Friday, December 30, 2011

Last of 2011

What to say?

It was a kick-ass year
Nothing more, nothing less.

And still the last days of 2011 brought surprises I wouldn't have expected and insanity that will continue in 2012...

I've been meaning to somehow sum it up but that will take a bit more time and a lot more writing.

However, as it is the last post of 2011, some wishes for 2012 are in order.

Here they go then: 

Do NOT complicate life. 

Take it as it comes. 

Do not force anything or anyone. 

Believe the path you're on is the right one. If you feel it's not, CHANGE it.

Love, laugh and let live.

That's what I wish to all and each one of you, myself included!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Christmas ever!

Christmas is so many things.
For those truly religious, the time to rejoice and celebrate their savior’s birth.
For the kids, the time to impatiently await the end of Christmas Eve dinner* to see what Santa has brought them.
For non-Christians, the little time off they get on account of ‘believers’.
For others, me included, mostly the time to see and enjoy their families.

Even on Friday I couldn’t believe it was already Christmas time. Nothing seemed right – the weather outside so autumn like, the presents not ready, for the 1st time in 24 years I didn’t have a longer holiday to enjoy the atmosphere but only Monday off and then back to work. I was talking to some other 20 something year-olds and we agreed the magic of Christmas was gone. All the emotions and feelings it used to evoke in us are somehow not there anymore. And then came Christmas Eve dinner, the First Day of Christmas lunch & dinner followed and the magic was back, full on. Yes, it was different magic than what it used to be when I was 6 or 7, of which I was reminded while watching a little cousin of mine so impatient for the dinner to finish so she could see just how well-behaved she was that year. Seeing her immense joy when it turned out the biggest boxes were for her, the light in her eyes as she was struggling to carry them from under the Christmas tree to a room where she’d actually have space to open them up.

But it was magic like never before, because I’ve finally grown up enough to understand and appreciate it. We were 12 in a little room on Saturday evening. And somewhere out there, within 10 minutes from where we were celebrating, about 15 other family members were beginning their Christmas dinners, giving each other their best and most sincere wishes, singing carols, getting stuffed with barszcz, pierogi, karp… We’ve never had a Christmas like this – basically the whole close family on my mother’s side still living in Poland gathered in her hometown, Oława (a little town outside of Wrocław). My parents, grandparents, grandma’s sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins with wives and kids, we all spread out over 4 flats and just kept on circulating and changing hosts. It all came to an end last night when all 21 of us sat down by one table (well, ok – 3 tables put together and chairs brought down from different flats) in a room we could barely move around in anymore, stuffed ourselves with some more homemade deliciousness, sang carols with my little 3,5 year old Godson as the leading voice, drank vodka, wondered if we were cousins or uncles and nieces or however else we ‘should’ call ourselves. 4 generations enjoying the time we were blessed to be given to spend together. I’ve no doubt that the amount of love and affection in that room would have cured any Grinch.

Oh, and seeing that my photo blog has reached more than
10 000 entries was a nice little present as well :)

*In Poland we unpack presents of the evening of 24th.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I guess you already know I'm big on dreams.
making dreams reality, 
dreaming some more, 
encouraging others to dream 
helping anyone and everyone we can to get closer to what they dream of.

I've recently heard from someone very close to me that they didn't have any dreams.
I don't believe that.
I refuse to believe that.

I do believe sometimes we can get so caught up with our professional/family lives that we belive our dreams impossible, however big or small they might be, to a point where we don't even consider those thoughts dreams any more. We see them as mere curiosities and never act on them. 
And it's the worst thing we can do.

However, just dreaming won't do the trick.
You gotta want it and you gotta work for it. 
And if you do, you will find your end of the rainbow. 
Many ends. The more, the better!

So what are your dreams?
And what will you do next to make them happen?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feels like home

Arrived in Brussels after 20 hours on the road. It was cold, windy and rainy - a fact I've already managed to forget about this city.

Let's say that the first two days were totally different than I'd have imagined, although they had their highlights as well - fries!, buying Kapuscinski's book in French for 2.5€ (you just gotta love Pele-Mele!), catching up with Ania who's been here as an intern for the EP the last couple of weeks, walking to Grand Platz and feeling teary eyed once I saw the Town Hall and its surroundings.

And then yesterday the cards changed completely and it was a most perfect day - an early afternoon with the ever so inspiring Eva, whom I met a couple of years back in a dance school I used to partially live in in Brussels (12 to 14 of hours weekly makes you feel you live there), arriving at Vincenzo's place who's my host for two nights (Ania's friend but also a CSer) and being cooked a great Carbonara, having a most interesting conversation and suddenly seeing it's snowing! The first real snow I've had this year and I'm in Brussels!!! (universe really gives us what we need when we need it - I don't think anything else could have made me so happy and blissful)
Sooo, we embark on a walk to the Old Town, arrive there to be completely blown away by how beautiful it is. The music, the snow, the light, the architecture... Wait a second, did someone say music? Yes, we start dancing around the Christmas tree! And that's what we saw, whenever we lifted our heads up (which was like all the time):

After getting completely soaked and freezing we moved on to St. Catherine, which is THE best place for me in December. 

For 3 years in a row I would come here almost every day to go ice skating and it has become an integral part of my Christmas experience. Haven't done the ice-skating part yet 'cause the ice was in very bad condition, but I still hope I'll manage today!

Next thing on the agenda? The wheel! Turns out Vincenzo, who's been here for the last 3 years has never gone on it! Thus, we happily board one of the booths and enjoy the beautiful square with Brussels in the background and snow in our faces.

As we're going around on the wheel I hear Vince say: Oh, churros! so as soon as we get off and pass a churros booth I ask him if he wants some, only to find out he's never had those! So it's decided and we munch on delicious-sugary-warm-donut-like churros. Heaven!

We end up on Grand Platz again to stand in awe some more 10 minutes. Yes, I know you're thinking we must be very boring but the truth is, I could spend a whole evening standing there and staring at the changing lights, weren't my shoes so easily soaked... But tell me, could you be immune to this?

To end with a bang, Vince has taken me to a cocktail bar I've immediately fallen in love with. I think I was too cold to think straight at the time, so didn't take any photos and it's a shame cause that's exactly the kinda place I thought Brussels was missing. Plus, their fruit drinks are really tasty!

Today is planning out to be a cool day as well... The red light district, chocolate shopping, eating out, making Grand Platz dance with us, meeting old friends, going out together with both old and new friends...
Ladies and gentleman, Brussels rocks!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Am about to start my journey to Brussels in a couple of minutes and it hit me it was my first trip in 14 months without the Bee Dress on board. I already feel lonely.

But wait, I hear you ask yourselves, why did she say she was embarking on a journey to Brussels? Isn't it just a 2 hour flight away?
Well, it is my friends. If you're a sane person.

I know they say bad decisions make for good stories, so what I'm about to tell you should result in the most awsome stories you've heard so far, although I somehow doubt it will... As I was saying, a sane person would just book a flight from Warsaw.
Magu would book a flight from Wroclaw, because she would be hoping she'd manage to interview an Asian or two for her column before hopping on that plane. Thus, she'd have to travel on a night train from Warsaw, have to kill time before 6am and 2pm when she'd get on the plane to Charleroi, land there at 4pm and be in Brussels itself by about 6pm. Total count? 20 hours on the road.
As you probably already know, it is no theory. That's what Magu did.

To make things more fun (why do I always do this to myself? why can't I sometimes make things easier instead of out-of-this-world-complicated-for-no-proper-reason?) I didn't come home last night and kinda did a shot (one, of course) too many when I was out. So today after work I had to do everything, plus fight a horrible headache.
And I don't think the 7.5 hour train ride is gonna make me feel any better...

So, now that I've bitched about everything there was to bitch about and dissed myself a couple of times, let me just tell you that otherwise I'm on fire.
2012 is gonna kick 2011 where the sun don't shine! :D

And now I really have to go.


Monday, December 12, 2011


One of the things my friends seem to say about me most, is that I'm creative. I like to think that about myself as well.

A little something I bumped into today, which would seem to explain why it is so.

I do all 29!*

What are your ways to stay creative?

*Well, the coffee drinking part not so much but latte's not that bad ;)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What is happiness?

Going to sleep at night knowing that no alarm clock will go off in the morning.

Sleep tight friends! 
I know I will :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

High on positive exhaustion

Put together the (most fortunate!) lack of strong will and really cool friends and what you'll get is a totally exhausting, yet most positive and heart warming couple of days.

Put a handicraft market, a radio interview, my dance class, a birthday party, seeing a friend after over a year, dancing your butt off in a club together and you have an idea of my last Saturday.
Put a visit to a friend's place in the outskirts of Warsaw for a motivational talk, a CS foodies' meeting and picking up Paula who's come down here for a couple of days, going shopping and going back to the 70s/80s in Pewex in the Pavilons together and you'll see what Sunday had in store.
Promise yourself that for a week you will act like a sane person and come back home straight from the office to work on all those things you need and want to work on, and you'll end up popping in for a friend's bday party to later eat a whole bowl of homemade pierogi (I just gotta love living with my aunt!), go to see a friend buy a dress to end up baking homemade pizza in another part of town, go out for the most expensive (but delicious!) ice-cream around with your parents (just for an hour) and get to know your dad's brother's in town so you end up coming back home 3 hours later than previewed, go to a meeting with an editor of one of the travel magazines to discover a nice restaurant with really tasty salads (Societe on Różana street, if anyone's wondering) and, more importantly, meet a person you want to be when you grow up ;) to later pop in for a strange event where, as long as you're a girl, you get free drinks and can savour some fruit with the addition of white melted chocolate from a fountain they prepared especially for you (made me think of Brussels and want it to be Wednesday already so much more!), go ice skating for the first time this year (sic!) by the Palace of Science and Culture, go present hunting and then for an interesting Polish-French coffee meeting in a cosy cafe in Warsaw's old Jewish district... Pffew, makes me tired to even write it all down! 
(Not to mention the full time job I still somehow manage to keep ;) )

Speaking of which, we've put up a Christmas tree in the office, my boss made us all Egyptian burrito for lunch today, the other boss has confessed her love for us and I have definitely gained two new good friends - I think I might have been really lucky with that job, regardless of whatever difficulties I face on daily basis. I really like going there even if it has to be every day and means I'll be sitting by the computer for 8 hours, half of the time trying hard not to be frustrated. How cool is that?

I'm also beginning to believe the world wants me to make the best use of whatever 2011 has still on offer, as the past 2 weeks have been more creative than sometimes months can be. As usual, friends were being their supportive and inspirational selves, so I'm high on everyone's energy. Ideas have been flowing through my head with the speed of light* and luckily I was smart enough to a) write most of them down and b) act! Have a couple of aces down my sleeve (hopefully), just need to find the time to actually work on those winning cards...

Oh, and a cool video for a great end of the week:

Laugh and the world will laugh with you!

Speaking of which, you might want to drop in here to check out a friend's new movie project. I'm so happy the guys have already reached their original goal but together with everyone else, I'm hoping they'll gather a lot more $ to finance additional stuff. If you're a fan of the arts and sci-fi, please support them!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Magic week

I've searched the blog but it seems I still haven't shared the 'magic week' theory with you. As I'm experiencing one right now, I think it's a great opportunity to do so. My friend Weronika shared her curious observation with me in the middle of October. 

There was a week where I got my current job, I got approached by a Dutch travel magazine to quote one of my blog posts in their article, I got the opportunity to teach dance and a couple of other smaller thingies. I was at her place when I got the Dutch journalist's email and that's when she decided to share her theory with me. Basically, there are those weeks every now and then, when only good things happen to me. Only very good things, which change a lot in my life. I started laughing at first, but then she said she had seen that happen before, in June. She gave me examples - I quit a job with this not-so-great boss, I won some $ on FB with my dance video, I bought my tickets to fly to Iceland, went to Sicily for a weekend and got accepted as a volunteer in Roskilde (each thing would be happening on a consecutive day of the week, for a week). I decided to take it further and try to trace it back, assuming 4 months would be the period in between those weeks (June to October). It took me back to February/March - totally true! There was one week in the beginning of March which was totally crazy and kinda seems like a cool dream, where every day brought something new and amazing. Then 4 months back again and we're in November - true again! Having a very rewarding AIESEC week and meeting my future Indian boss. Go 4 months back and we're in August - again, a craazy AIESEC week, with every night being better than the previous one, encounters that have changed a lot in my life and resulted in my huge first trip to Asia!

A couple minutes of searching through my memories and I became a firm beliver of the magic week theory! We counted it forwards and decided the next one should come around in February. But guess what? It's early! 

Monday - I get hooked up with a complimentary 5* hotel night for NYE in Cracow.
Tuesday - I have one of the most creative and self-confidence boosting conversations in months, which actually might lead somewhere really interesting and lifechanging.
Wednesday - I get my first full salary ;) But most importantly, I celebrate with my parents - it's their 26th wedding anniversary!
Thursday - I make a (hopefully) huge step towards being published. About travelling! Regularly!
Friday - I'm walking to work thinking to myself  'C'mon magic week, what more could you possibly bring me today?'. I check my inbox and find an invitation to appear on a radio audition tomorrow (stay tuned on Radio dla Ciebie, 13:00-13:00)!

Can you spot your magic weeks? Do you make sure to appreciate them properly?

Are you a believer?