Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Must Haves

A bit of inspiration that might (or might not) get me all the way to the gym...

Must Haves
Must Haves by sasucaaa featuring Nike

Zsuzsi Abroad pt. IV

I could tell you all about life in Manchester. About the city that is covered in red brick, that breathes of football and where students are having the time of their lives. A word or two could be said Chinatown, the Gay Village or the Curry Mile (the home of many, many great Indian restaurants). Some might like to know that the shopping in Manchester is great, and there is no reason to complain about the sightseeing either. People are friendly, although it might be a bit difficult to understand what they are saying. Like to party? Well, that’s possible too. Fancy taking a walk? There are lots of lovely parks. The best thing about Manchester is that it’s a big city where you can walk basically everywhere.







Saturday, 27 March 2010

If you'd have to pick only one song... it would have to be the one by the Poets

Song: Where Do We Draw the Line
by: Poets of the Fall

On your palm an endless wonder
Lines that speak the truth without a sound
In your eyes awaits the tireless hunger
Already looks for prey to run down

So why do we keep up this charade
How do we tell apart the time to leave from the time to wait

What does tomorrow want with me
What does it matter what I see
If it can't be my design
Tell me where do we draw the line

The dance of flames and shadows in the street
Make poetry nobody's ever heard
The weight of loneliness stands on your feet
The cage already there around the bird

So why don't we join the masquerade
Before it all falls apart before our love becomes insatiate

What does tomorrow want with me
What does it matter what I see
If I can't choose my own design
Tell me where do we draw the line

Where's the cooling wind
Where's the evergreen field
Where's my mother's open arms
Where's my father lionheart
S'like the sun's gone down
Sleeps in the hallowed ground now
With the autumn's browns leaves
With the one who never grieves

What does tomorrow want with me
What does it matter what I see
If we all walk behind the blind
Tell me where do we draw the line

Whatever tomorrow wants from me
At least I'm here, at least I'm free
Free to choose to see the signs
This is my line

Random Fives

Señorita had this cool meme in her blog, which was a bit different from all the ordinary ones, so I decided to share some extremely important facts with you.. It would also be nice to see this in everybody else’s blogs.

Things I won't ever be:
1.) A doctor: doctors have to stand the sight of suffering people and blood..
2.) Average. I’m going to be the best, and if I cannot be the best, at least I will be different. Amen.
3.) Organised. I work best when there's a bit of a mess.
4.) A nun : the thought of giving up sex and waking up at 5 a.m sounds like a nightmare. And I'm not even  catholic.
5.) A fluent French-speaker (unfortunately)

Things I refuse to give up:
1.) Caffeine: coffee I can live without, but the rest? Naahhh…
2.) Tea
3.) Ice-cream
4.) My studies
5.) Frequent changes of hair colour.

Things I won't be doing anytime soon:
1.) Driving a car. It would be illegal, and extremely dangerous :)
2.) Travelling around the world. It’s all about the money... or rather, the lack of it.
3.) Getting married & buying a house
4.) Learning Chinese - there are a few other languages before that on the list
5.) Reading another book by Anton Chekov. Me not like.

Things I am thankful for:
1.) My family
2.) The fact that I have always had the possibility to chase my dreams
3.) That I was born where I was
4.) All the people I have met, and all the people I will meet
5.) Myself. I’m the only me in the whole world.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Zsuzsi Abroad pt. III

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." (Henry Ford)
Who: Zsuzsi
What: Ba (Hons) in European Studies and Russian. That is. Rather vague. Basically: international relations, comparative politics, European regional politics, the EU, Russian (language, translation, culture, history), Polish. The absolutely most interesting module was the one about Ethics in International Relations. If analysing all the evil in the world is something you might like, then I’d definitely recommend this one for you.
What kind: fun stuff, the kind of stuff you’ll never forget. Interesting lectures, wild nights drinking rum, shopping at Primark, drinking tea with friends, cooking fajitas.
When: a few years ago.
Where: Manchester, UK.
How: studying in the UK was easy and complicated at the same time. It was very independent (nobody held your hand, telling what to do, passing the exams was your own responsibility) and interesting (you had a lot of options although you had to stick to a couple of subjects). The professors were wonderful. Manchester is a city full of students so life after classes was entertaining to say the least.
Which: The University of Manchester (there are quite a few universities in Greater Manchester).
Why: Studying abroad was an easy decision for me, it was a decision that I never even re-considered. Not only did I think that it would do some good for my language skills. It was also a challenge that I needed to confront in order to develop as a person: when one moves abroad to study (and sorry, exchange students don’t go through the same process) there is so much experience to gain. Firstly, you really learn to stand on your own two feet and take responsibility for your own life and actions. You  will learn to cook, clean and keep yourself alive quite quickly. You also need to take off the mask you’re hiding behind, make an effort to make friends, and survive culture shocks. Furthermore, you are the outsider. You are not in your own country, so you start perceiving life and reality from new angles. 

Zsuzsi Abroad pt.II


As you could read in the previous post, I spent about 8 months in Lublin. This post will give you more information about the city.


Lublin is the 9th biggest city in Poland, and it is located in the eastern part of the country. It is a very interesting place which has not really been discovered by foreign visitors. It’s not as big as Warsaw, nor is it as famous a Cracow, but the city has a certain worn-down charm that may offer something rather different to tourists. When I lived there, it was still possible to eat in old communist-style restaurants and kiosks, we went out partying in shady pubs where nobody knew any English and the lack of international businesses was rather enchanting. Nowadays, I hear, the city has changed quite drastically. Don’t ask me how, though, because it’s been a while since I last went there.  

The Old Town (Stare Miasto), filled with bars and restaurants, is a good choice for meeting up with friends. It is lovely to go there in spring and summer, soaking up the sun and enjoying a good drink. The Krakowska Gate (below), which is the entrance to the old town, is a beautiful landmark.


The Lublin Castle is situated on the other side of the Old Town (i.e. the Old Town is between the Castle and the city centre). The castle was built and rebuilt from the 12th century onwards. It was restructured during 1826-1828. From this time onwards the castle served as a prison, and since 1957 it has been the main site of the Lublin museum. The picture you can see below is taken at the square in front of the castle.


The most frightening spot in Lublin lies in the outskirts of the city. In 1941 the Nazi concentration camp Majdanek was established. During its 34 months of operation, it came to be the last home (if that definition can ever be used for a concentration camp) for 78,000 people, including a large number of Jews. Before the war, Lublin had had a thriving Jewish community. Due to its location, the camp was among the first ones to be "freed" by the Soviet Red Army, and it was almost intact when the Russians captured it. For this reason, Majdanek is the best-preserved concentration camp in Poland. It is very difficult to describe the feeling one gets when visiting a place like this. When I went there, the sun was shining and the grass was already green. We could see the city centre from the site. It was quiet and everything seemed to have been left just the way it was in 1944. The smell of tar still makes me sick.


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Zsuzsi Abroad pt.I

'If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.'

I was asked to write a bit about my studies abroad, and I would really be more than deligted to do so. As there is a lot of things to write about, and a lot of lovely places to describe, I have decided to make a short series, consisting of a total of six posts.
First off: Lublin, Poland.
The spring of 2003 was something of a hellish nightmare. Not only did I have to pass the Finnish matriculation exams (i.e. the national exams that are pre-requisite for getting out of high school and entering university), but other aspects of my life were a mess as well. I had already applied to several universities in the UK, and knew that the unlikelihood of not being accepted was zero. However, going to university right after high school seemed too much at the time. The best option for me was to take a gap year and do something useful. Useful = languages. I made up my mind one bright morning when sitting in a bus, feeling frustrated about life.
Now, the next step was deciding where to go. The most interesting options were Hungary and Prague. Croatia was also an alternative, but at the end I settled for Poland. Not Warsaw or Cracow, but a town named Lublin. Basically, they were the ones with the best webpages. I will write more about Lublin in a separate post, but I can tell you that it is a small town south-east of Warsaw, quite near the Belarussian and Ukrainian borders.
I enrolled to an intensive course of the Polish language and culture at the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). An interesting piece of trivia is that Karol Wojtyla (also known as John Paul II) used to teach at the university. For someone coming from Finland, it was almost impossible to grasp how catholic it would be before seeing it with my own eyes
Studying & uni
I did 25 hours (a week) of Polish, it was very intensive, but also very useful. Our teachers were nice and the classes were good. We did speaking, pronounciation, writing, grammar, translation... everything. The best part, however, were the trips. In the autumn we went to a precious little town called Kazimierz Dolny and in February we spent a week skiing in Zakopane.
Living Arrangements
The living arrangements were confusing to say the least. Staying in halls of residence sounded like a good idea (and it was cheap), little did I know that it would be ran by nuns. No boys were allowed to visit, the doors were locked at midnight, no cleaning on Sundays... you get the point. At the time it seemed ridiculous, but it was a good experience and I learnt a lot.
Poland in 2004 was cheap, at least for foreign students, so we could allow ourselves a lot of luxuries. Every Thursday we would go out to a shady bar, to sing karaoke and drink vodka. We tried all the restaurants, went out clubbing. Travelling was fairly cheap as well, I don't think I've ever travelled as much during one year as I did then. Some of the places I visited include Warsaw, Lodz. Wroclaw, Gdansk, Sandomierz, Zamosc, Kielce and Zakopane. Lovely places.
"Funny" Moments
My first impression of Poland was quite bad: on my first day I was robbed (and had to live on coins for a week), and I spent my first night sleeping under the tree in the rain (the nuns had locked the door). After that everything went quite smoothly. The best thing is that I still keep in touch with a lot of people I met that year and I can't wait to go back there

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Just fake it!

I'm ill, and I'm no good at it. Lying in bed, trying to recover is never going to happen so instead I'm going to the swimming pool right now. The sauna will have to do the curing. Tonight I'll try to write the story about how Zsuzsi ended up abroad.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Shopping, chocolate, computers, food... and the list goes on

Oh my darling, I love your sweetness on my tongue. Tasting you fills me with uncontrollable excitement, every nerve thirsts for you, yet somehow you always manage to leave me completely calm. My body craves for more, it can never have enough of you. Without you I cannot be, with you in my system I can conquer the world and never go to sleep.
Some people are addicted to drugs, others to alcohol. Some are unable to quit smoking, others cannot cope without sex. The world is full of people who live on sugar, others spend all their money on things they do not need.
My addiction comes in handy little cans. It’s not very expensive and it tastes nice. I admit, I’m completely hooked on energy drinks. This is the point where all warning signals should start ringing: being hooked is never a good thing, be it on chocolate or drugs. When you cross the line, when you are no longer able to control your own body and behaviour, you need to figure out how to stop.

What is your addiction?

What do you think?

Do you, Dear Readers, have any comments, wishes or ideas that you would like to share with me? Is there anything special you would like to read about or is there anything else I could do in order to improve this blog? I would really appreciate your comments on this one, thanks.

Reading the Master of Short Stories


Friday, 19 March 2010

Inspiring Myself


Sometimes you are your best source of inspiration. Looking at these old photos of myself, I suddenly realise that there are some things that should not be forgotten in old facebook folders.


Style: in my world animal print, dark jeans and red details never go out of style. And a big smile is always a plus.


Mood: summer almost always equals happiness. Send us some sunshine, please.

blurry face

Body: I was a bit lighter back in those days and to be quite honest, I wouldn’t mind getting back there again. Although eating well and exercising is a far better alternative than living on kefir and porridge for 8 months.

Love, night and rain - life is good

Now there is a reason why I like Myslovitz so much, it’s because they are so darn optimistic. If you want to sing along to the below song, you can find it on youtube.


Acidland (by Myslovitz from the album Korova Milky Bar, available in both Polish and English)

No, don't give up and take life as it is
Think there's no chance
That you would live again

Why so much stress?
Don't you have gains to get?
We all do, even you!
And the more you seek
The more you find, then
Love, night and rain - life is good
So try to luck and kill the pain
Tell me, do you always think you have no worth?
Find it in yourself!

No, don't give up and take life as it is
Think there's no chance
That you would live again

This world's like a psychodelic trip
You can't change anything
Go and make use of it
Your life belongs to you, yourself
Make more mistakes now and make up for them
And when you're down you will rebound
Bravely use your time
Or you may miss your only chance

No, don't give up and take life as it is
Think there's no chance
That you would live again

So take a breath and think again
Life can make sense
Just take it all the way it is

So push and change and try again
Go forward safe
And take life all the way it is
Do change your life, stand up and fight
Go forward safe

How to charm the pants off a woman

Word has it that the way to a man’s heart goes through the stomach. Well, charming a woman isn’t very complicated either: it’s all about small gestures.

A (female) friend of mine is staying with my grandmother. They don’t really have a common language to communicate in, but my grandma is already extremely fond of this girl. Why? Well, every single day when she gets out of bed, coffee and breakfast are waiting for her on the kitchen table.

Flowers are nice, and nobody in their right mind will say no to a wonderful pair of shoes, but what really matters is the thought. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just by making a small effort that will take you about 5 minutes or less, you might actually make somebody’s day. And it works on everyone: grumpy grandmothers, sleepy girlfriends, crazy mothers, anxious aunts and, who knows, maybe on men as well.

Seg fredag [Tough Friday]

Few words can describe what kind of a day today is, the Swedish seg (really meaning tough, but can also be used to describe something that is reaaaally boring) might be the most suitable option.

It’s the kind of day that you’re brain is still fast asleep at 16.30 p.m. Your body is shouting for some rest, everything hurts AND it’s raining outside (say hello to Spring!!). If you need examples, I could tell you that I was completely unable to talk on the mobile because I was too tired to lift my arm... (normal?)

So now I’ll concentrate on nice things only: tasty tea, fabulous music (Myslovitz again), meditating on a spike mat and silly books.

Anyhow.. I hope everybody will have a nice Friday with plenty of sunshine, champagne and good music to dance to!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Good Company


Hungarian vocab. Oh what fun!



But no worries, a certain missy had some other plans...


Cuddling is so much more fun than studying!

Greekish Lunch


(the tea is just an everyday essential)



“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.” [Douglas Adams]

Thursday. 11 a.m. Grey skies and sort of bad news. People around me are going through some hard times (how can some people be such idiots that they hurt others without a second thought?). In a while it’s time to get dressed, go to the bank (somehow they always manage to get everything wrong) and then have a tea date with one of my bestest friends. She might well be the only person in the world to whom I dare talk about my craziest dreams (everyone should have a person like that in their lives)

Apart from that I still have a lot of faith in myself: I might actually be going in the right direction. All I need to do is believe in myself and be active.

Happy Thursday, everybody! Remember that wherever you are and whatever you do, you will only have one life. And yes, it might be a cliché, but it is the only life you have so you should try to enjoy it as much as possible.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

F**k it, I think I’ll start liking myself

These days it seems to be trendy for women to diss themselves and their bodies. Girls share their salads so that they won’t get too many calories. Friends have silly competitions: whoever loses weight the quickest might get a dubious reward called anorexia. Some of us have long lists of foods that are forbidden (yes, hand up, guilty as charged)

But okay. It’s no fun standing in front of the mirror and think about all the things that should look better. Or how much nicer life would be with a flatter stomach (the truth is that nobody would even notice the difference). So here we go:

My forehead is too big. I mean, it’s really, really big. You know what the good news are? There’s plenty of space for a well-functioning brain in there.
My eyes are too small. Big, dewy eyes are just a far-fetched dream. But, their colour is quite nice and unusual. And what’s even better, I CAN SEE (as long as I remember where I left my glasses!)
And the nose. Say hello to Miss Piggy-nose. But whatever. Most people think it’s cute, or at least that’s what they say.

I’m not even going to tell you what’s wrong with my breasts. But nevermind, they have brought me their fair share of pleasure in the past 10 years or so.

The tummy. Oh the tummy, What wouldn’t I do for it to look like this (nothing much it seems since I hate crunches):

At least nobody’s planning on playing chess on it. Besides, my waist is nice, and I’m the proud owner of an almost ideal waist-hip ratio (0,69 if anyone’s interested).

When I was 6 years old, I used to take long baths. And I remember telling my mum that I was unhappy (now, what does that tell you about today’s society?) because my “legs were fat". My thighs and I are not the best friends on the block, but we have made a deal: I promise not to dislike them too much, and in return they will take me wherever I need to go. 

Girls and their shoes



"Upadamy wtedy, gdy nasze życie przestaje być codziennym zdumieniem"


"We fall when our life ceases to be an everyday wonder" (Myslovitz - Miec czy byc (to have or to be))

MariehamnandLondon 167

Speaking of Myslovitz (FYO: a Polish band playing pop/rock), my Polish skills are swimming somewhere down there with the trash. I can talk, people understand me even. BUT: both grammar and vocab should be improved drastically. If I ever get done with the cleaning, I should check out what the internet has to offer on Polish grammar, especially verbs and their required cases.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010



Evening Off

A house that should be cleaned. Clothes that should be washed. Verbs that should be revised. Books that should be read.
But not tonight. Tonight I will enjoy the warmth of my bed and escape to Barcelona, i.e. the world created by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Things you see in the local supermarket

Today I saw a girl who used to go to school with me. Her trolley was full of groceries, she was talking to a man while holding her baby. She was a bit puffy, she looked ten years older than she really is. I looked at her for a while, wondering if she was happy. My first thought was "I hope she's happy". The second thought that crossed my mind was "thank God, that's not me!". I know what it sounds like, but my intention is not to criticise people for their choices, I'm just happy that I always had the courage to follow my own heart. If I would suddenly find myself with a baby and a house, only chaos would follow. Almost all my cousins and also a lot of people from school are leading serious grown-up lives. They have families, mortgages and boring jobs. They didn't go to uni, they didn't travel and I doubt they ever followed any crazy dreams they might have had. The highlight of the year is probably two weeks on a beach in the Canary Islands, Turkey or Thailand. I'm sure they are content, their lives are based on a routine that excludes too many risks, they have their homes and families.
There are no rights and wrongs, everyone has the right to do whatever they feel like. And I don't feel like having a life like that (not until I turn 30 at least). But, somehow it seems that it is better and more correct to be all grown-up and boring than a young adventurer. Could someone please tell me why? How come it's ok to ask someone "when are you finally going to settle down?", whereas a "when are you going to give up everything you have/travel around the world/ pursue your own personal happiness/ save the world?" is considered a criminal offence by some?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Thought of the day at 1 a.m.

Some people consider their glass to be half empty, others think that theirs is half full. Just don't pour too much tea in the cup, or you might burn your fingers. [But. Usually it's worth it anyway.]

"Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar's vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!"

While writing about socialist realism in Hungary, I somehow ended up discussing Mikhail Bulgakov, one of my absolute favourite writers and whose name always comes up whenever Stalin is concerned.
His masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, is just that, a masterpiece. A parody of the Soviet society where Stalin is the Devil, Bulgakov's third wife is the bewitching Margarita, and Bulgakov himself is represented by the Artist. Nothing is what it seems and Moscow is turned upside down.
Another interesting read by Bulgakov is the novella The Fatal Eggs. The book can be classified as a laugh-out-loud-satire of the 1917 revolution and the new Soviet society that followed it.

"But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if
evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows
disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the
shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings.
Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because
of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid."

Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)

Crazy Ideas

The words people use to describe me usually sound very alien to myself. A friend once said that I had loads of self-discipline and motivation. Me? Haha, no way. What usually happens is that my brain is invaded by totally crazy ideas, and I always want to try them out. Normally I don't even get half way before another impulse is playing havoc with my mind. But as I usually aim high and get halfway, there tend to be some results as well.
Well... I just had yet another one of those ideas. I'm not going to say what exactly it is because according to some research people who tell others about their plans tend to be less likely to follow them through. All I can say is that it's related to studies (what else?) and that it includes a very heavy overload of work indeed.


A cup of vanilla coffee, good music and today the whole world is smiling.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Facing Fears

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do what you think you cannot" - Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Smörgåstårta [Sandwich Cake]

Once a month I hate being a woman, and today is exactly that day. I even googled for famous quotes, but nobody had anything wise to say about menstruation cramps. Well, I tell you, there is nothing fun about having your hips cut up from the inside. Because that's what it feels like. And you can add back pains, headache, freezing and general weakness. It's torture.

Anyhow. The answer (to any problem, really) is simple: good food, preferably as unhealthy as possible. Please see below for instructions.

Boiled eggs and butter

 Liver paté, tomato, pickle and some more butter

Mayo, tomato, cucumber and cured ham

White bread (you can forget the fibre and all the other good stuff)


Add more mayo, shrmps/prawns, fruit & veg. Eat and enjoy!

Friday, 12 March 2010

I wanna dance like that too


... today I had a job interview. I think I did OK but we will see what they say when they get back to me next week. The funniest part was the compulsory personality test which pretty much proved my "fears" to be true. I doubt that you, dear readers, are interested in knowing every little detail about my personality, so I'll just tell you that my role in a group is that of an advisor or negotiator. If we talk about jobs, I seem to be on the completely wrong track: apparently I would be a suitable psychotherapist, psychologist or social worker. Hmm... How do you combine that with languages and Russian foreign policy?

I know these tests are no absolute truths, but I find them quite helpful, especially now that I'm seriously trying to figure out my future career. 

Funny fact: in Valencia I applied for lots and lots of jobs, and got called to two interviews in the course of almost two years. In this forest with a population of 25,000 people I have applied for three jobs and two have already asked me to go for an interview. Crazy or what? 

Messy Details

Thursday, 11 March 2010




* Valencia: I am quite convinced that Valencia is the perfect city: not only does it offer a lot of sunshine, there are also beaches, palm trees, nice people, orange trees, and usually it’s warm!

* Barcelona vs. Helsinki. Not sure which one to pick.

* Athens: I have been to Athens twice, the first time it was incredibly hot and the second time it was freaking cold (December). Wanna go again soon to visit old friends!

* Moscow: huge, noisy and incredibly beautiful.

* Hungarian countryside: whenever I hear dance music I remember sitting in a car, somewhere on the Hungarian puszta and listening to.. well, dance music while the sun is shining. Freedom!



* Fyodor Dostoevsky

* Milan Kundera

* Albert Camus

* Alexander Blok

* Haruki Murakami


Things to shop

* Books: one can never own too many books. Unfotunately life tends to get complicated when those books need to be.. all around Europe.

* Shoes: a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes.

* Tea: the plan is to try all the teas out there :)

* Lingerie: just like sheoes, the right kind of lingerie can save the day and make a girl feel ready to conquer the world.

* Make-up: because it’s fun.



* Any kind of tea except black. Tea has a lot of health benefits, there’s a flavour for everyone and it can be drunk either hot or cold. Perfect.

* Cappuccino: nam nam.

* Energy drink w/o sugar

* Water

* Rum and coke (without sugar again!!) is a safe bet in the bar.



* Japanese: we’re not only talking about sushi here,

* Greek

* Georgian

* Middle-Eastern

* Finnish: go on, shoot me! The Finnish cuisine has been criticised by many, but I dare to disagree. It’s delicious!



* red

* white

* navy blue

* turquoise

* nude


Things to do

* drink tea and mess around with friends

* read anything and anywhere.

* study: anything. It might sound crazy, but I love learning new things, not only languages.

* pilates & yoga

* still my curiosity and get inspired


"""""  "People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov-

"Why am I to be pitied, you say? Yes! There's nothing to pity me for! I ought to be crucified, crucified on a cross, not pitied! Crucify me, oh judge, crucify me but pity me?"

Fyodor Dostoevsky was an interesting man who wrote fascinating books: anyone familiar with Rodian Raskolnikov, Alyosha Karamazov or Nikolai Stavrogin will also know that the writer had a great deal to say about politics, religion and, above all, human psychology. Reading Dostoevsky is not easy, but in my opinion it is something that everyone should do. The events might be taking place in a time and a place alien to us, but many of the major themes are still important today.

A specialist on the workings of the human mind, Dostoevsky also had something wise to say about happiness:

"Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it."
"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."

"Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid."

"The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. "

Yes, if you look closely, you will see that there are no less than FOUR versions of Crime and Punishment on that shelf.

Just Testing

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Early To Bed Early To Rise Makes A Man Healthy Wealthy And Wise

Or, let's use a more interesting version: "As the olde englysshe prouerbe sayth in this wyse. Who soo woll ryse erly shall be holy helthy and zely". 

Something that has been occupying my mind a lot lately is sleep, not the physical phenomenon as such, but the more theoretical aspects, such as sleeping disorders.....

One thing that I'm absolutely sure of is that I'm a night owl. If I let nature run its course (i.e. switch off the alarm clock), I will wake up at around noon and stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning. Whenever I try to re-adapt to the rules of society, the consequences are quite harsh. Getting back to a more normal rhythm requires a lot of extra hours of sleep and grumpy faces, something that earned me the oh so flattering nickname marmotín (marmot). Mind you, I normally don't need more sleep than anyone else, I just sleep at strange hours.  

Some of us are larks, others are owls, but the vast majority of the population finds itself somewhere in between. It's often (but not always) argued that morning people hold an advantage over late risers; they are supposedly nicer and more successful. But why? Maybe because our whole society is constructed in a way that favours early risers - schools, jobs, offices, shops... almost everything is open from early morning to early evening. I understand that there is no such thing as an ideal solution, and our schedules are usually formed according to whatever it is that suits the majority BUT considering that about 25% of people are evening people (although not everyone stays up until 3 am), one would think that there would be a bit more of sleeping freedom. You see, night owls tend to find their energy after 9 p.m., at a time that almost nobody needs their services. 

This post doesn't really have a point, other than... long live the night owls! We are just as nice and normal as everyone else AND we sleep a normal amount of hours as well.

Thank you!

I would like to send a big thank you to all of you who have been reading and commenting this blog lately, you are wonderful :)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Quote of the Day

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Christopher Robin to Pooh” (A.A. Milne)

Pink and Blue

I usually don't show any outfits in this blog because I don't think it's very relevant, but today is an exception :) The dress, which was a veeeery early birthday present, is from Topshop.
Now I'll quickly finish the tea break and attack my Hungarian books: the topic of today is verbs.
In Hungarian, just like the Slavic languages, verbs can get various prefixes when denoting movement. So, depending on the direction in which the movement occurs, you will have to use a particular prefix. It's not really that difficult but remembering all the forms requires some practice.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Drinking tea and planning the week ahead

Drinking the last cup of tea for tonight (yummy licorice from yogi), after which I will plan all the fun for the week ahead. In fact it seems like it will be both busy and relaxing: lunch dates with good friends are always a good laugh, swimming takes my mind off things and school will be challenging; not only is there a seminar to prepare (why did Hungary fail to become an independent state after the Revolution of 1848 and the War of Independence in 1849?), but I also have to analyse and translate about 5 poems and children's songs AND write a short essay on Hungarian culture (the topic will be related to Social Realism).

I hope everyone will have a nice week!

More Goodies

These songs bring back a lot of memories. 10-11 years ago Tupac greatly inspired two schoolgirls who had no real idea what he was singing about, and little did they know about the world outside their small island. In my opinion, he was one of the biggest artists of the 1990s, a legend who died too early (just the way legends tend to do). But... life goes on.

Now Playing: Old Goodies

Now: green raspberry tea with loads of lemon.

Back on Track

After a horrible night my subconsciousness decided to give me a rest: so for a few hours I dreamt oh so sweetly about being in a ferry where all the make up from Christian Dior was free. Yes, I admit, I'm a shallow materialist, but come on, what girl would not be happy if she suddenly found all this in her cosmetic bag?

5 am: sleepless in snowland

The question about love in the previous post was by no means random. I would really like to know how you are supposed to show your love to other people: the ways I have tried don't seem to work very well, as it feels like I'm constantly giving and hardly ever receiving anything in return. Most of the time I'm trying to support someone in one way or another, trying to convince people and myself that everything will be OK, life is wonderful, it's full of opportunities, we all deserve love, hard work will pay off, whatever. I've given away money and food, lent an ear and shoulders to cry on, thrown away dreams, moved to foreign countries, taught people foreign languages and helped with homework, looked for jobs and flats. The inevitable thought right now is: would anyone do the same for me? It's draining me, every bit of energy is gone and to be honest, I have no idea where to find it again. It would be nice if someone for once would be genuinely interested in me, my thoughts and my wellbeing. A "how are you doing today?" would do just fine. Of course, I can love myself as much as I want, but still, it will not make this loneliness that is suffocating me disappear. Maybe my expectations are too high, maybe it's just all about bad karma. Who knows?

4 am is not the right time to confront the world...

...but how do you know if someone really loves you?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Good Questions

Deja de pensar, y finalizarán tus problemas.
Qué diferencia hay entre sí y no?
Qué diferencia hay entre exito y fracaso?
Debes valorar lo que otros valoran,
evitar lo que otros evitan?

Stop thinking, and your problems will cease to exist.
What's the difference between yes and no?
What's the difference between success and failure?
Should you value what others value,
avoid what others avoid?

- Tao Te Ching - 


Åland/Ahvenanmaa - 06/03/10 - Sunshine and Clear Blue Skies