Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a damn' hard life

Magu's sample Mumbai weekend:


7:45 wake up (after going to sleep at round 3:30)
10:10 leave home to meet V
10:40 arrive in Iskcon; wait for men to get ready for the baraat
11:40 the baraat
13:00 beginning of the shaadi
13:30 lunch, delicious Gujarati food
15:30 get back home to see if there's any work that needs to be done
17:00 a power nap
20:15 leave home to meet S*
20:40 pick up E
21:00 arrive at the sea food festival
23:00 arrive in Trilogy
00:30 move to Aurus, meet Z
02:00 leave Aurus to take E back home (the poor thing has to work in the morning)
02:15 decide you need a snack from downtown
02:35 pick up S* from the side of some road
03:10 arrive downtown; guys look for their favourite street food guy; we get chicken and paneer rolls (yumm)
04:00 arrive home
05:00 go to sleep


09:30 wake up
10:30 do some work
11:30 meeting with the boss; some more work follows
14:00 leave home, go to Juhu PVR to meet with S*
14:50 sit down in a cafe; interesting conversation - I find my new career... ;)
15:55 arrive at Juhu Circle; go with S to an audition (this S is an actor, among other things)
16:05 meet K; K takes down my name and phone no. and tells me she needs a foreign looking girl for some new movie
16:20 they decide S is too handsome to be a farmer; we're outta there
16:50 arrive home
19:50 leave home for an Internations' meeting, spend an hour in traffic jam
21:00 arrive in Bandra, off Linking Road, get to Bonobo
21:05 fall in love with Internations' events and the people who come there; have a blast
23:00 E arrives
23:10 E, S, Z and I leave for Zenzi to get some food
23:40 finally get food! salmon and teriyaki sushi rolls, rice, some fried fish, bbq chicken, bombay chicken, china box
01:00 move to Trilogy; by that time we're a bunch of ppl travelling in 3 cars
01:15 Trilogy's not happening - too crowded, already tens of ppl outside trying to get in; decide to go to Balthazar's
01:30 arrive at Balthazar's; crush some private party and daaaance
03:30 decide I need to go home and sleep; friends continue the party till 10:30 am the next day
04:07 arrive home
05:15 go to sleep


10:40 wake up
12:10 leave home to meet with R, S's friend who invited me for some dance related rehearsal the previous night
12:30 meet R, a cool dancer and choreographer; set off to Yari Road, Versova
13:00 arrive at the rehearsal spot
15:45 the rehearsal's over; I'm huuungry; R and I catch a rick and go to Lokhandwala
16:15 we treat ourselves to some good food in High Point:
Basket Chaat, a really good blend of spiced and sweet - sweet yoghurt covering some spiced veggies. Plus, a mango lassi

Paneer chilly dosa

Coconut chutney, sambal and Seczuan sauce
18:00 a power nap
20:40 leave home for Bandra
21:30 meet with S in Theobroma and die happily after having some brownie and chocolate mudcake
22:00 arrive at Zenzi (with the idea and having promised myself to be back home by 1 am at the latest); dance my ekhm off to salsa and a bit of bachata
00:45 Z and T arrive in Zenzi
00:56 they turn off the music (in Mumbai, clubs get shut by 1 am, unless they're in fancy hotels, or opened illegaly)
01:10 Z, T & I decide to get ice cream
01:30 pick up S&S and head out to look for our desserts
01:45 arrive in Novotel; lay down by the pool; get a table and order food
02:00 great masala fries and omg that carbonara... (have been dreaming about pasta for the last week)
03:10 arrive home
04:00 start writing that note instead of just going to sleep; my before sleep talk with A (becoming kind of a habit, no? :)
04:40 go to sleep

And now imagine that a weekend like this has been on for almost 6 weeks now. The moment I leave Mcity, I'm giving up partying. Srsly.

It's a damn' hard life! (that leaves you tired like hell)

However, there must be something I've been doing right - can't remember the last time my fingernails were so healthy :D

Yes, there are loads of Indian names beginning with the letter S.. There have been 3 different ones this weekend :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So, do you dance there?

For the last 6 weeks I've been trying to avoid this question but whenever I talked to a friend, whichever part of the world they were from, it would always be one of the first things they asked.

a) made me appreciate them for knowing me so well and supporting my passion
b) showed me how much I must be talking about dancing in my life
c) reminded me I haven't been dancing athough I promised myself I would, thus
d) made me feel really guilty.

Maybe after today I won't have to be avoiding that question in the following six weeks. And many more after that, for that matter ... ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quickest wedding invitation ever

Yesterday evening I find a msg on fb:

V*:"Would you like to see a Gujarati wedding?"

So I say: "Sure! But when and where?"

Today morning I find a msg on fb:

V: "Tomorrow, 11 am"

So I think: "Crap, I gotta work." 

But I read the msg out to my boss.

N: "You could go, you know"

Yes :D

And tomorrow I'll get to see the baraat! Caaaaan't wait!
This time I promise I'll be taking pics ;)

*A friend I've met at a New Yrs's Eve party

Sometimes it just clicks

So, as I was saying - it's been pretty emotional lately. I've been frustrated, stressed out about some things, worrying about money if some arrangements don't work out and too restless for my own good.

And then last night I was at E's with S, having a Nutella crepe and movie night.*
We were also having quite a selection of Indian take away and as I love eating with my hands, I had to go wash them. So I enter the bathroom, start the water and suddenly all the anxiety is gone. In a second I realise that this whole arrangement is only for another couple of weeks and I'm only 23, so I have plenty of time to do what my heart desires. And to come back to India and see all those magical things I won't get to see now. And that it's completely fine! 
I think it was around 9 pm.

I come back home, open my mailbox and start laughing.
You might remember my journey to India was longer than expected and the purchase of the ticket a tiny bit stressful. Because my flight's been cancelled and because it was cancelled due to technical problems, under EU regulations I should be entitled to some compensation. A pretty high one at that, as it was a very long flight. I wrote the airlines and they answered me a week ago to wait while they investigate the case and that they should revert within 21 days.
So last night I come back home, open my mailbox and start laughing. Because there, a letter awaits me. 8:40 pm Indian time the airline's representative wrote me that my complaint'd been looked into and I should be getting my money once I send them a signed Liability Disclaimer. So with that money in mind, not only did my coming to India not cost me a penny, I've still managed to make some just by flying down here!

Thus, all's good in the world again! The stress's gone, the money's on its way.
The beauty is that I already know where Austrian's money is paying for me to go to next!
It'll be breathtakingly beautiful, if only slightly cold and straight out hardcore.. But that's a different story from another part of the world... ;)

*You gotta appreciate Nutella and some good comedies!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Indian wedding, a two day affair - day 1

Indian weddings are crazy, there's no doubt about it. A maze of sounds, colours, tastes and smells.
The one I attended was apparently considered rather formal and short, as the groom's side isn't as outgoing and party loving as the bride's (Punjabi).
It all started on Saturday around noon, with a mehndi function. It's mostly meant for women, but some men came along as well. I've seen quite a few bollywood movies and in more than one did they have a wedding scene, so I had an idea how it was going to look like.

The moment I entered the building where the function was being held, I couldn't stop smiling. The music hit me, saw first beautifully dressed girls and I was sooo hooked up ;)
The function was going on in a big room, on the right hand side they set out cushions on which mehndi girls were keeping themselves busy by decorating the guests' palms, and sometimes feet. In the back, on a little stage, there was a band and two singers performing the most famous songs, to which people where dancing in the middle of the room. There were two cameramen recording everything, a couple of photographers taking hundreds of pics. The bride-to-be was dancing in the middle and from time to time the men of the family would come up with a banknote in their hand and kinda make circles around her, and other girls', heads. I haven't asked anyone for the meaning of this gesture but I'd assume it's to bring them good fortune. There was also a raw of chairs going around the room, where elder or not too-much-into-dance people where sitting and enjoying the atmosphere of the event.
After 2 hours or so the music started dying away and everyobody moved to the garden outside, where they could feast their eyes on the view and then feast on some delicious food. The chef did a great job preparing a selection of southern Indian cuisine. 
We took our time eating and by the time we were finished it was already after 4 pm, so just enough time to had back home, get a tiny bit of rest and start getting ready for sangeet, the evening function. I'd had a very long night on Friday after a crazy party at Balthazar, a pretty cool new space with some good hip hop music (finally!), so took a short nap before heading back out. The fight I had to undergo with myself to wake up in time to dress up was truly something..

But I did manage to get up, take a shower, do my make up and put the beautiful lehnga on. Don't ask me howcome I finally think I look very nice and end up not taking any pictures..
Anyways, we got into the car and drove to the party. I guess sangeet is something like the Western reception, just that it takes place before the wedding ceremony. I think it's also an official engagement party (at least it was in this case), with a ring ceremony in the beginning. We arrived and I instantly felt the energy and glamour of the place. Beautifully decorated space, loads of breathtaking outfits, a stage ready for the family's and friends' preformances..
I was a bit stressed out I would miss the ring ceremony - we were supposed to leave 6:45 sharp and of course left almost an hour later. The guests were told that the auspicious time for the ring exchange was 7:30 and we were still in the car at the time. So I was a bit bummed till we got there and saw nothing'd started yet. The couple was smart enough to know people wouldn't show up on time, so must have lied a bit hehehe
Thus, I ended up waiting about an hour for the actual thing, munching on some good starters and admiring the saris.

It started off with the bride on the stage, receiving blessings from a couple of women, one of them being her future mother-in-law. The bride looked stunning! Next, the groom-to-be climbed the stage, they exchanged their rings, then took place on chairs in front of the stage and awaited the performances. It's a pretty new trend, but a lot of families hire choreographers who put together a show, teaching small groups of people different routines. It was mostly in Hindi so didn't understand all but from what I've gathered, the choice of songs was to somehow show the couple what marriage is all about and how their life was going to look like. All the dearest people performed - the bride's cute nieces, both sides' friends, parents and grandparents (!), siblings, cousines, aunties and uncles.. I thought it was going to be only two or three performances but I think it lasted a good hour! A lot of guests start showing up after or during those, as they find it all boring. To the foreigners present at the wedding it was great entertainment ;)
I coudn't stop thinking I can't imagine any of my friends or relatives being up for it, especially the guys.  And the groom's brothers rocked it! ;)

After the performances it was time for everyone else to join in. Some people stayed to dance, others immediately hit the bar, others still went for the food. And omg, was there some good food or what... Indian from all over the country, sushi, Chinese.. Two huge rooms full of delicious food! Plus, there was a 3rd room with desserts but it somehow took me 3 hours to realise that.. hehe
So anyways, going back to the story. I could immediately see there was good dancing ahead, as  the music was happening and the people were enjoying themselves. I guess my reputation precedes me.. Even before we started dancing I had some aunties come up to me and say : "Are you having fun? I've heard you're a great dacer!" hehe And I guess I kinda let go later during the night .. I've heard I was the most photographerd person, been called a rock star a couple of times, been told I'm too Indian to be true ;) At the same time I almost got bruises on my forearms (after they drink a lot, people don't seem to realise how strong they are.. whenever I wanted to leave the dancefloor I'd be quite literally dragged back), got scratched (a lady was trying to catch my skirt to not let me go) and glass in my foot (this time in the left one; the moment it happened I had three guys running around me, bringing ice, tissues, bandaids, vodka, some spices to stop the bleeding...hehehe). 
All in all, It was a rocking night!

The sangeet finished at around 2:30-3:00 and I was mighty tired but didn't have the key to the place I was staying at so had to hit another party, where the owner of the place was. Ended up coming home at around 4:30 I think, by which time I was a zombie.

Btw, have you ever managed finding someone on fb only by their first name and location? ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Because I didn't get fired

I am gonna stay in Mumbai and work for 1,5 months, as I didn't get fired
I am gonna make people's travel dreams come true, as I didn't get fired
I am not gonna travel now and I know why, 
(why girl) 'cuz I didn't get fired
Because I didn't get fired
Because I didn't get fired.

Apparently things are gonna change and I'll have more work, so I decided to stay. Am torn apart, because I was already thinking what cool places I should visit in the following weeks and I kind of feel I'm wasting time staying in Mumbai.
This internship was supposed to be a huge learning experience, creative and active, but didn't turn out quite that way. I think I've gotten too impatient and restless in the last couple of months and so whenever I'm not doing something, I see it as a waste of time. I didn't want to be in Mumbai or India for the sake of it. If I'm not working, I should be experiencing something more than the comfort of my own room.. That I have back home as well.
Hopefully, that's about to be different from now on..

Of course the time wasting bit refers to my work experience. Otherwise, I've met cool people, am dining like never before, going out quite a bit. But the problem is, I came here to work. My social life was supposed to be just an addition.
But then again, why the hell should I complain about having fun? @_@

As you can see, I'm lost. Big time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Good bye little girl

I've already forgotten how tiring shopping is! ..

. . . . . . . . . . .

Yesterday was a pretty emotional day. First a very heated discussion with my boss. Then a very reasonable and civil conversation with my ex-boss. Finally, a night out to blow off some steam.

Started off in an Indian restaurant just around the corner from my place, called The Dhaba. A very nice garden and pretty interesting interiors, with a huge fresco on one of the walls and very nice staff, humored by me and S going a bit crazy at times ;)

Delicious food - roomali roti, amritsari fried prawns and chicken dhaniya adraki (coriander and ginger chicken ). Yummm!

Well fed Magu's a happy Magu!

We then headed off to Kino 108, a pretty funky restaurant/club with Thursday salsa parties. Finally, after all this time, some salsa!

It was a Thursday night, so everybody who's anybody was in Olive. And so were we, although I soo don't like this place - waaay to crowded, people go there just to be seen, the vibe's not that much fun. However, the spinach and goat cheese pizza made the whole thing worth it!
Oh, and finally met a girl I could easily talk to! Somehow I haven't had that much luck when it comes to girls I've been introduced to..

. . . . . . . . . . .

Today started horribly. 
I came back home pretty late last night (well, today morning more so) but had some things on the agenda, so had to wake up early in the morning. My sim card wasn't working at night so I took it out and haven't set the correct time and date after putting it back in. I overslept my alarm clock and when I woke up I looked at the clock and it said 3 pm! Man, I was furious with myself and close to a heart attack! I took the fastest shower ever (cold 'cause I wouldn't have time to wait for the heater to start working), dressed, took my cholis and ran out of the house to catch the tailor (needed to get the cholis altered a bit - yes, I'm too fat!). I go there and see the guy's not working and I can feel a bit of panic somewhere around the corner.. The wedding I'm attending and need the outfits for is tomorrow, and I wouldn't have the time to get it done now! I come back home and talk to the Mum who, strangely enough, is eating breakfast. I tell her the tailor's not there and she says: "Oh yeah, maybe he hasn't opened yet". "Weird", I think to myself. Needed to buy some make up, so I tell her that I'll run to the store to get it. "They might not be open yet either". So then I'm really confused and ask her what time it is. "10:12 am".
Thank you, no more questions.

. . . . . . . . . . .

S had a day off and we went to see Tangled in the eary afternoon. I loved it! A very heartwarming story, the Disney I remember from when I was little. I loved the way it's been done and laughed quite a few times. In India you have take aways for practically everything. Also in the cinema. You can order food at the bar and they'll bring it to your seat during the movie. PVR in Juhu has officialy the best fries outside of Brussels!
After the movie it was time to do some shopping for the weekend events, so we headed back to Lokhandwala.
The result is as follows:
*gold nail polish
*gold eye shadow
*reeeeed lipstick
*black peticoat for my sari (well, techincally not mine - my borrowed sari )
*gold shoes
*gold earrings
(have you already figured out what colour is veeery popular in India? :D)
I also went to get a salwaar kameez I've ordered on Tuesday and I love it! Tried it on at the tailor's and it fits perfectly!
The last thing to do was getting my lehenga a bit loosened (yes, also my hips are too fat!), so what could we have done while waiting? Went to eat some more!

A most disturbing picture.. That's what you get when someone moves while you're taking a panoramic shot..

  Me: mango lassi (L.O.V.E.) and dahi puri (really good blend of sweet and a bit of spicy). S: ragda patis.
By the time I got the shoes (they were the last thing I bought) I was totally and utterly exhausted. Was supposed to take a power nap before going out but don't think that's happening anymore. Too much time on skype ;)

. . . . . . . . . . .

Had to buy new mascara recently..

.. and apparently I'm a grown up woman now that I've got myself this Korean wonder*!

*which unfortunately is rather crappy...;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Because I got fired

I was gonna stay in Mumbai and work for 3 months, until I got fired
I was gonna make people's travel dreams come true, but then I got fired
The job's not gonna get done now and I know why, 
(why girl) 'cuz I got fired
Because I got fired
Because I got fired.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hindi needed asap

About 10 minutes ago I've asked the cook for a toast with strawberry jam and have just been brought a strawberry milkshake.

Not that I'm complaining, but Hindi needed ASAP!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Rupees: Two hundred fifty only

If one sunny afternoon you start feeling nauseous, get sick and later have pretty high fever for a couple of hours.

If you're a bit irritated and weak.

If the fever comes and goes every second day, stays up at 39 degrees for hours at a time, although you've taken paracetamol.

If you've muscle aches, spine aches and some other aches.

If you're cold despite your fever and wake up in the middle of the night wet with perspiration.

It means you should have bought the freaking mosquito repellent that much earlier!  
'Cause now you're all stressed out thinking you might have malaria.

If you're a lucky son of a gun (or a daughter, in this case :)), it will turn out you've just caught some nasty virus that causes the annoyingly high temperature, which in turn causes all the aches in your body. Nausea? You've been stuffing yourself with food for the last month, what did you expect? And the irritation and small reserves of energy? Oh yeah, you're a bit anemic. 
So stop stressing out and smile at how healthy you are with your virus and a simple lack of haemoglobin!

And all this for rupees: two hundred fifty only*, as you take a blood test in your local laboratory.

And here to show you that I might be anemic, but definitely not anorectic..

... a happy me..
... over some Thai style satay chicken panini...
... and cranberry lemonade at Mocha's.

* One of the mistakes/peculiarities that is very typical to Indian English is putting 'only' at the end of the sentence, which almost never makes any sense and doesn't serve any purpose.
"I'm coming there only"
"He'll give you this later only"
Cute, na? ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's funny how the brain works

I've recently met with a fellow expat, R, with whom I'd been exchanging some emails those last couple of weeks. We had a short talk about our experiences in India and how we've come to perceive it.
Funnily enough, he said something that is related to what I'd been thinking about two or three days beforehand. He mentioned the smell and dirt one encounters anywhere one goes (apart from the fancy AC places like hotels or malls, which look like everywhere else in the world). 

As far as last week I went to the living room to get a snack and felt a not-so-pleasant smell. Half an hour later I was leaving home and a wave of something not-so-pleasant found me on the stairs (as a feeble attempt at exercising I never take the elevator and climb all the 5 floors of stairs) and it followed me quite a while once I got outside of the building, meeting and mixing with other waves coming at me from allover. I don't mean to say that I live in a dirty, stinky place - by no means. It's that coming from a place like the one I grew up in, this is not your typical environmet. Oh, and the described situation happens every second day. Or more often.

The thing that is important though, is that I didn't mind
Back home, if I felt any of the above mentioned, I would make a disgusted face, cover my nose and ask what the heck was wrong and why the smell. In here I barely even notice it and even if I do, then well, what to do, this is India.

The same goes for the streets. Mumbai, and for sure the part I live in, is nothing special when it comes to architecture or the vibe of the place itself. The streets, according to European standards, are very dirty. A lot of construction work is going on, so there's grind everywhere you look. On the roads, pavements, cars, people.. However, whenever someone asks me how the city is, it never is something I might mention to them, because I don't find it important. And when they ask specifically about how clean it is, I say it's normal.
So I started thinking about that as well. 
Is it 'normal' by their standars? Not at all. 
Is it 'normal' by my standars? For the time being? Without a doubt. 
I don't really notice it. That's how the streets are, period.

Howcome does that happen though? In Warsaw, I would never want to be in a smelly, dirty and dusty place. In Mumbai, I consider my neighbourhood clean and nice.

When I was thinking about the whole thing today in the morning, it hit me. 
It's adaptation
It can't be anything else. It's not that you become immune to the smells that could, and most probably would, sicken you back home. Nor the fact that you don't see all the dirt and ruin around you, your eyesight doesn't get that much worse in that little time. But you accept it. You expect it, even more so. The smell and the poverty become a part of your reality. And if something's a part of your reality, your everyday surroundings, you don't stop and marvell at it. It's simply there. How easy our brain makes it for us!

If five minutes from now someone took me to a part of Mumbai where I couldn't smell anything, where the grass would be lush and beautifully trimmed, where there wouldn't be lots of dust and grit whichever direction I looked, that's when I'd stop and marvell at how strange that place is.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And so the day has come

When someone used me as a referral point to show how they used to be before they got thin.

Oh, cruel life..!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There goes my marathon..

One of the exciting things that I was looking forward to was trying myself in the Mumbai marathon that's coming up this Sunday. I was supposed to do the half-marathon, a 21km route leading through the city. That's one of the reasons I wanted to stick to my jogging schedule, to build up stamina and such.

However, a small cut on my right foot has basically made it impossible ;/
I've gone away from Mumbai and went to check out Goan beaches during a 3day bike trip with a fellow CSer. I must have cut the sole of my foot somewhere on Sunday and didn't think much of it. I was spending most of my time on the beaches, so didn't wear my sandals, thus having sand, dirt and all the willing germs in the open cut 24/7. It kind of hurt but what was I to do.
And so Tue morning I came back to Mumbai (more on Goa and pics coming soon), got home, caught up with my work emails, prepared for a meeting downtown and left in the early afternoon. I had my yoga in the evening so made sure I was back in Andheri by 7. It took quite a long rickshaw ride and for the first time since I've been here, the pollution really started bothering me. I had 10mins to my class when I got off in front of my house, so ran upstairs to change and was out again. Halfway through the yoga class I started feeling a bit nauseous and out of breath but thought it was a momentary feeling.  Unfortunately for me, it wasn't. I got back home feeling really sick, feverish, plus the foot hurting a bit. I was getting worse when S, my life saviour and calories provider, called me and expressed his disappointment in my stupidity (not having disinfected the cut..) and told me to get over to his granny's, who's a doctor. Already by then I was quite weak and grumpy, but got into a rick (the worst ride so far) and cruised south to get help. For the first time since I can remember I got an injection on my buttocks! The granny's also given me some medicine and a prescription for the following days.

The lady's in her 70s but doesn't look it at all. She does all sorts of yoga and at that age is more flexible than most of my sportsy friends.. :) Sooo, to end this extremely boring story, I ran a highish fever the whole night, had problems sleeping, even cried some 'cause of the headache.

Today was spent mostly in bed sleeping. Did some work when I was sober enough to do it and the went back to sleep.
Had a huge choclate cake and cheesy mushroom craving in the evening, so me and S decided to hit the local Mexican restaurant, Samy Sosas.
Salma's salad with chicken, mushrooms, zucchini and other veggies in a cheesy sauce

Chicken stuffed with mushrooms, plus mashed potates and rice with a bit of boiled veggies on top

After stuffing ourselves with good food, we decided to go for a ride and walk a bit to stretch our legs.

S making "an important phone call" ;)

Feeling, and looking, way better than last night.

We got off at Carter road and of course, OF COURSE, ended up eating.. This time a cinnamon roll with a chocolate filling @ Cinnabon.

Now I'm almost as good as new, with only a bit of a fever during the day, taking antibiotics for the foot infection and sleeping way too much. Unfortunately though, everyone's telling me I can't take part in the marathon :( 
Luckily enough, nobody's said anything about the pre-marathon party that's taking place on Friday in Oberoi hotel :D 
I just hope my dress comes back from the dry cleaning.. :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Exactly two months to go

Today's been a cool day.
Back home it's a religious holiday, people stay home and try to keep warm.

Here, I woke up pretty late (had been making envelopes for our brochures till 4 am, don't ask) and finished some tasks appointed to me last night. We had an important meeting tonight, luckily a rather informal and more for-the-sake-of-it than we-need-to-wow-them (although wow them we did ;), so it was fun. I later met S, my culinary, movie and whatever-other-kind-of-entertainment-you-can-think-of buddy, and he's taken me out for yet another great dinner. 

We started off with some Indian food and then followed it with the best dessert out there.  Moccha's officialy my favourite place in the world. We ordered Mt. Brownie, which turned out to be three brownies topped with vanilla ice cream, swimming in chocolate and fudge. The looks of it and the smell were enough to make me happy. But having eaten it, I felt drunk! Seriously, I was so high. Still am, actually..

I've also decided that you're all missing out on a lot because I haven't been writing about all the goodies I eat here. So I've promised myself to start taking photos and give you a bit of Mumbai's flavour, so to speak. Plus, you can hate me and how lucky I am this much more ;)

As for the tittle - that's it. Exactly two months from now I'll have boarded my plane to Vienna and will be leaving India for at least 2 months, but probably much longer. Of course I'm enjoying myself and not worrying much about the future but today it hit me how fast this time's gonna pass by, and how much more I'd like to have of it here.

There are quite a few interesting and exciting events coming up, hopefully some more weekend trips outside of M-city. Also, need to go back to some notes I'd made back in Poland and start doing the activities I wrote down, visiting those places that appealed to me while I was going through all the guidebooks I could find..

But for now it's good night - already 01:30 am in this part of the world and I've to wake up in less than 5 hrs for a networking breakfast at 7.30...
Oh, did I mention I already have my business cards? 
Now I'm all grown up and professional, don't ya'll think? ;)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My head's gone wild

It tilts so much it's not even funny...!


And a friend's told me that apparently I'm catching on the Indian English accent.

Now how entertaining is that? :D

Otherwise, I'm quite busy at work. Am also considering starting a career in black envelope manufacturing.. ;)
Oh, and can't wait to reach Goa, which I'm about to this Saturday at 6 a.m.
Will finally stop being the whitest white in M-city!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


2011 had a pretty good start - I welcomed the new year on a roof top party, dancing to a bollywood song in the center of Mumbai, eating a Michelin Star chef's dishes..

In the evening I went for my yoga class and now I'm positive that my teacher's trying to kill me. Every session she wants me to touch my chin or nose to the floor, the knee or whatever miles-away-spot she can find. Simply - she thinks I can do things I know I can't. And guess who's right?

Don't really have any NYE resolutions per se, but a motto to go by:

"If you can't, you must, and if you must, you can."

What projects for the new decade have you got?

Everyone who got to where they are now had to begin where they were

Quoting Richard Paul Evans I would like to mention one book I've recently finished reading. There might not be too many people who read this kind of literature among my friends, but I really think it's worth those 2 or 3 hours of your time. It doesn't necessarily have to change your life but you never know, it might do just that.

I'm talking about Jack Canfield's "How to get from where you are to where you want to be". I didn't find any extraordinary conepts in it and that's exactly why I loved it. You're presented with a set of 25 principles that we all know, but most probably don't implement them in our everyday life. And what a shame!

So, as my 'New Year gift', I would love you to read an extract from the said book and then, if you feel it might be something you're interested in, go read the whole thing. I've put in bold what I found most important.

     The key to success is to take what you have learner (or relearned) in this book and put it into action. You can't do everything at once, but you can begin. There are 25 principels in this book. If you're not careful, that could feel a bit overwhelming to you. So here is all you have to do:
    Go back to the beginning and start working through each principle one at a time, in the order they are poresented - take 100% responsibility for your life and your success, clarify your life purpose, decide wat you want, set specific and measurable goals for al the parts of your personal vision, break them into specific action steps you can take, create affirmations for each one of your goals, and begin the practice of visualizing your completed goals every day.
    Then begin taking action on your most important goals every day. Ask for whatever you need with no fear of rejection, ask for an respond to feedback, commit to neverending improvement and persist in the face of whatever obstacles may come up. Now you're up an running toward the completion of your major goals.
    Next, to build and maintain momentum, create a program for cleaning up your incompletes, pick a habit to work on developing for the next quarter (...).
   You can't do everything at once. But if you keep adding a little progress every day, over time you will have built a whole new set of habits and self-disciplines. Remember, anything valuable takes time. There are no overnight successes. (...)

  (...) But this is where the information, motivation, and inspiration stop, and the perspiration (provided by you) begins. You and you alone are responsible for taking the actions to create the life of your dreams. Nobody else can do it for you. 
   You have all the talent and the resources you need to start start right now and eventually create anything you want.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


2010 has been the best year of my life.

University seems like ancient history and it's been only 6,5 months since my last class. As university was never an important thing for me, this period of my life has been almost forgotten a month after graduation. In August, whenever someone asked me about my studies, I would be honestly surprised that I'd been attending university only a couple of weeks back. July and August had been so hectic and eventful that I was already in a different reality, far away from school and obligation.

Then, a random meeting and a decision to take off on a backpacking trip to Indonesia. Finally got to Asia, finally backpacked, finally was turning my dreams into reality. And that 2 minutes when I made up my mind about going might have been the most important 2 minutes in my recent history, as the whole experience gave me so much self-confidence and faith that now I don't see how I could, nor why in the world I should stop living whatever life I choose for myself.

An amazing journey which I am most certain will continue this year. And the years after that one.
Because once you feel the happiness and a sense of achievement which come with living the dream, you never want to come back to reality. By reality I mean following a certain path that I don't know why and when has been written into our consciousness as the right one. But what is right for me, doesn't have to be right for you. Or her, or them, or him for that matter.
Ergo, there is no right way. There's my way, your way, his and hers.

It's been a year filled with most amazing acquaintances. Some of those ended happily, others not so much as it turns out. But no matter what the relation I'm in with those people right now, on a personal level it's always been beneficial. I've learnt many lessons and got myself out there, opened myself up to new ways of living, new concepts, new experiences. More than ever, I believe there are genuinely good people in this world. Amazing people who enrich your life in a way that is unimaginable until your paths cross and they blow you away.

New organizations in my life- joining AIESEC has had a lot of influence on me. Not so much @ itself but some of the people I've met there. However, the biggest joy of all was the decision to keep on discovering the world of CouchSurfers. It has completely changed the way I travel and I never want to taste new places without them.

Impactful books which have helped me understand myself better, change the way I see my life and others. Books that motivated me, inspired to move on, stick to what I want in life. Most of all, words of wisdom which convinced me that to want is to be able to.

Travels. Not one big lesson learnt but a thousand small ones.

Family and seeing their support, which means the world to me.

When I was thinking about it a couple of days ago it hit me that I've lived a couple of different lives in 2010. Or chapters, if you will.

January and February were very busy with dance, especially with dancehall. 
March and April were pretty sad because of an injury I had, walking with crutchers, trying to get back into shape. 
June was mostly about finishing my thesis and finally graduating university.
July was trying to decide what to do next, being more active in Warsaw CS, joining @, an amazing 2 weeks long CS trip to Brussels and Paris, the rocking time I had in Paris.
August was all about salsa, bachata, @ and our crazy parties.
September was being insane and buying tickets to embark on a huge adventure 2 weeks later. Walking through the gardens of Versaille, spending my bday in Dinsneyland, seeing the pyramids and ancient tombs in Cairo, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
October was learning more about myself and how other people behave, riding a motorbike and partying on Bali, chilling on Gili Islands, the most amazing and rewarding volcano trek, having a LOTR moment on the Rinjani's summit and my 1st surf lesson on Lombok, meeting amazing people from around the world and wining some $ in a dance contest while being back on Bali, seeing my best friend in her new Indonesian home on Java, meeting  the best kind of people in Kuala Lumpur, visiting N, a friend I hadn't seen for years, in London.
November was supposed to be rather boring but turned out to be everything but. Meeting my boss and deciding on flying down to India, some @, saying 'hi' to friends after Indonesia and at the same time already saying 'bye' before India. Cooking parties with friends and putting on a lot of weight, very laid back couple of days.
December, the new adventure began. Reuniting with B in Vienna, tasting luxury and visiting castles in Slovakia, discovering a bit of Mumbai and going to the beach while my friends make snowmen back home.

I've smiled, laughed, learnt, been loved, been shown affection, been welcomed by strangers with arms wide open. I've been let down by people I believed would be in my life forever, been gossiped about, criticized, I cried and hurt.

I've lived.