Thursday, November 24, 2011

Changes of the mind, changes of the heart

Lots of thinking and talking and thinking recently.

Topics varying from relationships or freelancing, through cheating, emigration, attraction, investment and finance, all the way to resetting mindsets, lifechanging decisions and knitting.

.     .      .     .     .

The job's been going well, I think. Sometimes really hectic and with afterhours, sometimes slower with time stretching immensly and with my turning into the office cook when I start making lunch for everybody. 
Being a PA means doing very diverse task, that's for sure. Everyone asks me what it is I do and I guess now I more or less know the range of my responsibilities, although I'm still being surprised all the time. Today f.e. I found out I will be in charge of our website (so got some learning to do - it took me 10minutes to upload new pictures by one of the hotel descriptions and give them a freaking baby blue frame.. ). But generally - I translate a lot, write inqiries and correspond with our partners, both domestic and international (be it travel agents, airlines, hotels, press & media, clients, tourism boards), prepare offers and itineraries, attend meetings, run the website (apparently). Might have forgotten a thing or two, but you get the picture.
My contract ends this year, it was a 3month trial period after all, and in complete honesty, I do not know if they will want to sign a normal contract with me or not. Let's see how things go.

.     .      .      .      .

On the personal front - things have been busy as well. Living in the Old Town is turning out to be quite disastrous to my pocket, but has reboosted my social life - going out everyday after work seems to have become a new routine of mine. Good thing - I've been discovering new cool places in Wrsaw. Bad thing - you gotta pay to get a taste of them, so to speak.
At the same time, however, I have this very strange feeling when I come back home at round 9pm and that's it - I've nothing else I should or must do. On the one hand, what an amazing thing- I get off work at 6-7pm and all the responsibilities for the day are done - no homework, no studying, no thesis to write (especially the last one seems to be the nightmare of virtually 80% of my friends at the moment). On the other, it's the first time in my Warsaw life ever, that I have just one thing to take care of (job). Normally, I always had a couple of different things - university, sports, dance, tutoring.. Now, even though I'm away from home for about 11-12 hours daily, I come back home and by the time the clock strikes 11pm it feels as if I've spent the whole day sitting there doing nothing. 

.     .     .     .     .

Have had a bit of a major mindset breakthrough last night. Remains to be seen if I decide to take that path or decide my old one was better. 

Oh, and yes - the sweater's doing great, thank you very much. I've finished the back part up to the point I have to have the front part and both sleeves ready, so I can start making the most important pattern on all of them at once, bringing them together to form what should look like a sweater. Hopefully. Soon-ish.

Also, somehow Christmas is not in my face yet, which I'm very happy about. Maybe it's because I don't go shopping and stay away from malls, but the only Xmas decoration I've seen so far was in Starbucks earlier this week. I hate being attacked by Xmas trees and Xmas bulbs too early - it totally kills any kind of a Christmas spirit. However, was most pleasantly surprised on my way back home tonight, when I smelled wood while entering the Old Town Square and then saw all the Xmas Market booths being brought in and positioned. Hating too much Xmas decoration too early, but can never get enough of Xmas markets! 
Oh, and especially the ones in Brussels and Aachen. Will get to experience the 1st one, the smells and tastes of the 2nd one will have to live on in my memories, I'm afraid.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Partially out of the nest

Obviously, the university drop out  that I am, I cannot afford to have my own place. Hell, I don't think I ever will, seeing how I don't intend on putting myself in debt for the rest of my life (at least in the forseeable future).

I can afford to rent a room, although I wasn't really going to - prices in Warsaw are crazy high considering an average person's salary. The thing is, we don't really have a choice but to pay those blood sucking flat owners what they demand. Unless..
Unless you have an aunt who has recently started living alone in a 2 room flat and is willing to rent out one of those for a third of what you would normally have to pay elsewhere. And if the said aunt happens to live in the best possible location in Warsaw, in the heart of the Old Town?
Well, then my friend, you're in for a treat!

Am super excited about staying here - finally in the middle of things, close to all the pubs, clubs and restaurants. Lots of energy, good vibration and the feel of the heart of the old city, instead of the heart of concrete communistic blocks of flats.

A 10 minute walk away from my yoga place and then another 10 minutes to the office. Turns out staying in Warsaw isn't that bad after all.

.     .     .     .     .

and my third interview is out. Don't know why but my editor really liked it when I sent it for proofreading. And I meant like really really. Originally, it was a bit different but as I did too much product placement without even 
realising it, I decided to cut some parts (which makes me think I'm not as talented as my editor seems to believe). But I do have to admit it still reads a lot better than the first one. Yay for progress!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweater challenge, part 1

My last project seems to have gained a lot of popularity those last two days.
Orders for hats and scarfs are coming in from countries all over the world. My answer?
And so, in order to show you that you can do it yourselves, my dear friends, I will post the Ugliest Icelandic Sweater In The World (later referred to as UISITW) behind the scenes diaries.

Day 1, 13.11.11

First, you make a small sample on the wool you're gonna use. One, it will give you an idea of how difficult it is to knit with it (very in this case..). Two, you'll see how many stitches you have to do to get the right size (measure yourself; count how many stitches you have in your sample; measure the sample; calculate how many stitches you need to get the desired length).

Next, start the first stitches. It was actually the most annoying and unnerving part of the whole process, I think. The wool's really delicate and kept on ripping all the time. I was so proud to have my 86 stitches ready for next rows!

If you're stupid enough to want a pattern, you'll have to learn how to knit with two (or however many colours you'll need) yarns at the same time. Not the easiest thing to be doing, although this seems to be the easiest pattern available. Don't even wanna think about how I'll be cursing once I get to the snowflake pattern around the chest..


.     .      .     .      .

Anyone brave enough to take up the challenge (needles) and knit with me? 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A journey of a single sweater begins with a thousand stitches.*

Icelandic sweater is a funny thing.

The first time you see it, it's ugly.
The second time you see it, you start wondering what is wrong with those who wear it.
The third through the hundredth time you see it, you start wondering maybe there IS something about it.
The hundred and first time you see it, worn by a beautiful girl or by a cute guy clubbing in Reykjavik, you think hmmm not so bad after all.
After that, you just want one.

There comes a moment you enter one of those tourist shops to look at sweaters and that's what you do - after realising one would cost you about 150€, you just look at it and leave the store.
Then, and by that time you already need that sweater, you meet this cute American girl spending her evenings in a little town called Pingeyri knitting herself one, which costs her ten times less - the cost of wool. And so the moment you accidentaly stumble accross a wool store in Isafjordur, you're hooked - you're knitting yourself a damn sweater! 

You buy the wool. 
The wool hitchhikes through Iceland with you. 
Then it takes a ferry to Denmark with some Polish dudes you meet a day before you leave the island (kinda problematic to fit everything in you 30l backpack and have it ready for the Rayanair crew 'one piece of luggage' verification).
After a month long trip in France and Spain you hitchhike from Frankfurt to Warsaw and stop in Poznan, to pick the wool up (which later has you hitchhiking from the middle of the highway praying for your life; it also has you taking photos with your GPS camera, so that your dad tells you how many kms you have to walk alongside the road to reach the next gas station..).
The wool finally gets home and sits in the closet for 2 months, cause you don't have time to learn how to knit.

And finally, there comes a day (yesterday) when you decide enough is enough and you pick up those scary needles and get on with it.
The plan is to have the sweater ready in a month's time, so that it can keep me warm during my trip to Brussels. Everyone, my mum included, says it's kinda impossible, especially that I want some patterns around it (what would an Icelandic sweater be without the Icelandic patterns, I ask you!). 
Challenge accepted! 

A sample I was learning on yesterday. The only unfortunate thing is that the wool I need to start knitting with is much thinner and not spun so tightly, making it a lot more difficult and needing me to be a lot more careful with what I do. But hey, nobody said it was gonna be easy..

Alright then, off I go to knit!

*You inspire me, Jim! ;)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Independence Day celebrations (?)

Everything was looking out quite well. 
The day was chilly but unexpectedly sunny, with beautifully coloured autumn leaves falling down left and right and forming a most amazing yellow-red-orange carpet in the parks all around town.

I met with Fer, a Spanish friend's boyfriend who's currently on an internship in a Polish town called Lublin, and wanted to see Warsaw on our National Day. We went to pick up Mauro, an Italian CSer who'd just come to Warsaw on a business trip and wrote me looking for a bit of local company for a couple of hours. Together we set off in the direction of the Old Town and the walk took us through Saski Park, where we got just in time to see a bit of the Independence Day parade by the Unknown Soldier's Tomb.

All the time we were walking there, I was feeling so positive and proud to be seeing the Polish Flag all over - traditionally street lamps and building entrances are decorated in white and red, but also people and cars carrying little flags, children using bigger ones as Superman-type caps, SuperPoles, if you will. Everyone rejoicing, celebrating the day Józef Piłsudzki was announced Commander-in-Chief over the Polish Forces - 123 years of occupation, partition and bloody fights were over, although the nation didn't get too much time to embrace their independence.. And it should be mentioned that Poland got to celebrate 11th of November openly only 24 times in its history! It was estabilished as a National Day in 1937 and got banned under German occupation (39-45), it was also illegal to celebrate it during the comunism era (45-89). Thus, we got our Independence Day in '37 and '38 and then from '89 till now. Not too much independence celebration for a centuries old nation, it would seem..

But back to the day at hand - so there I was going on about how great this day is, how Poles finally come together, stop complaining about their country and their countrymen. All was true till the moment I decided to take Fer for dinner in U Szwejka, a restaurant at the Constitution Square, where we got ourselves in the middle of riots started by, pardon my vocabulary, moronic imbeciles who instead of celebrating the freedom they can enjoy know, started demolishing the very city they find shelter in. Also, to make things worse, they invited our German neighbours to help them fight the police, beat up innocent people, throw bottles and bricks at anyone unlucky enough to be within their reach. We got gased and coughed a bit of our lungs out, almost got hit wth glass.
splashing in front of our feet.. I was so furious and embarrased I could only try to joke about it.

Why are people unable to create anything worthy so keen on destroying whatever anyone else has managed to achieve with their hard work and effort?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Your booking has been successful

Any guesses? ;)

.     .     .     .     .

The company I work for has started a huge campaign today and this week's been quite busy. Actually, a lot busy - yesterday I was working almost non stop 9am - 11:20pm. At the office, on the tram back home, in my bed.. Today was just 9,5hrs at the office, so chill. Next week will probably be around 10hrs daily, although who knows?

I guess that's why I decided I'll have earned a short breather come December. A while back I had also promised myself I would get there before the end of this year - I want to meet some friends I haven't seen for ages, want to eat some food I've been craving for, want to go ice skating on my favourite ice rink.. Granted, I can't take too much leave but 4 days on the spot will be enough for me to enjoy what I've been missing so much. 

Oh, and I guess I'd better really enjoy it, as it will most probably be my last international trip in 2011. . Seems kinda unbelievable and a bit depressing but that's the life of a working gyal for ya!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Workshops. Sexy?

Yesterday was d-day for the workshops I've been talking about recently.
Here a little clip with the routine I taught.

And now a question to the guys: would you call this sexy?
(any tips for future choreos most welcome ;)