Friday, February 6, 2009

Holding on to the ‘wow’ feeling

Dusseldorf International airport looks like a Christmas cake when I arrive, with snow transforming even ordinary things into something spectacular. I may be well travelled but I haven’t seen much fresh snow in my life and the experience still moves me.

Crunch, crunch, my Ugg boots tread through the ice. These shoes really are bankers that manage to keep me comfortable through the worst conditions. At least this time they are appropriate for the weather! The next day things are more slippery and the muddy ice becomes a little less pleasant to walk on.

I guess for people who live in places where snow dominates large parts of the year, it’s probably more of an inconvenience than a miracle. Yet for me it is still an extraordinary sight. I wish it were easier to keep seeing things as though for the first time since it is such an invigorating experience.

My colleagues and I walk around the Altstadt, marvelling at the frozen Rhine River and designer stores. Close by is the harbour area, which boasts contemporary architecture in contrast to the historical buildings of the Aldstadt. Almost the entire city had to be rebuilt after WWII and although the older part of the city still holds charm it is the buildings of Guggenheim museum architect Frank O. Gehry that give Dusseldorf its edge.

The cold finally takes its toll and when it starts raining we spend the rest of the afternoon inside the Kaufhof (shopping centre) where the sales manage to draw as much attention as the tourist attractions. By the time we head back to our hotel we are ready for a meal of potato cakes and quark before falling asleep to raindrop lullabies on the window pane.

With the heaviest snowfalls in 20 years in London this week, I am hoping to visit within the next few days. I want to tell my godchild that it is important to hold on to that ‘wow’ feeling. To see things with fresh eyes is what keeps us moving – and motivated. There is always something out there that deserves a ‘wow’.

In a world suffocated by the Credit Crunch, it is perhaps the perfect time to look around and notice that the simple things are really what make life worthwhile. Building a snowman with the family or watching sunlight sparkle on ice can be more significant than the money we win or lose on the stock market.


Anonymous said...

And in Cape Town- the winelands folk were having the bush fires to contend with. Go and look at

Sunee said...

I love your blog! You lead a very interesting life - see me go green with envy :) I happened upon it today, but will definitely keep reading...

Mona Lize said...

Mich - thanks for the link. Cape Town is always in my heart.

Sunee - welcome and I hope you will love reading this blog as much as I love writing it.