Dear Diary, summer edition

Now that it’s extremely hot outside I really feel like summer is here. It’s amazing how quickly the weather changes now and how extreme are the temperature fluctuation. Summer comes later in the year and when it comes it hits you like a truck. I have taken advantage of the good weather lately by spending a lot of time outside, hiking and going to the lake. I also wanted to bike more but the heat has been unbearable in the last 2 weeks.

The Big move

I talked in this post about our journey of searching for a new home and the difficulties we had. Surprisingly, three months after that post we went to visit a house outside of the city and it was just perfect. Not too big, not too small, good condition, nice rooms, the right price and friendly owners. We thought about it and immediately sent an offer to buy it. We had to increase the initial price but we got it! It was suddenly so exciting that I almost didn’t believe that it’s actually happening! We are happy house owners.

We are currently packing our stuff, there are boxes around in the house waiting to be brought to our new home. The big day is sometime at the end of August. So far we bought some of the furniture and we are still thinking of what we might need additionally. Planning is going quite well, we are making important appointments like moving our internet and vaccinating our cat. Yep, he is gonna be a free cat in the future and I am going to be a worried mom. I might have to get used to getting mice as presents from him.

The house is not in the city and that worries me a bit. I will have to commute with the train in the future. My biggest hope is that I will be able to do home office at least one day per week so that I save some time. At the same time, being far away from the city is an advantage because of the quietness and low pollution. I will be able to see the stars more clearly and that is so exciting!

Series and Movies update

My favourite show of the year is over and I feel happy and sad at the same time. Dark is one of those series that I hold close to my heart because it’s just so well made and it made me feel excited and curious with every episode. It was a bit of a mind fuck but they wrapped it up nicely. I have been afraid of final seasons after some major disappointments ( GoT, Westworld ) and Dark did not let me down. I loved the acting, the production value is very high, the attention to detail is amazing. I can only recommend this time travelling series!

Another series that I randomly started is Community. Thank god it’s not as awkward as I expected. There are some cringy moments but the episodes and storylines are generally interesting and funny. Some Asian shows I have started are 7Seeds, HunterXHunter and Crash landing on you. I really enjoyed watching them until now and will continue doing that.

The best movie I watched in July was Greenbook. As usual with stories inspired from real life there are some inconsistencies and made up scenes but I liked the movie for what it was. I love to see character and relationship development in books and in movies and this story was exactly that. The acting was amazing and I found new love for Viggo Mortensen.

The Favourite was an okay movie. I got a bit bored in the middle and I already forgot how it ended. The production value was high and the costumes were awesome but story wise very mediocre and forgettable.

Another movie I watched was Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, a classic from Studio Ghibli. I don’t know if I mentioned this before but I am a huge fan of Ghibli and loved every single movie that I watched from them. Even though the movie is old, from 1984, the story still manages to impress. The story is set in a post apocalyptic world where giant toxic insects threaten the extinction of humanity. It starts with Nausicaa, the princess of the Valley of the Wind exploring the toxic forest and introduces us the current world humans live in. I recommend this movie to anyone and hopefully it introduces you to the world of Ghibli!

Thank you for reading my Dear Diary post! I also read a lot in the last two months and had a small vacation but I will write separate posts about those topics. What tips can you give me about moving to a new home? Also do you have any movie/series recommendations for me?

Photo by Aleksandr Eremin on Unsplash

How many hobbies are too many?

I am the type of person that always wants to try and learn new stuff. This can be very fun in the beginning phase of the hobbies but it can bring negative aspects. I get excited about this new craft or whatever I get to try and browse and read a lot of posts about it. And then I buy necessary supplies and I get totally excited when I unpack them. The learning process makes me feel like a child discovering a new world.

The downsides: frustration and feeling overwhelmed

Because I like trying new things I get bored when I do the same thing for a long time. Frustration by the lack of progress makes me want to stop doing whatever I do, and that is a general problem in my life. ( Now that I think about it this points affect my everlasting weight loss journey.) This is something everyone should learn: Progress takes time and hard work, no matter what you are doing. Without progress, what is the point of anything? That is what my brain thinks most of the time; I am trying to teach myself that the process is what I should enjoy. I shouldn’t focus so much on the progress if the time spent doing the hobby makes me happy. That is what matters most.

When I have too much to do, I quickly get overwhelmed and drop everything. I make myself feel bad about it and then totally give up. This happened with blogging too, which is basically a hobby that I have since high school. I had breaks from blogging that lasted for months and breaks that lasted for years. I feel proud when I manage to finish an article and unnecessarily focus too much on the blog views.

The solution: circle and integrate!

To not get overwhelmed I think I should rotate hobbies that can be rotated, and those that need everyday attention (like journaling, working out) I should integrate into my routine and discipline myself to do them. By rotating I get to do diverse things like cross stitching, reading, playing games, hiking and not get bored of the repetitiveness. By introducing what I consider hobbies in my daily routine I transform the into habits that make my life better!

Photo by Brianna Santellan on Unsplash

The corona scare

On Sunday my boyfriend was complaining about muscle aches in his legs after playing some Overcooked 2 together. I didn’t think much about it and attributed it to sitting around all day and not moving much. So we decided to go on an evening walk for half an hour at a speedy pace. The air was cool and he complained about being a bit cold. When we got home he kept getting chills and I was thinking he maybe has fever and measured it. And yes, there it was, a fever of 38.6° C. These were the symptoms he had: muscle aches, fatigue, chills and fever.

The first thing we think of: maybe it’s corona. At this point we were anxious and agitated because we had a lot of social contact in the last 2 weeks and also came in contact with one person over 60. I brought a notebook and we wrote down everyone we came in contact with for the last two weeks. Over 20 people. Since when did we become so social, especially in this pandemic time? We contacted everyone to stay at home until we get tested and have a result. Luckily a lot of the people we came in contact with can do home office but I felt pretty bad about the ones that can’t and have to stay home. People were getting agitated but were very understanding and after all we couldn’t do anything about the situation. Except maybe learn something from it.

Monday morning comes. The fever went down to 37ish. We call the corona virus hotline and my boyfriend gets registered in the system. They say we will get a call from the goverment people. After 1-2 hours a government lady calls and checks out our address, saying that someone from the Red Cross will call for an appointment. The Red Cross person calls after another 1-2 hours and my bf gets an appointment: Tuesday at 9:05 at a drive-in testing. There were a lot of calls and I must say I am impressed that things went as fast as they did. Because we were running out of groceries and we didn’t want to go out as we were quarantined I decided to try out the grocery delivery from Billa. I really like how easy it is to find stuff, put it in your cart and just order. This day I felt quite depressed and anxious so I spent the day reading.

Tuesday morning is the time for the test. You get a stick in your throat from a person in a hazmat suit and are sent on your way. ( says my boyfriend ). My Billa order came in the evening and I was pleasantly surprised how fresh everything looked and my order was perfect, nothing was missing. What I didn’t like was the amount of paper bags I got with the order. A bunch of them. I spent the rest of the day working on my thesis and cross stitching.

Today is Wednesday. We already got the test result and we are happily negative! Everyone made silly jokes how some stuff are best when they stay negative, like a corona test or a pregnancy test. *eyeroll* We learned a lot from this experience. We are gonna have less social contact in the future and wear masks everywhere. I really don’t want to have such a scare in the near future. I don’t want to put anyone in danger either so it’s best to stay safe!

Wear a Face Mask to Protect Each Other | Duke Health

Why is hiking in Austria so awesome

I was never a fan of hiking because I was not a fan of sports or just making effort. Also not having a car cut my possibility to go hiking. Ever since I got together with my boyfriend all those things changed: I suddenly wanted to move more and he has a car. He is the one that proposed going to hike first and I was totally worried about it. My condition is not the best and I thought only super fit people go to hike. But slowly I learned that hiking is all about pushing yourself more and more to get to that peak and see that beautiful view. Go as slowly or as quickly as you want, your own pace. Enjoy the grinding by calculating where you put your foot down one step at a time. Smell that fresh air and destroy that snack you brought with you for more energy. Feel the nature around you and the sounds it makes. Hiking is sports and at the same time, time for your thoughts.

after Stillsteinklamm

Now that I wrote down my love for hiking I will tell you why is it so awesome in Austria:

  1. It’s very safe and easy to follow. It’s always exciting to follow the yellow signs and search for your goal.You can easily find tours online and it is pretty hard to get lost. The easier hikes have a lot of arrows and signs to direct you and the harder hikes have ropes to use when the climb might be steep. You can choose what difficulty you want as each hike has a specific color that tells you how hard it is.
  2. The paths are well maintained. Because Austrians are so into hiking, they have an organization that takes care of the paths and the yellow signs. The paths are almost always nice to walk and usually a restaurant awaits you at your goal. The restaurants that can be reached by car are extremely popular and most of them have delicious austrian food.
  3. Friendly people. Everyone you pass says hello and smiles at you. Some people are tired and red while others are shining and full of energy, but everyone says hello. Or “Griaß euch”. They are also ready to help you. I stepped the wrong way once and cried out and a person immediately stopped next to me to ask if I am ok. I found that nice and warming.
  4. At the top awaits a book. This is one thing that I find cute. At the peak there is usually a cross and a box protected by rain. In that box you find a book and a pen where you can write the date you are there, names of people you hiked with and a message. Lately people are writing something like “We are here even though corona is wrecking our lives.” If you look through the book you can find all kinds of cute stuff like drawings and meaningful messages.
  5. Amazing scenery and walks through beautiful villages. Everywhere you go hiking the scenery is breathtaking. You don’t even have to go to the highest of peaks to see just how amazing nature can be. You can find walks next to rivers where you can see waterfalls, walks in the mountains to see majestic peaks and mountain lakes. In my opinion the most beautiful hikes are the ones next to lakes!
  6. It makes you want to discover more. You just want to see nature again and again. The feeling of new and adventure is irreplaceable.

If you have the time when you are in Austria, go for a hike. It’s an awesome experience.

Literature corner: Goodreads and Malazan Book of the Fallen

In high school I had a project for my Romanian class to read a book and write a summary for it. The book I chose by random was “Quo Vadis” by Henryk Sienkiewicz and I loved it so much that it woke up my passion for reading. I read a lot in my high school years because the library was very cheap and next to my school. But when I moved to Austria I didn’t really have access to books anymore so I stopped reading. Luckily I re-found this passion of mine by deciding to read The Witcher books. I didn’t manage to read all of them yet because I don’t think they are so amazing, but that’s another story.

So, now I read more than before. Which is something I am proud of actually. I use Goodreads and Reddit to discover new books and to read about others opinions. I tried to join some book clubs but somehow I cannot make myself read at the pace a book club reads. I either read too fast or too slow or I am not interested in the books they are reading this month. I have my own reading list and I read whatever I feel like and whenever I feel like.

I bought a Kindle for reading because I felt books might be a waste of trees since I read it once and then I put it on my shelf and that is the life of a book. Pretty sad if you think about it. And then after 20 years you clean your library and books end up being given away or in the trash. I will just read the electronic version and there is no waste there, except for the Kindle.

Scene from “Gardens of the moon”

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Through my boyfriend I discovered Steven Erikson and the Malazan book series. Until now I read the first three books and I think this is an exceptionally good fantasy series. The first book scared me a bit in the beginning because I didn’t understand much and the English was quite advanced for me. I learned new words and was confused many many times. After you get used to this style of writing you will get into this story, trust me. As always I am reluctant to leave a review because such good things should not be spoiled! If you want to read a good high fantasy series then just jump into it. You get sorcery, assassins, complicated story lines, people of all colours, all kind of beings and beasts, love stories and much more. Because of the way Erikson builds its world there is a lot of mystery going on and you realize a lot of the story points only after a while. The book gives you this “Wow” or “Holy moly” effect so many times and it never gets old. There are many characters in this book so be ready to have to remember many names, but you get used to that too. I cannot recommend it enough!

I finished the third book some weeks ago. That particular day I had approximately 200 pages left of this massive book and sat on my couch thinking I will probably read like.. 50? But no, I spent a few hours reading all of it and bawling my eyes out so many times. I just couldn’t put it down even though I had stuff to do and my boyfriend was judging me hard. That is just how good it was. It is safe to say that until now the third book is the one I liked the most. That is one reason I am afraid of the fourth one, because my expectation are quite high. But I trust Mr. Erikson that he will give me yet another great story with great characters. The only “downside” of the books is that they are many and long. And sometimes the scenes are long and a bit boring.

I read a lot more lately and I will probably write a post about all the books I have read! But Malazan has a special place in my heart now so I wanted to write about first! Thank you for reading ~

Life is back to normal, almost

Here in Austria the lockdown measures have been loosened since two, three weeks ago because the coronavirus cases have fallen down by a lot. We currently have 454 cases with 12 active in the city I live. Everything is open and the only thing that is missing are the big events like concerts or festivals. I actually went to the gym last week and out in the city once but I am still reluctant to be honest. I am anxious of a second wave coming because no one is wearing a mask anymore and people look at you weirdly if you decide to wear one. In Europe the situation is really good so people kind of forgot about the virus and are living a normal life and planing for holidays. But for me, the fear is still there in the back of my head somehow. Looking at the news the situation is not looking good in the rest of the world. I mean I remember looking at the active cases count and I was astonished to see one million people being infected. And now we are approaching ten million and barely batting an eye. We don’t really care about it anymore, we have moved on the next thing. Life goes on after all.

No holiday in another country

Because I am very busy this summer because of my thesis and in September because of other reasons ( that I will probably post about ) I decided to cancel our holiday in Italy. We were supposed to go to Jesolo with my parents but I don’t want to risk exposing ourselves. So we are staying in Austria and having some weekend holidays in this beautiful country. In July we are staying at Attersee and I am thinking to also make a small hiking holiday for the two of us.

The Positives

I almost changed this headline because I felt like positive is such a bad word now. But, the positive is that in my family and immediate friends, no one had coronavirus and I am glad we are so lucky. In quarantine I learned a lot from myself and what I want in life, I found new hobbies, cooked a lot and just enjoyed a lot of free time. The highlight of my quarantine was when birds finally starting using the house that I put on the window. I was as fascinated as my cat and probably happier and more excited. Another one was when I got a CD that contained the only video of me when I was small. I had no access to that video because we only had it on a VHS and my boyfriends dad digitalized it for me. For the first time in eight years I heard my grandfathers voice. That CD made me so happy that I cried that day.

The birdie that visited us

I was not working most of the time but I also had no motivation to write on the blog. I just felt there is nothing interesting going on in my life right now and had my phases of depression. They passed as always and now I am enjoying life! 🙂

A special thanks to…

Stardew Valley. Yes, the farm game. It is so great, fun, didn’t get boring at all. I played it a lot in quarantine with or without my boyfriend. It is definitely my favorite game of all time and I will always recommend it. Here’s a picture of me playing it:

The blog break…

Always when I have a blog, I have break after 2 months of writing and I start writing less and less. It’s always like this when I get a bit busy with social events, they just replace my blogging time. I also stopped writing at work because I had more to do and in my free time I have been reading a lot! I have no inspiration to write about anything and I also don’t force myself to write something just for the sake of writing. But I accept that life has ups and downs and my blog also has that!

A lot happened last month ( in February ) and I really enjoyed it. I attended some birthday parties including one at my own home. And for this reason I baked quite a lot and tried three new cakes: a cheesecake, a poppy cake with raspberry and cream cheese and a carrot cake. I had a lot of problems with gelatine and decided not to use it ever again. The consistency is just weird and it’s hard to use. But I was super proud of my baking skills and people complimented my cakes. That made me super happy.

For Valentines day we treated ourselves to a very fancy dinner. To be honest even though the food was extremely delicious, the amount of it was too much so I felt very uncomfortable after dinner. I will never understand why would someone want to eat 5 meals at a restaurant, which is just too much food for one person. And on top of that you pay so much, with that money I could buy groceries for a week. So this dinner made me decide to just avoid these kind of exaggerated dates and choose something more comfortable for my body. After that we went to play some kind of curling, which was a lot of fun!

I have been also feeling anxious this month because of the Coronavirus. These kind of viruses just show me how unprepared the world is for such a disaster. And even though it’s not as bad as the Spanish flu until now, we still don’t know what this virus does to the body. It really bothers me when I talk about it with people how they say “it only kills old people” because my parents are in their 50s and that makes me worry about them. Maybe if I catch it, it will be only a bad flu for me, but for my parents and other older people that I hold dear it can be much worse. I have been washing my hands more often now and tried to stay indoors as much as I could. But this started an episode of depression in me and made me feel closed in myself. So, I went out this weekend and met some friends and am still going to the gym ( at a time when there are not so many people ). I am now glad that I live in Austria because the health system here is really good and I trust the health care workers here. I am reading the news everyday and I am considering to do home office soon. There are now 4 people reported to have the virus in my city so I will make sure to be careful. Please stay healthy everyone, I hope we get through this.

I’ll end this blog with a song I have been obsessed last month ( Aluna George – Superior emotion ) and a promise that I will try my best to write more often!

The Count of Monte Cristo – small review

I finally managed to finish The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas! I am so happy that I pushed through it because it was a great experience to read it. It is probably one of the longest books that I read. I found it back in December on the Gutenberg page and I started to read it because it’s a very known classic. The version that I read had amazingly pretty and accurate pictures by Pierre-Gustave Staal that made the reading experience richer. So I really recommend this version!

Edmond Dantes, the sailor

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

The great adventure of Edmond Dantes made me cry so many times! How he lost everything, even though he did not have much in the beginning because some people didn’t find another way to make their lives better. How he suffered in prison but finally made a friend there that taught him everything. How he managed to escape the hell he was in and how over the years he transformed into a magnificent person. Most people know his story through this book and through countless adaptations. I learned a lot about what greed means through this book and how some people do harm to others for their own good. It made me wonder why some people are selfish while other are kind and good. But to be honest the end left me somehow empty, I felt that all that action was not worth it and too many people got caught in his revenge. And some of this people didn’t deserve the misfortune that fell on them. But I think the count also realized how wrong his revenge was and felt guilty by the end. I was very happy for Maximilian and Valentine, they are the two truly good people and deserve the best.

The book also taught me how to appreciate the things I have and be grateful for the things that come to me. Here are two of my favourite quotes from the book:

Dear Diary, January is over.

As you know from my post from a week ago, I started this month by visiting my parents in Romania and attending a wedding party. We arrived in Austria on the 13th of January and we have been going to work again, sadly. I really enjoyed having 3 weeks off work.

That first week at home was pretty full with events. I attended a board game night organized by IAESTE, which was entertaining and full with free food and drinks. I also went bowling for the first time with my company and guess what: I suck at it. It was still very enjoyable and I will go bowling again next week. Let’s hope that this time I am not last. That week I also had an appointment with a professor about a new Bachelor Thesis theme and I look forward to work on that! We had another board game day on Sunday where we solved an Exit puzzle and so the week was over.

The fourth week of January was a pretty chill one. I studied and went to the gym like a good girl. My highlight of the week was probably eating Korean barbecue. It was something totally new and I really liked it. I love the idea of eating wraps made of salad so I will try to do that more often. I also tried Makgeolli, that is Korean rice wine. It was… okay, but it gave me a bit of stomach ache. I will stick to my white wine in the future. And I spent my weekend learning!

This last week I attended two exams so I didn’t have time for much else Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday we went to watch a movie at the cinema (Knives Out) and had dinner at a pretty fancy restaurant called Pianino. On Thursday we went to see an apartment and on Friday I met with a good friend and drank some amazing tea.

This month I watched a lot of movies and as always some of them were good and some of them were meh. In Romania I watched some movies from The Conjuring universe with my dad. The Conjuring I & II were really good horror movies with interesting plot. Then we watched The Nun, which was so boring and cliche that I stopped watching horror movies. It’s like they had a book called Horror Movies For Dummies and used it to make that movie. At some point we were just laughing at how ridiculous the jump scares were.

After coming to Austria we watched Logan Lucky with a friend. It was a bit hard to understand without English subtitles because of their thick accent but the movie was really fun. I also watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark because I felt the need to watch an adventure movie. And that need was fulfilled as the movie was exciting and also, Harrison Ford was a handsome lad. Then on our date night we watched Knives Out. In my opinion this movies deserves its high rating. I wasn’t bored one second of the movie. This is probably one of the best murder mysteries I have seen.

The last thing I want to write about and also recommend to everyone is the Vogue interview with Emma Watson and Paris Lees. To be honest this is one of the realest interviews I have seen, and Emma Watson talks about a lot of thought provoking subjects. Interviews are usually focused on the thing the artist promotes but this one is just about how they see the world and the current struggles they have. I have newfound admiration for them and they inspire me to become a better person.

Thank you for reading, I hope you had a great January!

Fear of failure

This is most often the reason I don’t achieve the goals that I set for myself. I am afraid that all my effort will be in vain, so to spare some disappointment I will just not do it. I am afraid that people will laugh at me if I do something and I fail. I am afraid to disappoint dear people with my failures. I am afraid that my failure will limit my future opportunities. Maybe this fear is incredibly irrational but it’s there lingering. Always in the back of my mind, especially when I speak German.

It is this fear that keeps me from going to exams at university. Because I cannot fail an exam I didn’t even go to. If I don’t feel 90% sure that I will pass that exam then I usually don’t go. The other side is that most of the time I don’t work hard enough to study for that exam. So I enter this vicious circle where I don’t learn because I am afraid and then I don’t attend exams because I didn’t learn. I have been working on this by just making myself go to exams no matter how much I studied for it. I catch myself often times being extremely anxious about it and I try to reason with myself why it’s not necessary to go. It’s very fascinating how my fear makes me find reasons not to go. But… I just did it. I went to two exams this week: for one I learned quite a lot and for the other one only sparingly. I have another exam in one week and I will study hard for it, as it is my last exam for the winter semester. And if I fail, I fail. I will go to the retry exam and pass that one!

This fear brings other big problems in my life. One of them is being afraid to speak German sometimes because I don’t want to make mistakes and make people think I am not able to properly speak. And I gotta say, it is very easy to make mistakes in German. I am getting better at speaking it since I accepted that it’s okay to make mistakes. I try to improve myself everyday by reading news and books in German.

For a long time this fear and anxiety has crippled me and my progress but slowly it’s getting better as I am striving to overcome it. I learn more about it everyday and I am starting to like the JUST DO IT slogan. It just fits in my situation and when I am reluctant to do something my mind goes to that video. Thank you people for making that video and Shia being a crazy enough dude to do it that way.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash