21 December 2005

Berlin, Germany

We're visiting our head office in Berlin for a round of intensive planning meetings for our company direction in 2006.

Above is an image of one of the main Berlin shopping streets all decked out with Christmas lights.

It's cold - damn cold! It's so cold that it makes you wish that it would snow so that there was a good reason for being chilled to the bone. It supposed to sleet on the 24th - Christmas Eve.

We leave Berlin on Friday to head for the very center of Germany where we'll spend Christmas with J's family in a sleepy little spa town that has hot water pools - so at least for some of the time we'll be warm!

We're spending New Year's with some friends in Stuttgart, and we're hoping that it will snow down there for us, as the Black Forest will be beautiful with some of the white stuff decorating the woodlands.

Internet connection will be almost non-existent for us in this time so, until 2006, this is most likely our last post.

Being resident in the Middle East brings a certain poignancy to the reason for Christmas - the birth of Christ - even though his real birthday was actually in April.

It all happened here in this region - in a little town called Bethlehem.

What I find most fitting is that when Jesus was born, the story tells that among the first visitors to pay respects to the Messiah were 3 wise men from the East - following a bright guiding star, riding camels, and bringing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense.

To me, this speaks of a respect and an affinity between the religions of the East and West that existed in that time. (Or maybe it was because there was just one doctrine back then?!)

I trust that one day, we'll reach that level of understanding again - for the sake of this small planet's future.

We just have to find a way to stop all the bitching and fighting - and that begins with each and every one of us finding a place in our hearts and minds, and in our actions, that reflects understanding and tolerance towards others; their differences and varying beliefs. I have a dream!

If we were all the same, wouldn't the world be a boring place?! Vive la difference!

To all people celebrating the Christmas season, may this time be filled with peace and joy - a time to reflect on what is important to you, and to give thanks to the people who enrich you - just by being in your life.


mrsmoryarti said...

Hope you enjoy the holidays, and i'm jealous of you already!! i loved berlin, and seeing the pictures brought back so many beautiful memories...

I have also been in Stuttgart in Feb 05 - wasnt as freezing as now, yet my bones almost broke!!

Do take as much pictures as you can ... and ENJOY!!!

nzm said...

Thanks Mrs M!

We're having a relaxing time - visited the hot saltwater baths today - what an awesome place. It was fun to be swimming while surrounded by snow-covered hills - the pools are designed so that you can swim either indoors or outdoors!

It snowed yesterday and is trying to snow again today (Tuesday).

We head for Stuttgart on Friday!

We trust that you're keeping things running smoothly in Dubai while we're away!