Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1. Who are we? and 2. How did we meet?

One very frequently asked question that we've received on the blog since we started this documentary of ours is: Why don't you guys tell us more about you!?!?

That is a very vague question which might be in need of a complex answer so I'm not sure where to start, but here we go with a short introduction of us both...

(And again, I'm so sorry for my terrible English grammar, if I only could write as good in English as in Swedish, I would be one very lucky girl!!)

Alex was born 1973 in Paris, France. He's half French, half Greek. Grew up as a globetrotter already as a child due to his mom's carrier as a French consultant abroad in several conflict areas around the world. This obviously gave Alex the taste of diversity of different worlds, from a very early stage. One year he sailed his small optimist and fished Barracudas bigger than himself on the coast of Angola, Côte d'Ivoire or Zaire. The following years he became witness of the disaster that war brought into Lebanon and some years after he would wake up every morning to the sound of the morning prayer call from the Grand mosque of Omayyad, Damascus.

In between studies in France in his early 20's, he left Europe again for surfing around the globe. This brought him to California, South Africa, Mexico and Australia. No matter where he ended up, he was always close to the sea. Sometimes he lived on a boat, occasionally in a house on the beach or on a surfing camp. The sea has played a massive role in his life, still do, and he was also studying the basic courses for becoming an oceanographer, but later on he changed direction into the music industry. After five years of university studying, he graduated as a Sound Engineer and it is from that profession he's made his living, the last ten years or so. And which brought him to Barcelona - where he opened up his own mastering studio, five years ago.

People who know Alex would all describe him as a very relaxed and down to earth person. I assume his story and his fascinating adventures from the day he was born until today - has made him a very humble, loving and understanding human being. He is a person who has his heart on the right place and appreciates the real things of life, instead of the materialistic or worldly objects. I admire him for many of his strengths, rare personality traits, which make me love and respect him more than any man I met, or ever thought I would have the chance to meet.

He has been sailing all his life and he bought and moved aboard Caos, just three months before he met me here in Barcelona. Considering the fact that I had never sailed in my whole life before I met Alex and now we live together on the boat, is a great proof of how compatible we find ourselves to be with one another - since the very first months we met.

So what about me? Alex have totally left over the writing responsibly for this blog to me for the moment as he claims my English is better, so I guess I have to tell you about myself as well (with supervision by Alex, Ha!). I realize this is going to be a long one so I hope you have some time...

I was born in Finland 1982. A short history lesson for you who are not familiar with my part of the world: Finland is the small country between Russia and Sweden, close to the North pole in the North. Finland hasn't been independent for more than 93 years of its history and it has experienced a past of cruel civil wars, the cold winter war against Russia in the 30s and my grandparents were fighting on the German side against Russia, in the Second World War. The word Sisu, which I refer to in an earlier post, got International recognition from the latter for the typical Finnish character to be a proud, strong headed, courageous and persevering one who could fight until they'd fall in -50° C in the bitter cold forests on the border of Russia. (click here to read more about the Finnish Sisu spirit) A mentality and element that is still living amongst the Finnish culture and which I, and the people who know me, probably would recognize me for. (Yes, Alex shouts here next to me. It's a fucking pain in the ass to deal with at times!) My family has for years and generations been a very divided and fragmented one, all the way from the early periods of the war. Me myself took on my grand mothers destiny and just like her, I grew up in an orphanage. She as a war child in Sweden before she moved back to Finland to produce my family, and me in a smaller city of Finland - when it became clear that my mom couldn't take care of me the way she wished. I lived in the orphanage from the age of 3 and when I was around 9, I got moved to a foster family in Sweden and there is also where I got a new family and siblings, went to school, got my very best friends and learned to take care of myself - as I moved from "home" at the early age of 16.

Traveling came to be a very important part of my life as well and all the way since I moved from home as a teenager, I have done everything in my power to get out in the world to explore new places, cultures and people. Might be my background made me more unbound and free from the usual need of security - as I remember myself traveling to places such Egypt, Malaysia and Spain just by myself, at the age of 18-20. I worked hard all my life, started in the local grocery store when I was 13 up to my last days of employed when 22, for a Swedish real estate company - when I one day decided to leave the security in the neutral country of Sweden, for adventures in Spain. It was Barcelona at this time as well and I was supposed to work and study Spanish, instead I had some intensive months of hard core partying with searching souls like myself. Not sure of what I was searching for at this time, I just knew that I wasn't happy with a normal way of living the life.

That winter I got back to Sweden as my savings started to run out. I got home, created a business plan, showed it to the employment services and received several scholarships/premiums (?) so I could be able to open my very own fashion store, online. This was one of the very first ones in its area and at the age of 22-23 I was the one booking my lonely flights to New York, Paris and London to meet designers such as Alexander Wang, Luella, Sass & Bide and Josh Goot. This was way before any of them received the enormous recognition they have today. I even had an affair with Josh Goot later on *remembering Paris fashion week, February 2007*.

The online shop was a great success and later on I opened up a physical store as well, in Gothenburg where I still lived at this time. But as with many young businesswomen/men in their first years of business, I got too greedy and careless. Was overwhelmed by the success and I wanted more and more. I moved to Stockholm (capital of Sweden) to open up the store there as I considered Gothenburg to be too small, I made sure I got to all of the crazy events and fashion weeks around the world when I suddenly one day realized that both my passion for the world of fashion, and my cash flow slowly had started to die out - I had no other option than to stop the spinning wheel. Those years as a fashion store owner was some of my greatest achievements in life, it gave me some of the greatest experiences I ever encountered but the love for the fashion industry was never strong enough to keep me focused and a new era of my life had to begin.

Some of you asked me why I moved to Dubai and what was I doing there? So here I was, closing down my baby. My own little fashion store that brought me so much joy, experiences, sweat, tears and hard work and now I was closing it down. A bittersweet feeling, but I knew some new great experiences were on their way, that is how life works, isn't it. I closed one chapter of my busy life and opened up a new one. I had earlier visited the Arabic state of Dubai with friends and I loved, what at that time seem to be a, free state where the opportunities laid before your feet. So I jumped on my flight, stayed with a friend of mine for the first months and started to look out for the next mission in life. Dubai never really worked out for me. You have to have a clear vision of what to do before you get there and that I hadn't. Next to the jet set life I was living in the materialistic world of Dubai and other parts of the world, I started to work as a business relations manager for one of my friends smaller companies, that didn't lead me anywhere due to financial problems they were facing. Besides of working on my photography skills, I also tried to open up my fashion agency there, but the licenses failed and the timings weren't right and just about everything told me that this place ain't going to work out for you. I stayed a bit longer than I was supposed to, due to a short relationship I had over there but as soon I was done with it, I took the first plane back to Europe and back to Barcelona, where I felt more like home than I ever thought Spain could make me feel.

After around four lovely months of, again, living in this beautiful, wonderful Spanish city I was due to organize a Halloween party in my house for all of the craziest people I knew in town. Earlier that night, one of my friends asked me if it was OK to bring another friend of hers. Of course, I told her, who is he? "He is very nice guy, I'm sure you would like him. He's living on a boat, driving a Harley Davidson, he has tattoos (muy importante) and is just the sweetest man on earth in all his beauty and craziness" she told me, and left me intrigued. He came very late, that night, and he was indeed very intriguing. And very, very sexy!! At this time of my life I was more than fed up with men - but this man was special. I felt it already from the first eye contact I had with him in the kitchen. I rarely got deeper impressions of men as I felt like I've seen them all, but Alex clearly got me moving in a new way. He kidnapped my camera and took my photos all night and I remember I was flattered and also impressed by his creativity. He was the only one with a steady calmness among us butterflies flying high in the night and he had the manners, those manners that are so rare to find in this modern world. He simply got me feeling things. Wonderful things and I even remember I told my friends in front of him that night: "This is the man I'm going to marry one day" - given the fact that I do not believe in marriages, that was a clear statement of the strong impression this stranger had on me. And as the straight forward person I am - 7am that morning, when everyone was on their way home, I told him that he had to stay with me and ... the rest is history.

The following months has some very interesting stories in them as well but that I have to save for another day!

Here are some photos from the first night we met, Alex taking all pictures.

And the first time Alex took me out sailing, with friends. Imagine if someone told me that day that this was the boat I would live in, four months later! And possibly go around the world in!
And here is my story of the last 12 months in Barcelona.

Hope you're satisfied with the answers! More coming soon..... Taru

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