From all my notebooks

Sometimes when I am in rush (or drunk and not able to type) I tend to record voice messages to myself not to forget some important stories, facts, post ideas… And here I am, with tones of them on my phone, some notes in the calendar and in some apps on my phone… Time to write it down.

India can be compared to its most popular mix of spices – masala. Just because it is so desorganized and chaotic. But I can be called masala too with all my dreams, fears, anxieties, ideas and thoughts.

The only famous Polish person known by one British girl I’ve met in the hostel in Delhi was her housekeeper Magda.

Limbic resonance is the idea that the capacity for sharing deep emotional states arises from the limbic system of the brain. These states include the dopamine circuit-promoted feelings of empathic harmony, and the norepinephrine circuit-originated emotional states of fear, anxiety and anger. The concept was advanced in the book A General Theory of Love (2000), and is one of three interrelated concepts central to the book’s premise: that our brain chemistry and nervous systems are measurably affected by those closest to us (limbic resonance); that our systems synchronize with one another in a way that has profound implications for personality and lifelong emotional health (limbic regulation); and that these set patterns can be modified through therapeutic practice (limbic revision).

You cannot stay close to people with whom you feel small, paralyzed, weak and bad and constantly suppose that the other person is angry at you. True story.

Z: Well, try looking to the mirror and telling yourself that you are a great person every day.
T: I do it, especially after workout, which is quite obvious. I think I look different after excercise but obviously I don’t! Maybe after several weeks but not after one session.
Z: You mean like placebo? Like seeing what you want to see and kinda deceiving yourself?
T: Self-deceiving always works!

Travelicious.

I miss Per. And Sven.

There are many lovely Polish expressions: fikuśny, klamoty, uciecha, zgrywus, urwis, dobre sobie, wystrychnąć na dudka, kuku na muniu, klawo, sprawunki, rubaszny, zafrapowany, perswaduję w twoje ręce, winszuję poznania, tak wszyscy lotota i lotota obyśta dobrze wylądowali.

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I still remember the Idle brewery in Jonkoping… And the lovely tattooed waitress… And that I wanted to start business with them: my drink – Cosmopolishtown – would be viral! Frozen raspberries, tonic and vodka.

Great ideas for my Bachelor thesis (why I already have such an ordinary topic?!): proportions of male muscles and other organs of a body, finding a therapy for spinal muscular atrophy type 1.

The old women use all those cream to be as expressive as the young ones, while the young ones want to be like the old ones (not me). Old women put the anti-wrinkles cream, young ones strong make-up. And the devices to maintain your body in good shape…

All the teenage mothers look old pretty soon. Like a stale loaf of bread with honey.

Zawsze uśmiechnięta buzia? To Zuzia, uroczy łobuziak.

Całe życie na przypale: albo grubo albo wcale.

Przebierać jak w ulęgołkach.

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(c) Bence Fejes

I would prefer to be raised in a gay family, as an adopted child, or only with one parent than being raised between two people hating each other for 22 years of my life.

After one year since I had seen Ilario, which was Easter 2016, I was from 21 to almost 22 I feel less naive, slightly more mature, far more knowledgeable when it comes to school, a little more physically mature.

When I will be an adult and have money, I would like to open an agency looking for apartments and roommates for open-relationship, LGBT couples – open men and women willing to share a flat on free rules. 4 people for an apartment is a start.

September 2018 – Toscany Crazy-Amazing Wine Festival

The main reasons while I split up with my two serious boyfriends (not with the short-limited-term ones – two) is that they prefered to talk honestly by the text messages than face-to-face, which was impossible because – although I am a Millenial, Generation Y – my soul is in the nineties.

I honestly don’t know why I even went to the Vatican museum.

I would like to be the same age – 21 – with the same outside conditions, experience and life, but I would like to be 35 years and make it happen when Ilario was still 26.

I won’t reveal my current sex-bucket-list. Neither the one of things to do in Manipal.

I need to buy some more souvenirs from India.

So many things to Google. But… Do cows have memory?

I have started far too many tv series.

I have to finally push learning my German again!!! Ghrrr.

MY TRAVEL PLANS ARE EXTENDING EVERY DAY.

I am affraid of my life after coming back from India.

I do not need much software on my MacBook. That’s convenient, but I need to return it for service when I get back. IT’S F**KED UP.

I could study some humanistic major or courses, or start a different career even now. But why?

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(c) Bence Fejes

 

These sunny afternoons

Yesterday, as the weather was unusually good during the day, we decided to finish work earlier and go for a little tour.

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It was my dream since some time to try driving scooter in Indian traffic and on the left side of the road… Well, it was challenging.

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My, Eliza, Kim, Philip, Selim and Aakash rented 4 scooters (I was the only girl brave enough to drive alone!) and went for a very nice afternoon trip to the nearby spots.

Guys managed to teach me how to start and drive scooter in 5 minutes and we were immediately on the road. Luckily the Indian friends of Eliza spotted us from the car and decided to join, opening our convoy with a car.

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Well, first half an hour was quite creepy. After driving just a bit and hardly getting used to the new machine and opposite, left-side rules we accidentally drove to the city center of Udupi (quite a big city) in the high-traffic hours, in the middle of traffic jam and street demonstration… I though I will day of the heart attack. It wasn’t that bad though. On the highway I even drove 70 km/h, but I still feel better alone on the bike than with a passenger or as a passenger…

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First we headed to beautiful Delta Point opening the sea to one of the neighbouring rivers of Karnataka. It was so lovely! And so magical to see that people still live there like centuries ago! We also drunk delicious, low-alcohol home-made alcohol of the coconut palm tree… It was sooooo good!

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Next we headed to Kemmannu – impressive hanging bridge, dedicated to the guy who decided to jump from it and suicide just to be famous for something… Anyway, we made a great photo session and went for dinner.

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We visited a quaint restaurant with a roof made of banana leafs, serving the best and freshest seafood I have ever eaten! Deep fried prawns, herbal clamps, king fish steaks… It was amazing!

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Unfortunately we needed to drive back in the darkness, and the rain caught us in the middle of the way… It was like a shower.

I loved this afternoon! And I am planning to repeat it tomorrow, if the weather allows, as some other people also wanna see those spots and also go to the Kapu beach…

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Where I felt the need to become a Hindu?

Being in India has huge influence for me – both negative and positive.

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Negative – because I become an agressive fighter and a mean b**ch, I am not myself sometimes. I have to act like a white european princess sometimes to get what I need.

Positive? Yoga, people… But I finally found a path. I was sometimes jealous about the religious people that at the point when nothing works and they have no influence on drama happening around, they still have some belief that it will be alright and there is some force or god taking care of them. As well as rules to follow in life, as most of the times I am just a mess when taking my steps and decisions.

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Yes, India has an impact on me. I talked to so many Hindu! Friends, their parents, professors, yoga gurus, random people in the bus… And I’m still far away but I get to know more and more every day.

I have also visited many temples, felt this spiritual strength and some deeper power. It is like peace flowing down on me. All the smells, sounds, dimmed lights… It just makes it feel so good!

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The biggest step on my way to take this decision was visiting the Akshardham temple in Delhi.

As it is my blog, I can freely quote Wikipedia on some more theoretical information.

Akshardham (from the words Akshar meaning indestructible, and Dham meaning abode or home) is believed to be the divine abode of Swaminarayan by his followers. The followers of Swaminarayan believe that the jiva or soul goes to Akshardham after salvation to attain moksha.

Akshardham in actuality is a reference to a metaphysical form known as Gunatit (Like Brahman), this state or form is of euphoria whereby the followers of the Swaminarayan Sampraday reach what is known as Moksha and receive infinite peace, and happiness in this very life (Chatideh Akshardham nu sukh).

Akshardham is the immortal abode of God or the abode of Swaminarayan. This is a common term used in the Swaminarayan Hindu philosophy.

Swaminarayan (IAST: Svāmīnārāyaṇa, 3 April 1781 – 1 June 1830), also known as Sahajanand Swami, was a yogi, and an ascetic whose life and teachings brought a revival of central Hindu practices of dharma, ahimsaand brahmacharya. He is believed by followers as a manifestation of God.

Akshardham was the most beautiful and impressive temple I have seen so far. Built barely in 2005, it is like spiritual Disneyland!

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Amazing temple, museum with live robot shows scenes from Swaminarayan’s life, exhibition of important events in Indian history and science presented on the platforms which you observe from the boat on artificial river… Food court, souvenir shop, and amazing light & music show on the fountain!

Unfortunately we were not able to take any pictures there, but it gave us the whole afternoon unplugged, with no Facebook or WhatsApp, which was also enriching.

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Murudeshwar, Mangalore, Mysore 25-27/8

As you may have noticed, there were not posts for the last couple of days, which is unusual for me. No, I didn’t get bored. It was such a busy weekend!

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Friday was a vacation too thanks to Ganesh Chaturthi – something comparable to our Christmas. Ganesh is a son of God, it was his birthday, there was a reason to party for 3 days straight. It was literally processions, loud music, fireworks and party-buses followed by loads of people. And I think that Ganesha is happy about how I celebrated his birthday too!

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3 free days = 3 different trips with 3 different teams. And 3 Ms.

On Friday, together with Alan, Olek, Salma and Victor I went by bus to Murudeshwar – a little town north from Udupi, in which you can see a huge monument of Lord Siva (comparable to Jesus from Polish Świebodzin xD), a couple of temples and a beach. We went there by bus just after the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration with IAESTE in the morning, to which I was late because of partying the day before. Yes, I didn’t sleep in my own bed since last Thursday – or because of partying too hard or being too lazy to come back late at night.

Anyway – Murdeshwar – very nice one day trip, chilling and spectacular. Apart from catching the bus back in the middle of the high way and not really knowing if this bus exists…

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Saturday was a day of another M – this time: Mangalore. The biggest city in this area, the main airport to which we all usually fly. Me, Ola Kompi, Olek and Alan (as I was trying to spend as much time with him as I could before he leaves) went there typically for shopping. I bought lots of great clothes, in cheap prices and of pretty good quality. Trousers, yoga pants, dress, shorts, kurta, underwear and all that below 50 EUR…

We also had a very fancy lunch in the no.1 sea food restaurant in Mangalore. With the picturesque view all over the city we shared a crab (which was brought to us alive before serving which was pushing my vegetarian borders…), getting dirty up till our elbows and laughing a lot. I also had great deep-fried prawns, while guys had some other kinds of fish and prawns. We also ended up eating McFlurry ice cream in one of not many McDonald’s in India.

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We came back in a very crowded and belated bus, I just ran to Valley Flats to take a shower and re-pack by bag (as I left there most of my things the night before) and was in the bus again xD

On Saturday to Sunday night we went with the sleeper bus to the quaint city (size of Lodz) called Mysore, deeper east in continental India. We were welcome at 6AM with huge rain and surprisingly chilly weather. Luckily Fredrik was able to save me with his spare jacket.

I knew since the beginning that traveling with Kompi, Anshisa and Patryk will be a great experience, but additional companionship from Fredrik, Souski, Gosia and Marta was a nice surprise! And 8 people was just a perfect number to rent a taxi which was driving us around the city for the whole  day.

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We have REALLY seen a lot during this 17 hours in the city! Temples, a church (it was so funny to hear the mess in English!), Sand Sculptures museum, artificial lake with bird watching spot and water-bikes, big cow-monument-temple, dam and surrounding it park and a MYSORE PALACE, which was just amazing. So beautiful, with awesome interior design and surprisingly world-class paintings. Afterwards we headed to the biggest market I have ever seen (ok, maybe Morocco was bigger) and have done proportionally big shopping. I have bought so much jewelry, perfumes and some little treasures that I start getting worried how I will take it all back to Poland (through Thailand, Maldives and Turkey…).

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We finished the day in a very European hotel restaurant, sipping beer, talking about the following days and just chilling. After a quick mistake of going to the wrong bus stand, we were back in our bus on the way to Manipal.

Huge advantage of India is that after coming back I will probably still be able to fall asleep in every conditions – rain, fan, wind, other people, Patryk kicking me, bus jumping on the bumps, cockroaches stepping around… Easy stuff.

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And today I am unfortunately back to work and soon going to say ‘bye’ (or rather ‘see you soon’) to Alan… That is not a good beginning of the week.

Humans of Manipal vol. 4

I have written about a couple of times before – the price I pay for the life I live. In every school, every country I live in, every holiday or student exchange I meet people and People. The first group comes and goes, not leaving much input in my life. But the second group are THE People. And the price I pay for my life is that I don’t feel at home anywhere anymore, as all my friends are in all the different places in the world, leaving amazing memories and hopes for seeing them again in the future in my head.

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(c) Bence Fejes

I cannot believe how fast the time flies, especially here in India… Most of us just arrived, some of us are already back in Europe (or in other western places). My beloved friend Nishtha has just arrived back in Belgium and I almost cry when I realize she will not come to my room in the evenings, tup-tuping with her little feet, seating down under the Jetairways blanket and taaaaalking to me and Eliza for hours. And now she is gone, back home, the same as Carl and Hakon – the only people here who are whiter than me (Scandinavians).

Alan will leave me here on Monday, Eliza and Stella on the first days of September. I don’t wanna call it depression because this feeling is far from these pitch black times, but the rest of India – unless something happens – will be the time of quite sadness for me. And I cannot imagine Brasilian Cintia, who is staying here until middle December! When you see all your friends leaving, you don’t wanna make new friends anymore.

Soon there will be no Humans of Manipal anymore. But I still wanna interview a couple of people (Hriday about history, Manas about hinduism, Pradeepa about sex and Kamasutra). Let’s hope I will survive.

Step 1: Self-fan fiction

The first step to creative writing is of course – to try. That is why I was intensively thinking about where to start. And I decided to pick a topic which I know the best. What is it? Myself. Yes, it’s me, Zuza. If this makes any sence, me and my relations with people are the only things I know in my life for sure. And not always.

What if? Everyone asks themselves this question. Girls in Sex and the City, Jon in Winterfell, Harry in front of Chamber of Secrets, Hannah Baker for 13 times, those awesome man Breaking Bad… Got it? Everyone thinks ‘What if?’.

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

What if I had to pick my friends from the fictional characters of books, movies, series I consume in huge amounts? That’s my list.

  1. Riley from Sense8
  2. Denerys from Game of Thrones
  3. Carrie and Samantha from Sex and the City
  4. The Little Prince
  5. Raskolnikow from Crime and Punishment
  6.  Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars
  7. Michael Scofield from Prison Break
  8. Merry Poppins
  9. Hercule Poirot & Sherlock Homes together
  10. Forrest Gump
  11. Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy
  12. Carrie from Homeland

I am a psycho? We will see. 12 topics, 12 stories, 12 months of a year. Always on the 3rd day of a month.

About my vegetarianism

I am a vegetarian and it is one of not many things I really like about India – there is so much veg choice in the restaurants! All the products in the grocery shops are marked, restaurants are even marked veg/non-veg outside and have clear sections in the menu. It was the same in Sweden, adding gluten-free, vegan and nut allergy products.

Well, you cannot be accepted as a vegetarian in Poland. All our cuisine is based on fat meat – pork, beef, chickens, unidentified mixture of all above… Soups are made on the bone broth, gelatine is added to yoghurt. As a vegetarian in Poland, I tend to suspect traps everywhere.

As I still live at home it is important to mention: no, my parents are not vegetarian, neither were any of my boyfriends (apart from Muslim = pork-free one). My both parents are fine with my diet – mom does not eat much meat anyway, dad manages to cook vegetarian and add meat to them for himself and grandma.

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(c) Bence Fejes

Initially I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian (consuming milk products and eggs) for 3 years – 13 until 16, out of strong concern about animals and not being willing to contribute to the meat/leather business treating them in a terrible way and over-using them. It is not really about killing an animal itself, it is more the conditions in which they have to live and be transported before being brutally killed. At least that is my opinion.

When I was 16 till 21, I still did not any meat but introduced to my diet fish and seafood. I do not really know why, it was just a feeling that I need some more protein and ‘good’, fish fat in my diet.

Throughout all this period I kept checking my blood results. I’ve never got into anemia, sometimes I just had too low levels of ferrum and magnesium (probably too much coffee). My mother is a doctor, she reads a lot about healthy diet, so I was not concerned about my health. Yes, I am overweight, but it is more the result of my gens and a few years of using contraceptive pills, which I am definitely done with (hormonal changes just make my mental problems worse). I promised myself that I will never fight with myself – I just did not like meat so I didn’t feel the need to eat it. I always knew that the moment will come, though. I thought that I will have those whims and fantasies when I get pregnant or something… But I was just in Italy 😀

When I was in Rome for the first time in April last year, I was in rush and ordered an artichoke sandwich, which – after looking closer – turned out to contain turkey. I was too hungry and too late to complain so I just ate it with a slight disgust. But I didn’t stop there! Being in Italy I wanted to try all the Bolognese, lasagna, ham, bacon, chicken and all the lovely traditional food, although I thought this desire will stop when I come back to Poland. Well, it didn’t. I wanted to try so many meat food which all the people were always talking about! Is McDonald’s better than KFC? Which burger restaurant is the best in Lodz? I was looking for all those answers!

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(c) Bence Fejes

I kept eating meat in Germany, in Sweden, and then I came to India. I promised myself not to eat meat there for my own good (as well as not to drink alcohol and not to have sex…) – I was too afraid of its quality, purity, parasites… And I find it pretty popular among all the generations. Maybe half of my Indian friends are vegetarian?

When it comes to eggs, milk and honey – I do not have problem with it. Eggs – I am not and never was against abortion in an early stage, so why I would I think that a bit of protein with yellow, super-healthy mass is a chicken when it isn’t yet? As my secondary school friend Olga once said – ‘cow’s antennas would explode if you don’t milk her’, and it is also bees principal business to produce honey. They are not slaves (as I am in my lab xD). I also buy leather shoes sometimes (not belts or bags), as they are just more ecological due to their better quality – if I do not have to throw shoes away every winter and buy new ones, I am better to our planet.

Fun fact I heard accidentally from my yoga teacher this morning: we started gossiping like every morning when I do my warm-up and she said some dirty sexual joke. I started to laugh and she was like ‘I know it is just morning, but I can already talk non-veg!’. And for us, Europeans, dirty jokes are ‘spicy’, not ‘non-veg’… Well, everything is masala in India.