What to LIKE about autumn

It’s 5pm. Although it’s far too early to sleep, I am lying in bed under 3 blankets, with tea which Dad generously made me, sticking the nasal spray and the pack of tissues to my hand. Yes, I caught a cold again, like the third time this season (the older I get, the worse my immunity is, honestly). Not that I got a shot for influenza barely 2 weeks before… Well, life is life.

But instead of complaining about how much I hate autumn (yes, I do), I wanted to write what do I LIKE about it. Let’s try to be positive, it’s sh**ty enough outside to make it even worse with our grey and bitter faces.

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(c) Bence Fejes – Mumbai is not as cold as autumn, but surely as wet!
  • Pumpkin spice latte – there is no better flavored coffee than that. Although I am a fan of americano or flat white (depending on the time of the day), pumpkin spice is the best when it’s rainy outside and you really admire yourself that you even got out of the house.
  • The trees are pretty – or at least they were a month ago. Every day walking to and from the public transport which takes me to the city centre, I pass Sowińskiego street, which is full of lindens growing along. It looks gorgeous in every season (from fluffy snow to fresh green buds), but it’s all so yellow there in October!
  • Wooly clothes – I personally own much more pieces of clothing I can wear October to March than April to September. All the huge blanket-like scarfs, decent heavy shoes, fluffy sweaters with funny patterns… It all looks as if everyone was a pillow you can hug!
  • Leafs to kick – I just love it. Kicking the leafs can release any kind of emotions – from anger to euphoria. Unless you kick the dog’s surprise… Than it results in anger.
  • Wine – I don’t know what happened to me recently, but I don’t remember the last time I drank a beer. It’s all about wine now! And when you offer me mulled wine with orange, I am all yours. With all the Christmas markets I recently attend, I guess I should get a backpack with thermos and straw to plug it directly to my mouth. I love mulled wine.
  • Netflix – during the summer it feels pathetic to spend time in front of your laptop and ANOTHER series or a movie. In autumn? I do not feel like social outcast staying at home.
  • Last but not least: one extra hour of your life – yes, I know we lose it back in the spring, but for the time being – I love the feeling of getting one more hour to do stuff. I am so busy that my day should last at least 30 hours and I still would fill it up, but this one hour is precious.

From the top of my head

  • Great friendship is when you let your mate soak his biscuit in your tea. But the modern trust is when you share with each other the passocodes to your phones. Appreciation is expressed with ‘likes’ or even ‘reactions’ on Facebook. There are algorithms and TV shows to find you a perfect partner or even a father for your baby. Welcome to the 21st century.
  • Together with December many Xmass gifts ideas pop up on the internet. I am the faithfull fan of jumpers. Many of my uni mates wore Christmas sweaters on the 6th of December – lots of snowmans, raindeers and Santas around! My personal favorite is the jumper dedicated for two people – double space for the body, sleeves as usual (well, you lose the utility of one hand then, unless you want to scratch your friends back underneath). I also loved the one with a pocket dedicated for the bottle of wine. Really my type of thing. Or the wineglass you screw directly into the bottle? Not bad, not bad. I am easy to bestow this year.
  • I’m gonna spend this Christmas with Eiffel tower and I am really happy about it. I’ve never been to Paris, I need some time alone. I tend to overthink even when I am not alone, but I feel like some days just with myself will make some stuff more clear for me. Lots to think about. I’ve realized my life and mind are not as clear as I thought.
    I want croissants, fromage and crepes. I get pierogi and barszcz all year long (yes, it’s simplification of Christmas, but you know I am not a family person).
    Additionaly, I’m surprised myself how fast my life plan change. Two days of exchanging e-mails and I am not sure anymore where I will end up in two-three months. But the plan is great and I will publish it as soon as it is settled. It’s all about traveling, of course.
  • There are many weird things online. And when you are at the point when you think that not much can surprise you anymore, you come across a bomb. Just watch this video.

  • Sometimes you know people for years and you realize you haven’t really know them. This weekend I had a pleasure to say ‘– Wow! When the hell did you become so smart and mature?‘ and I really ment it. Great surprises which make me double think about people I have around. But the best thing you can here from me is ‘– You are a very interesting person‘. It happens sometimes. But well, I still claim that it is super easy to criticize and pour lots of sh*t on each other, while it’s rare to say or hear something really nice. That is why I break this convention.
  • On Monday 11th of December I’ve written the last exam at this university. I didn’t realized it is totally THE LAST ONE until someone made that point when we were waiting for the teacher in the hall. And this information really changed my mindset. Jesus, I am almost graduated! After all those years in school I will finally have a diploma, formal higher education and a professional title with my surname! I’m not sure yet how these three letters will change my life, but surely I will add them to the automatically added signature in my e-mails 😀
  • I encountered the theory that electronic devices work just because of the ghosts or elfs placed inside of them. If it wasn’t like that, they would not be that intelligent and would not hold magical powers, such as instant information exchange irrespectively of the distance between the aparatus. Interesting.
  • thoughts and prayers policy and change
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(c) Bence Fejes

To live on your own terms vol.1

A friend of mine sent me recently an article which popped up somewhere on her Facebook wall and which corresponded to what we recently talked about – this is what we do: bombard each other with everything from anatomy handbooks to funny cats.

50 ways to live on your terms by a PhD candidate in Motivation Psychology. ‘Just 50?’ I thought. I guess I am doing pretty fine and since quite long time do not really let anyone rule me. Next I’ve seen the first point: ‘Stop depending on caffeine’ and I immediately thought that I will close the website soon and keep scrolling the pictures of my friends’ breakfasts. I CANNOT live without caffeine. And it is stated in my own terms :D. But I kept reading and it started making more and more sense.

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(c) Bence Fejes

Read 1 book per week, write a journal for 5 minutes per day. As simple as that. Not that I do it – number of books I read depends on the time I spend commuting each week (and if there are places to sit in a tram and if my backpack is not too heavy to carry an additional book…), but I notice the difference. I like having some anecdotes in my sleeve! It’s always great to impress someone with your knowledge – like last week when I told my friend where the HeLa cell line with which she is working on her thesis experiment comes from.

When it comes to writing – I don’t do it every day either, but I think about it more than 5 minutes per day. Writing process means usually an hour with a keyboard once in a couple of days. But I have so many ideas every they that I often catch myself building sentences in my head.

Marry the person you love. I would rather say – marry someone who is not only love, but also the best friend for you. If you plan to spend the whole life with someone, you must be absolutely sure you will never stop to at least like each other. I wouldn’t marry a person I have been with for less than 5 years. I wouldn’t marry a person with totally different ideology, personality and views for life. A couch potato. Disco polo fan. Isn’t it at least a bit as important as love? But what do I know, my longest relationship lasted a year and I rather see myself getting a Noble prize than getting married…

Make a bucket list and actively knock items off. THIS IS SOMETHING I CAN TRULY RECOMMEND. I have a life-long bucket list, I had bucket-lists for my 3 months in India, for last 29 days in Sweden, for the next week (well, that’s more of to-do list). And maybe I am just a psycho obsessed with good organization (alles musst in Ordnung sein!), but it really keeps me motivated and fulfilled.

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(c) Bence Fejes

Fast from the internet 24 hours once per week. That seems like a challenge for me, maybe I am gonna try it in some time – for now I’m far too addicted. It is really much harder to withdraw today, since we all have internet at home, school, office, tram, smart phone. But I know the feeling of relief! I still cannot make my mobile data work in roaming (any Play or iPhone users with the same problem?) so when I go abroad, connect to Wi-Fi just once or twice a day and I am SO HAPPY and free. We are seriously making ourselves crazy with the amount of information we process every day. And yes, world breaking news, uni group chat, new music releases and a professional e-mail are important to follow, but we REALLY can live without the cute pandas, videos of a pizza with a burger inside, your far friend’s grandma’s sister birthday party and next collection of galaxy yoga pants. Ok, withdraw. Give me my pandas back.

Say ‘No’ to people, obligations, requests and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on. I am so proud of myself that I’ve learnt it! I do not talk with people who make my upset, discouraged or anxious anymore. Being a poor student just about to graduate, I have recently rejected a good job offer just because it is not consistent with my life plans (I am not staying in Poland no matter what). I don’t force myself to go to the catholic church just because it befits according to family obligations (do you know how many kilometers I’ve done pushing the strollers with my little cousins around the church during all the first communions happening in my family? :D). I am not nice to anyone who treats me bad, even if I shouldn’t. If I have a choice to sleep properly or prepare something for school last-minute, I will take care of myself and go to sleep. School can wait and the world will not end. As it goes for many other things.

More is yet to come.

And what do you find crucial to your well-being?

My approach to art

I tend to say that art is one of my hobbies, but what does it really mean? I don’t know much about it. I don’t know what is the historical background, symbolics, stream or general idea. Sometimes I can meddle with something, but most of the times I am pretty laical.

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(c) Bence Fejes – real artist!

I just know if I like something or not and usually can give a valid reason for my opinion, however sometimes it’s just a feeling. I can tell you that I loved the exhibition I’ve been to last weekend (COMING OUT of the best graduates of Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, I truly recommend!) – it was fresh, innovative, I’ve seen many things I’d never seen before. The approach was young and untouched, dealing with what surrounds us: the aspect of refugees was mentioned so many times, I understood the perspective of all the authors cause I can put myself in their eyes and imagine what kind of people they are. Trivial thing, but I also loved being surprised so many times – something can be a simple idea, but I was so astonished and wondered so deeply HOW someone even came up with the idea to present the idea in this particular way.

One of my best friends (and the harshest critic of the blog ^^) is already the Bachelor of Arts in field of History of Art. Going with her to the museum or traveling is a pleasure – it’s like having a guide who will tell you only the most interesting things which you will surely memorize! And I am always so impressed how broadely she percepts art – I just usually see a pure pleasure, decoration, enterteinment in it!

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(c) Bence Fejes

I can believe that many artists work the best while stoned, drunk or after an orgasm. I’ve even heard that huge Polish writers – Juliusz Słowacki or Stanisław Lem – took drugs while working on their masterpiece… I am really not surprised. Personally maybe I do not do better while drunk, but for sure I am more creative and with more vision and mission to put my ideas into words.

I could not be a fulltime arist. I just tried to plan my week 3 or 4 times and that is a huge step… I usually do it much more often, obsessively stick to my calendar and to-do lists and have panick attacks if I forget about something. I am really bad at working from home, lack of ideas frustrates me to the highest extend and the perspective of being dependent on someone’s opinion makes me feel sick.

I can’t say I am not creative. I keep writing since months and I love it. I am good at photography. I pay a lot of attention to the appearance and thoughtful design and content of my Instagram and Facebook accounts. Creativity helps me a lot in the field of engineering, since I like simple solutions. And I can not imagine pondering about ‘What did the author mean? What is the inner sense?’ all the time. No, it is simple. No, I could not be an artist. Could you? Are you?

8 reasons to love Łódź

Every time a foreigner asks me about my city, I am like ‘meh, forget! If you are in Poland, go to Krakow, Gdansk or Wroclaw’. Although I am born and raised in Lodz (Łódź), and really enjoy my life here, I still claim – there is not much of touristic value to it. I think that if you come here as a tourist, you could visit all the must-see points in one or maximum two days.

I guess that this post is a form of auto-therapy for me – I just needed to write it to convince myself that there is really SOMETHING worth recommending in my city!

  1. OFF Piotrkowska

In 2014, OFF Piotrkowska center was announced as a winner of 7 Miracles of Poland plebiscite by National Geographic and THAT MEANS something.

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Old textile factory (my city was famous for textile industry in XIX-XX century) was converted into a trendy complex of more than 20 restaurants, bars, pubs, design shops and workshops, in the very center of the city. NG compared it to New York or Berlin, I just love its climate – postindustrial architecture, hipster style, unique atmosphere. It all makes it attractive to people of all ages. I go there to study, eat lunch or dinner, drink a beer, watch a movie in the open-air cinema in the summer, just seat on the bench, anything, anytime. Just love it.

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  1. Student life

I study at International Faculty of Engineering, Lodz University of Technology. At some point of life, I considered moving to Warsaw to study at the best technical university in Poland, but doing my Bachelor totally in English and not paying for it seemed more convincing, so I stayed in my hometown. And I don’t regret.

Lodz has great conditions for students! Five public universities (technical, humanistic, medical, art, film, music) bring many young people to the city (no matter that they leave it just after graduation and Lodz’s population is aging since years). Many courses available in English, low (for European standards) costs of living, good and constantly improving opinion and the oldest School of Polish Language for Foreigners bring us many internationals too. For me it is the best what can happen to this grey society! If they are not brave enough (or can’t afford) to travel abroad and see that people are people everywhere, independently on their religion, language, culture and skin color, it’s great that this opportunity comes to them by itself! Maybe some percentage of the population will broaden their horizons, get rid of xenophobia and open their minds

    3. Kamp!

That’s out of the way, but we have great music too! From Artur Rubinstein (my Father’s option), through Coma (band of my rebellious teenage years!) with a great vocalist Piotr Rogucki and even greater drummer Adam Marszałkowski, to Kamp! – young blood of Polish electronics. Not much to add, just listen to them by yourself. I bet that if they were recording abroad, they would already be famous worldwide.

 

4. Pasaż Róży

Pasaż Róży is the decoration created in one of the yards of the main street by a great Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska (other famous piece of ‘art’ is the palmtree in Warsaw city center). It’s a tribute to the artist’s daughter, suffering from eyes cancer and her way from being blind to seeing. The installation was mainly created by the group of students and was a part of Dialogue of Four Cultures Festival. There is not much to comment on – just take a look at the pictures. It looks gorgeous, reflects sunshine, makes a great impression at any time of the day and in any weather. End every time I show it to someone, they are in love, as I was for the first time.

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    5. Murals

We have quite many of them. I am a total fan! The city does not have that much money to renovate ALL of the grey buildings which are falling apart (Łódź is said to be in very bad state, lacking innovations, however it’s changing from my point of view), so it is great that at least they allow for the cheaper option – decorating them with the murals, inviting the artists from all over the world. It’s a way to make the city cosmetically more vivid and energetic! Here – my favorite ones, but you can spot so many more of them!

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  1. Pronunciation

That is actually funny part. Łódź is the third biggest city in Poland (after Warsaw and Cracow), but hardly anyone from abroad knows about it. Why? Cause no one knows how the hell to pronounce its name. J

When I try to explain it to foreigners, I go for something between wood and image, to form anything close to woodge, but that is a very rough estimation.

  1. Miś Uszatek

Wrocław has its dwarfs (I think I’m gonna show them to you at some point, I’m going to visit friends there soon), Warsaw has the palm tree, Cracow has the dragon… And we have Miś Uszatek! Although it’s not the famous super production, it is a part of my childhood – animation made with little toys which you could watch every day at 7pm in public television. After that kids where supposed to go to sleep.

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Since Łódź has a top-level Film School with the long tradition, many Polish movies (also animated) were directed and filmed here. And although today most of the TV are some crazy cartoons, we still have a couple of monuments reminding us of the series of our childhood.

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  1. Piotrkowska street

Basing on The Independent’s description: At 4.2km, Piotrkowska is the longest commercial street in the country – and probably the most eclectic. From its northern tip at Plac Wolnosci (Liberty Square) to the junction with Pilsudskiego, you’ll find a hotchpotch of architectural styles from the neo-baroque House of Schiebler to Wilhelm Landau’s Bank House, adding some art nouveau into the mix. Then there’s “Holly-Lodz”, the city’s take on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (it makes more sense if you remember how to correctly pronounce Lodz). Pavement stars honour Roman Polanski, a graduate of the city’s film school, and pianist Arthur Rubinstein.

For me it’s the center of the universe. This is where I go for my yoga classes and German course. This where I meet my friends. Eat lunches and dinners. Drink coffee and alcohol.  Visit doctors and tattoo artists. Party. Do lots of shopping.

When it comes to nightlife, Łódź is the most convenient place ever! Most of the important nightclubs and bars are located there, on Piotrkowska. You don’t need to travel far away to change the party if you dislike the music or want to join your friends in a different venue!

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And what do you like most about your city?

/// All the pictures come from Pinterest ///

Sewing workshop at Nubee

In the beginning of this semester I decided that in order not to get crazy with my university, engineering, thesis and other studies-related issues, I should do something completely different just for myself at least once a month! In October I’ve been volunteering at Filmteractive festival and learning about work in social media. On Wednesday 8/11 I had a chance to attend a 5-hours sewing workshop organized by the Polish clothing company called Nubee completely for free!

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What a pity that no man is ever interested in broadening his manual skills!

I needed to take a day-off from lectures, because the workshop took me most of the day. After one hour of theoretical introduction, some practical exercises with a sewing machine there was quite little time left for the final project, especially that – apart from the backpack – I also wanted to make a MacBook case, since I needed it a lot (recently I carry my laptop with me almost every day!).

 

I have had so much fun there! Well, okay, at some moments I thought that sewing is just another activity I am not talented in… For example when I miscalculated the size of my MacBook and a case was far too big. When I sewed the pocket on the wrong side of the material. Or when I cut my finger very very deeply with very very sharp scissors and I was bleeding A LOT. But I had so much fun there! And I am so proud of myself, the backpack I designed and made is actually cool and not that bad-looking, so I am definitely gonna wear it. And it’s a great topic for small talk xD

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I always admire my Mom for how talented she is. Being a doctor, she has surprisingly many hobbyhorse not-at-all connected to what she does. She has great taste for the interior design (I think I’ve posted how her apartment looks like), she can embroider, knit and sew (she saved so many of my clothes!), draws pretty well and has many many creative ideas.

 

Anyway – I am not as talented as my Mom, but still – PROUD of myself. And really happy about how I have spent this day. I needed some fresh air.

 

CREDITS FOR ALL THE PICTURES: Nubee Polska

How to like yourself? vol.5

Remember my post about how much Sex and The City influenced my life? Well, it’s worth commenting on again.

No matter how cartoonish the creations of Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are (come on, there are no such clear-cut people in real life), they create, together with Carrie (who seems more real) a model group connected by the ever-lasting friendship between women. And although I do not wanna go deeper into the topic of female friendship, cause it is a sensitive and hurting recently, Carrie does something very healthy – divides and shares her problems between people.

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

There is no person who can hadle ALL. Ok, maybe your mother, but this doesn’t count. While picking people and talking to them about something deeper than the weather, you should also be concern about their comfort. I wouldn’t ask relationship advices to someone who just broke up with their partner. I wouldn’t complain about life to someone in bereavement. But it’s not only about temporary states.

Maybe it’s a natural trait, but I somehow also share myself as a person into some smaller parts available to other people. It doesn’t mean I’m fake – they can access the whole set any time, but in the every day life it’s easier to be a person they like and need.

I cannot expect from just one person understanding and support in EVERY situation. Yes, I can tell everything to my best friend and I do. And I know she will understand and support me no matter what. She will say I am a great person even if I completely screw something up. But when I need someone to shake me, tell me I’m horrible and I should do something about it, I will go to other friends 🙂 I think it’s healthy both for me and for them – less pressure.

If you succeed to like yourself, everything gets easier. Not easy, clear and obvious, but easier.

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

I do not always like myself, but since some time I like myself more than ever. Well, I still see my weaknesses, but I try to fight them and I do not let them determine me. And I see them better than before because liking myself I see it all as a one person I am.

When I realize that I am not exactly the person I would like to be, I take a deep breath. Before I would hate myself for making a mistake and treat myself as the worst person in the world. I do not do that anymore. I just let it go, learn the lesson and try to never repeat it again. That is healthy too. Do not let your mistakes stick in your head. Do not collect them like stamps, which can remind you of all the bad things about yourself. What is more, there is no one who can judge you more severly than you yourself.

To like the person you are is one of the most important tasks in your life. All the others – decisions you make, plans and goals you set, dreams you have and how you follow them – result from this one thing. This tiny thing which cannot even be seen or measured (well, it’s also about the gravity. F=mg, E=mgh and such stuff).

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(c) Ana Estrada #AE

If you succeed to like yourself, you will also like all the people around at least a bit more. You will be able to treat them better. You will welcome every new day with some portion of happiness.

Obviously it’s nicer to spend your life with a person you like, with who you can just be silent and enjoy moments, not fight and be criticized all the time (sh*t, that sounds like dual personality xD But you get what I mean). Give yourself a chance. Keep smiling. And loving.