Monthly Archives

June 2014

Haagse Markt – a bargain to taste in The Hague

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I enjoy going to the open air market in The Hague. I prefer to get my fruits and vegetables from these noisy people that lend part of their identity to the goods they are selling. You can choose from buying those juicy tomatoes that caught your attention from their own initiative or go for the tomatoes that are offered in a deep voice by that dark-eyed young man who will brighten your day with his modest smile while giving you the change.

I wanted some cheese that would be perfect for my favourite warm sandwiches and I got offered several options depending on taste intensity and duration needed for the cheese to melt. At home I was happy with my choice, kindly guided by the cheese-boer.

“Boer” translates into english as farmer but in my language it has a different meaning which slightly amuses me every time I hear or use this term myself.

In romanian we have the word “boier” which translates as boyar, nobleman, or lord.

So imagine saying to your friends: “I went to the market today and I got this delicious cheese from the Cheese Lord”, or “The fish from the Fish Lord was so fresh and tasty today “. Magic!

You can get all the herbs that you need for cooking, dry or fresh. Speaking of fresh, a Must at the Haagse Markt is the fresh mint that you can use for tea, cooking or just aromatherapy.

It is also a place to learn. I’ve seen fruits (or were they vegetables?) that I couldn’t even name, not to mention having any idea of how they taste. Next time.

But you have to be patient. Sometimes people are moving a bit too slow (can you blame them?) staring at the wealth of colours and tastes displayed right next to them.

And bring a big backpack (and a friend, it’s more fun) – the prices are irresistible! Even though the amounts are sometimes exagerated.

Impression of “Lars and the real girl”

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Troubled love

Troubled love

I watched “Lars and the real girl” again.

I like how this movie educates us to want to understand human beings (more). It also educates us to want to help them. To believe that we CAN help them. It happens too often, that, because someone is considered an adult, they are left on their own to deal with complex problems, some of which can only be solved with external assistance.

This movie shows that if you care and you show it, beautiful results can be achieved. And beautiful souls can be unlocked.

It is the story of a troubled young man and the way that his family and community reaches out to help him after he gives a cryptical signal that something’s wrong and needs to be “fixed”.

Lars chooses a rather original way to cure himself of fear. Fear of being hurt, fear of being abandoned, fear of letting go and of becoming an adult. In this context, it is interesting to see how the experience of an individual can present itself as a lesson for a whole community.

You see these people’s attitude evolve from judgment to tolerance, understanding, generosity in good acts.

It is a movie that inspires me to look beyond the surface and realize how mysterious the workings of our minds are.

Little happiness

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Happy moment captured by Jorg Singer in Moldova, Chisinau

One of my little moments of happiness – daydreaming

What I fear is to be absorbed by routine and forget to be happy. Being aware of this helps me to slow down and remind myself of myself; and of how important it is for me to try to be happy.

Luckily, I could begin the year with a nice breakfast in a friend’s house where I celebrated New Year’s Eve. She has a beautiful, radiant smile. Eve is a big fan of the Couchsurfing concept, like me. I met her 2 days before New Year’s Eve at a Gluhwein (Mulled wine) Evening that she hosted. We got introduced by a common friend.

After breakfast we had a walk and then we went for a coffee in a cozy cafe. The atmosphere was very homey and there was this cheerful background of chatter.

I asked her what she was going to do to keep herself happy this year. She paused to really think about it.

I am glad that she took her time. She said that she will make sure to have people around her with which she will be able to share happy moments or sad.

And then she asked me the same question. I said that I will try to find happiness in the little details of everyday life.

The reason is that I don’t want happiness to be a distant, abstract something. I want to make it palpable, real.

Like my soft blanket that I got as a present for my birthday from two dear friends, like the muscle pain after a ballet class, like the warmth of the tea that my boyfriend brings me in the mornings when I don’t have to get up early, like the taste of food at the Japanese restaurant where we had the first dinner of the year, like the feeling of coming home after biking in cold, wet weather.

And what is your Little happiness?

Leipzig Postcard

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You experience a city through the people you meet there and the places you go to.

For me, Leipzig is an artsy city with kind-hearted, joyful people.

I travelled 16 hours by train to have a chance to experience this city and it was certainly worth it.

My friend, who lives in Leipzig and works at the University of Music and Theatre, took me to a rehearsal for a musical with the talented performer of turkish origin, Nedime Inke. It gave me goose-bumps!

The university is right in the centre so we went for a walk to get a feel of the city. I liked its compact and cozy character.

The new, recently opened Metro station looks impressive, having a modern, minimalist architectural style.

Joerg kept bumping into acquaintances and clients (he is a photographer and a member of the Lunar3 band) so the city felt friendly.

We went to “Spinnerei” and pretended that we are painters looking for colours, textures and frames 🙂

A quick peek in the cool bikeshop and we’re ready for coffee and quiche in the airy, light-coloured cafe.

Next day we went to a concert by girly trio “Coucou” which was a very soft, delightful treatment for our ears.

Weird was for me to discover that they have the russian soup “Solyanka”.

The last hours of the evening were dedicated to electronic music.

10 Things you never realised you can learn from babies

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That cloud looks like a goldfish

That cloud looks like a goldfish

There used to be a time when I didn’t even know how to hold a baby.

Things changed, many diapers got changed too, and now I am able to spend a whole day with these little people, and not only enjoy it, but even, through observation, learn some precious lessons from them.

1. Be yourself.

Babies don’t know yet that it might be convenient to present themselves in a different light, so to say, so they are ALWAYS themselves. And that is absolutely charming!

2. Play.

Playing or being playful is something that we, as adults, tend to forget about. Playing requires imagination, spontaneity and even courage in some games. Just do it!

3. Get enough sleep.

We are preoccupied with getting (plenty of) things done so we cut off our sleeping hours. In many cases, having enough sleep can become crucial for being more efficient and having more energy or simply starting the day in a good mood.

4. Eat healthy.

Babies are lucky. They have their parents to carefully choose for them the food that is most healthy, nutritious and tasty. We have hectic schedules, we forget to eat, we just grab something to fool our body away from hunger. Be your own baby. Take care of yourself.

5. Be naive

You don’t know what clouds are made of. You think they are magic. You are amazed at their different shapes and mysterious nature.

6. Look at yourself in the mirror with great joy and enthusiasm.

The person in the mirror might respond in the same manner. Try it!

7. Speak in your own (so far nonexistent) language.

It triggers creativity and helps you not to take yourself so VERY seriously. Relax!

8. Do something as if you are doing it for the first time.

We take things like eating, walking, brushing our teeth for granted. Of course we know how to do it! It’s part of our everyday routine. Well, try to rediscover these apparently trivial things – walk as if you are only starting to walk (see how your work colleagues react!), be surprised by the taste of lemon, DO NOT swallow toothpaste!

9. Give joy to others unconditionally.

Babies are cute and sweet – they can’t help it. They giggle and laugh and do silly things on a regular basis – watching them is bliss. Allow yourself to be silly if you know it can help to cheer up somebody close to you.

10. Don’t put pressure on yourself.

Babies have no idea what pressure is. They simply enjoy every moment. They have time – plenty of it. They have no agenda, goals, people to impress, deadlines to keep. It’s a nice feeling.

Take a break from being a big boy or a big girl!