Stories


Magical Moments: From Germany with Love
Nadja Sayej
2011-09-01

I believe in miracles. That’s no lie. I believe in everyday magic, I believe there is no such thing as coincidences. And I believe that we were put on this earth for a reason. Cold, hard realists – look elsewhere. I believe the impossible is possible and here is some proof of the magical moments I have had in Germany during my stay here.

 

The Story of the Shoes

It was late October when I was on a walking tour of Berlin to uncover the past when I realized my feet were really hurting. My shoes were not practical walking shoes. As I walked back to my bike, parked at Alexanderplatz, there was a pair of shoes hanging from my bike handlebars – no joke. I opened the bag and tried them on, the shoes were exactly my size. And comfy. I cannot explain the unexplainable, but I do know one thing: I parked my bike close to a mall, and from what it looks like, someone bought a new pair of shoes and discarded the old ones. Why they chose to leave them hanging from my bike handlebars, I’ll never know. But I’m grateful.

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Usedom

I never thought I’d see the Baltic Sea again after I left Finland in the summer of 2010. But lo and behold, I took a road trip up to Usedom, at the northern tip of Germany in November and got to see it once again. It was strange being in this small beach town in the middle of fall (and the water was freezing) but it gave me a fresh perspective on the country I was about to conquer. The breathtaking landscape, the ocean waves, it was a huge privilege to bask in the beauty of a part of Germany I never thought I would see.

Forget the Caribbean. Usedom is where it’s at (in the summer).

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The Hairy Snowman

I was walking home through Mitte one night when I saw the most interesting snowman – right across the street from a hair salon. A closer look revealed that this snowman had real human hair (yes, real human hair) on its head like a toupee. It looks as though the staff at the hair salon put the hair they’ve cut off their customers to good use, to the hairy snowman.

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Motor FM

I was a guest on the radio show, Off the Record. Eliza Foxx, the host on Berlin’s radio station MotorFM.de, called me into the studio to do an interview in the winter of 2010 to talk about my web-TV show ArtStars*. And boy, did we have a blast. We spoke for nearly two hours about Germany, Canada and my experiences abroad. It all flew by like 15 minutes. I can honestly say I’ve never felt more invited as I did that day talking with her in the radio station studio.

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Robin Sharma

I was hanging out on Twitter when I made some social media branding suggestions to Robin Sharma, Canada’s leadership guru and biggest motivational speaker. I was surprised when he wrote back – right away. We kept in communication and it was me, not him, offering the advice. To thank me, he mailed me a copy of his latest book, the Leader Who Had No Title, to my home in Germany. Inside, he wrote the words: “Dear Nadja – Thank you for your kind feedback + help! Robin.”

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Karin Abramova

It was February 2011 when my good friend Karin rolled into town for the Berlinale Film Festival. I was so happy to see her. It had been ages since Toronto. And you don’t realize how much you take for granted what a friendly face is. We reminisced about back home, hit HBC in Mitte, and more. Here we are in one of our candid moments of catching up. Saying goodbye was a hard thing to do.

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artstarstv.com_250px.jpg NADJA SAYEJ, host of ArtStars*, writes about art for artUS, Border Crossings, C magazine, Canadian Art, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times and was splashed the cover of Eye Weekly as “the next Jeanne Beker.” She was called “Center Stage in Toronto in an Art in America cover story. She is a columnist for enRoute and is busting her ass in Berlin, Germany, and surrounding countries. Follow the adventurous fun on Twitter or her ever-popular Facebook fanpage or even on LinkedIn, as well. 

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My experience in Germany has been invaluable. In addition to learning German and taking part in another culture, I have learned so much about myself. I am confident that I can thrive away from the comforts of home and that I am dynamic and flexible. This is exactly what today’s employers are looking for – giving me a competitive advantage in the working world.
Kate from British Columbia – working for an international not-for-profit organisation.