Welcome to Alles Gute, the SPIEGEL newsletter with only good news. It's great that you're here!

This week, the newsletter reaches you again from Thailand's capital Bangkok. There, in Lumphini Park in the middle of the big metropolis, elderly people meet early in the morning on Sundays for sports. They come together in small groups around six o'clock, when it is still a little cool from the night, almost still dark. Together they practice Tai Chi. When I wake up very early, I sometimes go to the park. Then I watch the 70- to 80-year-old women and men as they make combat movements in slow motion. Some wear the traditional Chinese cotton suits in bright colors.

I am impressed by the discipline of these pensioners. And every time I watch their dancing movements, all of which take place in complete silence, I admire their balance and the calmness they exude.

There in the park, I wonder what awaits these people when they get back home. Did someone make breakfast for them? How do they deal with loneliness? What have they been through? It strikes me how little I know about the reality of life for older people in Thailand. The elderly are everywhere, but I don't often consciously perceive them.

What does the last third of life actually look like? What can we learn from each other, the young from the old and the old from the young?

In Germany, too, one in five people is older than 66 years. The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth has therefore launched a photo competition in which the entire spectrum of the realities of life in old age is to become visible, a nice idea. Minister Lisa Paus of the Greens says that the prevailing images of old age have "not much to do with reality: with the diversity of lifestyles, the commitment and strengths of older people".

In this story by my colleague Heike Le Ker we show a selection of the pictures. They tell of beauty and loneliness, of love and farewell, friendship and courage. There is Hans Jürgen, 86, who once worked for Deutsche Bahn and feels so lonely that his heart hurts. An 88-year-old, has a strong crush on a 90-year-old. And there's this picture that I particularly like. Grandma Käthe and her grandson Nico, who have a close connection.

I plan to stay a little longer in the park next time. When the Tai Chi lesson is over, maybe I can sit down with the elderly. A little listening.

What else was good this week – for the world:

More women are running a medium-sized company
Gradually, the proportion of female managers in small and medium-sized enterprises is increasing. East German states are in the lead here – and very classic industries. Their share is highest in health and social services.

Fewer pollutants in German waters
For the year 2022, there is a positive environmental balance to report: The amount of toxins such as mercury, liquid manure or gasoline in lakes is sung last year, there were fewer accidents with water-polluting substances in Germany than ever before, the Federal Statistical Office announced.

Heat pumps twice as efficient as oil and gas heaters
in cold weather In a study, researchers at the University of Oxford compared fossil fuel heaters and heat pumps. They came to a surprising, unambiguous conclusion: even at extremely low temperatures, the climate-friendly devices are more than twice as efficient as oil or natural gas heating systems.

Environmentalists swim all along
the Hudson River
The British long-distance swimmer and environmentalist Lewis Pugh swam along the entire Hudson River within a month, about 500 kilometers to the point where the river flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Manhattan. Pugh wants to draw attention to the protection of the oceans with his action before the start of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Valuable Van Gogh work returned
in Ikea bag
Three and a half years ago, Vincent van Gogh's painting "The Parish Garden in Nuenen in Spring" was stolen from the Singer-Laren Museum in Laren in the centre of the Netherlands. It is estimated to be worth six million euros. Now a detective tracked down the oil painting from 1884, the Dutch police said. It is unclear who brought him back the picture in a blue Ikea bag. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, said the detective.

What's good – for you:

"Fat doesn't make you fat. This is a persistent myth"
A professor of medicine clarifies false assumptions about healthy eating. He told my colleague Anne Seith why he doesn't think meat is a problem and why sweeteners are the devil's work. You can read the interview here .

Yoga teacher Sangeeta Lerner, who comes from India and now lives in Berlin, thinks that there is a lot going wrong when it comes to yoga in Germany: the training, the courses. But Lerner also says: Yoga is for every body, for the young, for the old. It can help to calm down, to block out what otherwise robs us of energy every day. I can confirm that. Maybe you'll give it a try – or get to know yoga in a new way: "It's not about achieving anything, it's about going where you haven't been before." You can read the interview here.

How to book your cruise as cheaply (and environmentally friendly)
as possible
Cruise companies have had a tough time during the pandemic. Now the cruise is back and more popular than ever. How you can now get on board cheaply - and pay attention to the climate.

What you might hear

In his podcast "Smarter Leben", my colleague Lenne Kaffka deals with a problem that many people are familiar with: procrastination of important things. Also called procrastination. The tax return is on the to-do list, the deadline for the housework is approaching, and actually the bushes in the garden should be cut. You know.

Lenne spoke with the author Philipp Barth. He has a few ideas on how to outsmart himself. One of them: start small. The first step should be a very simple one. So that you don't get too tempted not to walk it. You can listen to the whole conversation here.

What else?

I used to say I never wanted a pet, nothing that stinks or excretes anything. A maximum of one fish. And now we soon drive to a pet store and get Joni, the Dzungarian dwarf hamster.

This is how a short text by my colleague Barbara Hardinghaus begins. The story of how her family comes to Joni the hamster, I would like to recommend to you absolutely. It brings back memories of my own first pet (mine was called Glöckchen, a dwarf rabbit male with red and white dots, which I unpacked from a box on my fifth birthday).

And there are so many beautiful thoughts in the text that you can use independently of pets. I remembered this one: "Life comes all by itself, and maybe it will come in its best form if you just let it."

Have a good weekend. And as always, you can write to us. By mail to GuteNachrichten.Newsletter@spiegel.de . If you haven't signed up for this new weekly newsletter yet, you can order it for free here.

Warm from Bangkok

Maria Stöhr, Southeast Asia correspondent for SPIEGEL in the Global Society project

(*By submitting a submission, you agree to an anonymous publication on SPIEGEL.de and all other media of the SPIEGEL Group.)

This article is part of the Global Society project

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Under the title "Global Society", reporters from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe report on injustices in a globalized world, socio-political challenges and sustainable development. The reports, analyses, photo series, videos and podcasts are published in a separate section in SPIEGEL's foreign department. The project is long-term and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

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