Living abroad blog for the next 3 months

This blog is bout to slightly change its use and content for a little while. I will still occasionally post poetry, random trains of thought and all the other kinds of texts I used to post till now. But, in addition, I’d like to use this platform to roughly document my next adventure.
For my studies I need to spend three months in a French speaking country and so I have travelled to France now. It’s not the first time I travel for a longer time, but it’s still always a bit of an adventure, even if I’m going to stay mostly at the same place this time.

Before I go into what I’ll be doing for the twelve weeks that I’ll be away, let me quickly tell you what you can expect to find on this blog with regards to this journey:

I will not blog daily, probably not even weekly, but I will post a few entries describing my travel, life here, impressions of the people, culture, and my work and lifestyle. We’ll figure it out as we go :)

If you’re interested in reading more about this trip of mine and some travel blog type of texts you’re more than welcome to join in on the adventure. If not, please stick around for hopefully soon to come other texts that fit in more with my previous posts.

Have a wonderful sunday!

The pancake deception

Warning: probably quite random text… :D

This is not a pancake recipe review, and it is not about me failing to make pancakes, either. Au contraire dear people, I recently made pancakes that totally rocked! This is probably the point where you start to worry what this weird post might be about, or start to wonder why you are reading it, so let me get right to it. I have been lucky enough to travel to the United States and Canada several times in my still rather short life, and every European will know how much you miss pancakes once you return. Of course, in the age of globalization you can also get them in Europe, you can buy baking mixtures and so on. So the other day, I decided to make them from scratch because there is not that much that goes into pancakes ingredient wise and SURPRISE, yes we have eggs, milk, flour and so on in Europe, too ;).

Now, as already mentioned, they turned out pretty decent (I might have been a bit too euphoric before, although they were really good, I guess there is still much better out there). They were thick and fluffy and not flat like the pancakes we usually make over here, but they were still light and spongy. I also liked how they tasted, but for some deranged reason it was just not the same. I understand that you cannot make every dish in foreign countries, for instance when you lack certain ingredients, but pancakes? Come on!

Eventually I came to the conclusion that having them in America is special. It is linked to the joy of travelling, discovering, and experiencing new things that just makes a lot of things really amazing. It is the fact that you can only get something whilst you are abroad that makes it taste ten times better because it is unique to you and you know you might not get it anymore in a long time. The fact that it was quite easy, even when making them from scratch implied that, if I wanted, I could eat them all the time, which would make destroy the spark they had for me.

You are probably still wondering where I am going with this, and, to be honest, I am not too sure what my concrete point is, either, but I guess in the end this is about diversity and globalization. Being able to get everything everywhere does not just have benefits. Some things are and should be more or less unique to a certain culture. Of course I will still make pancakes every now and then. I have no clue if and when I will return to America, after all. But only if they remind me of my travels and adventures that lead me to experience where pancakes came from and, in a way, belong to, they will taste really good. That is the secret ingredient. And they will never taste as amazing as they do when you eat them where they came from. (Now if you are a pancake specialist and about to tell me that pancakes originally came from somewhere else, or something along those lines, I do not want to hear it, ok?! :D )

On a smaller scale, it is like living in northern Europe and eating strawberries in winter (which I avoid whenever I can). It is not normal and the amazing thing about strawberries here is that you can only have them for a certain time and thus you will enjoy them so much more. I am not about to tell you not to import anything and so on, I am not a hypocrite, I buy imported goods all the time, myself. But I think with some items it is good to remind ourselves where they come from, what it takes to get them to us, and if it is needed or beneficial if we have constant access to them.


Maybe that made you think, maybe it weirded you out, both is totally ok to me :D
Have a great day!

The Forest on a Rainy Day

Everyone goes outside on a sunny day, takes walks along the river or through the forest. But have you ever taken the time to go sit in the forest by yourself on a rainy day?

Have you ever taken the time to turn off your phone and put away your book in order to just sit and be?

Have you ever started to listen to the raindrops falling on the roof of leaves above you and on the stones and dirt around you?

Were you ever a bit scared at first from all the sounds you couldn’t quite understand, and have you ever come to the conclusion that you are safe among all these living things around you?

Have you ever hesitated before shooing away a moth and realised that it just wanted to sit down next to you and keep you company for a little while?

Have you ever watched the mountains on the horizon slowly disappear in the creeping darkness and let the light breeze play with your hair?

Have you ever decided to leave, just before it got too dark to find your way back, not because you were afraid, but because you no longer wanted to disturb the nocturnal peace of that special place?

Have you ever taken a truly fulfilling breath before walking home with a light feeling of bliss in your heart?


The 10 stages of paper writing

In case I haven’t mentioned it yet: I am a student, and right now it’s paper writing season…

1. Oh this is great, I have so much time, and some ideas… I’m looking forward to it. If I work a little every day it won’t be a problem.
2. HELP! I don’t know where to start and how to go about it, and also I don’t feel like getting back to work… Why do I have to do this??
3. Ok, today I’ll just do some reading, gotta do that anyways. Huh, this is actually really kinda interesting.
4. Well, I did so much yesterday, I think I’ll take the day off. I deserve that, and I’m allowed to have some free time – at least every now and then.
5. Oh my… I HAVE to get back to work! I won’t be able to finish in time otherwise- AHH I’ll never have enough time! Well, now I spent so much time panicking that the day is over… But starting tomorrow I’ll be working hard and get this finished asap!
6. Ok so stop whining and start working! Wow, I really got a lot done today, I can do this!
7. Hmmm… I did so much yesterday, I think I’ll take the day off, I deserve that!
8. Oh my… I HAVE to get back to work, the deadline is around the corner and I still have to revise it and give it to someone for proofreading. Alright, I have to finish it NOW.
9. I’ll re-read it one last time, just to be sure – OH wow, what on earth was I thinking?! This is horrible! Ok change this, rewrite that, add something there and delete this. Well, this just has to be it. There’s no more time, and I’ll only make it worse anyway, so I’ll just hand it in.
10. Great, somehow I managed to finish just in time. But next time I’ll start earlier and I’ll stick to my plan. I’ve learned from my mistakes!
(11. yeah right^^)


Helped by a stranger

Sometimes it is important to be in the right place at the right time.

I don’t want to start blogging too much about my daily life on here. Mostly because I think it wouldn’t be very interesting, and also because I still find it more accurate to bore people personally with stories about my day :). But in my last post I also committed to writing more about the good things that happen around me. Hence today’s post on something really nice that just happened to me a few hours ago:

I was on my way to the bus station, but still on the other side of a large street, when I saw the bus arriving. I decided to take off as fast as I could in order to catch it. Unfortunately I needed to go through an underpass to get to the other side, and my bags and other pedestrians were slowing me down. I was already starting to lose hope, but just when I reached the stairs on the other side, a guy, who had probably just come out of the bus, walked by at the top of the stairs. He looked down and saw me hurrying up. He reacted right away, turned around and ran back to the bus to keep the door open for me. I gave him the biggest smile I could manage to come up with in my “out-of-breath state” and thanked him as I got on the bus. I don’t know if I’d have been able to catch the bus without the help of that guy, or if I had still managed to reach the train in time if I had taken the next bus. If not, it wouldn’t have been a huge problem, either. However, that person still totally made my day! His kindness and readiness to help others are not to be taken for granted. Even though it might have been a small thing, he still took the time to help me out, and I want to thank him for that (although he most probably won’t read this).

As I’ve said before: Beauty can be found in small things, and this was a great example of a beautiful gesture.

Thank you!

And people: be nice to strangers, they’ll appreciate it (well… at least most of the time…)


How I talk to my friends

How I usually talk to my friends:
Too bad that you can’t make it for lunch today, but don’t worry, we’ll see each other tomorrow.

How I talk to one particular friend of mine:
Dear traitor, you who abandoned us, I thee wish an enjoyable meal.
Sad ain’t enough to express my grief,
who is this other person, this thief?
Thou hast not the right to complain,
it is me who is sitting here in vain!
But before thou despairst in sorrow,
remember, we will meet again tomorrow!

This was part of a real text message conversation… :) Sorry for all the mistakes in my improvised ancient English…