Month: September 2014

The crippled Americans

We, Americans, forgot how to walk. Period. We can hide among our giant SUVs but not for long.

When I lived in Europe, i dropped 20 pounds. I wasn’t even eating that much different, I just walked everywhere. To the bus stop, to go to school, to the store, to the bank, to the park….whatever it was, it required some walking. I dreaded having my relatives or friends come visit me in Europe, because I knew they won’t be in the walking shape they need to be in and to top it all- I knew they would complain about having to walk everywhere even if just to the bus stop.

Here in Orlando, and most other American cities, walking doesn’t get you far. I get that. But to be too lazy to walk across the parking lot or to walk around the store and instead get the electric carts…that’s pushing it people. As a nation, we forgot how to walk. On a daily basis. Not when we are on vacation and we “have to” stroll down the beach… or when we walk around a theme park. No, I mean daily freaking basis! We forgot how important it is to move, to use your muscles and actually break a sweat if necessary.

Why and when did we get so lazy? What are your thoughts? Comments?

P.S: Thanks to all the new (and old) followers who took the time to read this!

P.S2: If you want to read more about Europe, check out my book on Amazon! 🙂

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The abominable “Grass is greener” accusation

David accused me of being that person. You know, the “grass is always greener on the other side” type of person. I guess I was supposed to be offended by it, but I never truly understood why was that such a bad thing.

Here’s what happens when you want your grass to be greener:

1. It means that you want more

2. It means that you are willing to push yourself to get it (in my case at least)

3. It means that you want change

4. It means you acknowledge status quo and want to do something about it (since if status quo was satisfactory, such observations wouldn’t be necessary)

Now, before you say I am going off on a tangent and that the grass is greener usually implies that the other circumstances really are not any better…. I will tell you what I told David.

I told him the whole “grass is greener” is true. There’s a reason why we think something is better elsewhere… because somebody else is doing something better than we are….and their results are staring us in the face.

Most of the time in my life where I did something to change my situation because I wanted more, it worked out better for me. I improved what I wasn’t doing that good and perfected it…. and guess what, my grass got greener than too.

What do you think? Comment, share, like, dislike…let’s talk!

P.S: Thanks for reading my blog! I am happy every time I see you guys take the time to read it!

P.S: It’s Saturday! Get a copy of my book on Amazon and enjoy a nice weekend.

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Plain sailing baby-making

Since my Facebook page has been swamped with, no, let me rephrase that….soaked, flooded and overloaded with people who have babies and people who are successfully announcing their pregnancies…. I have to say, looking back on it now, as I kid I thought having a baby was something special. I thought getting pregnant was a special process. It didn’t happen in the back of the car or on the bathroom floor….I guess I thought it was more meaningful than that. And it didn’t happen because two people forgot to use a condom but it happened because they wanted to create a new life. Well, I was quite a naive kid.

It’s bizarre how easily people make babies. People who don’t have their lives together and shouldn’t at all take care of babies, have them in multiples. A little “ooops” there and a “pull out method” here….. and voilà! A brand, new beautiful baby is ready to join us in this world. Isn’t it amazing?

P.S: Thanks for reading my blog, comment and like, dislike and share! 🙂

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The desk that knows too much.

As I sit at work on this gloomy Monday, I can’t help but think my desk reveals too much about me. If I look around, I see photos of me and David. Photos of my Mom, my sister. My nieces. It’s like my entire family tree is displayed for everyone to see. Oh, and pictures of my dog. Everyone must know I am an animal lover.

There’s also an over-watered plant which tells everyone I have no idea about how and when to water plants. To the left of the computer are postcards I bought while I traveled. France, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, India, China etc. A little elephant souvenir from India right next to the Stork from Alsace, France. A little statue of Eiffel Tower. Tissues hidden behind the computer for the days my allergies are bad. A big coffee mug my friend got me that says “got stache?” So I think I qualify as a hipster too. A boring looking box which actually is full of cookies. Yes, I am addicted to cookies! Pens that have stopped working long ago (but I am too lazy to throw them away). My emergency candy stash in the first drawer, my emergency Tylenol stash in the second drawer for long days…and extra cutlery for the days I forget to bring it from home. A Swiss knife hidden in the third drawer in case I have to open bottles of Champagne or what have you. And God knows what else is there, the point is, I practically live here and this damn desk knows way too much about me!

P.S: Thanks for reading my blog! Don’t forget to comment, like, share or whatever else you can do with this post! 🙂

P.S2: If you are bored at work, check out my book on Amazon! ❤ Thank you!

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To Orlandoinians out there….

What is there to do in Orlando besides Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Epcot, Name-your-amusement-park Orlando….?

In my book, Jenna is obsessed with amusement parks and loves Halloween Horror Nights and Wizarding World of Harry Potter. She thinks that is all there is to life until she actually goes to Europe and realizes there is more to life than just amusement parks.

I live in Orlando and I get it… it’s “The Theme Park Capital of the World”…. but my God, how many times can you go to Disneyworld? I have guests from Europe coming over and they have absolutely no love for theme parks.

What do you, readers, recommend to see here in Orlando? I always thought it was a pretty dull place. Normally I take people to South Florida so they can enjoy the stereotypical imagery of beaches and snorkeling and gators etc. But by God, I have to find something really good in Orlando! What is it?? Please suggest, comment, advise! I want some originality!!

P.S: Oh and the terrible thing I just realized….I don’t know how a resident of Orlando is called… Orlandoinian?

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The Revenge of the Muscles

In pain. So much pain today. I went to the gym and lifted. Now, my muscles are crying and the only question that comes to mind, as I lay on the couch half dead, is: why did I do this to my body?

You see, I think anybody who works out should get a medal…and money. I feel like if I am going through all this pain and suffering somebody should reward me. Why am I paying the gym? They should be paying me! Or somebody else, perhaps the government, should give me money to get my ass off the couch. After all, I could have stayed at home, ate chips and watched re-runs of Downton Abbey. But I didn’t. I went to the gym knowing my biceps will revenge for the workout. I can’t walk. I can’t move. But it would be better if I knew I got 25 dollars I can spend on something, perhaps a massage afterwards.

Do you think you would workout more if they gave you money for each workout?

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Closed on Sundays

“Weekends…and particularly Sundays are reserved for family, they’re not like Americans who live to work like there is no tomorrow,” Maelie explained and took another sip of wine.   -Maelie Gagnon 

Jenna Gunner’s first few days in France were one big culture shock. The French don’t have a Walmart, the French don’t work 60 hours a week and stores are closed on Sundays! Who in their right mind would close their store on a Sunday?

As an American, like Jenna, I found myself with nothing to do on a Sunday in France. I couldn’t go shopping. I couldn’t go on a stroll through the mall. If I didn’t buy my groceries the day beforehand, I went the whole Sunday hungry.

After a few weeks there, I realized Sundays should be spent with somebody. Since my family was far away, I spent it with my friends. We went to the park and walked around. We fed the birds even though we were not supposed to. We went to the nearby lake and just gazed at the water. Then, I would invite them over for some pasta…. and we had wine. And we just talked…. Those Sundays, where I didn’t have to get up early to go to work, were on of the best Sundays of my life. That’s what Sundays were meant for. Not work, but one day of peacefulness with your family and friends….America should remember that again. Do you agree?

P.S: Thanks for visiting my site and reading my blog! Like, share, dislike, comment….whichever you please! :))

P.S2: Link to my book on Amazon- you know, since it is Sunday you should read!! :))

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Two new cars and a divorce, please!

Recently I came across an interesting read from 1998. So, not too long ago, but I guess “historic enough.” It was a wonderfully written chapter summary on a book called “The Overspent American” (link here).

The part that got me was the shift in values of Americans. Almost twenty years ago, same things defined the “good life” as they do today. Americans want material good and luxuries. Americans want swimming pools, new cars, mountain cabins, five TV’s in the bathroom, trips to Europe, a job that pays more than they deserve…. Our kids have to have Apple phones, motorcycles and tattoos…

We raised them. We influenced them. We showed them we don’t value happy marriages, reliable friendships, or interesting jobs. No, we showed them that true value hides in material….which is probably why I have a friend who is divorcing his wife of three years- she wanted to make more money, have a better house and spend more. He wanted to buy motorcycles and cars. Forget the eight years they spent together, they should divorce because their material greed isn’t compatible anymore and it is just not going in the same direction. I mean, come on??

You may say, hey, they’re just a bad example. I wish I could say I do not know people who are buying a big screen TV but their kids live in a shitty house with cockroaches occasionally strolling by because a big screen TV is their priority. I wish I could say I don’t know people who whine about being broke but buy $2,000 worth of furniture and eat Ramen noodles for weeks.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…. I just don’t get it. Do you?

P.S: Thanks for reading, commenting, liking, disliking… 🙂

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The hypocrisy of a Study Abroad

On the record, a study abroad sounds amazing. To quote Mrs. Kawczynski from my book: “All of our students have had great experiences with studying abroad; it creates global awareness, it may help you advance your career, you can meet new friends, learn another language-” Yada, yada, yada.

Off the record, anybody who has ever done a study abroad should full-heartedly agree…study abroad is really mostly about partying, getting wasted and spending money left and right. That is, if you have it. But let’s face it- study abroad is not meant for poor students. After all, which sophomore has $6,000 (or more) just laying around to spend on a trip to Europe? Either it’s Mommy and Daddy who send their baby off to Europe so he/she “can see places and learn about culture” or, in some cases like mine, I worked at a grocery store and saved up my own money because my parents wouldn’t give it to me. But all the people with me in my program never worked a day in their lives, and to them spending 200 dollars on a dirndl was nothing.

And let’s not forget the schools. They make money too. For example, when you pay for study abroad they say they cover tuition of the foreign country too. Well, in Europe, most schools are for free so there actually is no tuition to pay. So who do you think keeps the money? And why do you think they encourage you to go? To get more funding…..

The hypocrisy of the benefits of a study abroad is immense. Classes are meant to be easy because they want the exchange students to be happy and recommend their school so they get more people to come. There is no real work actually expected of you, a few projects here and there so you can say you had something to do. Language classes? Sure, they exist, but no one really bothers to learn the language after they find the groups of other fellow Americans, Germans etc…People stick in groups, and the only thing uniting everyone is alcohol, and constant partying.

As someone who has done a study abroad, I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it. I am just saying don’t pretend you’re doing it for noble reasons and under cliche excuse that it will help you with your resume.

I don’t take anyone who has been on a study abroad seriously. To truly live in a different culture, to learn from it and embrace it…you must be, at least once, on the verge of tears, stuck at the electrical company in a foreign company, trying desperately to explain to the guy (who obviously speaks no English at all) why you need electricity in your apartment in his native language. And understand what he says back. That’s a real world experience.

Thanks for reading this, comment if you like or dislike what I wrote, I want to hear your opinions!

P.S: My book about an American girl who does a study abroad in France is available on Amazon…. Free for Kindle Unlimited!

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