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The venturesome Friday plottings

Every Friday, on my way to work, I pass the Orlando International Airport and my mind just goes berserk. I start plotting my next escape, my next adventure. I can’t take this anymore. Why am I going to work on this beautiful day?

I park the car at the cheap parking lot- 10 dollars a day? Here’s $30, I’ll be gone for three days. I pay the machine and step inside. I don’t have any luggage, but adventures are always most fun when they are not planned. Do I have my passport with me? I check my purse. What a coincidence- I do. I step up to the counter of the Aer Lingus and demand a ticket to Ireland: “when is your next flight?” I am ready to pay anything.

“The flight total is $1,600, ‘Mam.” Ouch. I can’t afford that. Maybe my next destination won’t be Dublin. I go to Lufthansa. “$1,200 if you want to go to Berlin.” Well, there goes my international flying adventure. The world is not at my reach. It’s the size of my wallet.

I go back to the car and check my wallet. I got five bucks in it. What can five bucks get me- maybe a morning Sausage McMuffin? #fml

I drive away to work, postponing my adventures to a different day. This Friday adventure will be how to survive until 5 o’clock.

P.S: What is your Friday like?

P.S2: Thanks for reading my blog. Start commenting, don’ be shy!

P.S3: A nice weekend read.

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Kids, Kitchen, Church- The German Woman

Angela Merkel…the symbol of Germany. The new Iron lady. The unstoppable force behind the EU machinery. A symbol of a woman in a powerful position? More like an isolated woman on the throne of a male dominated sector. Childless, too, of course.

Germany’s economy is undoubtedly doing the best among the EU countries. Unemployment in Germany is 5.1 %, a great achievement compared to Spain’s 25.1%. But who is running the German economy? Most certainly not women… and the worst numbers are found for women with children. Their kindergartens and schools only have programs until 12pm and then mothers are supposed to pick up their kids. A lot of women in Germany, once they have kids, take on part time jobs or none at all. They put their careers aside and never work again…which is a choice everyone makes, but shouldn’t those women at least have the option of putting their children to school until 4pm and perhaps pursue a career? Things are changing, but too slow.

In America, is the opposite. You can put your child in daycare until 4pm but cough up the money. A lot of women can’t afford to put their children in daycare and end up staying at home.

So which is worse? Not having the opportunity because of the mindset of people and traditional roles, or because you can’t afford it?

P.S: Thanks to all the visitors and readers of the blog!!

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Free book, anyone?

Writing is rewarding, and fun. Sending your book out to publishing houses and getting automated ‘not interested’ responses back… not so much. Selling a book as a self-published author on Amazon….quite frightening. Your book is lost among thousands of other books and no one seems to know of it. But that’s ok, Rome wasn’t built in a day and a best-seller never happens over night, well, selling in general does not either.

So, this Saturday, I am giving away my book for FREE on Amazon (normally is priced at the lowest price you can give a book on Amazon, $2.99- less than price of Starbucks coffee).

Those that are interested in a travel, romance novel taking place in Strasbourg, France, get a copy here. It has romance, it has adventure, and love. I am a sucker for love and I like to write about it as it brings this world together.

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The egg of social divison

For those of us who grew up in the States, a Kinder egg, a delicious white and milk chocolate egg, is not a common childhood memory. As a matter of fact, they are forbidden as they contain a little toy which, of course, American children could choke on but European children somehow do not.

Anyway, I had the honor of having my first Kinder egg in Frankfurt, Germany. I was visiting my friend from Bosnia who is now first generation German. Mira opened her palm, and handed me a Kinder egg. “Here, try something very European.” “What’s this?” I asked her. “This was my favorite thing growing up, it’s really good.” I gently unwrapped the plastic around it and indeed, inside it was a chocolate egg. I bit into it and felt something against my teeth. There was a little plastic box that I opened as I chewed on the rest of the chocolate. In it was a toy I had to assemble… it turned out to be a dinosaur.
“Intriguing,” I commented. “Yeah, all the kids here know them. I used to only get them when I was really good, or for holidays- but some kids got them all the time.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “Surely they can’t be that expensive.” “Well, I don’t remember how much they were back in the day, but now they cost around 65 cents.” In dollars, I guess that would be roughly 80 cents. More than a hamburger at McDonald’s. “Some kids got them every day. I was always so jealous. It made me realize some parents have more money to spend than others.”

Intrigued as I was by this piece of information, I went home and did some Math. If a child got it 5x a week, that would total to 3.25 euros a week. 13 euros a month. 156 euros a year. That’s roughly 200 dollars on a little piece of chocolate. I could understand how parents that do not make a lot of money couldn’t buy it. With 200 dollars you can buy clothing or shoes or other types of food for your child. And if the kid didn’t get it everyday, it at least became something special….because I am sure the kids who had it every day thought nothing of it.

Did any of you experience this Kinder egg “social division”?

Like, share, comment, tell me your thoughts! I love reading your responses!

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Should Columbus be celebrated?

Ah, another day off. God bless Columbus! A truly innovative guy, an entrepreneur in a sense, seeking funding from the royal king and queen to discover new continents! According to a famous German entrepreneur, an entrepreneur revolutionizes, changes things. And, wow, did Columbus change our world!
“Yeah, but he also supported slave ownership,” David has to add to my idealistic view of Columbus. “Even the kings told him to stop it but he didn’t. He was a bad guy,” David dismissed me. Columbus a bad guy? Then why is this his day? Why are we celebrating him?
Slave supporter or not, times were different. Of course I am not justifying what he did, but let me remind you of a long, long list of men who mistreated women for centuries and we still celebrate them, and their achievements.

Should this day be changed to something else? (Btw, here is where you answer the little poll I created) and more importantly, share your thoughts with me. Enjoy your day off! :)

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Nazis on the dark side of the Moon

Sometimes, well, actually quite often these days, I really don’t know if I am able to be write about something people will like… or care to read. The movies made these days…. the books written…I personally find them to be dull; the writing is so uninspiring. Let me give you an example: yesterday night David made me watch a movie called “Iron Sky”, a movie talking about how “the Nazis set up a secret base on the dark side of the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.”

Needless to say, I fell asleep in the middle, but I have to say I was quite envy at whoever made the movie. It got a bunch of funding from the European agencies and somebody actually thought that the script was so good it should be turned into a movie. Not only that, they actually convinced others that a plot with Nazis living on the dark side of the Moon is a sci-fi comedy/action that will attract audiences. They got money to shoot it too! Either I have no sense of humor anymore, or they are better at selling their plot… just as a writer, I find it mind-boggling. But I guess it’s the crowds that decide in the end….

Did any of you watch the movie? Or read a book that you couldn’t believe anyone in their right mind would publish?

P.S: Thank you for reading my blog. Shout out to my followers!! :))

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The newfound sexist Uncle Bill

As a kid, the one person in my family I was proud of and looked up to was my uncle. His charm affected everyone in his presence; the ladies giggled and adored him, the men shook his hands and respected him. His obvious confidence carried him far in life. He not only made a lot of money, but traveled the world.

Fast forward two decades later, he moved away from us a while back so we hadn’t had the chance to see him too often. We lost contact with him but earlier in the year I had the chance to spend a few days with him on a family vacation….and boy did my perception of him change!

His sexist jokes, his expectations of my aunt to serve us because “it’s a woman’s job” and “women are better in the kitchen” remarks.. I mean, he made me mad. Was this really the uncle I looked up to? And then it all came back to me… The trips we did when I was a little girl- how my sister and I had to stay at home because “girls aren’t good at sports” as he enjoyed a round of tennis/skinning/baseball with my male cousins. How he always told me or my sister to go help our Mom or aunt in the kitchen as he enjoyed a little siesta after lunch…Or how we should learn how to cook so we can one day make a man happy….How he pushed for my male cousin to get a job and used his connections but wouldn’t help me even though I have more degrees and experiences.

I felt deeply disappointed after a few days with him and decided not to have as much contact with him. To think I am only good for something because I was born a woman is demeaning. It’s still a problem nowadays but I didn’t expect to find it in my own family. Did any of you experience a similar situation? What do you do when your role model turns out to be something completely else?

P.S: Please comment so I can hear your thoughts!

P.S.: If you don’t want to comment, like or share! :)

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The gun-loving Europeans

Europeans always have such a hard stance on our right to bear arms. Our second amendment really bothers them, in a way. Their war-affected past has made them allegedly more “peaceful” and unable to understand the gun-loving Americans. How foolishly Americans kill each other with guns! How terrible it is to live in a society where one must carry guns to protect oneself!

But it’s almost funny… you know what is the first thing any guy (and girls too) want to do when they visit me in the glorious America? They want to go to a shooting range. They want to shoot some guns and try out different pieces of firearms. Of course, most of them can’t shot them because they are not legal residents (at least that’s how it is here in Florida)… but then again… we are in Florida and we are in the South, so sometimes they get lucky and they get to live out their manly, rugged, and loud fantasies. And guess what! Every so often, a story comes out. A story about a hidden piece of firearms that “grandpa kept” and how great it was to shoot that gun. So let’s cut the cr*p here!

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Goddess a few times a week

I am not a goddess in most aspects of my life, but I sure as hell am when I go shopping. As a consumer in America, I get treated like a goddess. Those who have never been outside the States, don’t know what kind of hell awaits beyond the borders.
In Europe, for example, there’s no such thing as returning stuff without a receipt. There is no such thing as returning stuff and get money back. They normally give you in-store credit and that’s it. There’s no speaking to the manager to complain…the manager doesn’t give a sh*t.

Before you say that isn’t true, I will admit Europe has improved their customer service a lot in recent years. Specially Germany. They have really changed their communication with the customers. But Italy…just try returning something in Italy. Or Spain. Try complaining at a restaurant that you don’t like the food. They will kick you out of the restaurant for the audacity to say anything back to them.

Once my Mother bought something at a fancy Italian clothing store for me. Unfortunately, I was too fat to fit in their biggest size. When we tried to return it, they said (after good half hour of arguing with the ladies that work at the register-guess what, no customer service section there), that we can get in-store credit. I said: “But I am too fat for all your clothing, nothing fits me.” Did they care? No. Did they try to appease me? No.

I guess what I am trying to say is…next time you have to complain to the manager because you don’t like a product…or you want to return it…or perhaps you don’t like the way you were treated…be happy you have the option of doing that. Somewhere else they would tell you “too bad” or wouldn’t even talk to you.

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The strangers in your “family tree”

We got a call from David’s mother a few days ago. She was anxiously questioning David as to why he decided not to go to his cousin’s wedding. Her beautiful hand-written invitation was staring at us from the pile of mail…it was well-written. It was very inviting… It was everything a wedding invitation could be. But David never actually met the woman (he only heard OF her). She was a long, distant, far-away, remote cousin he would never recognize in person if he ever saw her on the street.

So, to give you some background, his family is more of I guess collectivist nature, if you will, and they place a lot of emphasis on the blood line. When he finally told his mother that he doesn’t even know this girl, she cried sadly into the phone: “But she is your family! You have to go!”

Her crying got me wondering….who is your family? Really and truly? The way my family works is like this: there’s me, my sister, her kids, my Mom and Dad. That’s it. Both my grandmothers and granddads are long dead and we have a super distant family in New York somewhere. Do we know what they do? No. Do we know anything about them? Not really. Would it be weird if they invited us to the wedding? Uh, yeah, kinda. Would we go? Probably not. We like to think people that matter are those that take the time to be in our lives. And just because they are family, we don’t owe them anything.

In case you are wondering, he ended up going (guess who was the lucky +1?) We met her and her husband, and they were rather nice. It was almost a beautiful moment…. the strangers that got married all of a sudden became our friends because after all….he was “family.”

Do you have similar connections with your relatives?

P.s: Thanks for taking the time to read, comment, like, share… <3
P.s: My book is, as always, available on Amazon. Check it out!

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