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Assignment: setting

hier die überarbeitete Version...

In the outskirts of town it had stopped raining. These were those moments she remembered why she had chosen to move here to Hellington Street. It was a small street even if quite busy with cars and people. Here, life took place immediately in front of her house. Now the sun emerged from some grey and white clouds. The rain had left behind deep puddles. In the puddles she saw reflections of the world. The blue sky, the grey and white clouds, here and there a little twinkle of a sunbeam. Red bricks, green trees, people’s blurred faces – some with red cheeks, undulated by the gentle waves of the water. Some puddles seemed to be dark black, some crystal-clear. The wind breeze blew the clouds quickly away, that they had no time to deplete. The wind blew the dust away. Everything seemed to be close. The horizon was just her neighbour. Houses beside houses beside shops and side roads. She looked to the end of the street. There was the big crossing with the bright stoplight. People hurried across the street. Cars passed by, some water splashed. The fresh wind brought tears into her eyes. For a moment the world seemed to be perfect and thoughts were all blown away. There was just this one moment in time. Tears washed every piece of dust away. Forgotten where she was, she walked along the street. Paving stones began to dry. Just at the fringe they were still dark and wet. Here and there when the ground was uneven, puddles remained. The trees seemed to be greener than the grass here in England – the roofs and bricks more intensive red than chilli. The grey patterns of the street and the puddles and the clouds were in a friendly grey. The tall doors of little houses were blue and green and red. They glinted. A man with a black hat crossed the street, entering  Susi’s  Café. People inside were smoking and as from far away voices reached her ear. The two chattering ladies were sitting at the bar and Susi Connor right behind – busy to serve the visitors. On the other side of the street, the greengrocer stood beside his fruit and veg stall, watching out for customers. Even if he never smiled, now his facial features appeared unhurried. A mother pushed a baby carriage with one hand also holding a paper cup with coffee in the same hand. The baby carriage had a little pink umbrella and big silver wheels. The woman hurried and trailed a little boy in the age of two or three with her other hand. They disappeared in Tesco supermarket. The red letters over the entrance glowed. Her eyes abandoned the bright writing passed by and stopped at the next house. The ivy overgrown house was her home. She opened the dark green front garden door. It opened squeaking. She closed it with another squeak and stepped up the stairs to her the red glinting front door. Then she paused for a moment and turned around. Her walk was over. One last breath before going back to work, one last glance into the puddle in front of her fence. A green leaf fell into the black water. She smiled. In the air lay the flavour of spring.


Character description

Dieser Abschnitt soll einen CHarakter einführen. Zu Beginn einer Geschichte oder eines Romans...

It was Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday was always a very busy day. At 9 she had ‘Movement and Music’ classes and afterwards, when she actually wanted to chat with her friends there, she had to go to the south east of the town, over the river, to give her own classes at a quarter past eleven. Normally, she didn’t change her clothes and wore training gear en route. She really liked the bicycle ride along the water with the fresh wind in her hair. She always put a clothes-pin at her red trousers because it had clamped in the bike chain two or three times before. The place where she worked was a small little studio on the first floor of a concrete modern building. It was really too mouldy and too dark for the yoga classes she gave. Not even candles could make it cosy. She had always wanted her own studio. She wanted to buy a room – no matter in which condition – and then renovate it with her own hands. She was 31 now, no children and no partner in her life, so she really could teach more than she was doing now. Unfortunately, the ‘Calm and Balance Company’ didn’t give her more teaching possibilities. So she still took classes in related subjects to yoga, to increase her knowledge and to become independent one day, to open her own studio. She had to work in a Café to earn enough money to afford her life.

Now she was sitting in Café Lotus, having a Chai Latte, scratching her name into the milk froth: Lana Daniels. She put the long-handled spoon aside and turned the pages of ‘Yoga Today’. ‘I have to change something in my life,’ she thought. It can’t go on like this. Not that she was unhappy or depressed in any way. But she wanted to earn her money with her real knowledge and her soul and her educated skills. Not in a Café anymore or as an exploited employee. The waiter brought her apple cake with raisins. Absent-mindedly she picked some raisins from her plate, put her head into her hand, and sighed. Lana’s problem was that she didn’t know how to start her own project - her own little school for yoga, dance and gymnastics, but where to get the money from? What if no one would come?

Outside Lana watched people passing by. It was cloudy but the sun peeped through now and then. ‘Are those people happy? – Just thinking what to do next and where to be next…’ She had gotten herself out of balance a few times in the past, because they didn’t take her on permanently at ‘Calm and Balance’. She started to drink more white wine and shots of vodka, smoked several packages Red Gauloises and then finally – luckily – woke up from this nightmare as she found a little robin on her windowsill that had crashed against the window. She recognized that she had to stop her wasteful ways and achieve a saner lifestyle together with the robin. As the robin was healthy and strong again she let it fly away a few days later she didn’t need drinking and smoking anymore. The other break out of her balance had been because of a man… ‘Hey!’ Lana woke up from her daydreaming. The man with the yellow glasses outside caught her eye. She didn’t know why. Her eyes just followed him. She found it interesting how he walked. She remembered the music of this morning in ‘Movement and Music’. She realized that she had never, never before seen a man, moving as musical as the man with the yellow glasses. His steps were as smart drums, he seemed to move in slow motion. ‘What would his voice be like?’ She asked herself. Like a violin? Or a piano? And then as a break in a symphony he held still in front of a shop window. Now the piece of music was over. Lana fell back into reality and really wanted to find out what the man was looking at there. That was before they met, before her life changed, before she discovered the paper in the window, the man was looking at…


Lana Daniels has actually a good life. She is also thankful about that and quite happy. She is a good yoga teacher and knows how to deal with people. She is very helpful and nice. But in her interior she knows that she can more. It just needs to come out. She has to take a risk. When the man with the yellow glasses watches into the window, he reads an advertisement of a room for rent that is in an old factory. Lana gets the chance to build up her own studio.

I want the man with the yellow glasses to be a very mysterious person. Appearing here and there, just when coincidence it wants. I am not sure jet if he and she will ever meet. Maybe they won’t but maybe they are signs to each other….

Lana grew up with a little brother and happy parents in a small town in England. She went to a bigger town to study and for education (I don’t know which town. Maybe it is not important). She did an apprenticeship as a Yoga teacher and has been at a special school for body works (I don’t know if something like this exists…?! But she just was there…. She plays the piano very well and took dance lessons and Tai Chi as well. She loves Café Lotus and going for a walk. She lives on healthy food and her favourite meal is Asian noodles with vegetable. She has some good friends, all of them not very special but quite important to her. Her favourite drinks are parsley-lassi and cinnamon milk. But she also loves exotic fruits. Her daily shower with well-smelling shower gel is as important to her as enough sleep at night. She goes out sometimes. She loves the opera or to Chai-restaurants.

With apologies to William Boyd

Imitation Assignment, final version

Take a look at Henderson Dores, sitting at the edge of the compartment. His legs crossed, he inconspicuously watches out of the window. Sheltered by the woollen coat, his eyes remain at the trees flying by. But their mellow green statues can’t be compared to the status of lime green saplings between the blocks approaching New York’s outskirts. Frowning his brow, he breathes in the crowded air of the moderately laden train. His lucent loafer wiggles in the rhythm of the railway. He is always a bit nervous and feels observed by other people.

He knows he is different. Most passengers in this part of the train are middle aged Americans travelling back from Washington to New York after a long day’s work or a family-get-together. A round faced man of business with a striped tie and a light blue shirt has the other window seat. That man is an American workaholic, not even thinking about having time for a small talk. Henderson really wants to try exactly this: an easy-going chattering about work or family or maybe stock exchange. Shutting his notebook instead, the workaholic stands up even if the train would not arrive sooner than in ten minutes. ‘Are you in a rush? Must have been a hard day!’ Henderson wants to say. But he doesn’t.

‘Has time yet come?’ Henderson asks himself, looking at his massive watch, and realizes that it is not time yet to leave the train. He feels his briefcase at his left side and opens it cautiously to unpack his sandwich. Without any doubt, Henderson has a genteel bearing, occasionally catching someone’s eye in the anonymous assemblage of Americans. He has a well-tempered voice; clear and not too rough. He knows how to behave politely.

The guard approaches. Henderson has never liked guards here in America because they are quite harsh most often.

‘The tickets!’

Henderson slowly takes his proof of payment from the pocket of the jacket and shows it to the man.

‘The tiiickets!’ The man shouted again.

Ignoring the hurry of the busy, self-important person, he shows the paper while thinking ‘Have a nice day yourself, thank you very much’. Closemouthed, Henderson returns his ticket, wishing he could get used to this unpleasant attitude towards strangers. America was too inattentive for British manners.

As the train stops he steps out with his hat on. Time has come, the silent train ride is over and the Big Apple is waiting outside. America was going home now. Inevitably, Henderson has to find the way back to his flat in a skyscraper building in Manhattan. He moves one foot in front of the other, remembering a sunny afternoon in the Hyde Park, breathing the freshness after a rain shower. A homeless man is waiting in front of the building. Henderson accelerates his speed because he doesn’t speak to drunks. He finds them disgusting and uses to ignore them. He tries to revitalize the Hyde Park memories in his mind, pretending the homeless man was not there. ‘Maybe these rags will become rich one day’, he thinks just as the American Dream proposes.

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