye herdsmen, traders and cameleer of the ancient city of Marrakech the Red One, gather around me because I, the storyteller Sidi Farid, who served the Calif of Kelaat M’Gouna will tell you tales of other people, other places and other times. How the slave Shéhrézade became the rosebud girl and beloved one of Hamid, the Calif’s son. How she was covered by thousands and thousands of rose petals, how she bathed in rosewater and what adventures her daughter Zora underwent."
"Arise brave men of the desert, travellers of the Sahara," summoned the old man the crowd, whose face was as wrinkled as a date with a falsetto, forming these words with his teethless mouth, whilst his Adam’s Apple jumped up and down his throat. "Come and huddle around the fire, so I can lead you into the world of Berbers, Bedouins and Nomads and becharm you with fairytales and myths." His unveiled face looked jubilantly into the crowd. He then thoughtfully spit out the tobacco he was chewing whilst he waited that his servant gathered some dunghill and fed the flames with it. The smell of camel swet hung in the air. Mighty palm fans brushed to and fro, camels yelled, sheep and goats bleated into the becoming night.... --- back to top ---

Extracts from: In Hemingway's Footsteps

At exactly 3.30 pm the small sea plane from Chalk Airlines drove slowly down the ramp into the water. I sat seat-belt fastened together with a handful of passengers in the aircraft and full of expectations I gazed out of the small window. In a similar way to a motorboat the sea plane dugged along the waterway and mastered the many waves on the surface skillfully hopping over them. After taxiing for some time the plane turned towards the wind, letting it's propellers howl up, violantly making them tremble....

[...] The sea plane quickly lost height, turned a couple of times and then more slithering than swimming landed on top of the exquisite ocean, in which lie the islands of the Republic of the Bahamas....
In the "Complete Angler''m" which Hemingway occasionally had used as night's lodging and which had long ago been transformed into a bar and museum, an amazing number of photos, books and extracts of magazines under glass were filling the walls, exhibiting Hemingway as a writer, a big game hunter and above all as a big game fishing angler....
I was speechless with the variety of the photos showing Hemingway's obsession for adventure. But I understood very well what it was that forced him to do this. He needed life as it was lived to be able to write about it! I thought and hoped that sometimes I would be able to do something similar in order to turn into a Hemingwayress. --- back to top ---

Extract from Dar Karma

Ah, Asilah! My heart beats for you since the day I saw you and since I lived for two days inside your walls, there, where green and blue doors, heavily locked, showed the entrance to the house DAR KARMA, the House of the Figtree.
I push the heavy door and step in. Suddenly the Medina is silent when I stand within the chalk white walls of a patio, where a truly strong fig tree spreads in all directions and with its wide, droopy branches dominates the yard. This is the heart, the soul of Dar Karma. All the rooms on the three floors look towards this majestic fig tree. The patio, a really charm-filled yem, with stairs and corridors, leading from it to mezzarines and multiple roof terraces, from where I can see the sea, is a place of maghrebinic architecture.
I stride through Dar Karma as in trance and find myself in a milieu of 1001 nights. This place radiates serenity, is an oasis of tranquility and class, and protects me with its walls from the noise of the Medina. I cannot believe that I have found a world like this in such secrecy... --- back to top ---

Extract from Domes, Fortresses, Walls and Bastions

Off I am in an jumbolino of Air Malta from N. to V. and reas in the airline magazine.
"We promise you a rose garden and will make it easy for you to find peace within you, whereby the sun, moon and stars will help you. God loves you wheather you like it or not."
The butter is called "midnight sun" and the blue sea below has traces of mediterranean cruizers in it [...]
Valetta, with its yellow sandstone houses, where on their moresque roofs brightly coloured flags flapp in the wind, where churches steepless, fortress walls and bastions of gigantic proportions can be seen and where the blood fo many races, the Phoenicians, Sarazens, Arabs and Italiens together with the odd English person's blood flows through the veins of the Maltese, completes my impressions when I check in for my helicopter flight to Gozo... --- back to top ---

Extract from Christmas Eve - X-mas Yves

The water murmured silently against the keel of the big powerboat, anchored at the pier of the Big Game Fishing Club in Bimini, as I lounged delightfully on soft linnen next to a naked man in the bow of the boat, where the spacious sleeping quaters were. When my eyes fell on dozens of little control lamps. I was imagining them to be the electric candles on an artificial christmas tree, if temperatures had not been so tropical.
Yves, the naked, well-built man next to me, whom I had only got to know a few hours ago, was lying there totally relaxed, so that I hardly dared to loosen myself out of this tight embrace....
I wrapped the linnen around my body and hushed into the front of the boat, opened a hatch noiselessly and stuck my head through the opening. I listened out into the dark night. No noise, other than the murmuring of the water was to be heard as I opened both nostrils as wide as I could and inhaled the smell of salty sea-water deep down into my lungs... --- back to top ---

Extract from Bonjour Tendress

One fine day in May on one of the most exclusive avenues of Paris, a gentleman and a lady, for the fraction of a second, exchanged a meaningful glance, almost touching one another, then each of them went their way.
A short while later the lady entered the lobby of the traditional hotel Plaza Athenee, took one of the hotel brochures at the entrance and roamered around the vast halls and salons in search of the bar.
"Do you know, where the bar is?" asked a gentleman politely.
"I am looking for it myself." answered the lady, happy to see that it was the same gentleman she had just exchanged glances with.
No sooner had they found the bar, he turned to her and said: "May I invite you for a drink?".... --- back to top ---