Browse Category: The Thoughtful Donkey

Ain’t no power like the power of the people

On January 21 2017 I joined the Women’s March here in Copenhagen. I had heard about the planned Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and thought to myself, I would love to be able to join that, but unfortunately I won’t, since I live 6502 Kilometers away. Only two days before, I heard about the sisters march in Copenhagen and spontaneously decided to join.

So I called up some friends, forced my husband and in the end we were 5 people and a dog, who showed up at the American Embassy. My biggest fear was that there would be only 5 other people and I dragged everyone for nothing into the cold. Although luckily it wasn’t that cold. And with even more luck a lot of people showed up. Not just women, but also a lot of men. And even some other dogs.

At the beginning, while people still gathered, me and my friends stayed a little bit at the side. Partly, because we had a dog with us and didn’t want to push too much into the crowd, but partly because I also felt a bit unsure. This was my first time at a demonstration. I didn’t really know what would happen, what we were suppose to do. There were some speeches, but I could hardly hear anything.

And then the people started to move. The march started. Everyone walked in our direction, so we suddenly ended up at the front of the march. Maybe 10th row. Some women had megaphones and started shouting slogans. I had troubles to understand what they were saying and what we, the marchers, were supposed to shout back. When I finally figured it out, I still stayed rather quiet, and mumbled more the lines, instead of shouting them out like some people around us.

But the more we marched on, the braver I got. And the louder I got. So, when the women shouted: “Show us what democracy looks like!”, I shouted back: “This is what democracy looked like!”. When the women asked us what we would do if we would loose our freedom of speech or witness suppression, I shouted back in unison with the others “Stand up! Fight back!”. And then my favourite line: “Ain’t no power like the power of the people and the power of the people won’t stop!”. This took a while to figure out, but once I got it, I wouldn’t stop shouting it.

I got more and more relaxed in the crowd and I got this sense, that I was at the right place at the right moment. We passed Copenhagen’s biggest shopping street and people stopped to watch and film us. The press was around and even interviewed one of my friends for the evening news. I read all the funny and poignant signs people made and I was really jealous of those, who were wearing pussy hats. I wanted one too.

We finally arrived at Christiansborg Slot, the seat of the Danish Parliament. The people gathered in front of the building and we moved quickly to the statue of King Frederik VII, because we would have a better view and wouldn’t end up in the hustle with the dog. From the stairs we could see all the people behind us, still marching towards the castle. And there were still a lot of people coming. In the end we were about 5,000 people, who marched on that day.

And that was only in Copenhagen. When I got home and watched the news, I was thrilled to see what a big success this march was all over the world. With people marching on all 6 continents. Millions joining in the street for women rights, human rights and against pussy grabbers. It was amazing. I am so proud and happy that i was part of this. And I hope that this is just the beginning of a big global movement.

Women united! We won’t be divided! Humans united! We won’t be divided!

Is my world changing

I remember September 11th. I sat in chock in front of the TV, trying to grasp what my eyes just saw.
Terror had until then nothing to do with my world. Even though I read more than once about attacks on buses in Israel. But that was far away from my world. It was nothing I had to fear.
New York was of course far away from me too. I lived in the north of Germany back than. But still it felt closer. The attacks were not just attacks on the US, but on the whole western world.
In the aftermath I thought the world would change. That this was just the beginning. That there will be more attacks. But there weren’t and the world didn’t change, at least not much and not for me.
It got more complicated to travel to the USA. Later we weren’t allowed to bring water on planes and we had to take our shoes off at security. But that didn’t stop me from flying. Not even to New York the following April.
Two wars erupted from those attacks. Changing the world for many people, for better or for worse. But my world stayed the same. I finished school and I started travelling.
But then Madrid happened and then London. I lived in Berlin at that point and suddenly I worried when I took the S- and U-Bahn. What if someone would blow up this train, while I’m sitting there. Those thoughts came to me, but not often, not every time. And it didn’t stop me from travelling with S- and U-Bahn. I still had to get around.
I also took the metro and trains in Copenhagen, when I moved there. Even though Denmark, home of the Mohammed-caricatures was more than once under threat of terrorism. Whenever I was standing in a filled metro during rush hour, I couldn’t help but thinking, that now it would be a good opportunity for terrorist to blow up this train. But I pushed those thoughts aside. And I stayed in the train.
And then last year happened. Two attacks in Paris in one year. The last one I witnessed life on TV, while watching the friendship game between France and Germany. The German sports reporter, overwhelmed by the change of the evening, were trying to keep us informed. One of the topics that got mentioned was the upcoming Europe Cup in France and the security issue. My reaction on that very same evening, while people died, was to check how to get tickets for this sports event. Fuck the terror, right?
But lately I don’t feel like ignoring the changes in „my“ world anymore. I always wanted to travel to Egypt and see the pyramids. But after the Russian plane exploded, I thought, maybe one day, but not now. I always wanted to travel to Istanbul and see the Hagia Sophia, but after 11 German tourists died there in an explosion, I thought, maybe one day, but not now.
I don’t have to travel with the metro anymore to get around, at least not often. But right now I would try not to travel during rush hour. And the Europe Cup? I think I will watch it at home in front of the TV. It’s just small things so far, but I can’t help feeling, that my world is changing.

Regretting motherhood or regretting not having children

I am 33 years old. I am with the same man since 11 years and we are married almost 2 years. So, the big question: Where are the children??? I get that asked constantly by my friends, who seem to be all busy right now with producing babies.

When I was a teenager I thought I would have 5 children at some point. I was an idiot. Later I reduced it to three children. That seems to be a good number. I have two siblings and we had and have fun together. But back then as a teenager or when I was in my twenties, the thought that followed having so and so many children was also “someday”.

Well, I’m not getting any younger and if I do want to have three children I should start soon, right? But do I actually want children? Lately I am not so sure anymore.

“Regretting motherhood” is a study by Orna Donath in Israel, in which she talked to several women, who, even though they love their kids, also regret having children. They don’t enjoy being mothers and if they could do it all over again, they wouldn’t have children.

When I read about that I got curious. My sister has two children. My niece is three and my nephew one and half years old. I love them. I was never interested in other children before, but with them I love to play, read books, spend time with them. But just for a certain amount of time. Then I get tired or bored. Children that small are not that exciting yet. The games are boring. You can’t play Monopoly with them yet.

So, I started to wonder. Do I want to become a mother. There are certain aspects that sound intriguing, like teaching them horse-riding, baking cakes together, christmas. But there are also the other aspects. Like changing diapers, listening to the crying, worrying about school grades.

I sometimes have the feeling that you give yourself up when you become a parent. The children are then your first priority and nothing else, yourself, doesn’t matter anymore. Of course, I know that this is not entirely true. I see a lot of working moms, who travel, meet friends and have a life next to their children. In Denmark you also have a great supportive system. Fathers get also parent time and you can bring your children with 3 months to child care.

But still I am not sure. I believe that I will never be one of those women, who can say with 100% certainty that they want to become mothers. I will always have doubts. Sometimes I feel I haven’t lived my life enough yet. I haven’t traveled enough, I haven’t had the career yet that I would like to have, I haven’t fulfilled all my dreams yet. And having children would be a big obstacle on fulfilling those dream. I fear I will regret having children.

I also fear regret not having children. Not having a family and everything that comes with it. It’s a difficult decision and I haven’t made up my mind yet. Luckily I still have some time before the clock stops ticking.