Instructions for freedom

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM

From Elizabth Gilbert’s Eat, pray, love

1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.

2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.

3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.

4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out—on the outside and on the inside.

5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.

6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.

7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.

8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.

9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.

10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.

Diary from Prague

I think I just wrote this post for myself. Skipping will not be punished, just check out the pics.

I know, I’ve just been to Poland and normal life for two weeks, but I was already exhausted. My lifestyle is pretty intense recently. Some events last week also did not make it better, that’s why I was super happy to depart to Prague on Thursday evening, just after classes. 

I was thinking about writing some unusual post about a trip to Prague – hidden corners, nice outfits or tattoos I’ve seen, but I had honestly no place in my mind to develop it. I wanted to chill and not think much about anything else than present. Besides that – photos are in this case enough to describe how amazing weekend it was. 

I was just so happy to see Tibby – the guy I was living with last year during my internship in Germany. A perfect chimera of father, brother and best friend, greatest flatmate I’ve ever had, sharing with me love for Netflix and cheese. Not many people can listen that patiently and advice that wisely as he can. Again – I’m so lucky with people!

Chris – my couchsurfing host from Nurnberg joined us for Sunday too, together with his current guest Ellie from Taiwan. That’s the real couchsurfing spirit – 3 generations of hosts and guests traveling together! 

I’ve also met up with Tomas, whom I got to know in Sweden and went for a male trip to Öland. It’s so great to see your friends doing that well with their lives!

When I was leaving Germany, Tibby told me that he has problems with keeping the long-distance friendships, and here we go with my superpowers – we kept talking, after a year we have met in Czech Republic and it was immediately as if I left Germany a week ago. 

Chris is exactly the age of my dad, and his exact opposite too. Nevertheless – having not much in common – we tend to find time at least once a month, take a huge beer (me) and a jar of tea (him) and just catch up with each others’ lives. No one can load me with so much positive energy and feeling that I’m doing what is right just on the phone like he can! 

I am not really sure if it is my talent, virtue or just something which I accidentally have, like blue eyes or small feet. I work like a magnet for valuable people influencing my life in the best possible ways. Or maybe it’s just me and the fact that I can see so much good in everyone, really listen and learn, as well as give them the best from myself?

Prague itself – gorgeous as always.

We had a great weather (3 days straight of sun and almost 20 degrees are unusual in the mid-October), walked a lot having many Czech-beer-stops. I loved the stylish architecture combined with colorful autumn aura.

And the best thing is that I charged my batteries. I’ve talked my problems through, got some distance, could also listen and support. I definitely need other people for the well being. I need and feel needed. And had really quality time with Tibby – especially that I don’t have him by my side every day. No rush, no aspirations to see EVERYTHING, rather walking off the beaten track and trying to avoid the crowds of tourists. 

The life is so great where your biggest problem is to compromise on a restaurant to eat dinner in and picking the best beer from the menu…

I’m not sure if I’m ready to come back to normal life yet, but I need to be, and I feel better than before. I still don’t know what to do about some things, but I know what I’m not gonna do. So as always… Correct way clarifies with the method of elimination. 

On Wednesday routine starts again, but Monday will still be a break and Tuesday will be fun too, thanks to the one-day volunteering job I’m gonna do. 

Sex and The City – my lesson of being a woman

Yes, I tend to watch too many TV series… Especially now, in the era of Netflix, streaming and torrents (nope, I still don’t know how to use the latter ones). Some of them are just time-fillers – I don’t think there is much more to Friends or Weeds than being a background for doing my high school homeworks. Other type of series are the ones, which I started watching cause everyone was already watching them: Breaking Bad, Homeland, House of Cards, Game of Thrones… And the people where right, I really liked all of them.

My forever-number-one is Black Mirror, but I should devote a separate post to this masterpiece. For now – another important series: not really ambitious, not the best quality or screenplay, but the one I probably learnt a lot from. Living in a big city, following your passions, planning an ambitious career, living a high-class lifestyle, being a happy single or a happy person in relationship, staying a good friend… Being yourself!

In the city which moves that fast that they give you a Sunday newspaper on Saturday, how any of us would now how much time we have left? There are so many things I have never done…

That is how my life looks like right now.

Welcome to the age of uninnocence. No one has breakfasts at Tiffany’s and no one has affairs to remember. Instead we have breakfasts at 7AM and the affairs we try to forget.

Well, yeah. Like this too… And I guess it is partially the sickness of our generation. We do not really care about things and bonds, we just run forward, live with constant fear of missing out, want more and more…

The primitive Greeks clung desperately to myths to explain the random hopelessness of their miserable lives. Do modern day singles need modern day myths just to help us get through our random and sometimes miserable relationships?

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I feel the same way about being a bridesmaid as you feel about Botox. Painful and unnecessary.

That is how I feel now about my friends getting engaged (at least 4 people this year, while I was away!), while I am just getting drunk, having random ‘boyfriends’ and living from one travel to another.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.

And I feel it and I love it.

They say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.

Everything is fine until it is not. I experienced it badly before, got over it and than experienced it again. I am still not fine, but I gonna be. Time heals all wounds. It’s okay, baby, only words bleed.

Depths of Internet vol.2

Like some time ago, I would like to share things I found online and find them beautiful, or at least inspiring.

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Coming back from India I was searching for a good (hopefully the best) yoga school in my hometown, where I still leave and study for next half a year. I asked Google, I asked my network on Facebook and found out about a great Hatha-Yoga school ran by Michał Szczepaniak, great Polish yogi with an appropriate training and preparation in India. I am in love with his classes ALMOST as much as with Pradeepa’s.

Anyway, Yogis of Lodz popped up somewhere on my Facebook and I really liked it, I hope they will come back to life again (last post was published in May 2017). Basically – great photos and interesting stories of yogis in my city. I hope I get there one day!

 

  • Żaba – Instagram account

I don’t wanna link this Instagram account, it is too private for my feeling.

To cut long story short – when I used to be a scout (age 10 to 14), I have met many amazing girls, but one of them stuck especially in my memory, that is why I keep following her life until now, although we do not have any contact. She is such a lovely person and creative artist!

M. (Żaba = Froggie for friends) got pregnant in the age of 16 or 17, and decided to have the baby with her still-boyfriend. And now her Instagram posts are just BEAUTIFUL.

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Well, apart from being another marketing tool of the blog, my own Twitter is a place where I publish many quotes and other short sentences which I meet in my every day life – from friends, family, on parties, written on the walls and in the public toilets. Worth scrolling through!

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I’ve met this guy in one of the hostels in India and really liked him, partying for the whole night in hostel common area.

I also laughed at him a lot – Polish people will get it. Having such a Polish surname with a very American name sounds just ridiculous. Well, sounded ridiculous until I met a guy called Michaelangelo here in Lodz… Ah those drunk people you accidentally meet in a pub!

Anyway, Tommy is a traveler. I like other travelers.

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I remember Olcha from the secondary school – she was one year older and very good at Maths. In adult life it turned out that she is also super talented in a very unusual field – papercuts, as well as photography! And she travels a lot, too.

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You know I am a poor student… That is why when I travel I often participate in the attractions which are for free – for example Free Walking Tours organized in many cities, where you can meet other travelers, as well as people who just love their cities so much that they want to show them to you pro bono. That is how I met Peter – traveler, journalist, social activist.

My German is not fluent yet, but I recommend his website for people who can read it properly 😀

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And I fully support the idea of Lviv Buddy movement. I loved Lviv so much! And I loved most of the people there, too.

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One afternoon in Bangkok

It is the first time when I break the promise of confidentiality given to my interlocutor. I told him about the blog, shown him my notes and he said that he doesn’t feel safe nowadays and doesn’t want me to write this post. I feel bad about it, but I knew this guy for 2 hours… and of course I am not gonna reveal anything private, will change many facts to help him remain anonymous, but I just needed to share what he taught me – it was a big lesson about the human nature and culture I woke up in that morning (Thailand).

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(c) Bence Fejes, back in India

Wandering around and waiting for the no.1 restaurant to open I came across the two men – Thai guy around 60yo and his friend of the same age and European origin. After quick chat across the canal they invited me to join them for a beer. Fun fact – after being served a bottle I said ‘Well, you could have better open it in front of me… You know, precautions. Better safe than sorry’ and the guy totally understood me and did not get offended. ‘Just pour some in my glass too!’.

The Thai guy hardly spoke English but was absolutely lovely and simple. We needed to explain him what Biomedical Engineering is by telling about making a plastic (artificial) heart.

He told me that he has been living in Thailand for many years already, has a Thai wife and marriage visa. He makes a living and really enjoys where he is.

People in Europe live following they brains, but you have to learn how to follow your heart! If I was in Europe, I would be a manager of big company, working whole days, playing golf and going to the gym after business meetings, than a drink with a client or colleague and home to sleep. I didn’t want it! After my mother died when I was in my thirties, I decided to go out of depression moving abroad. I chose Asia and it was the best thing I could have done! People here have so little but are so happy! They just follow their hearts!

To cut long story short, the guy learnt Thai in a couple of years and for long time was earning money singing in the bar – as a white man singing Thai he was very competitive attraction. He told me how much he earned in the week and it was much better than the doctors earn in Poland (I always compare peoples’ salaries to my mom’s). I liked his way of living too, maybe that is plan Z (after plan A, B, C…) if I don’t know what to do with my life.

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Beautiful (c) Ola Nowak by (c) Bence Fejes

Marriage visa obliges you to leave the country once in 3 months – it means that you are forced to go for holidays! That sounds great. I just need some Thai person to marry me… maybe one of Lady Boys?

Another fun fact – the guy I talked to also has been to India for some time and he was treated as a god: he was one of the last few white people blessed by Mother Theresa 3 days before she died.

He also pointed out and named the thing I’ve noticed but didn’t acknowledge about gender equality… Supposing that we live in a good, partner relationship and we talk about all the equal rights and duties division at home, we are proud how equal we are in the couple. But still – in Europe, being a woman you can put shorter skirt and bigger neck cut in your T-shirt to get a discount or get something easier than men… That is bullshit.

Another thing is his way of living. For now – as he said – he is faithful to his wife since the beginning. But he does not reject that something can happen in the future…

As long as we are home together on Sundays, it is fine for me to go and play tennis in Saturday, then go to a bar and maybe do something… I am also fine with her going out for Saturday drinks with her girl friends, having fun and maybe… But she is Thai, their mindsets are still different.

And what about this equality?

My dream jobs

Post for the symbolical first day of academic year 2017/2018 (well, I am not in school yet, but that is a different story).

My choice of the career path was quite random. After I graduated from high school at the age of 18, I did not have much idea what to do with my life (and ended up with depression just when the university was about to start… I made it through anyway!). It is not that popular in Poland to take a gap year, go to work or travel… Maybe because we are not such a rich country. Most of my friends went to the university directly after graduating from high school and were exactly as confused as I was.

The only good point about that decision was that I was sure I wanna do some kind of engineering. I could not imagine myself in any humanistic studies! I was considering medicine too, but I decided that I don’t want to spend at least 10 more years in school, start earning with a shitty salary of resident doctor and have to deal with many overwhelming cases. On the other hand – my Mom is a doctor, radiologist to be precise, she works at oncology department of one of major hospitals in my cities. This specialisation is quite comfy – shorter working hours due to the increased level of exposion to X-ray radiation, not much contact with physical patients – just their photos… There is a lot to complain about too, like salary – in public hospitals it is miserable and the doctors need to work extra hours in private clinics to do this decent money they deserve for saving lifes.

So I wanted to do engineering… But what exactly? My Grandfather was an Electrical Engineer, my Dad graduated from Textile Engineering but works more like Mechanical, Electronics or Industrial Engineer. I was thinking of Civil Engineering, but again – did not want to spend many more years after graduation learning for the national tests and passing the crucial certifications.

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

Here I am – in a couple of months graduating from Biomedical Engineering. It seemed interesting, I went for it and after many struggles – I LOVED it. It is exactly the chimera between medicine and engineering! Although I am still more -engineer that bio- (since ALWAYS, my biology classes were never on a decent level). I can see myself working in my field, I find it fascinating and very promising in next decades, although not developing in miserable Poland yet, that’s why I am moving out of the country.

But what if…? What if I was brave enough not to follow my common sense? What if I followed my passions?

Event planning and management. Oh for Christ’s sake, I would love it! I am a natural planner, I like attending events too 😀 I was in a student commitee in high school, co-organized two huge club parties (one more, second less succesful), many internal events, coordinated groups of people. I also like doing planning for others – if I HAVE TO work in a group (I hate it), I am the one responsible for documentation, schedule, details… I am also a party girl, have quite a good taste for music, food and decorations, understand people well. I can’t wait to organize my friends’ bachelor and hen parties (yes, bisexual person can do both! Don’t tell me NO!), help them with weddings and baby showers… I was also an official ‘party manager’ in my last job in Germany, while it was summer and I organized company bbq’s almost every second week. I am born for it.

Translator. As you can see, I am pretty good with languages. Native Polish, almost bilingual with English – currently I speak those two languages on equal level of proficiency, read Polish faster but write English better. I think in both languages, count mostly in Polish. I do not have Polish accent while speaking English, people mostly confuse me with Dutch, German or Scandinavian. My Spanish is quite good. I do not learn it anymore (2 years of classes and 3 months of living there seem to be enough for now), but I enjoy practicing with native speakers when I have a chance to. I already gave up with French, although some time ago wanted to learn it due to love reasons. I understand and can read quite a lot, though. After half a year in Sweden it would be a sin not to learn any Swedish. So I did! I can order a coffe, ask for a time, pick up a guy, be polite in many sitations. Now German is my goal, as I am hopefully moving there next year. Italian is my fantasy, for me it is a language of passion, love, sex, food, art and culture, and I will definitely find some time in my life to learn it properly. Hindi would be useful for the reasons of understanding my new religion fully. Not to mention the fact that I understand quite a lot of Russian, Ukrainian, Czech and Slovak… I love languages and talking to people, I write quite well… I guess I would be a good translator.

Writer. I see myself there too! Only if I had more practice… And more background in any humanistic studies! Maybe English or Roman philology? Psychology? Sociology? International Relations? It all seems so interesting. And seems a good point to start. But that is not a direction I wanna go professionaly into, it is just a hobby and I would be over the moon if I even am able to make any money on it. Thanks to my writing I talk more to other writers, subconsciously interview people while talking to them, make a lot of notes and voice memos, share a lot more on Facebook. I also learn Digital Marketing, some coding, auto-promotion… And now I wanna make my step into creative writing, that is why I joined the Story Is A State Of Mind school & community started by Sarah Selecky. Let’s see where it ends up…

DJ or photographer. I consider myself a creative person. Maybe not particularly talented in any artistical sense, but creative. I talk a lot, I have many good idea, I am curious and like exploring. When I was 14, I used to win many photography competitions and take really good pictures… I didn’t think that it is possible until it happened – it IS possible to lose a talent. Now I have to go into cooperations with other photographers (always genius: Ana Estrada, Bence Fejes, and one is to come soon) to provide good content for a blog.
I like good music too. A lot of Polish alternative, Swedish electronic, some indie… Apart from pop and latin music which I sing for fun, I would like to be skilled and talented enough to make my own music!

Restaurant manager. And finally the thing which all of us love – food. I do not work well enough under pressure to be a chef, but I would love to own a restaurant (small italian place in Rome? Coffeshop with pedigree food in Amsterdam?), manage it, take care of supplies and interior design, do selection of staff and guests… Just a little dream. Why not? I used to have a teacher on my Anatomy & Physiology course, he was (still is) Italian, spoke perfect Polish and apart from teaching at Medical University, owned an Italian restaurant and during his cigarette breaks was giving us recipes for tiramisu. Again – why not?

Dreams are as close as you keep them.

Istanbul 24-29/09 pt.2

On Wednesday I decided to become one of those lazy tourists, not a traveller, and bought a ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus, to be more effective while sightseeing.

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After the breakfast in the bus with Merve on her way to work, and a coffee and my favorite orange juice near Sultanahmet Square together with one of maaany kitties I would like to take home, I boarded the bus and, crossing the city center, went to Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

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I am not a museum person. It sounds bad, but I would rather spend 10 euros on a good dinner than entering the historical or archeological museum (I just hate them), but I am really keen on modern art. I really admire how creative some people are! And I was lucky, cause I also could take part in Istanbul Biennale exhibition, which also made a good impression on me.

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Afterwards I took a long route by the bus – crossing some interesting districts of the city, going through the bridge to the Asian side and a palace. Then I needed to take an Uber, cause the bus did not go to the place where Merve and Sevnur recommended me to go to it – Ortakoy. There is one particular street there, where they sell huge (bigger than your head!) baked potatoes with various feelings. I went for cheese, butter, olives, corn and couscous. It was great! Another typical thing is a huge waffle – with Nutella, fresh strawberries and bananas. I was so full afterwards!

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I walked a bit to burn calories and took a bus again, to check the northern part of the city where many mosques and museums are. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go to Miniaturk – museum of miniature sculptures of famous Turkish buildings, as I was supposed to meet friends back in Sultanahmet (or SultanMehmet, as I kept calling it) Square.

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Esmerjan was my Erasmus student back in Lodz around 2 years ago. He comes from Albania, but studies Marketing in Turkey and speaks many languages. He is also my twin brother – the only person I know who is born on 10/09 like me! Unfortunately he just had one hour for me (business meeting with a girl with nice long legs xD), but we managed to keep up with our lives quite a lot.

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Then I met Kemal – lovely Turkish guy whom I met, like Merve, in Sweden during my Erasmus. We attended quite a few courses together and it was very funny not to see him there. He was one of a few people who – during their stay in Sweden – spent more time abroad than in Sweden, travelling with their fresh Schengen visa.

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Kemal was in tourist guide mode, but unfortunately it was evening already and my legs hurt, so we just went to Grand Bazaar and next sat down in a nice coffee shop on the rooftop, with nargile and panorama view for the whole city. He also took me for dinner, but Turkey is not a place for vegetarians. Hummus with vegetables and roasted eggplant salad (from cold starters page of the menu) were the only non-kebab things.

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Afterwards Merve, who left work super late, joined us and we started pre-partying. It was so great, it almost felt like Sweden again! Especially that we headed for the Erasmus party. Akademien (club in Sweden) – Istanbul edition! We also planned to feel like Erasmus again and decided to pretend to be Russian, Spanish and Portuguese for this night, but no one spoke to us :(.

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Both clubs we have been in had inbuilt auto-selection: they were located in narrow old-school buildings on stone streets. Dance floors were located on 4 floors. If someone was too drunk, they would never make it inside!

Second party turned out to be even more Erasmus, due to the high extend of body fluids exchange between the swingers, but it was fun anyway 😀 Music was great too!

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We were so lucky that Kemal has his car in Istanbul and his stomach does not handle alcohol, as he drove us all the way back home. However we promised each other that the next time we finish the party in his hometown – Antalya, which is the Miami or Hawaii of Turkey.

Next day – surprise surprise – we woke up very late and very dead, but Merve needed to go to school and I needed to be productive.

I visited the Hagia Sofia museum (very impressive, it’s so cool knowing that it was built around 500-600 years A.C.!), Basilica Cistern (lame, just a huge dark basement with water on the floor and weird smell), didn’t succeed to visit Tokapi palace (due to the huge line) and Ataturk palace (as it was closed). I ate a great grilled fish with salad in bread, though! Turkey is not only about kebab.

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In the afternoon I met Merve in the district called Taksim – really modern and hipster place, full of tourists, young people, book markets, coffee shops and lovely architecture. We walked a lot (according to my iPhone I was doing at least 15 km in Istanbul every day!) and entered Galata Tower with a huge crowd and impressive view. It was the first time for Merve too!

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Next she forced me to eat Turkish dessert – super sweet Baklava made of pistachios. I was so afraid that they added some walnuts by mistake, but I kept eating it even the next day in the flight.

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We also drunk a couple of beers and gossiped a lot about how handsome the Turkish waiters are.

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We came back home exhausted. Again I almost slept in the bus! And people were staring at me like in India, as I was sitting on the floor… Well, it is normal in India but not in Europe! By the way – I have no idea what Turkish people do with their lives… No matter what time it is, the buses and trams are FULL. And the solution for that would be to introduce more buses into circulations… But they already come every minute! Good that Lodz is not like this, I would get crazy.

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Merve’s mum gave us a delicious veg dinner and I finally liked Ayran – Turkish yoghurt. I think it was just original, not like a strange waterish substance I tried in Sweden. I still hate Raki – the herbal alcohol, though.

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I slept early as I needed to wake up at 4:30 next morning… My flight to Bucharest and then Warsaw was at 10, but getting from European side of Istanbul to the airport on the Asian side is more complicated than getting from Lodz to Warsaw…

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Luckily my travel went pretty smooth, I just needed to pay 10 USD for 2 additional kilograms in my luggage… If that poor lady knew about my other backpack which I was hiding behind the counter not to pay for it… 😀

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It felt good to be in European Union in Romania! I could call my parents and not worry about the cost, as the roaming in UE is not charged extra since this summer. And I was laughing at Elizka when she called me from Amsterdam on her way back from India, but she was right: people in Europe are tall and white, everything smells nice and the real workers are working on real work! It was nice to be back in safe, developed and comfortable environment (although after India Istanbul was very European too! I wonder what would be my opinion if I came there directly from Europe, not from Asia).

I landed in Warsaw at 14:25 and happily taken ModlinBus back to Lodz!

Yes, it is happening! The graceless kid is coming back to her homeland for the period longer than 2 weeks for the first time in 2017! And of course – directly to attend Latino party!