Thoughts about every day stuff

Just my flow of thoughts

Almost 3 years, or Berlin, du bist so wunderbar, Berlin!

Tomorrow will have been 3 years since my family and I have moved to Germany. Time flies! (apologies for the cliche)

It does kind of seem like I’ve been living here much longer though. I managed to move to the wunderbar Berlin, found a better job and the most perfect human being to be and live with 🙂

The city truly never sleeps, something is always happening, and the full public transport at 11 pm and morning ‘forced cuddles’ with other people who are also going to work do not surprise anymore.

At almost every cafe you can see ‘Soljanka’ in the menu. If you are Russian/Eastern European, please mind that the Berlin kind of soljanka is different from the Russian one and the taste surprise is not going to be nice. If you do want to try the best one in the whole city you should go to the oldest Russian restaurant called ‘Samowar’, they have the most delicious soljanka I have ever tried (they also bake their own ‘Borosinsky’ bread that goes well with the soup and it is yum!).

If you are looking into having some German food, the only advice I can give you is to avoid a place called Josty. We visited it once, however after seeing a shopping cart (yes, a freaking shopping cart from a supermarket) with plates  on it, we decided not to repeat the experience.

At the moment I believe that we have not seen about half of the city (we’ve been to all the cliche tourist places and to a couple of non-traditional areas).

Now, the most awesome part about living in a city like this is the number of concerts that you can attend without having to travel crazy distances (work schedule frustrates me sometimes though, because we couldn’t get time off then and missed a couple of nice concerts :(; only managed to go to one so far,  Silverstein at Musik und Frieden were supreme and I am really glad I bought the tickets at the very last moment).

If you are in Berlin and you want to go to the zoo, be warned: if you don’t buy your ticket online you will be doomed to stand in a line for about 2-3 hours unless you come there about half an hour before the zoo opening. If you do buy the ticket there is a separate line and it moves much quicker.

The Berlin TV tower always has lots of people waiting to get in (you can buy tickets online too), but I have not been inside yet because I have not acquired enough patience to stand at the entrance with about 30 more people waiting for the area to free up for them. Once I am ready I will go and try my luck. Would be awesome to get that amazing-zoom lens and then take some cool panoramas from there.

Speaking of panoramas… There is a cafe high up above most buildings on Potsdamer Platz (called… wait for it…. Panorama (!) Punkt), and it usually has quite a lot of people waiting in line too. You can get yourself a VIP ticket and get inside without waiting for hours. What it has it basically a cafe and an opportunity to see Berlin from really high up at a spot other than the TV tower. And again, once I accumulate enough patience from the patience land I will gladly try it out.

The most crowds are usually expected in the areas of Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin wall, and Alexanderplatz; the rest seems a bit more manageable and you don’t need to elbow every 2nd person you see or hear.

And even though the city is full of people and sometimes you have to fight for a clear passage, Berlin is indeed wunderbar and worth visiting 🙂

More stuff about about more places coming up. Tray tuned.







Stress levels in a big city, or cuddles and herbal tea do miracles

Every day a million new things happen and most of the time you don’t even notice half of them. What you do notice if the crowds in the public transport, traffic on the roads, annoying cyclists (or pedestrians, if you are the cyclist), stronger wind than the other day. And sometimes, when the stress levels rise just a little bit you blame it on the weather or the lack of sleep, without trying to understand the cause of it. And in about a week – there you go – you can’t be asked to lift your heads from the pillow, coffee doesn’t taste as nice, the morning cigarette people in your bus/tram/train are as annoying as never before, the wind is cold and is making our ears hurt…

What usually happens in this kind of situation is that this nasty mood starts affecting the performance, and sometimes also relationship with colleagues, or even worse, the boss (oh no!). Drinking the nasty coffee that you used to consider amazing, dreading every day at work, and dying to just close your apartment door behind you and drop dead on the bed – is that even life?

If the day/week has been complete poo, what you can do is reflect on what happened and what made you feel like a citrus-pressed lemon. Have some herbal tea – (the calming herbs usually come in purple packs), listen to some music that makes you smile (not the sad stuff though), light up some scented candles (lavender and vanilla are really good) and cuddle the blanket. For those who have the other half, like a boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé/fiancée/ husband/wife, it’s a bit different, but not in a bad way. When you have the special person with you, they can help you reflect on the past day or week, and keep you company during the stressful times. Things like foot massage, watching a comedy together, or just listening to music that you both like can make a lot of difference. And you won’t have to cuddle the blanket if you have your loved one next to you when falling asleep. Talking is a very important part as well. It’s always better to share your concerns and know that you are being supported than keep it in and increase your own stress levels.

Why did I just write all that? Just because I felt like sharing my thoughts on stress we all may face when one beautiful morning turns into an eternity long day that separates you from the sleep and cuddle times. I myself have been a bit overwhelmed by the chain of events after having moved to Berlin. Some people may not agree with me on the paragraphs above too, because they prefer having alone time or working out, or just punching something/someone or breaking dishes, etc. to relieve the negativity. The herbal tea and cuddles with my future husband helped me feel at peace and made every morning worth looking forward to.

Life is not as bad as you think. Smile 🙂

Combination of words, good customer service, late transport, and the most perfect start of the summer 2015

My first day of Summer 2015 started in London and finished in my current place of residence – Guetersloh, Germany.

The day was full of walking, shopping, and traveling. It was a perfect start of the summer.

I landed in London on May 29 (which was a Friday evening). Everything that could have been late, was late: both trains and the flight were delayed, and I ended up hanging out at DUS airport for several hours before the boarding had actually started. It was still fun, I spent the time eating sushi at a very cozy place with awesome waitresses and talking on the phone.

Sometimes I think that the range of my emotions is so big that I cannot find words that can properly explain what I feel (or it may be me having a limited vocabulary XDXDD). If one could combine the words “excitement”, “nervousness”, “fear”, “nostalgia”, “sadness”, and “happiness”, it would be a more or less accurate description of what I felt when walking through the streets of London after 8 years of doing it for the first time. The air in the city was different, but still somehow familiar.

My boyfriend met me at the airport and we had a very exciting 45 minute-long journey (NOT) to the Union Jack Club, where we were staying. Having the hotel in the center of London was extremely convenient; more walking, less time on the public transport!

Londoners at first struck me as people who do not smile (I did change my mind about that later). The city was as gloomy as I had remembered it. Prices were scary (even scarier than before). But the beauty remained: London was still the same capital I had fallen in love with in 2007.

Camden was a different story though. If it weren’t for Camden Rocks festival (which was EPIC), I would have never felt the need of going into that district. First impression: ghetto/hipster/weird place where I would not feel comfortable being in when it gets darker. Impression after the festival: ghetto/hipster/weird place with a lot of smiling people. They did look kind of happier than the blokes from central London (I guess it has something to do with the level of alcohol/drugs in the blood).

I also had my first experience with the London Underground! There is one line that has a protective barrier that prevents people from jumping under the train… Did I mention that prices are ridiculously high? Yeah, that kind of counts for the tickets as well… I still enjoyed the experience of traveling around London and from/to the airport.

As any German, I very much like rules and try following them as closely as possible whenever I am aware of their existence. The first traffic light in London made me remember my inability to comprehend the locals in the UK. No one cares about the traffic lights; The light is red – who cares? If you don’t see a car coming, cross the road! Those Brits…

It appears that British people are more relaxed when it comes to rules and regulations, and there is a much bigger chance to be fined in Germany than in the UK.

Monday was also the day of me having lots of people smiling at me, made me feel good about at least some good customer service existing in this world. Customer service people in Germany do not smile as much.

Alright, enough with the differences between the countries… FOOD!

I still have not ever tried the dish everyone asks me if I have tried: the fish and chips. I did, however, have a very nice traditional English breakfast and the best American Burger of my life (with jalapenos and a huge onion ring), over the weekend. The food coma after the burger was so destructive that I could hardly understand what was going on around me for about 3 hours after I had eaten.

During the whole trip I kept feeling that something was not quite normal, and I still have no idea what it was. My friend Lola assumed that it was the overwhelming excitement of visiting my first favorite world capital again and me not fully realizing how awesome it had been. That is a very believable explanation, and I think I want to make sure that that was the case by visiting sometime again 🙂

The flight back was operated by Germanwings. My thoughts until the boarding were something like “I very much hope we don’t land into a mountain today, I kind of want to be able to bring all the souvenirs and chocolates to Germany” 😀

When the boarding started, instead of Germanwings plane I saw Lufthansa logo. The flight attendants were wearing Lufthansa uniform. More than half of the flight attendants were actually nice and friendly to people who did not look German (according to a lot of people, my aura tells others that I am something completely different from a German national). For the first time in my life, my ears almost did not feel the takeoff and landing. The landing was so smooth that even the excessive clouds and wind couldn’t spoil it. I guess crap experiences do sometimes make people change the way they do their stuff even if they were not directly touched by the crap experience.

And, of course, my train home was also late 🙂 I am the queen of late trains and flights.

At first they delayed it for 5 minutes, and then, when it was supposed to arrive, the lady from the speaker quickly notified all the prospective passengers that the train would be arriving to the platform 2 instead of 5. I have never seen people run so quickly up the stairs while carrying heavy suitcases. Oh well, all of us got there on time, and I arrived home at about 11 pm CEST.

I need to have such an eventful weekend repeated at some point again.

Stay tuned for more.

Yo. Peace.

3rd official day of holiday, or more mixed feelings

Well, well, well… The third official day of my holiday is almost over, and I  am spending this glorious evening with homa-made berry smoothies and an excrutiating pain in my knees. Why knees? Today in the morning I decided to jog. Jog a lot. A LOT. Considering that I usually do not run more than 3 km without a break, today was full of achievement – after today I think I will be able to run the 4.6 km in June, so yay to that 🙂

I have almost forgotten what it’s like to do translations for other people – today was also the day of doing my mom’s homework for her German language course.  Now I know everything about one gardening school in the region, because I was creating a presentation speech in a language that I am not fluent in yet – lots of fun and invaluable experience (almost no sarkasm there)!

The weather made me regret that I didn’t take shorts with me, because it was boiling hot during the day. First time in forever when I really enjoyed feeling like I was being fried alive 😀

Sunny weather and mixed feelings about my knees made me stay stationary for several hours, which I used to read something quite interesting. Well, interersting… This book has made my feelings more mixed than the pain 😀

And the title is… wait for it… ‘The Juliet Society’ by… wait for it… Sasha Grey.

I am not sure if I have ever read any books that has more sex in it. Really. The language this book is written in is fairly simple, anyone with a B2 level can easily read it. I have read about 1/3 of the book so far; not much lovey-dovey stuff, mostly wild fantasies of the main character.

More than a half of the book left to read, let’s see what it brings.

Tomorrow is another busy day.  More driving around and meeting people. Gotta squeeze in some peace, as I think I need it…

Tune back in  for more 🙂


Sudden desire to bake, or a picturesque night sky.

The sudden desire to bake something came when I expected it the least. I wish whenever this kind of mood came, it dragged along an idea of what to bake with it…

And, according to the advice from one of the FB comments, I’ve decided to make an apple pie, because a cheese cake that I would want requires a mixer which I don’t have, and banitsa was the previous time. And, apple pies are nice, especially the ones you eat with ice cream 🙂

Deciding what to bake was only the half of the deal, actually; I did not have all the ingredients for the pie, which could only mean going to REAL to buy stuff. In the dark. Alone. And, surprisingly enough it turned out not as scary as it had usually been.

Most of the dark pieces of the road I wasn’t really worrying about it being dark and a bit creepy, but kept on staring at the night sky. It’s been a while since I could see the stars that clearly within the town. SO.FREAKING.BEAUTIFUL.

Pretty sky, pretty stars, and me looking like a serial killer wearing a hoodie 2 sizes bigger than it should be.  I’ve been thinking for quite a while about finding a spot with (almost) no street lights to be able to watch the stars. Yes, as pathetic as it sounds or looks like, I like watching stars.

For an Nth time whenever I come to REAL after 8 pm I see so many people, like everyone was sitting and waiting for the clock to strike 20:00 and then rush into that gigantic hot box. Either it was me or a problem with their air ventilation, but I could hardly breathe in there.

Going home was the most painful part because of the bag weight, but at the same dark spot I stopped again and froze for several seconds because it was SO OVERWHELMINGLY BEAUTIFUL.  At least something to make me smile throughout the day today 🙂

The apple pie with vanilla ice cream is coming up tomorrow and I will make sure I enjoy it both baking and eating it 😛

Stay tuned.

Elusive feeling that comes out of nowhere, or New Year mood

Sometimes itcomes out of nowhere. You can never predict it’s arrival. And when it’s forgotten and the hope is already long lost, itsuddenly appears.
The good mood before the New year’s eve. That childish feeling that comes just for a moment, but makes you believe that the little bit of happiness inside you isn’t dead yet; the little child that lives inside you can still feel the New year coming.
This year I wasn’t surprised when everyone around me was way too jolly about all the New year’s stuff. I haven’t had that New year mood for a long time, but yesterday, when I was wrapping gifts for my family, something changed.  It made me smile just thinking about how happy my brothers will be when they get their presents, and that look on their faces is something worth looking forward to.
So, I’m officially in the New Year mode. And it feels good.

Lonely December, or Silent hill times 2 and getting ready to visit home.

So, I’ve been working as a teacher for 3 weeks now. I want to kill every student of mine less than a million times during each day, and it’s going better than I thought it would; I’m some people’s favorite teacher now. The reason they’re still alive is probably because I know that  it’s not for too long anyway and that in mere weeks my life is going to change for better.

And now, my favorite paragraph about weather! The fog today… It was SO THICK I couldn’t see the Northern Lights from the balcony, although the buildings are only across the road from me. It felt truly magical outside today; when I went to the shop during my lunch break I just wanted to forget that I have work to do an hour after that and walk around until my hands would freeze and fall off.

I’ve also been having troubles with my book title; the one I have seems way to lame and I want to change it to something better. Maybe my trip home will give me more ideas about that.

About the trip home… I had no idea that we’d have so many days off, and the idea of going home for that long made me feel a little weird. But, there’s going to be a lot of food (AWESOME FOOD) and I’ll have to worry only about cleaning and keeping my little brother entertained from time to time, which is more doable than keeping my students entertained.

The days in Astana have been pretty lonely, I live inside my work and desperately want time to go by faster. I want the end of January to come sooner. I want to have a new life.

While I’m waiting for that and drowning in teaching and planning lessons, I always have something to share about, regardless of its importance. More stuff coming up on the New Year’s eve or maybe even sooner.

Stay safe, don’t slip on ice.

Stay tuned.