Insecurity and LDR double standards

So, I am sorry I haven’t been writing in some time. My new semester at university has started and classes, group works and tasks have already taken its toll again (it’s been two weeks since the semester started – what the heck?!). Oh, and I’m also massively working overtime.

And to be honest – I was also a little clueless on what to write about. Until I haven’t signed a contract that will ensure my employment for after June and guarantee me the chance to move to Berlin with my employer I feel a little insecure to make plans on precisely how, where and when to get Ali to Germany. I hope to have news about this within the next two or three weeks…Plan A is still a language course for him.

Meanwhile the Aliens Department in my hometown (get the joke with my blog title now?) surprised me by answering my question about the so called “Verpflichtungserklärung” (which is basically a commitement by a German citizen to cover the costs for living  for a foreign visitor, student, tourist or such) within one day via e-mail. I was a little confused because in the form I found on their website it said the maximum duration for the visit can be three months, which is way too short for the language courses we had in mind. So I wasn’t sure if I had actually found the right form. They told me to just state the number of the months he actually wants to stay here anyway, regardless of the remark in the form. So much about self-explanatory bureaucracy.

And because university, my job and my long-distance relationship isn’t enough already I had the brilliant idea to sign up for three voluntary teams in a club that helps to promote my degree program to possible future employers.

So I met with some of the other volunteers in a bar on Thursday to talk about how we divide the work that has to be done. And as it always is and because there actually wasn’t that much work to divide we also chatted about a lot of other stuff. I don’t quite remember how we got there but one of my class mates told another girl from a different semester about her boyfriend who studies in Latvia – so obviously a long-distance relationship (LDR). I was just beginning to feel sympathetic towards her when the girl she talked to mentioned someone she knows from Greece who is in a long-distance relationship with someone from Latin America. She also mentioned how difficult it is for them to see each other frequently because of how expensive plane tickets are. My classmate replied: “This sounds mean – but it won’t last between them for long.” This somehow hit me hard – and I don’t know why, because I have heard people disencourage LDR couples so often. But how dare you judge another LDR couple you know nothing about not to make it if you are in a LDR yourself. Well, sure it’s so much easier to visit each other if it’s “just” 1.000 kilometers separating you instead of 8.000+ but LDR remains LDR. And if you are in a LDR yourself why would you be so judgemental about other couples who are in pretty much the same situation as you are. I guess I’ll have to try hard not to let this influence me in how I interact with her in the future because hearing her say that made me kind of sad, to be honest. Are those double standards already? I don’t know.

Have you had negative experience with people judging your or someone else’s LDR? I’d be curious to hear about them.

First death anniversary of Chavez reactivates international media

As I have learned during my studies of public relations anniversaries are great communication opportunities – positive ones as well as negative ones. In communication anniversaries are often used as a means to bring up and place topics in the media again. The media on the other hand has a predilection for anniversaries for news value reasons.

When browsing the internet this morning I was happy to discover an unusual high amount of features treating Venezuela – even in German media, which is even more unusual as German media seems way too concerned about the situation in Ukraine to focus on any other foreign topic. The thematic anchor has been the first death anniversary of “El Commandante” Hugo Chavez in most of today’s features. The majority of articles highlights the problems Venezuela is facing at the moment and include original quotes from protesters.

I especially liked this sentence from Die Welt, though: “Viele Linke sind irritiert, können oder wollen nicht glauben, was sich in Venezuela abspielt.” (“Many left [foreign activists] are irritated, cannot or do not want to believe what is happening in Venezuela right now.”) This is exactly what I experience way too often when reading online comments. My opinion about their hypocratic behavior has been summarized very well by Michael Moynihan.

The only thing that nags at me is the way some articles place all the guilt on Maduro – I almost feel sorry for him. I mean, come on. All these problems did not come out of nowhere. I have seen them come up and deteriorate over the past couple of years. And no matter how unqualified Maduro might be, even if he had wanted to he could not have ruined Venezuela like this in a single year. He is just not as smart as Chavez was to cover up the ruin for a little longer and keep people satisfied. I get the feeling Maduro is just made the scapegoat for all of Chavez’ doings so the image of the icon the latter has become will remain undamaged. “If Chavez was still alive…” Well, but he isn’t.

That said all in all it is pretty ironic, though: It looks like Chavez, of all people, is the one to reactivate international media to cover Venezuela again. Not in the way he would have liked, for sure, but in my opinion the opposition could not be happier about this little favour from the grave.

LDR Playlist: The night before Good-Bye

It has actually been some time since I got to spend time with Ali. While I may not remember every single time we had to say good-bye in detail a bittersweet feeling overcomes me whenever I think back.

The last evenings and nights together in a LDR are always drenched in melancholy. You are happy that you are still together and grieving because you know that with every minute that passes your good-bye comes closer – and in many cases that good-bye will have to hold for months. Worn from lack of sleep I often found myself feeling like on my way to the slaughter house during the final trip to the airport. I pretty much just wanted “it”, the long process of saying good-bye that often begins days before, to be over.

1. Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight 

I think this was one of the first songs that I discovered after starting out with Ali and could identify with. I like this one in particular because the mood is not as melancholic as in many other songs about saying good-bye. That makes it much easier to listen to, especially when you have just gone through saying good-bye. It focuses on the bright side of the last night and rather encourages you to enjoy your last hours together instead of sinking in grief.

 

Well, we know I’m going away
And how I wish, I wish it weren’t so
so take this wine and drink with me
let’s delay our misery…

Save tonight
Fight the break of dawn
Come tomorrow
Tomorrow I’ll be gone

There’s a log on the fire
and it burns like me for you
Tomorrow comes with one desire… 
to take me away

It ain’t easy to say goodbye
Darling, please, don’t start to cry
’cause girl you know I’ve got to go
and Lord I wish it wasn’t so

 

2. Maroon 5 – Daylight

This one is quite new and pretty much the “emo” version of Safe Tonight, at least that’s what I thought when I paid attention to the lyrics for the first time. Maybe “emo” is too harsh but it is definitely melancholic and I wouldn’t dare to listen to this song with anyone around when I’m still emotional from saying good-bye. After all, the lyrics focus on the morning (symbolized by the daylight) instead of the last night itself as Save Tonight does, which is probably exactly the reason it makes me feel much sadder. Anyhow, the lyrics are really sweet and I think anyone in a long-distance relationship can identify so well. The Play For Change version below is not that emo, however ;)

 

Here I am waiting, I’ll have to leave soon, why am I holdin’ on
We knew this day would come, we knew it all along
How did it come so fast
This is our last night, but it’s late and I’m tryin’ not to sleep
‘Cuz I know, when I wake I will have to slip away

Here I am starring, at your perfection in my arms; so beautiful.
The sky is getting bright, the stars are burnin’ out.
Somebody slow it down.
This is way too hard, ‘cuz I know when the sun comes up I will leave
This is my last glance that will soon be memories

And when the daylight comes I’ll have to go
But, tonight I’m ‘gonna hold you so close
‘Cuz in the daylight, we’ll be on our own
But, tonight I need to hold you so close

 

3. Something Corporate – Wait

Is this a LDR song? I’m not sure, but at least I like to read it as one. Anyhow, Something Corporate is/was one of my favourite bands. Sadly, they had split up before I even got to know them. The lead singer Andrew McMahon has a way with cryptic lyrics and sometimes I still find myself discovering new meanings to their songs although I have listened to them a hundred times before.

I can hear ticking clocks,
Running rampant in me,
Chiming in apogee
Waiting for the synergy
Of her and me waiting on the light
And I never say goodnight
Never say that I’m always right

Now in you girl
I’m content to drown
You’re so high and I’m so down
This night’ll end sooner but much sooner now
I’m awake in you and you’re asleep in me
All the things I’ll never be
Make me wonder could you see
And I said

Wait, till I hit the ground harder
Wish I could wait, to hear your heartbeat fast
Wish I could wait till I missed her flavour
My days are numbered here
And I don’t want to be the last one home
Don’t want to be the last one home

This post is for everyone in LDR and especially for fellow blogger  ;)