Jane and I first met in the fall of 2001, at Cookies in Berlin, immediately striking up a close friendship – so close that some time later, at a Le Tigre concert, roadies videotaped us and asked for how long we had been going out. We hadn’t, not in that sense – but we were to go to many places together. We took the same courses at university and I remember us sitting through endless lectures in German literature: stuck in a not yet renovated auditorium of Humboldt University, with greenish paint peeling from the walls, and a faint, but distinct GDR smell in the air, we’d spend hours passing notes back and forth, scribbling Riot Grrrl slogans („Pärchen verpisst euch, keiner vermisst euch!“) and practising Chinese characters. Jane wrote little nightlife columns for a leftist newspaper on the side, passionate and poetic miniatures that captured both the frenzy and melancholia of Berlin nightlife, before taking off for Beijing where she became a DJ herself – Girls & Horses being the name of her act. Today, Jane works as a writer and translator, and continues to live life with enthusiasm and joy. She possesses a huge capacity for friendship and a radical openness for whatever great things might come along, while at the same time cherishing small things with loving care and attention: the old china from her Dresden family, neatly arranged on white cupboards, or the wide array of succulent plants she smuggled in from Los Angeles. Her small apartment is a baroque cabinet of wonders, and sometimes Jane strikes me as a modern day, big city, very benevolent witch. Now that Jane chose to swap the meek pleasures of a Berlin spring with the exotic promises of Hawaii, I rummage through the many little gifts I received from her over the years: tiny erasers in screaming colors, a ton of mix CDs, and postcards from all over the world – covered in wild and bulgy slopes, a deliriously expressive handwriting I can’t stop being hypnotized by.
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