The Öresund Bridge in Malmo, Sweden

A Fall Without A Fall

I don’t remember exactly when I shot this photo of the Öresund Bridge, which connects Sweden and Denmark. It’s a late autumn or early winter scene, for sure. Infrequent reports from friends and news outlets in southern Sweden keep me aware of how shitty the weather is there now. Yes, I feel thankful for not being part of that scene. No, there is no Schadenfreude involved here. It just feels like I’ve filled my quota of “bad weather living” for a spell.

The last time we had a fall without a fall was back in 2013-2014 when we lived in Santa Monica, California for 8 months. I tend to romanticize about those intense months in that small, crummy apartment, perfectly located about a block from the ocean. Most of my days there were spent either surfing in the Pacific or photographing life on and off the beach. After some Kakfka-esque beauracratic wrestling with the state department to get Charlotte’s Green Card processed in due time (apparently, she can now pick it up whenever she wants at the embassy in Stockholm), we shortened our stay and left the apartment on Idaho Avenue and 2nd Street mid-February 2014.

After a short and freezing stint in Vejbystrand, the Raboffs ended up living for about four months in a comfy corporate apartment smack in the middle of sweltering Bangkok.

Creatively, both 2013 and 2014 were unusually productive years for me. And maybe I’m ascribing too much here, but I really want to believe that the reprieve from the cold and dark Swedish fall and winter that year had such a significant positive effect on me, that the benefits spilled over onto several of the following years, even though we, for the most part, stayed put and endured the six, seven months of DDR season in Sweden.

Meanwhile, here in Da Nang, the sun is slowly but steadily returning. The chilly weather Is also finally on the retreat. Not a day too soon, either. We’ve had a surprising number of cold and dreary weeks here. It’s like a blanket of drab, sunless weather that isn’t dissimilar to what in Southern California is referred to as “June Gloom”. Only here, this can also mean that a giant cloud of smog from somewhere in China sails in and hovers above us for a few days, sounding off alarms about severely poor air quality.

Now with the climate improving, my morning Qigong/Tai Chi practice with Garry and Niayn on the beach is a more consistent happening. Yet every time I see someone walking past us with a longboard under their arm, the urge to join in on some daybreak surfing is almost irresistible.

Regretfully, I didn’t bring a board with me (it’s neatly tucked away on top of a load of stuff somewhere in our storage room in Malmö) and the rental places here don’t open until 8:00 am-ish.

Want to catch at least a couple of more waves before we leave South East Asia in a few weeks. Worse case, I’ll have to wait until we get to Malaga and venture on an excursion to the beaches of Tarifa.